Yes, Sarah Palin IS qualified to be Vice-President. She has already displayed her capacity to abuse power and cover it up. By unanimous vote, Alaska’s Legislative Council, which has a Republican majority, voted to release the report demonstrating that fact.

I take it back. Sarah Palin is qualified to be Vice-President. Why, even before being elected, she’s already abusing power and covering it up by withholding testimony.

By a vote of 12-0, the Alaskan Legislative Council, a body with a Republican majority, released a report that found that, although the governor had the power to fire the public safety commissioner for no reason at all and had therefore acted lawfully in firing him, her campaign to get revenge on her ex-brother-in-law was an abuse of power and a violation of the statutory ban on the use of the authority of office for the office-holder’s private advantage.

Alaska has the recall. A recall petition against the governor requires signatures equal to 25% of the vote at the last general election. That’s a tough hill to climb. But starting the process requires only a short statement of the reasons for the recall, $100 signatures, and $100.

Full text of the report

And the Oscar for Most Chutzpadik Performance in a Supporting Role goes to the governor’s (state-paid) lawyer, Thomas Van Flein:

They didn’t even try to interview the governor. You want to know why she reassigned Monegan, it would be nice to talk to her. They didn’t even try.

Right. That’s after the Governor, on the advice of her handlers from the McCain campaign, refused a request to submit a statement.

Some notes on the report:

Todd Palin wanted Trooper Michael Wooten, the Governor’s ex-brother-in-law, prosecuted for illegally shooting a moose. The shooting was illegal because the permit was in the name of Wooten’s wife, the governor’s sister. The sister was there at the time of the kill. The moose was then butchered by the governor’s father. So if criminal charges were to be brought, all three of them would have been vulnerable. But Todd Palin only wanted the trooper prosecuted.

Monegan kept telling the Palins and their emissaries that he couldn’t legally talk with them about a disciplinary matter that had already been resolved. They kept calling.

Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was a ceremonial photograph for Police Memorial Day building presented to the governor for her signature. Unbeknownst to Monegan, the trooper shown saluting in the picture was Mike Wooten. Palin decided to take that as a personal affront.

The alibi given by Palin supporters was that she was trying to protect her family from Trooper Wooten. But at no time did she or Todd Palin or anyone else actually ask for protection. What they wanted was Wooten’s head on a platter. When Palin met with the head of her personal security detail and was asked about any threats to her, she didn’t identify any.

When the governor’s personnel guy called Charles Kopp about replacing Monegan, he specifically mentioned the Wooten issue as one of the sources of the governor’s displeasure. (Kopp turned out to have a sexual harassment problem on his record, and had to be fired after two weeks. Palin gave him $10,000 in severance pay, although Monegan received none.) The issue about bootlegging, which Palin in one of her subsequent stories identified as the reason for firing Monegan, never came up.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: