Saturday, October 11, 2008

Body blow for McCain as Palin found to have abused powers.

It's the report that the McCain and Palin presidential bid tried their very best to stop from ever being published, but its here:

"I find that Governor Sarah Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110 (a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act," investigator Steve Branchflower concluded in the panel's 263-page report.

In a pursuit of her former brother in law, and in a vendetta that even a judge had warned her family to desist from, Palin was found to have used her public office to try to settle a private matter.

Stephen Branchflower, a former prosecutor, found that Palin had breached the Alaska executive branch ethics act, which states that "each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust".

Branchflower also concluded that Palin's feud with her former brother-in-law, an officer of the Alaskan state police, was "likely a contributory factor" in her decision to dismiss the head of that force, Walt Monegan. However, he did also conclude that the action had been carried out in a "proper and lawful" fashion.

The McCain camp have been going to extraordinary lengths to stop this report from being published and we can now expect them to fall over backwards to condemn the report and it's conclusions.

But the charges that the report is partisan is undermined by the make up of the committee which ordered it's release.

A committee of the Alaskan state legislature voted to make much of Branchflower's report public after a closed discussion of more than six hours which ended early this morning. The committee, eight Republicans and four Democrats, did not endorse the report, but voted unanimously to release it.

It's the last thing that the McCain camp needs as they struggle to contain Obama at the polls and it does raise further questions about just how thoroughly Palin was vetted before McCain offered her the VP position.

Palin had denied all wrong-doing; her husband, Todd, sought to shoulder some of the blame by admitting that he had he repeatedly complained about the trooper, Mike Wooten, believing him to be a danger to the public. Wooten had been through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle with the governor's younger sister. A number of complaints that the Palin family made about him at that time were upheld, and in March 2006 he was disciplined but allowed to keep his job.

Palin came into office as governor of Alaska nine months later, and then put Monegan immediately under pressure to fire Wooten.

A further finding of Branchflower's 263-page report was that the Alaska state attorney general failed to comply with his request to release information about the case held in various emails.

A number of Alaskan Republicans attempted to halt publication of the report with a series of court cases, but the state's supreme court dismissed their final bid on Thursday, paving the way for its publication.

It will make no difference at all to the nutters who have decided that Palin is ready to be president should McCain become incapacitated. But logic and common sense have long deserted that lot.

The woman, to me, is clearly not ready for high office and has no interest in anything outside of Alaskan local politics. And now we find that she even used that position to settle family scores.

It matters not a jot in the grand scheme of things, other than to further undermine McCain's judgement. Palin was the Hail Mary pass that McCain made when he needed to change the game. It was a reckless and dangerous move which I thought proved he was unfit to be president.

Today he finds out how that Hail Mary pass worked out.

It's a disaster.

He can try to spin this any way he wants, but there's no way to make this a selling point. He assured everyone that his team knew there was no substance to the charges. He was wrong.

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