elHombrePrimero's blog

Troopergate Report: Biased and Unprofessional, But Good Enough For the Media

Ann Althouse wrote: "...but let's resist the impulse to slough off this [Troopergate]  report. It means something."

It means something all right. It means that a couple of former prosecutors, Hollis French and Steve Branchflower forgot their roots.

I haven't finished the public report yet, but so far 27+ years as an appointed and elected prosecutor tells me this:

1. Hollis French, high profile Obama supporter and supervisor of this investigation, should have declared a conflict of interest and recused himself. Similarly, Branchflower's history with Monegan has apparently not been disclosed to the public or to the Legislative Council

2. Steve Branchflower, French's hand picked investigator, appears to have overstepped his charge which was to incude "recommendations," not "findings" in his report. He has acted as investigator, prosecutor, judge and jury in the matter.

3. Despite relentlessly leading the witnesses and encouraging them to speculate about Governor and Mr. Palin's state of mind, Branchflower does not appear to have made his case -- and it is clear that he WAS trying to make a case.

4. The ethics statute under which Branchflower finds the Governor "abused her power" is, of course, not an "abuse of power" provision, but an ethics provision. Branchflower actually found that the Governor acted within her powers when she demoted Monegan.

5. Violation of the ethics provision requires that an executive officer knowingly make an "effort to benefit a personal or financial interest" of him or herself or a family member.

An oversimplified, but accurate, take on this is that both Todd and Sarah Palin spoke continuously about Wooten, the brother-in-law, bringing discredit to the department, about the inadequacy of the disciplinary action taken against him and about the negative impact he would have on DPS recruiting.

Arguably, all of these considerations fall within the Governor's OFFICIAL, NOT PERSONAL, areas of interest. Branchflower simply chose not to see it that way or to even put forward the case for that interpretation.

My experience tells me that Wooten's five-day suspension did not reflect the severity of his transgressions. Moreover, I saw no evidence that Monegan or anyone else at DPS made an effort to assure the Governor that the internal disciplinary procedures were being improved to prevent similar inadequacies.

The portion of the public report that I have read reflects a lack of both objectivity and professionalism.

French and Branchflower did their work for Obama, however marginal that work was, and left the rest to Obama's surrogate media.

Another McCain Camp Media Blunder

I estimate that the advocacy media has been worth 20 points to Obama in this election. Consequently, the McCain camp should have taken it to them relentlessly from early on by calling reporters out by name, by documenting the bias with accusatory videos on youtube.com and by lobbying "friendly" or neutral media entities to focus on the omissions by the Obama surrogate media.

A classic example is "troopergate." The connection between Hollis French, the Alaska State Senator who is supervising the investigation of Governor Palin, and Barack Obama has been studiously ignored by the MSM. French is a prominent Obama supporter and spokeperson in Alaska who has publicly prejudged the outcome of the investigation, meddled with the subpoenas and made biased statements to the media. He should have been flayed ongoingly by the McCain camp for his conflict of interest and improper behavior. Instead, expect them to squeak ineffectively if the report, due tomorrow, censures the Governor.

The Tie Breakers

Here are the tie breakers:

1. Obama's claim that McC opposes "equal pay for equal work"

http://www.di2.nu/200809/12c.htm ("Sexist Democrats")

"Obama’s average male employee earned $54,397. Obama’s 30 female employees split $1,354,580 among themselves, or $45,152, on average.

McCain’s 17 male staffers split $916,914, thus averaging $53,936. His 25 female employees divided $1,396,958 and averaged $55,878."

See also:   ("How Team Obama Pays Women")


 Biden is even worse than Obama!

2. Obama's claims that economic troubles can be traced to policies McC supported.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/record.xpd?id=109-s20060525-16&bill=s109... (FEDERAL HOUSING ENTERPRISE REGULATORY REFORM ACT OF 2005) Excerpt of McCain's comments:

"I join as a cosponsor of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190, to underscore my support for quick passage of GSE regulatory reform legislation. If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole. I urge my colleagues to support swift action on this GSE reform legislation." May 26, 2006

3. Obama on the Fannie Mae Freddie Mac payroll. Seven of the top ten recipients are Democrats.

Obama: $126,000 in four years; McCain: $22,000 in nineteen years

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/07/top-senate-recipients-of-fanni.html (Earlier: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Invest in Democrats")

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html ("Update: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Invest in Lawmakers")

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