Comparing Candidate Sarah Palin and Governor Sarah Palin


caribou hunt palin twn.jpg
(link to AP photo)
At the Democratic National Convention, I was on the floor at the Pepsi Center when Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was giving his speech.
Senator Kerry had spoken for me for a New America Foundation event earlier in the day, and I wanted to return the favor by being there in the crowd with thousands of others. Many folks were listening — and many folks were just mixing, milling, talking, not aware that their former Democratic presidential candidate was up making the case for Barack Obama at the podium.
And then the crowd’s collective ears perked because the Brahminesque Kerry hit an amazing home run juxtaposing the gap between “candidate McCain” and “Senator McCain”:

But this morning the Anchorage Daily News has raised the same kind of issue of candidate vs. the actual Sarah Palin that deserves attention. The paper’s editors write:

Gov. Sarah Palin is taking the wrong approach to Troopergate. She should be practicing the open and transparent, ethical and accountable government she promised when running for governor and boasts about now that she’s on the national stage.
Instead, Gov. Palin has begun stonewalling the Legislature’s attempt to get the bottom of allegations that she, her family or staff violated ethical or state personnel rules.
As a result, the Troopergate allegations hang over Palin’s future and cloud her candidacy for vice president.
The allegations are that she, her family or administration improperly pressured then-Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan to fire Gov. Palin’s ex-brother-in-law, state trooper Mike Wooten, who had been in the middle of a custody dispute with Palin’s sister.

Here is a reminder of the course the McCain/Palin team professes it wants to go from Senator McCain’s Republican National Convention speech last night:

Instead of rejecting good ideas because we didn’t think of them first, let’s use the best ideas from both sides. Instead of fighting over who gets the credit, let’s try sharing it. This amazing country can do anything we put our minds to. I will ask Democrats and Independents to serve with me. And my administration will set a new standard for transparency and accountability.

It is time that Sarah Palin put Troopergate behind her by laying it all out there. If she doesn’t, well. . .remember Ken Starr?
— Steve Clemons
Editor’s Note: Hat tip to BW from Alaska for the Anchorage Daily News piece.


21 comments on “Comparing Candidate Sarah Palin and Governor Sarah Palin

  1. Carol Forsloff says:

    After reviewing more than 400 sources and doing 33 articles related to Sarah Palin and the issues, I am convinced that she is the worst person we could have as President-in-Waiting for a host of reasons.
    She is the antithesis of the compassionate, and the most disturbing thing is to see the smile on the woman whose son is going to war, as she announces that, and then to see that same type of smile on the face of someone who believes in killing animals just for sport. Value life? Not consistently, apparently and with a background like that no unlike mass murderers and criminals who also enjoyed killing for its own sake. How many mothers would smile when talking about their son going to war? That alone says a lot about the woman. Any of you interested, I have a huge amount of resources on the issues related with this at specifically because of my concerns.


  2. PissedOffAmerican says:

    How’s this “God told us to kill Muslims” thing working out for us? Want another four years of it?
    And whats worse, this Palin wackjob is FAR more to the right religiously than Monkey Boy is. The woman is dangerously fanatical in her religious beliefs.
    “God told me to strike at al-Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did, and now I am determined to solve the problem in the Middle East.” – George Bush


