Patterico's Pontifications

10/11/2008

Tasergate Report is Out

Filed under: 2008 Election — DRJ @ 12:02 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

Beldar is not impressed with the Alaska report on Palin’s role in Tasergate a/k/a the Branchflower Report:

The Branchflower Report is a series of guess[es] and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy, and it hasn’t been approved or adopted or endorsed by so much as a single sub-committee of the Alaska Legislature, much less any kind of commission, court, jury, or other proper adjudicatory body. It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations. Rather, it’s just Steve Branchflower’s opinion — after being hired and directed by one of Gov. Palin’s most vocal opponents and one of Alaska’s staunchest Obama supporters — that he thinks Gov. Palin had, at worst, mixed motives for an action that even Branchflower admits she unquestionably had both (a) the complete right to perform and (b) other very good reasons to perform.”

Now go read the whole thing.

— DRJ

54 Responses to “Tasergate Report is Out”

  1. I find that, although Walt Monegan’s refusal to fire Trooper Michael Wooten was not the sole reason he was fired by Governor Sarah Palin, it was likely a contributing factor to his termination as Commissioner of Public Safety. In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.

    Shorter Branchflower: It was in her head when she decided to fire him. Regardless of what her reasons were, that had to be one of them (because I think so) therefore, it is an abuse of power.

    What this also means is that if Monegon had been caught in bed with a dead girl and a live boy and 3 kilos of cocaine, and Palin had fired him for that, her issues with Wooten would also have been necessarily a part of her decision and as such her decision would constitute an abuse of power.

    Horsepuckey.

    Pablo (99243e)

  2. he thinks Gov. Palin had, at worst, mixed motives for an action that even Branchflower admits she unquestionably had both (a) the complete right to perform and (b) other very good reasons to perform.

    Well said, Beldar.

    Rachel Madcow on MSNBC asked when we should expect criminal charges last night.

    In spite of that, Governor Palin’s firing of Commissioner Monegan was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority to hire and fire executive branch department heads.

    How in the flying fuck does the damn media get away with ignoring this ?!?!?!

    JD (f7900a)

  3. And even if it was a contributing factor she had every right to fire him.

    And if she didn’t she would have been doing the public a gross disservice.

    Amphipolis (e6b868)

  4. What was once considered a position held at the governor’s pleasure has become a position held at the pleasure of the Democrats.

    Amphipolis (e6b868)

  5. Democrats defending the tasering of children

    EricPWJohnson (925f3c)

  6. A leader who has mixed motives to do the right thing should do…what?

    Amphipolis (e6b868)

  7. Democrats hate children and want them to be tazered.

    JD (f7900a)

  8. It’s Baracky’s media, JD. That’s how.

    Pablo (99243e)

  9. Better to have drunk driving, child tasing state troopers than to allow a Republican to be seen in a fair light.

    Pablo (99243e)

  10. Pablo – I know I should never be surprised by how painfully dishonest they are, but they continue to manage to surprise me.

    JD (f7900a)

  11. I’ve got an analysis up on the report. Aside from the fact that Monegan’s firing was ok, and the only thing that is really faulted is Todd’s (not Sarah’s) actions, the most interesting thing in my opinion is that the relevant recommendation in the report is to change the personnel laws to allow people who complain about troopers to find out what happened with their complaint. Nothing at all about censuring Palin or condemning her actions.

    Brad (c1f6fa)

  12. To clarify and emphasize, the finding that Sarah ‘abused her power’ is based entirely on Todd’s efforts to see that Trooper Wooten was properly disciplined. It had nothing to do with the purported purpose of the report, the firing of Monegan.

    Brad (c1f6fa)

  13. The Dems are just wussy boys who are really afraid of teh woman as castrator. “Mommy, make the mean lady stop acting like a strong and effective legislator! She scares me! Eeek!”

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  14. Brad,

    You and Beldar do an excellent job analyzing this story. You two should join forces.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  15. Even more laughable – the LA Times article mentions (after the jump, of course) that Wooten used a “low-power Taser” against the child. How sweet. I wonder if it ‘tickled’?

    WTF is a low-power taser?

