Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Troopergate Press Release

Here is a very interesting release from the spokesperson for the McCain-Palin Campaign. I think it's worth reading, as I haven't seen it released in the media yet.


September 15, 2008

Good afternoon. I'm Meghan Stapleton spokesperson for the McCain Palin Campaign, alongside Spokesman Ed O'Callaghan.

We're here today to reveal compelling evidence that confirms what Governor Palin has stated all along that the reassignment of Department of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan had absolutely NOTHING to do with Trooper Mike Wooten and EVERYTHING to do with Commissioner Monegan's adamant refusal to join in Governor Palin's fiscal reforms.

After weeks of enduring Senator Hollis French's repeated, reckless statements in the press about a tainted, partisan, legislative investigation, that has been hijacked by Senator French and other Barack Obama operatives here in Alaska, the truth is finally laid bare. Today, we are here to release new information that exonerates Governor Palin, and demonstrates Commissioner Walt Monegan's egregious insubordination led to his early dismissal and nothing else.

We are not here today to rehash all the details of Trooper Wooten. We know his record: He was found guilty by a Trooper review board of tasering his 10-year old stepson; drinking while driving his patrol car; and illegally killing a moose. He also threatened to kill the Governor's father. You know the rest of the details. You know that he continues to threaten the Wasilla community with his poor judgment, and he is a constant threat to this family as the Troopers have continued to ensure that his Trooper post covers Wasilla and is within blocks of the family's homes.

But that's Trooper Wooten. Today is about Commissioner Walt Monegan. And why he was removed from his position as Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety.
Today, the Governor's attorney filed a motion before the Personnel Board and included numerous emails which prove the Governor did nothing wrong.

The facts are really quite simple. From the Fall of 2007 through mid-2008, Commissioner Monegan repeatedly tried to undermine the Governor's authority by working against her and the administration over the Department of Public Safety's budget.

As everyone knows, this Governor came into office on a reform platform and one of her principal accomplishments has been to reduce wasteful spending. Commissioner Monegan refused to abide by this fiscal reform policy. One of the governor's top Department of Public Safety priorities was to fill as many as 56 trooper vacancies, but the Commissioner re-routed dollars away from these positions and into his own chosen areas of funding.

Last fall, Commissioner Monegan proposed a 10-year strategic plan that committed state dollars and removed the governor's constitutional budget authority; he also traveled to Washington, DC to lobby Congress for federal earmarks without the Governor's knowledge; and then finished off the year by engineering a press conference that included his friend Senator Hollis French to present the department's own budget, just days ahead of the Governor's reform budget.

Monegan continued his obstructionist conduct through the first half of 2008. Early on he publicly requested reinstatement of budget money the Governor previously vetoed. Think about that: One of the Governor's own cabinet members publicly contradicting her veto decision!? And in repeated emails among the governor's staff and the Commissioner's staff, Commissioner Monegan's brazen refusal to follow the appropriate interdepartmental channels to request more money was obvious.

The final straw came in late June and early July of this year when Commissioner Monegan arranged for yet another unauthorized trip to Washington, DC to request more financial assistance from Congress.

The bottom line is that Commissioner Monegan refused to comply with internal budget approval channels and lodged repeated requests for funding that were out of line with the other appropriation requests for every other commissioner and agency. Those are the facts leading to Walt Monegan's reassignment on July 11th. We have copied for you a set of relevant emails that were submitted to the Personnel Board today.

Make no mistake, as a political appointee, Mr. Monegan served at the pleasure of the Governor and was duty-bound to execute the Governor's policy objectives. After eight months of repeatedly ignoring the Governor's budget priorities, making public statements that directly challenged the Governor's policy agenda, and taking numerous unilateral actions in conflict with the Governor in support of his own policy agenda, his replacement in July 2008 should have come as no surprise and cannot now seriously be questioned. Absolutely no credence should be given to any Ethics Complaint against the Governor for her appropriate exercise of her executive discretion under this set of facts.

It is important to note that Commissioner Monegan and John Cyr, the head of the police union who filed a Complaint against the Governor before the Personnel Board, and who appeared with Trooper Wooten on a recent CNN interview, repeatedly changed their stories as to why Monegan was dismissed. While at first Monegan had no idea, John Cyr actually talked about budget differences.

And they stuck to those lines until Mike Wooten had another child custody battle a few days after Monegan's dismissal and threatened the Governor's sister Molly at that time, saying "You guys are going down. Get ready for the show." Molly called 911 that evening, but no one came to her aid, as Wooten actually predicted.

So the immediate assessments of Monegan and Cyr began to morph into an evolution of excuses and repeated retractions by Monegan, Wooten, and Cyr. And they enlisted blogger Andrew Halcro to launch their smear campaign against Governor Palin.