  3. PissedOffAmerican says:
    Where Have I Seen Sarah Palin Before?
    by Arash Kamangeer
    I grew up in Iran and immigrated to US to avoid living in a theocracy. Lately though, the trajectory of US politics is something to worry about, not only to me, but also to many others in my predicament.
    Wednesday night at the Republican convention was an especially poignant moment. I was watching Sarah Palin deliver her acceptance speech. As I was watching her, her family, and her adoring fans in the Republican convention, I could not overcome a feeling that I have seen this scene before…
    Right after the Revolution in Iran and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Iran-Iraq war was started. To be fair, Iraq started that war, but the new revolutionary leaders of Iran saw the war as a godsend. They milked it for all it was worth. They labeled anyone against the war as a traitor or unpatriotic. Anyone who suggested that there may be a negotiated settlement was ridiculed and purged from power. Even Ayatollah Khomeini once said that this war is a blessing from God himself. You may see the parallels here already, but keep reading.
    One of the problems the government faced was opposition from legions of mothers whose sons had been maimed or died in the war. To confront this problem, the government-controlled TV would parade a mother whose son had died in the war in front of the TV on a regular basis. Invariably, this “show mom” would be carrying an infant child and a few other siblings with her. And invariably, she would say something to the effect that “I have given one child to this ‘sacred’ war, and I am ready to give the next one.” Almost always, there would be an adoring crowd who would follow her statements by chants of “Allaho-Akbar” (God is Great). And again invariably, her statements would follow by a not-so-veiled threat from her and the adoring crowd. She would say something like “I and my family would not tolerate traitors and betrayals to the faith and country”. Then the crowd would break into several standard chants such as “Death to traitors” or “War, war, until victory.”
    Sarah Palin was much better dressed than the average show mom paraded on Iranian TV more than 20 years ago. The show moms were typically dressed in a black veil. But that’s about the biggest difference. The rhetoric was eerily familiar. When she was finished, I knew I had seen her before. Only that it wasn’t her. It was her ideological predecessors at a different time in a different country.
    Now, I am not a politician. I just cannot understand the need to drag a child afflicted with Down syndrome in front of national TV at 10:00pm. Is that good for him? Or does the need to rally the base trump the needs of a child? Whatever the explanation, I am sure I have seen that child when he was carried in the arms of the Iranian show moms for the cameras. So much for family values.
    And then I wake the next morning and read that Sarah Palin is quoted as saying that the Iraq war is a “task that is from God.” It’s like déjà-vu all over again.


  4. PissedOffAmerican says:

    The allegation that Wooten threatened to “put a bullet” in his father in law’s head is based on hearsay, Sarah Palin allegedly having had listened in on a phone conversation that Wooten had with Sarah’s sister. Wooten denies saying it.
    It is irrefutable that Palin has lied about troopergate. There are two verifiable lies that are commonly cited.
    Perhaps Tahoe will point us to two verifiable lies that Wooten has uttered about Troopergate?
    Well, than why should we believe a known liar’s account of what she heard over the phone, over that of someone who has NOT been shown to be falsely testifying??


  5. DonS says:

    uh, Kotz, in the real world of law abiding citizens, threats against ones person are prosecutable. Not for my clients, who have little power, but Ms Palin has plenty of standing and clout for the magistrate to issue a warrant.
    You’re overreaching.


  6. kotzabasis says:

    All of you up there in your ivory towers. You make “troopergate” out of someone who threatened to kill one’s father? What would you do if someone threatened to kill your own father? In your muckraking search to smear and slander sassy Sarah you digging your own political grave. No scarecrow skeleton of yours will prevent this American iron lady from landing in the White House with her feet running.


  7. Bill R. says:

    I know people who have worked with Palin. Troopergate is the tip of the iceberg in a long line of abuses of power. Sheer narcissistic hubris. McCain has put in a call to Speaker Harris to block the legislature’s investigation. But it won’t stop there and will only create more interest. The cover up always creates more trouble than the crime. The basic story line and facts are known on this. Palin destroyed the career of a respected law enforcement administrator to enact a personal vendetta. And she lied about it publicly. And it appears that she arranged for her staff to illegally extract information from the personnel file of Wooten, which was then given to her chief of staff by her husband, who has no standing as a govt. employee. McCain will regret he didn’t vet her, if he hasn’t already.


  8. Tahoe Editor says:

    Time to empty your bucket, Piss.


  9. PissedOffAmerican says:

    ROFLMAO again.
    You’re a dissembling jackass, Tahoe.


  10. Tahoe Editor says:

    You post 2,000 words, yet you have no effect. What a waste of space.
    Do you really think this campaign will be about Walt Monegan?
    Walt Monegan, who said, “If you don’t back off this guy, he’ll own your house!”
    Walt Monegan seems to me to be someone who doesn’t appreciate the scale of things. Michael Wooten is not going to own the Palin house because someone called him out on drinking in his patrol car. Monegan symbolizes the overlitigious bureaucrat, or the circle-the-wagons police chief. He’s not going to beat Sarah Palin. Not now. Not ever.
    Keep muckraking.
    Want Real Changeâ„¢? Quit Nominating Lawyers


  11. PissedOffAmerican says:

    “Troopergate is about a mother and a sister and a daughter protecting the community from a bad-apple cop”
    Gee, what happened to the “wife beater” horseshit, Tahoe?
    Now its about “protecting the community”?
    How, by replacing Wooten’s superior with a guy disciplined for on the job sexual harrassment?
    Tahoe, anyone that has dug into this just a little knows this was “about” a vendetta. And it certainly isn’t rare in divorces and the ensuent hostilities. But even the judge was blown away by the viciousness of the Palin’s campaign of accusation and character assassination.
    Tahoe, this was about vindictiveness, lies, and an abuse of power. And your scripted horseshit doesn’t change the facts one single bit.
    Here ya go, Tahoe. Lets see a point by point rebuttal from ya on the following….
    Why Walt Monegan got fired: Palin’s abuse of power
    Last Friday, Commissioner of Public Safety Walt Monegan went into a meeting with Governor Sarah Palin’s acting chief of staff thinking he was going to be discussing security for the governor’s picnic. He left the meeting without a job.
    The abrupt firing of Walt Monegan was a shock not only to him but all of the men and women of the Department of Public Safety. The way Monegan was fired raises serious questions about the governor’s true motives.
    So why was Walt Monegan fired out of the blue? Why would Governor Palin send a surrogate to fire her Public Safety Commissioner and then not have a decent explanation for the public? And why would Monegan’s replacement be telling people three days before Monegan got fired, that he was going to become the new Commissioner of Public Safety?
    Walt Monegan got fired for all of the wrong reasons. Walt Monegan got fired because he had the audacity to tell Governor Palin no, when apparently nobody is allowed to say no to Governor Palin.
    Monegan said no, he couldn’t cut his budget because his State Troopers were already being stretched to the limit and public safety suffering. He said no, he couldn’t cut his budget because fuel costs for planes, boats and patrol vehicles soaring, while crime in rural Alaska was putting more demands on the Troopers transportation system.
    But more alarming than any budget battle, Monegan said no to firing a State Trooper who had divorced Governor Palin’s sister because the guy was being maliciously hounded by Palin’s family.
    And not just that; Monegan’s firing came after his Colonel had to reprimand the governor’s office for meddling in department personnel affairs.
    Monegan’s budget battles
    When Walt Monegan was appointed, he realized the deep problems at DPS including low morale, understaffed detachments and the lack of a funding commitment to a long term vision.
    He also recognized, that along with the strategic plan his department developed and introduced just months ago, there needed to be a commitment of resources to follow through on the public safety needs for Alaskans.
    “We want out employees to know that help is on the way; that we are planning to grow our staff to provide both the needed services for this vast state, and the appropriate training necessary to do it”, Monegan wrote in his 2008-17 Strategic Plan.
    But the Palin administration wanted Monegan to go in another direction. They wanted him to cut corners on a budget that had already fallen behind over the last decade. Under Former Governor Murkwoski there was significant investment made to try and catch up with growing costs but Palin’s budgets have again started to starve the agency.