    This lie was spread immediately by every news outlet. Every single one of them is lying, and they simply don’t care.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  16. Dmac : The Democrats are not afraid of a strong and effective legislator in this case. Sarah Palin is a strong and effective Chief Executive who has proved herself to be an experienced chief executive as mayor and governor.

    longwalker (6afa35)

  17. All your tazers are belong to us.

    JD (f7900a)

  18. Maybe we should ask the “Don’t Tase Me, Bro” student for his opinion on being tasered.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  19. I can has a tazer?

    JD (f7900a)

  20. Yeah, but the “don’t taze me, bro!” dude was asking for it – just like that little boy, no doubt.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  21. Child abuse is a-ok with Leftists as long as the child is a Rethuglikkan one.

    Ayers used to advocate kids to go home and kill their parents (the Rethuglikkan kind of parent).

    The Left just thinks everyone not to their liking should be dead.

    Kind of like Ahmadawhackjob thinks of Jews.

    Darleen (187edc)

  22. Kind of like Ahmadawhackjob thinks of Jews.

    The left and Holocaust denial – friends for life.

    They hate Hitler and love Stalin. Why? Hitler didn’t kill enough.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  23. And even if it was a contributing factor she had every right to fire him.

    Her statutory authority wasn’t the overriding issue.

    Branchflower found that Palin never interviewed Monegan’s replacement. He lasted two weeks, resigning after it was reported that he had been reprimanded in connection with a past sexual harassment complaint.

    Tasergate was supposed to help answer whether the VP nominee could separate her personal interests from the interests of good government.

    Few politicians can.

    steve (442395)

  24. No Steve – If Palin had interviewed Monegan’s replacement, the call would have been that Palin was attempting to set up her own fiefdom.

    Tasergate had only one purpose – to get a blurb in the news that discredits Palin.

    This is nothing other than a political hit-job.

    Apogee (366e8b)

  25. I e-mailed one of the Times reporters after that story came out yesterday and pointed to the conclusion she acted appropriately. She e-mailed back that she had written the story in “15 minutes” and would have more in a subsequent story. No sign of it yet.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  26. Tasergate had only one purpose – to get a blurb in the news that discredits Palin.

    Branchflower was appointed in July, long before Palin joined the national ticket.

    Palin assured reporters in July she was aware of the sexual harassment complaint against Kopp when she appointed him to replace Monegan. Branchflower determined she never interviewed him.

    steve (442395)

  27. Comment by JD — 10/11/2008 @ 2:06 pm

    channelling Roger Miller…..

    Tasers for sale or rent,
    Moose to be shot, fifty cents…

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  28. Just a question that I don’t recall ever seeing the answer to…

    Is the Trooper in question, still on the AK payroll?
    Everyone has so concentrated on Monegan, I think they all forgot about the “Taser Trooper”?

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  29. What the report says is completely irrelevant. Only what the public believes is relevant.

    A headline on the left bar of today’s top front page of the Harrisburg PA Patriot-News:

    PANEL: PALIN BROKE LAW

    Front page blurb: Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin violated her state’s ethics law and abused her power by trying to have her sister’s ex-husband fired as a state trooper, a legislative panel concluded.

    Amphipolis (e6b868)

  30. Not really a banner day for the Palin-McCain ticket. But, I suppose this is going to be the first in a long line of not-so-special days for the ticket. Polls taken yesterday may mark the highest levels during the month long leadup to the election.

    I do have to give McCain some credit for correcting that obviously misinformed, backwoods, bigoted woman who called Obama an A-rab. I think a lot of people who would consider themselves center-left won’t come near the right side of the fence as long as such ignorance trumpets the merits of the GOP. I am in that boat, and I think my shipmates are increasing in numbers every day.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  31. But her defense, “I didnt do it/I disagree with the findings” is sooo unique. Every man, woman, and adolescent ever accused of a crime has used that one.

    truthnjustice (d99227)

  32. I think a lot of people who would consider themselves center-left won’t come near the right side of the fence as long as such ignorance trumpets the merits of the GOP

    What a lame rationalization. People of the left don’t want to deal with, or give latitude to, anyone who isn’t also of the left.

    So to them, someone like Barack or Hillary can be as sleazy as, if not sleazier than, say, Bill Ayers or Jeremiah Wright, but it’s all peaches and cream, milk and honey.

