Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Palin fired aid who dated ex-wife of Todd's friend

This is especially creepy. From TPM Muckracker:

The Politico reported Friday that a longtime associate and former gubernatorial aide to Sarah Palin says he was asked to leave the governor's office after the Palins discovered that he was dating the soon-to-be-ex wife of a close friend of Todd Palin.

John Bitney, who grew up in Wasilla with Palin, told the paper cum website:

"I wanted to stay with the governor and support the governor -- we're talking about someone who's been a friend for 30 years -- but I understood it, and I have no ax to grind over the whole thing."

Today, the Wall Street Journal added more to the story, reporting that seven weeks after publicly praising Bitney, Palin fired him for what her spokeswoman now describes as "poor job performance."

During that time, Palin had found out from Scott Richter, a friend of Todd Palin's, that Richter's wife, Debbie, was having a relationship with Bitney.

The Journal notes that Palin's office seems to have had trouble keeping its story straight on the reason for Bitney's departure.

At the time, the governor's office cited "personal reasons" for Mr. Bitney's "amicable" departure, according to contemporaneous news reports. Last week, Sharon Leighow, a spokeswoman for the governor's office, said "John Bitney was dismissed because of his poor job performance." She declined to provide further details.

Does this Palin story remind you of another Palin scandal--Troopergate? There is a pattern here in the Palin firings of both Bitney and the Alaskan public safety commissioner Walter Monegan--both fell out of Palin's favor due to personal reasons. Monegan refused to fire the Alaskan state police officer that was involved in a divorce with Palin's sister. Palin fired Monegan. Bitney was involved in an affair with the ex-wife of Todd Palin's close friend:

According to Mr. Bitney, Gov. Palin got a call from another old friend, Scott Richter, informing her that his wife, Debbie Richter, and Mr. Bitney were having an affair. Mr. Bitney had kept that secret from the governor, even as he told her of his divorce, he said.


Gov. Palin and her husband, Todd Palin, were also close friends of the Richters. Ms. Richter served as treasurer of Gov. Palin's gubernatorial campaign and her inaugural committee. After taking office, Gov. Palin put Ms. Richter in charge of the Permanent Fund Dividend Division at the Department of Revenue. The fund allocates oil revenues to Alaska residents; this year each Alaskan is expected to receive $3,269.

Now I will admit that Bitney was dumb enough to get involved in an affair with the ex-wife Debbie Richter, whose husband Scott Richter was a close friend of the Palins. And yes, Bitney probably should have been fired due to this relationship. But Sarah Palin's firing of Bitney shows a vindictive side of Palin--a side of if you cross Sarah Palin, she will destroy you. And these are not the only two encounters of Sarah Palin's vindictiveness. According to the Boston Herald:

WASILLA -- Back in 1996, when she first became mayor, Sarah Palin asked the city librarian if she would be all right with censoring library books should she be asked to do so.

According to news coverage at the time, the librarian said she would definitely not be all right with it. A few months later, the librarian, Mary Ellen Emmons, got a letter from Palin telling her she was going to be fired. The censorship issue was not mentioned as a reason for the firing. The letter just said the new mayor felt Emmons didn’t fully support her and had to go.

Emmons had been city librarian for seven years and was well liked. After a wave of public support for her, Palin relented and let Emmons keep her job.

This lady should not be elected vice president.

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