    To make matters worse, the change to the state’s retirement benefit program adopted by the legislature in 2004 has had a negative effect on the departments ability to recruit new Troopers.
    Meanwhile, since Governor Palin appointed Walt Monegan in 2007, she has spent less than one hour in face to face discussions with him about the critical public safety issues in Alaska.
    And her fy09 budget for public safety clearly shows the results of her lack of understanding about the challenges that DPS faces.
    According to the Legislative Finance Agency, the public safety budget in fy09 was cut by .06% from what the governor originally proposed while the governor’s own budget increased 22.6% over what she originally proposed.
    The problem for Palin was that Monegan was vocal about his concerns about the growing problems in rural Alaska due to alcohol and drug abuse and recognized that the state needed to invest more in protecting the public.
    A few months ago, Monegan warned that Troopers were stretched so thin with no funding support coming from the administration that they might not be able to respond to all calls and even suggested the department prepare a statement for when those situations occurred
    Monegan and his department were getting too far out in front of Palin, acting in ways that were independent and contrary to the governor’s wishes. Palin needed to replace Monegan with someone who would be seen but not heard while doing the governor’s bidding.
    That’s why Palin replaced Monegan with Chuck Kopp from Kenai, an old Palin family acquaintance who is more likely to follow the governor’s line and never say no.
    Monegan, ever the good cop, even advocated for a safer Alaska after he was relieved of his duties. In an interview with KTUU on Sunday, two days after he was unceremoniously fired by one of Palin’s surrogates, he stated that he informed the administration of a few things that should not be ignored, including the current economic situation in Alaska’s rural communities, where he believes poor fishing returns could potentially cause social unrest.
    “Thefts increase. Domestic violence increases. When you apply a lot of stress on a situation, money and fuel oil are an absolute hope at some point. And unless we band together as a government to address it head on it could be very bad,” Monegan said.
    Walt Monegan was fired because he fought too hard. Governor Palin fired Monegan because she understood too little and wanted a puppet as commissioner.
    But there was another reason that contributed to Monegan’s ouster; a more alarming reason.
    Trooper Mike Wooten: Being hunted by the governor
    In the fall of 2004, Trooper Mike Wooten had decided the differences between he and his wife Molly of four years had grown to the point of being irreconcilable. His wife just happened to be the younger sister of Sarah Palin.
    The beginning of the divorce proceedings set off a chain of bizarre and chilling events that has continued through today. During that time it has resulted in the governor and her family trying to ruin the career of an eight year Alaska State Trooper that has served his state on the SERT Team, Motor Unit and DUI Team.
    Beginning in spring of 2005 and for the next ten months, over 25 formal complaints were filed by Palin and Heath family members against Trooper Mike Wooten. From drinking while driving his patrol car to making threats to shooting a moose without a permit.
    According to Trooper records, Sarah Palin said that in January and February of 2005, Wooten was drinking while driving. After investigating the complaint, the investigator found that Palin never actually saw what she reported.
    In another complaint, Sarah’s father said that Wooten made threatening remarks. Again, the investigator found there was no probable way that it could have happened.
    In all cases except one, the charges were ruled unfounded after an internal investigation. And the one charge that was valid, Wooten immediately admitted to.
    In 2003, Wooten, his wife and a friend were moose hunting. Upon spotting a moose, Wooten instructed his wife to shoot the moose since she had the permit, she refused so Wooten did.