In fact, Mike Wooten met Andrew Halcro for drinks at a hotel bar for more than 3 hours, and concocted the malicious scheme to fulfill the threats made to Molly. Hours later, Andrew Halcro posted a blog that lodged the first accusation of Wooten's involvement in Monegan's reassignment. Later that day, John Cyr held a press conference, retracting his early insistence that this was budget related and switching to the Wooten story, though it takes Commissioner Monegan at least another day to retract his initial statement and blame Wooten.

The following Tuesday, July 21, 2008: Hollis French and Walt Monegan appeared on a radio show together and talked about getting an aggressive prosecutor to prove the existence of "a complex crime". French stated that he was "angry" that his friend Walt Monegan got fired. Remember, Hollis French was the same Senator who supported the budget proposal that sought to undermine Govenor Palin, and Walt Monegan was the Palin cabinet member who publicly sided with French against the Governor on that important policy decision.

And thus the genesis of what turned into a partisan effort to take down the Governor. The bar room banter turned into a full-blown Legislative investigation spearheaded by Monegan's friend and well-known Obama supporter Hollis French, and overseen by another Obama supporter Chairman Kim Elton, who contributed $2,250 to the Obama campaign.

Time after time, a new excuse, a new statement, more stories about what happened. And it only grew once Senator John McCain asked Governor Sarah Palin to join him on August 29th as his running mate.

That day, former Commissioner Monegan actually told the Anchorage Daily News during an interview. For the record, no one ever said fire Wooten. Not the Governor. Not Todd. Not any of the other staff.

But that same day, the Democrat machine also kicked into gear. This is when Obama and his campaign inserted itself into Alaska politics, and the political circus became even worse. Within no time, one-time supporters of the Governor who worked alongside the Governor to produce reform and accomplishments in Alaska, turned on her, alongside party lines. And Commissioner Monegan prepared to change his story yet again, saying for the first time that he was told his budget would be cut if Wooten retained his job. In early September, CNN reported that the Obama campaign reached out to John Cyr. During that time, Senator Hollis French appeared in the national media pre-judging the outcome of the investigation which had only just begun.

And as many of you heard last Friday, it was revealed that "independent" prosecutor Steven Branchflower allowed Senator French to tamper with the witness subpoena list, even though French pledged to not be involved. Branchflower now says that he will complete his "factfinding" by the end of this week and put out a report by October 10 at the latest. No serious, impartial investigator and no serious prosecutor would ever make such reckless predictions.

Having spoken to the Governor as recently as yesterday, I can personally tell you that Governor Palin is an open book and has absolutely nothing to hide.

This Governor is transparent and honest. I cannot emphasize that enough. This Governor has called for transparency and honesty, and the Democrats are on a smear campaign. The Personnel Board is the ONLY agency charged by law with addressing complaints concerning ethical issues, including hiring and firing matters involving the Governor. The legislature's investigation no longer resembles a fair inquiry and does not have proper jurisdiction. And given all that has developed, the Personnel Board is also the only place to go to ensure the facts are protected from the political circus that has come to Anchorage. And recently, even the Trooper union has acknowledged the role of the personnel board.

Governor Palin has been an open book in this case and has acted with the highest standards of ethics.

Ed O'Callaghan and I are happy to take questions now.


Ed Abbey said...

The only other source for this statement (so far) is on a blogspot blog entitled Palin for VP. That itself makes me highly suspicious as to the authenticity. (Wouldn't you think this would be release through a more official channel? Second the way the author words things like saying, "We are not here today to rehash all the details of Trooper Wooten." and then proceeding to do just that makes it seem as if she has a bone to pick. I'm not holding my breath that any of this is true.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Ed, That's where I got it from, as I was surfing the net this morning. However, I'm familiar w/ the blog and I don't think this is inauthentic. It's dated the 15th, so it hasn't had a chance to become widespread yet.

Ed Abbey said...

I guess we'll see. Either way, this is the least of the issues on Palin that concerns me. My McCain enthusiasm is fading fast. My Obama enthusiasm never existed so I don't know where I will stand in 49 days.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The Democrats are spreading a smear campaign huh?

That is funny. After everything the McCain campaign has done - after all those only partially true (or not true at all) 30 seond TV ads, after all the false stories leaked to Fox "News" by operatives - it is the Democrats that are conducting a smear campaign?

Obama has inserted himself into Alaska politics? So I suppose Republican operatives never crawled through Chicago huh? No - never. They are far too ethical to do this.

ALL these issues existed before anyone outside of Alaska even knew who Palin was. The only reason any of this is in the news is because she is running for VP. That is the only reason. It has nothing to do with Obama lawyers. These cases were ongoing long before that. To say that now they are around just because of Obama and his lawyers is just plain false.

