Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Alaska Attorney General says state employees will not honor subpoenas

This is from Talking Points Memo:

Alaska's investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power, a potentially damaging distraction for John McCain's presidential campaign, ran into intensified resistance Tuesday when the attorney general said state employees would refuse to honor subpoenas in the case.

In a letter to state Sen. Hollis French, the Democrat overseeing the investigation, Republican Attorney General Talis Colberg asked that the subpoenas be withdrawn. He also said the employees would refuse to appear unless either the full state Senate or the entire Legislature votes to compel their testimony.

Colberg, who was appointed by Palin, said the employees are caught between their respect for the Legislature and their loyalty to the governor, who initially agreed to cooperate with the inquiry but has increasingly opposed it since McCain chose her as his running mate.

"This is an untenable position for our clients because the governor has so strongly stated that the subpoenas issued by your committee are of questionable validity," Colberg wrote.

Last week, French's Senate Judiciary Committee subpoenaed 13 people. They include 10 employees of Palin's administration and three who are not: her husband, Todd Palin; John Bitney, Palin's former legislative liaison who now is chief of staff for Republican House Speaker John Harris; and Murlene Wilkes, a state contractor.

French did not immediately return a telephone call Tuesday for comment.

Earlier in the day, Harris, who two months ago supported the "Troopergate" investigation, openly questioned its impartiality and raised the possibility of delaying the findings.

Like Colberg's letter, the surprise maneuver by Harris reflected deepening resolve by Republicans to spare Palin embarrassment or worse in the final weeks of the presidential campaign.

The surprise maneuver reflected deepening resolve by Republicans to spare Palin embarrassment or worse in the final weeks of the presidential campaign. That is the reason why these state employees will not honor the subpoenas. It is not about these employees conflict between the legislature and their loyalty to Palin. It is about running the clock down on this presidential election. Had Palin remained Alaska's governor, do you really think there would be this fight between the bipartisan commission and Gov. Palin, when Palin herself claimed that she would cooperate with the commission? Of course, this was before Palin was chosen to be McCain's vice presidential running mate. If there is any political "tainting," it is the McCain campaign that is tainting this investigation, with the hopes of squashing it before the election. And the longer the McCain campaign continues throwing up these roadblocks in the hope of squashing this investigation, the greater it makes Sarah Palin to be another corrupt politician that is trying to hide something.


john said...

The Alaska lawmaker charge Sarah Palin involved in corruption and abuse. I don't know why this women abuse his power.

John Philips

Eric A Hopp said...

Hello John Philips:

And thank you for your comment. I think what you have to realize is that the issue here isn't about law, but rather politics. Sarah Palin is taking a page from the Bush administration on how to deal with subpoenas, and legislative investigations of the executive branch. And that is to ignore them. Look at how the Bush administration is refusing to allow Karl Rove and Harriet Miers to testify to Congress, under oath, in the U.S. attorney firing scandal. Of course, Rove and Miers can be interviewed by Congress, but not under oath. Even the current U.S. attorney general, Michael Mukasey is stalling for the Bush administration on a wide range of congressional investigations in the U.S. attorney firings, refusing to comply with subpoenas in the attorney firing probe, and even waffling on whether waterboarding is considered to be torture. Mukasey is doing President Bush's dirty work in stalling the congressional investigations into the Bush scandals and criminality that has been going on for almost eight years. Sarah Palin is simply taking the same page from the Bush playbook in refusing to cooperate with the Alaska state legislature's investigation into Troopergate. As is the Alaska state attorney general, Talis Colberg, who was appointed by Palin. Colberg is doing Palin's dirty work in stuffing the Troopergate scandal until after the election.

So you are right, there is some serious abuse of power by the Republican Party, and Sarah Palin. And both the Republican Party and Sarah Palin have contempt for the law, believing that they are above the law. The only way to change this is to remove these Republican politicians like Colberg, and Palin, from office. Then bring politicians in who will promise to strengthen the legislative oversight of the executive branch. Of course, considering just how badly the Bush administration has destroyed the congressional investigation, and oversight, into the executive branch, I seriously doubt that it would ever happen. And now this type of abusive power is filtering down into the state level with what is going on in Alaska with Palin's own corruption and abuse of power.

It is disgusting.