    After carting the moose back to town, Sarah’s father actually butchered it in his garage, and Wooten shared the meat with both Sarah and Todd Palin as well as her parents. Two years later, during the divorce battle, the family filed a complaint alleging that Wooten had taken that moose illegally. At least they waited until they finished the meat to file the complaint against Wooten.
    But it didn’t stop there. Threatening phone calls, private detectives that were hired to follow Wooten, notes left on windshields, Todd Palin taking pictures then submitting them to Wooten’s supervisor, all designed to intimidate Wooten into backing off from demanding equal child custody rights.
    But every time they filed a spurious complaint, the Troopers would bring in an Administrative Investigator who after seeing more than two dozen of these ridiculous and time consuming complaints stated that in all his years he had never seen such a shotgun pattern against one officer.
    Meanwhile in court, Wooten prevailed at every turn as Judge Suddock quickly realized there was a concerted effort to damage Wooten. Finally the judge warned that if any of their actions caused Wooten to lose his job or pay in anyway, Molly and her family would be held liable.
    After the divorce was final in late 2005 things settled down, until last fall.
    At the request of the court, Wooten and his ex-wife were instructed to return to re-visit the custody schedule. Once the paper work started in April of 2008, the complaints and the intimidation started all over again.
    But now Wooten wasn’t dealing with just Sarah Palin, he was dealing with Governor Sarah Palin.
    On April 23, 2008 in written testimony to the court, Palin denied ever making claims against Wooten, when in fact she had emailed a State Trooper Colonel in April of 2005 accusing Wooten of driving drunk.
    Twice in the last few months complaints were filed by the governor’s office accusing Wooten of improperly using his patrol car. Both times he was visiting his kids at school and both times he had permission from his sargent. The last complaint came in May after Todd Palin saw Wooten pulling out of the school parking lot and six days later the complaint landed on Wooten’s supervisor’s desk.
    During the legislative session this past spring, Palin reportedly told Commissioner Monegan to fire Wooten because he was giving Troopers a bad name. However Monegan said he would do no such thing.
    A short time afterwards, it was discovered that confidential material in Wooten’s Administrative Investigation file had been released to his ex-wife and her attorney. This drew outrage from the Public Safety Union as well as the Commissioner. AI files are strictly confidential and can only be released with the written signature of the Trooper, but yet no one could explain how the detailed confidential information was released.
    Reportedly, both Commissioner Monegan and Colonel Audie Halloway warned that if they found out the file was leaked by the governor’s office, they would pursue charges.
    Unfortunately, Commissioner Walt Monegan has been fired and word on the street is Colonel Audie Halloway’s days are numbered as the new commissioner brings in those who won’t object when the governor uses the Troopers as her own private security force.
    The most tragic part of this whole story is Trooper Mike Wooten. For the last four years his children have endured inexcusable stress at the hands of the governor and her family. The same governor who has been on television telling Alaskans how important it is to love your kids and spend time with them. Truth be told, Governor Palin should watch her own television commercial.
    For eight years, Trooper Mike Wooten has served the people of the State of Alaska by putting his life on the line to protect them from harm. Today the question is; who will protect Wooten from the blatant abuse of power now that the governor has free hands.
    Commissioner Walt Monegan was fired because he fought for his employees, he fought for a safer Alaska and he didn’t care if he had to fight Governor Palin to do it.
    In the mean time, God help Trooper Mike Wooten.