    Mark (562068)

  33. But, I suppose this is going to be the first in a long line of not-so-special days

    But you’re our own special little Troll, Puss’nteeth.

    Dmac (cc81d9)

  34. Oh here we go again!! Cry baby conservatives in one post demanding Obamas connections with Benedict Arnolds third cousins wife’s sister-in-law be investigated but insisting any investigations into her ethics must be lies.

    Now in addition to being a party done wrong by the media, France, Spain, the East Coast, the West Coast, the liberals, those that eat brie, those that drink Cappuccino, those that counted votes in the 2000 election, the New York Times, ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS the National Weather Channel and the Northern Wasilla PTA, we can now add all those nasty Republicans who teamed with the nasty Democrats to release the nasty report by the nasty Mr Branchflower.

    Its enough to make a grown man cry!!

    VietnamEraVet (543dfe)

  35. Re: No. 28.

    Yes, Trooper Wooten is still employed. The investigation into his actions was conducted and he was disciplined before Palin was ever elected. The Palins didn’t know that, and even after they knew, they couldn’t let it go. Monegan repeatedly told them and staff members that it was illegal for them to have a conversation into a personnel matter like that. He was actually trying to protect her from herself. If you think that’s wrong, then you won’t mind if anybody calls up your boss and asks about your performance at work.

    If you actually read the report, you’ll find it hard to believe that so many of Palin’s top staff just took it upon themselves out of nowhere to give Monegan and other troopers a call and express their concern that Wooten was still employed. If your boss’s family was involved in an ugly custody fight, would you just dial up others involved and share your feelings? I’d think your boss would be mad that you got involved at all.

    Since one of the troopers protecting Palin testified that Todd Palin spends at least half of his time in the governor’s office, sitting at a conference table with his own phone, it’s a little unbelievable that she professes not to know how active Todd was in trying to get Wooten fired. Or that she disapproved.

    Considering the Palins claimed they were afraid of Wooten because of his “dangerous” threats to them, it’s also curious that Gov. Palin cut her security detail in half. Also odd that Todd Palin almost never mentioned being afraid of Wooten in the dozens of complaints he made.

    It takes some time and work to read the report and the original troopers’ report into Wooten’s actions. Much easier to just assume she acted responsibly and ethically because she says she did.

    Probably nothing will happen to her because the entire legislature would have to censure her when they meet months from now. But as an Alaska citizen, I’m happy to read the words of those who testified so I can judge for myself whether she behaves like a governor who believes in accountability and transparency, as she has claimed so often, or whether she’s just another good old boy.

    The fact that she’s telling Alaska reporters she’s been cleared of any hint of unethical behavior tells me a lot about her too. All worth remembering in the next election.

    Bluedog Alaska (de8428)

  36. Considering the Palins claimed they were afraid of Wooten because of his “dangerous” threats to them, it’s also curious that Gov. Palin cut her security detail in half.

    Yes, because the Gov. would need a whole security force to protect her from one trooper.

    Probably nothing will happen to her because the entire legislature would have to censure her when they meet months from now.

    Well, why would that be, if the case is so airtight? In fact, some of the members of the Council that released the report expressed disagreement with its findings. Release of the report did not imply endorsement of its findings.

    The fact is, this investigator does not have the authority to determine violations of the Ethics Act, that is left to the Personnel Board. Palin’s attorney did a nice job of eviscerating the investigator’s interpretation of the Ethics Act.

    SAZMD (0949b6)

  37. One additional point. Alaska state law makes it incumbent upon a public official to report any ethics violations he or she observes. If Walt Monegan felt he was under inappropriate pressure from the Governor or her office, he should have reported it. The fact that he did not, and that his initial statements about the whole ordeal were very equivocal, speaks volumes.

    SAZMD (0949b6)

  38. As people above have said, what I heard on the radio this afternoon was a 10 second blurb (at most) saying the report had been released and judged that Gov. Palin “had abused her power”.

    How does one address this? Call a press conference that everyone thinks will be Palin withdrawing her nomination, and then present her case, shoving it back into everyone’s faces?

