Progressive Alaska called Chuck Kopp "DMOA" the day he was introduced. Asked "why?" by Ishmael Melville from Kodiak Konfidential, I answered, "My contacts from 13 years work in Public Safety are sketchier than if I still worked in the field, but I hear stuff. "
A former reporter, now working in politics, sent me this:
"Kopp gives 50 to Palin, and then 100 to Palin/Parnell in 2006. Not unusual, but the man had never made a political donation in his life. And (another?) 100 for Palin/Parnell donated under Charles M (the M changes it) Kopp. Kopp randomly also gives money to (what looks to be) a women's PAC on the Kenai...maybe because he felt bad about the sex harassing?"
For about 24 hours on July 15 and 16, Police Chief Kopp may have thought "That's the best $250.00 I ever invested." Now, he's out of work. I'm sorry this happened - all of it.
Six days ago, PA headlined with a question - Palingate? It certainly isn't Koppgate. And I don't think it was Sarahgate, though for some it has been ten days of "Saradise Lost." I'm leaning toward "Toddgate" right now. And, though I never felt Palin was interested in a position on the losing presidential ticket of John McCain, this past few days should end the seemingly endless speculation about her chances for that vice presidential slot.
Two Progressive Alaskan blogs stood head and shoulders above the rest of us on covering the manifold aspects of Palin's blunder. Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis covered various aspects of Walt Monegan's firing and the drip, drip of Kopp revelations and re-positionings better than did the Mainstream media.
Steve at What Do I Know? illustrated once again why his blog is so important a resource on the practicality of political gestures, or of the ethics of such moves as a possible investigation into the firing of former DOPS Commissioner, Walt Monegan. On Wednesday, Steve wrote an essay, "Palin and Monegan - What's It All Mean?" The Alaska Press Club has begun a new category for best blog essay of the year, and Steve's post on the ramifications of appointing an independent investigator or investigating body on the firing of Monegan, has my vote for that award, so far this year. It is brilliant analysis, containing a lot of pragmatic thinking - Steve at his best.
Dennis Zaki at Alaska Report, reported on the Palin Administration's release of a loyalty test press release last week. The release had one commissioner or department head after another declare how open and accessible Governor Palin has been, countering Monegan's claim that she had been hard to meet with on occasion. For these commissioners, it must have been a very trying eleven days!
A commenter at the ADN's Political Blog posted a humorous version of the above referenced Palin Press release. If the ADN's HTML links worked today - they've been screwing up A LOT lately - I'd just link. However, black33's comment, is so good, I'll try to post the whole thing (waiting to see if the ADN attorneys jump on PA again):
Governor issues New Sexual Harassment Guidelines
The governor's office is about to send out this statement:
Governor Issues New Sexual Harassment Guidelines
July 22, 2008, Juneau, Alaska – Governor Sarah Palin today again strongly denied the accusations of sexual harassment made by the former assistant to the new commissioner of the Department of Public Safety. The Governor also released details of her new direction for sexual harassment.
Through various media outlets, Kopp's assistant has accused Kopp of inappropriate behavior. Despite Kopp admitting today that he was reprimanded in writing by the City of Kenai, Governor Palin said, "I am behind Kopp 1000%. I said then- and I say now- that the woman's claims are baseless."
“That woman has falsely accused Kopp of hugging and kissing her to somehow make my administration look bad,” Governor Palin said. “Why would it? I am confident that, with new initiatives on sexual harassment we will have only those complaints that are reasonable and actionable.”
Effective immediately, I am issuing the following guidelines to state employees.
1. Hugging in the office is acceptable. All complaints involving hugging will be considered baseless. Do not bother to file any.
2. Kissing is ok if between two people of the opposite sex. You know what I think of same sex stuff.
3. If you engage in more than hugging or kissing, please either leave the state facility, or lock the door.
Several commissioners and cabinet members commented on the governor's new guidelines.
“Communication has always been paramount in Governor Palin’s administration,” acting Chief of Staff Mike Nizich said. “Commissioners should always have open access to their subordinates. Employees should always be allowed to engage in fun activities with their colleagues. It is unfortunate that the assistant to the new commissioner has deliberately and inaccurately portrayed such behavior as harassment.”
“I have open communication with my staff,” Labor Commissioner Click Bishop said. “Anytime I have asked to have a hug, I have been given the opportunity.”
“The Governor has made herself available every time I have asked for advice, guidance or support- or just plain hugs,” Corrections Commissioner Joe Schmidt said. “She’s been one hundred percent supportive, and she’s an excellent hugger.”
"I love getting hugs from my employees," said Commissioner of Administration Annette Kreitzer. "The new guidelines make such behavior clearly acceptable, and I believe that now when my neck is sore I will be able to get my deputy to rub it for me without being in any fear of punishment."
Boards and Commission Assistant Frank Bailey said, "I deny ever getting a hug, wanting a hug, or even thinking about a hug."
Palin has also clarified any questions about the propriety of the First Gentleman, Todd Palin, hugging state employees. The First Gentleman was specifically told he can hug any state employee at any time.
“I have instructed the First Gentleman to contact the commissioner of Public Safety whenever he feels an employee did not want to be hugged,” Palin said. “It is now standard protocol for him to be able to ask every employee for a hug. I will not hesitate to discipline anyone who does not immediately comply.”
Update - Saturday at 20:45 p.m: In the comments, Steve from What Do I Know?, observes:
"I don't think you can talk about the Palins or Kopp and blogging without acknowledging Andrew Halcro for posting everything on his blog first. You may not classify his as a Progressive blog but he still broke this wide open."