  12. Tahoe Editor says:

    Let me address the Palin = Cheney meme
    Troopergate is about a mother and a sister and a daughter protecting the community from a bad-apple cop. None of us knows any of the characters in this play, but I’m telling you that the more we whip up this story, the more Americans — and especially women — will feel for Sarah Palin.
    The only way to get traction out of Palin = Cheney is to find their long-lost sibling. Keep muckraking.


  13. Tahoe Editor says:

    The Queen Blog Has Spoken: To Elect McCain, Attack Palin
    If you won’t take advice from me, maybe you’ll take it from Ms. Huff.
    Ignore Palin, Attack McCain — Arianna Huffington
    McCain is Running on the Amnesia Platform, But It’s Democrats Who Need to Forget Sarah Palin

    Rasmussen: Palin More Popular Than Obama, McCain & Biden

    “We’re learning that if this is indeed Sarah Palin’s “Troopergate,” then Mike Wooten is not the possible Poster Boy the Obama campaign would want to put up as a police officer with a stellar record. He has a very spotty record on the state patrol of the Alaska State Troopers.”
    —Drew Griffin, CNN Special Investigations Unit, on the ground raking muck with the rest of them, following an hourlong interview with the trooper in question
    How does this square with Joe Biden, The Guy Who’s Written Just About Every Major Crime Bill That Exists (Except Bill Really Wrote Them)?
    I’m a United States senator. I’m accustomed to not being taken seriously.
    Yuk yuk yuk
    You know, I want to start on a — on a slightly somber note, because I think it’s worth us marking. I’ve been — spent my entire — I’m supposedly this foreign policy expert — you know, I love it when you lose. They make you an expert, you know, and – but, you know, I’ve — these days, the extent that I’m known — I’m known as the guy who – who knows a lot about foreign policy and national security.
    But I’ve spent most of my career in the United States Senate, fighting for cops and firefighters, and unions and working class folk and middle class people that I grew up with. And I spent the bulk of my time in my early career being the guy who’s written just about every major crime bill that exists – the one that put 100,000 cops on the street, the one —
    The reason I tell you that is you work with these guys and women, they become part of your heart, and — and I, first of all, I — I —
    Can we go home now? Ladies & gentlemen, thankuverymuch. I got 30 years in the Senate so I’ll be looking over his shoulder the whole time. No worries. Luv ya.


  14. Zathras says:

    It’s a nice thought, but stonewalling investigations has been standard procedure in the Bush White House, and has worked fairly well for Bush and most of his associates. There is little reason to believe Gov. Palin would do things differently.
    It comes down to a sense of personal entitlement, not a problem restricted to Republicans by any means but conspicuous in the incumbent administration. Palin may come from a small pond, politically speaking, but she is a pretty big fish within that pond. Not all people in that situation have to throw their weight around, but she probably thinks fairly highly of herself, and she’s seen the example set over the last eight years in Washington. Why wouldn’t she stonewall if there was any chance that not doing so might lead to some embarrassing press stories?


  15. PissedOffAmerican says:

    Hey Steve, at last. Its about time you started showing your readers her more than glaring warts.
    Even the judge that presided over the divorce proceedings was amazed and appalled at the degree of vindictiveness that the Palin family focused on Wooten. He actually warned them that if their vindictiveness cost Wooten his job, he would hold them fiscally responsible.
    Palin’s actions in regards to Troopegate need to be exposed for what they apparently were; A vindictive and vicious vendetta launched at someone that her family was feuding with. An abuse of power, accompanied by unsubstantiated character assasination and accusation.
    And when this Tahoe starts blathering about Wooten being a “wife beater”, like he has done now for two weeks, bear in mind, there is no evidence to support that assertion. Here is a “MUST READ” if one wants the OTHER SIDE of the story….


  16. DonS says:

    thanks for highlighting Kerry’s speech. I totally agree. I thought at the time it was great, perhpas the best speech overall, delivered in a way I wihs Kerry hasd mastered earlier on. The crowd finally got it.


  17. carsick says:

    It’s time for some surrogates to push the issue that McCain/Palin use the same deception and secrecy as the current administration.
    We don’t need more deception and secrecy.


  18. Chris says:

    (the missing analytical link, which I’d thought of but left out of my above comment, was that Republicans are usually quite antagonistic to the right not to incriminate one’s self when answering a question from an authority figure. Except when it’s a Republican who’s being asked to answer questions; then, there’s no bigger civil libertarian (or hypocrite).)


  19. Chris says:

    “It is time that Sarah Palin put Troopergate behind her by laying it all out there.”
    Which begs the question: “Why doesn’t she?”
    Which has one answer: “Because she can’t.”
    Which is funny, because of how often Republicans decry civil rights as the kind of thing “you only need if you’ve done something wrong.”
    In fact, I remember one Republican in particular lamenting that *Democrats* would go too easy on suspects, just a couple days ago. What’s her name, Sarah something-or-other, governor of some distant state, you know who I’m talking about?


  20. colby says:

    How can McCain have the nerve to say that Obama does not have enough experince when he choose a woman that has only been Gov. to a town of 9,0000 people. I think that the only reason that McCain chose Palin is because of the oil in Alaska. He wants to drill there and Palin is all for it! And did he ever think that if anything were ever to happen to him how could she take care of a baby with hanicaps and run the US!! Palin wants to take out sex ed out of school but yet she has 17 year old daughter who is pregant!! What is uop with that!!!!


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