Friday, August 29, 2008

As the moth to the flame ... ... so ordure to the electric fan.

There should be a sub-title here,
something to the effect of "the joys of politics".

No sooner had the name of Sarah Palin hit the headlines, and the near-universal cries of "Who she?" faded, than the cow-pats came a-flying:
  • Before she became governor of Alaska (virtually a Republican Party feudal fiefdom), her administrative experience was limited to being Mayor of Wasilla City (pop. 6,715).
  • She was elected because it was a case of "anybody but Frank Murkowski". Murkowski had been a total disaster as Governor (but that's another story).
  • Her sole national recognition is an award from the National Arbor Day Foundation.
  • Oh, and Sarah Heath (as she then was) was runner-up in the "Miss Alaska" beauty pageant.
  • She raised sales tax to fund a recreation center in her home town.
  • She doesn't think polar bears should be an endangered species. This might have something to do with her links to the oil industry: oil men don't like sharing the tundra with the local wild-life.
  • She used her power as Governor to sack her ex-brother-in-law from the State troopers (see below for more).
  • She is currently under investigation for improper use of her authority.
That last bit needs a bit of expansion:
  • It seems that the Alaska public-safety commissioner, one Walt Monegan, was none too quick to accede to the governor's behest that the ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, was defenestrated.
  • It took more than a score of calls from Governor Palin and/or her unelected husband before the end was achieved. The Palins were shrill in denying any involvement until the tape of one such call emerged.
  • There have been some questions about Mr Wooten's own character; and his custody battle with Governor Palin's younger sister, Molly, appears somewhat bitter.
  • Another view of that is most of the complaints (some 25 of them) against Trooper Wooten were lodged by the Palin and Heath families, strangely coincidental with custody hearings.
  • All the complaints were investigated, and dismissed -- except one. Wooten admitted shooting a moose without a permit. The moose was then butchered by Governor Palin's father, and the meat shared among the Palins, including Governor Palin herself.
  • Result: Mr Monegan found himself out of a job, and replaced by the former police chief of Kenai (pop. 7,400), the excellently-named Chuck Kopp. Kopp, by yet another coincidence, is a long-time acquaintance of the Palins. Small and intimate place, Alaska: only some 656,424 square miles.
  • Unfortunately Kopp had been on the receiving end of sexual harassment allegations. Kopp then claimed he had not received a letter of reprimand for this behaviour, but "a letter of instruction for future dealings with employees.”
  • Result: Governor Palin did not submit Kopp's name for approval by the Alaska Legislature. She had swiftly dispensed with him, too.
Not for nothing was the lady's College moniker "Sarah Barracuda", gained from her basketball prowess. She has lost little of her bite.

Doubtless there will be considerable back-slapping among the Republicans of Alaska.

The Democrats returning to their bases from Denver's Convention may well be quite chuffed, too.
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BenSix said...

Allegedly, she's also a former Buchananite:

Dewi said...

This does look foolish.

yourcousin said...

The thing is that VP picks are normally about addressing any weaknesses the candidate might have in the general election(for all the good it does the candidate). The fact that McCain's pick was a sop to the evangelical base (and the conservative base sickened after so many scandals) means that any leakage from Hillary will be minimal and few independents will be bought off. All in all this indicates some major troubles ahead for the GOP.

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