    I think a majority of Americans still dislike dishonesty and dirty politics, though some of them are about to say “a pox on all your houses” out of general disgust. The problem is, with such a significant amount of the press aiding and abetting, how to get the point out.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  39. Comment by Bluedog Alaska — 10/11/2008 @ 8:28 pm

    Putting aside the ins and outs of the report, do you, as an Alaskan citizen, think that Trooper Wooten should keep his job in light of the actions he has committed:
    Tasering a pre-teen child;
    Drinking on Duty;
    Taking game without a permit;
    Driving an official vehicle while under the influence?

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  40. tnj – Why not come back after you’ve read the report so you can make a marginally less informed comment than usual?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  41. AD-
    The Bluedog reportedly from Alaska was telling us on another thread just how stupid people were to believe Palin. I asked him if he was implying that 80% of his fellow Alaskans were idiots, he never responded.
    I think we should get the student who hacked into Palin’s account to backtrack Bluedog’s posts to see if they really are from Alaska. Of Course, he/she could be one of the 20% that are ticked-off at her for fighting corruption.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  42. Comment by MD in Philly — 10/11/2008 @ 9:26 pm

    This is a Bluedog, from Yellowknife.

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  43. MD – Bluedog I think believes that Todd and Sarah lost all their rights as Alaskan citizens to complain to the government once Sarah became Governor. Since she and Todd were complaining about Wooten and nothing was resolved prior to Palin’s election, she was supposed to forget all about it upon her innauguration and pretend nothing had ever happened. Thoz are de rulz akordink to de investagheyshun!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  44. Comment by daleyrocks — 10/11/2008 @ 9:44 pm

    This is just a classic example of what happens when a reformer is elected and they get it into their head that they actually need to clean-up government.
    What demented fools.
    Somebody needs to tell them that there is a system in Juneau, and it is up to the Palin’s to conform to it.

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  45. or, to paraphrase ex-Sen. Jim Sasser of TN:

    Too much reformin’ goin’ on here!

    Another Drew (2a4150)

  46. Could be, daleyrocks, or it could be he doesn’t believe much at all and is just yapping.

    I find this “interesting”:
    “Since one of the troopers protecting Palin testified that Todd Palin spends at least half of his time in the governor’s office, sitting at a conference table with his own phone, it’s a little unbelievable that she professes not to know how active Todd was in trying to get Wooten fired. Or that she disapproved.”

    Todd Palin is quite a guy, runs a fishing business, works in the North Slope Oil fields, takes care of little Trig so mom can fulfill her responsibilities as governor, all in the “one-half of his time” he isn’t sitting at the conference table with his own phone.

    Past my bedtime, goodnight.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  47. This is a new one on me. Usually the libs are screaming their heads of when there is a chance to have some rogue cops hide.

    Stan (7cfd24)

  48. I think number 32 is an interesting charge, considering anything that is posted on this site with anything even close to a centrist point of view is immediately attacked. Give me a break, people. I am most definitely closer to the center than I am to the left, and you guys attack everything I post with full and immediate fervor. I’d rather not read about the tolerance level of the far right, conserva-crazy crowd.

    truthnjustice (6d3080)

  49. Beldar said:

    The Branchflower Report is a series of guess[es] and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy, and it hasn’t been approved or adopted or endorsed by so much as a single sub-committee of the Alaska Legislature, much less any kind of commission, court, jury, or other proper adjudicatory body.

    This is absolutely incorrect. From the Anchorage Daily News:

    His report was released Friday by a 12-0 vote of the Legislative Council, with eight Republicans and four Democrats voting.

    Please correct your post.

    Russell (3f853e)

  50. Russell – Do you have a citation showing it was adopted, approved or endorsed by the committee?

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  51. Russell: “Please correct your post.”

    As I read Beldar’s post, the Council voted to release the report but they did not vote to approve the report. However, please free to take up your concerns with Beldar at the original link.

    DRJ (c953ab)

  52. It is always amusing when someone “proves” something with a link that does not say what they claim it says.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  53. They asked for a report. They got a report. They released the report to the public.

    They did not approve, adopt, or endorse the report.

    Russel – the vote to release the report would not have been unanimous if it were endorsing it. You are the one who is absolutely incorrect.

    Amphipolis (e6b868)


  54. I am most definitely closer to the center than I am to the left,

    There is not one iota of evidence of the truthfulness of this statement. All available evidence is quite to the contrary.

    JD (f7900a)


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