Posted Sep 16, 2008 11:02 pm CDT
In what a columnist for U.S. News & World Report describes as a “loony claim,” a former press secretary for Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin is contending that “operatives” of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “hijacked” the Alaska investigation of Palin’s alleged improper firing of the state’s police chief.
“Rarely in the annals of American political history have claims so farfetched been made by a high-level aide, whether present or former,” writes Bonnie Erbe, a magazine contributing editor. “Remember, dear readers, the Palin investigation was launched well before Palin was on the McCain team, and at a time when her name as a vice presidential prospect was barely being mentioned.”
However, other supporters of the Alaska governor have gone a step further and made a similar claim in a press release today about a lawsuit filed over the investigation:
The probe of Palin by her state’s legislature “is being led by outspoken supporters of Barack Obama and members of the Democratic Party,” the press release states. In its headline, it characterizes the investigation—which focuses on Palin’s claimed pressuring of state public safety commissioner Walt Monegan to fire her brother-in-law from his state trooper job during a difficult divorce from Palin’s sister—as a “McCarthy-style inquisition.”
Allegedly due to Monegan’s refusal to fire her brother-in-law, Palin fired Monegan.
The lawsuit contends that the investigation violates Palin’s right to due process and the state constitution by using the Alaska Legislative Council to further partisan politics.
As discussed in an earlier ABAJournal.com post, the deciding vote in a 3-2 vote last week by the state senate judiciary committee to subpoena Palin’s husband, Todd, and 12 others who have refused to cooperate with the investigation was cast by a Republican.
Earlier, Palin had said she welcomed the investigation, which was initially approved by a bipartisan group of state legislators, reports an Associated Press article about the lawsuit. But now she wants to delay it until after the November presidential election.
“The matter risks casting a shadow on Palin’s reputation, central to her appeal in the campaign, that she is a clean-government advocate who takes on entrenched interests—not a governor who tried to use her authority behind the scenes to settle a personal score,” the news agency writes.
ABC News: “Fired Official: Governor Sarah Palin Did Not Tell the Truth to ABC”
CNN: “Palin allies sue to halt trooper probe”
Reuters: “Alaska Republicans sue to stop Palin trooper probe”