Another lie. No big deal.

Before McCain picked her, she was going to welcome an investigation. After all - she did nothing wrong. But now she suddenly does not want to cooperate.

This whole "serving at the pleasure of the Governor" thing is very telling. Here is a guy who started as a patrol officer, and became the top cop after many years. He was charged with running a police force.

And then in comes the governor, with her degree in journalism and her tons of experience being the mayor of a town with a small population - and she is going to tell him how to do a job he was doing for his entire career.

How would you like it if you were working someplace, and a high school graduate was made your boss, and then started to tell you what they think you should do in your job? What if this new boss was so adamant in their views that they would not hear anything you had to say?

What is one of the major problems with the Bush Administration? Bush surrounded himself with yes men. Anyone who did not prescribe to a set of views 100% was thrown out. People like Powell were thrown out. And people like Rumsfield - who had no military experience at all - was allowed to play games with the military and override generals in matters of war strategy.

Any general who stood up was removed.

So is this how Palin is going to run her ship? Apparently. Do not like my policies? OUT YOU GO! Ill find someone who agrees 100% with me to fill your job.

And we do not know what cuts she proposed.

But we DO know that she had no experience at all in running a police force of more than 10 cops.

If all these people serve at the pleasure of the governor, why even have them around? Just let the governor run it all.

Bottom line is that Palin is going to have to face all this. What happens in Alaska will not stay in Alaska.

Trying to play the "poor little picked on me" card will not work. Well it might. It seems to be working.

Trying to blame it all on Obama and his team is just laughable. This was all around before she was even on the national radar.

And the Republicans are taking advantage of this. They picked an unknown that would make the base happy. And by base I mean the people who wanted someone other than McCain. Someone more like Huckabee. They found that in Palin. So the base is happy.

And since she was an unknown - they knew that anything going on would be new to 99.9% of the population, everyone who did not live in Alaska.

And then they could simply write it all off as "Obama lawyers digging for slime" or "Obama lawyers making stuff up".

It was not dug up. It was laying on top of the ground in plain view.

daveawayfromhome said...

If you're going to take a campaign organization at their word, can I assume that you believed the tobacco companies also? Would you like to buy a bridge?
Campaigns advertise, and advertisements are nothing more than carefully crafted statements designed to get you to buy their product (or buy into, in this case). It will never give you bad news, and it will stretch the truth as far as it can until it fits the image they wish to present to you.

Capt'n Slappy said...

Avast ye scurvy bilge rats! September 19th be International Talk Like A Pirate Day!


Saur♥Kraut said...

Capt'n Slappy, arrr!

Dave, No doubt both sides claim themselves to be saintly. But facts always help out when we're trying to weigh out the truth.

Iguana, all good points, but ultimately I think that the press release states certain facts that are irrefutable and make a difference to the way the situation is perceived.

Ed, I certainly like your Constitution Party candidates. They're the best by far.

The Lazy Iguana said...

Irrefutable facts? Well that changes everything! There is no need to cooperate with any investigation if you simply make a press release with all the irrefutable facts!

I say we no longer need courts. I mean just have defendants issue a press release with the irrefutable facts pointed out.

And there need not be any congressional oversight of the executive branch, or any internal oversight in the form of ethics committees in Congress! Just have the questionable issue a press release.

I do not know what the truth is. But seeing as how the past 8 years have been run (secretive, closed doors, non transparency, refusal to honor the law, disdain for any sort of investigation, and so on) I think her reaction to this is troubling.

Just blame it all on lawyers. Blame it all on someone else. Claim it is made up. It does not matter if all this stuff was around way before any selection was made. It does not matter if there was already an investigation going on in Alaska.

No, just sweep it all away. Nothing to see here. Move along now.

And then who claims to be the "reform candidate"? From the incumbent party? Who is going to change it all up?

Saur♥Kraut said...

Iguana, Oh no doubt that when it comes to trials, if you have irrefutable facts you trot them out there. And perhaps these facts will make the committee's review short and sweet.

However, no one's saying that the review should stop. Well, maybe THEY are, but I'm not.

daveawayfromhome said...

"No doubt both sides claim themselves to be saintly. But facts always help out when we're trying to weigh out the truth."

No, neither side is "saintly", whatever their claims. And an ad campaign (and the organization that produced the ad), be it for a product or a candidate, is the last place one should look for "facts", because any truth that an ad campaign may contain will be warped, bent and twisted to fit the story/image/fable that the organization wants you to buy into.

Political campaigns are not in the business of telling the "truth", they are in the business of getting votes. Truth often gets in the way of that goal (more often than not in McCain's case). There are far better sources for truth to be found.