Monday, February 1, 2010

Thoughts on Alaska's Inability to Grasp the Political Ethics Issue

The preferred narrative of Palinbots, whether they be the paid and unpaid columnists at the Sea of Pee, or a shitty, abusive Democratic Party, over-the-hill, gross looking, failed fiction writer, haplessly misrepresenting the under-informed residents of Spenard, is this:

Sarah Palin was hounded from office by a few relentlessly irritating bloggers and ethics complaint filers, who took advantage of poorly written statutes to, as the sleazy Doogan recently put it, "make political points against Sarah Palin," and who want to "make the state of Alaska [their] soapbox. ..."

According to this fake narrative, and as the governor who aborted her own term put it, these few scoundrels cost Alaska one of its most selfless leaders, and millions of dollars:

Political operatives descended on Alaska last August, digging for dirt. The ethics law I championed became their weapon of choice. Over the past nine months I've been accused of all sorts of frivolous ethics violations - such as holding a fish in a photograph, wearing a jacket with a logo on it, and answering reporters' questions.

Every one - all 15 of the ethics complaints have been dismissed. We've won! But it hasn't been cheap - the State has wasted THOUSANDS of hours of YOUR time and shelled out some two million of YOUR dollars to respond to "opposition research" - that's money NOT going to fund teachers or troopers - or safer roads. And this political absurdity, the "politics of personal destruction" ... Todd and I are looking at more than half a million dollars in legal bills in order to set the record straight. And what about the people who offer up these silly accusations? It doesn't cost them a dime so they're not going to stop draining public resources - spending other peoples' money in their game.

It's pretty insane - my staff and I spend most of our day dealing with THIS instead of progressing our state now. I know I promised no more "politics as usual," but THIS isn't what anyone had in mind for ALASKA.

What a load of total bullshit.

As several Alaska bloggers have shown, most of Palin's
and the state's ethics expense and time was over her own ethics complaint against herself, designed to derail the bipartisan Branchflower investigation into Troopergate, and in her unsuccessful effort to steal about $10,000.00 from the people of Alaska for frivolous travel for family members.

And she didn't get fucking hounded out of office.

As I've written here before, she most likely quit after discussions with attorneys and contract negotiators dealing 100% with her activities outside the sphere of her elected office informed her that she couldn't keep the Alaska Fund Trust intact or negotiate with Harper Collins further, while still serving as Governor of Alaska.

She either wanted or needed money fast, real fast. So she hastily contrived her resignation. Also, they probably demanded a full book tour, which, as the tour has now shown, would have been impossible for a sitting governor to do the way she performed it.

That the state is now as haplessly dealing with the ethics debris this grifter left for us to wipe up as she herself dealt with such things, shows how hard it is to teach Alaska's political structure much of anything truly useful in terms of ethical conduct.

It is fairly unlikely that Alaskans will fall for another personality quite as disturbed or disturbing as Palin is for governor again, but one needs to remember how close we once came to getting John Lindauer. Had Rev. Jerry Prevo had his way, Lindauer would have been Alaska's governor.

What needs to be done in terms of executive ethics reform is multi-staged. Some of the bills already introduced deal with aspects of this. The most recent of these is Sen. Bert Stedman's bill (SB 244) on executive compensation regarding residence and travel.

At this point, it may be best if the legislators do absolutely nothing about executive branch ethics. Most proposals - except for Stedman's - will make it harder for citizens to get information about conduct of members of the executive branch, when it is already extremely hard to get that. The present governor and attorney general have provisionally dealt with email abuse similarly to the way Doogan's measure would, without Doogan's restrictive items regarding what is public information, that might actually be unconstitutional.

What a joke some of this crew are. Albert Kookesh is on the panel overseeing new ethics bills as they move through the sausage grinder. Mike Doogan, this self-made paragon of ethical thinking, used state resources - probably illegally - to reveal Jeanne Devon's identity in 2009, merely to spite her for having crossed him in late 2008.

What a sleazy, useless bunch.

