With attention understandably focused elsewhere, thereâs a flurry of activity up north as Alaskaâs legislature has just completed its 263-page report on âTroopergate.â The legislature is going to be briefed this morning on the findings and is scheduled to vote later today on whether to release the report.
The McCain-Palin campaign is wasting no time responding. As the Anchorage Daily News puts it, the campaign âlooked to discredit the investigator's report without having seen it.â
Pointing out that investigators didnât interview, among others, Palin, Palinâs lawyer said the report, âis going to be half-done at best. And anything that's half-done will likely be half-baked."(Last month, a Palin spokesman said the governor was "unlikely to cooperate" with the inquiry "as long as it remains tainted." Acting on advice from Palinâs administration, other witnesses had also initially resisted subpoenas for the bipartisan panel.)
Yesterday, as part of that effort, the McCain-Palin campaign also released its own report exonerating Palin. Citing a McCain spokesman, the Associated Press says the report was âwritten by the McCain-Palin campaign staff.â
The question at the center of the case, of course, is whether Palin pressured and ultimately fired Alaska public safety chief Walt Monegan for not dismissing a trooper, Mike Wooten, who was involved in a personal dispute with Palinâs family. âMonegan's dismissal was a result of his insubordination and budgetary clashes,â concluded the campaign. "Trooper Wooten is a separate issue."
The New York Times has done its own digging and came to a slightly different conclusion. As todayâs Times puts it, âTo a far greater degree than was previously known, the governor, her husband and her administration pressed the commissioner and his staff to get Trooper Wooten off the force, though without directly ordering it.â
"To all of us, it was a campaign to get rid of [Wooten] as a trooper and, at the very least, to smear the guy and give him a desk job somewhere," Monegan's former assistant told the Times.
Weâll see if the legislatureâs investigation came to a similar conclusion. Either way, weâll post the report as soon as itâs available.