A sleazy, useless bunch - especially Doogan - with absolutely no memory. Back in the late winter and early spring of 2005, Rep. Ralph Seekins sought to criminalize then private citizen Sarah Palin's efforts to make public the information she had garnered on then-Attorney General Renkes. Through an executive ethics complaint. Doogan has seemingly pulled some of Seekins old bill out of the trash can five years later.


Anonymous said...

Another great post Phil. Keep the pressure on until we can find a way to rid ourselves of all these clowns

Martha said...

The Associated Press
JUNEAU, Alaska -- The fallout from Sarah Palin's hasty retreat as governor is being cleaned up by the man she appointed attorney general in her waning days in office.

Attorney General Dan Sullivan has proposed broad changes to Alaska's ethics rules that Palin complained helped drive her out. One Sullivan recommendation that might sound familiar: Setting ethical standards for spouses and kids to travel with the governor or lieutenant governor at taxpayer expense

Rep. Mike Doogan remarks only aide the corruption that permeates Alaskan politics.

After all, HE is part of the body of legislators that refused to impeach Palin when THEY found her guilty of abusing the power of her office.

That is THE most egregious offence an elected public official can perpetrate.

What does it take in Alaska to warrant impeachment of the governor?

Would it have to go as far as murdering a baby on the steps of the capitol building at high noon?

There was no consequence whatsoever for Palin abusing the power of her office, zero, zip, nada......

If she HAD murdered a baby, Doogan and the rest of the legislators that "had no political will to impeach" could still sit on their hands, because the police would look after it for them.

"Her emergence on the national political scene prompted a flood of public records requests, the volume of which state officials hadn't seen before and are still working to fulfill, and set off a flurry of ethics complaints."

Records request were caused by the Legislators failure to impeach, therefore emboldening Palin to push the limits of any and all ethics known to a public official....including but not limited to Todd Palin, an ordinary citizen being allowed to be physically present in meetings legally restricted from citizens AND privy to any and all state business through copious copies of e-mails directly from the governor.

It has been proven ad nauseam that there is no need for the delay in releasing the records requested. There is a multitude of software available that could process most of the requests in a 24 hour period.

State and local personnel that work across the US have verified this.

At the very least, if we are to believe that these Alaskan personnel are either so inept or overburdened as they portray, the state has NO excuse not hire out the task to outside companies currently in the states employ.

In other words BULL$HIT!!

It is glaringly apparent that BECKY BOHRER'S brand of journalism are up to the vacuous standards that makes a Roger Ailes go on national TV to defend.

Martha said...

While ethics is an important issue, "It's not going to be very high on my laundry list of state issues to address," said Rep. Jay Ramras, R-Fairbanks, whose Judiciary Committee would be where any ethics bills might land.

"I think a lot of these issues ... would benefit from the passage of time, and likely are better issues for the (next) Legislature to take up," said Ramras, who often found himself at odds with Palin. He said he wants to focus his limited committee time on anti-crime measures.


This is simply outrageous........passage of time indeed.......let us ALL forget about the Alaska Fund Trust shall we?

Remember that one, the one that is illegal and Palin was ordered to shut down?

Ethics shmethics...who needs em, nope not here in Alaska, where the corrupt bastards club members are dropping like flies!

Thank God the "passage of time" means nothing to the "feds"

Why oh why should the legislature worry their "pretty little heads" about ethics, when, with "the passage of time" it will become so outrageously corrupt that the FBI will do your job FOR you....why indeed?

I cannot believe the attitude of these legislators!

How is it that their political career is intact?

Their attitude is ever bit as bad as the "journalistic standards" of the woman who wrote this article.

It appears that it could be said of the politics/politicians in Alaska:

.......what/who is not completely corrupt are nothing but empty vessels, seat warmers with "no political will" WHATSOEVER!!!

Anonymous said...

Great job, Phil!

Is this really any surprise given the Corrupt Bastards Club mentality that still thrives with Alaska's elected officials? Their behavior is sickening beyond sickening. I'd like to see someone like Hollis French get in there and clean this sewer up.

But...we get what we vote for. Sigh...

Anonymous said...

Mike Doogan is an embarrassment - anyone good running against him this Fall? If not, why not?