Stonewalling In Alaska

STONEWALLING IN ALASKA.... When Sarah Palin's "troopergate" scandal began in earnest in July, the governor told state lawmakers and the public that she welcomed an investigation. "Hold me accountable," she said.

The editorial board of the Anchorage Daily News notes today that Palin seems to have given up on her notion of transparency and accountability.

Palin's lawyer has asked the Legislature to drop its investigation. He had the governor file an ethics complaint against herself, in a bid to turn the entire matter over to the state Personnel Board, which would hire an independent investigator.This is not an open and transparent attempt to establish Gov. Palin's accountability. It is an attempt to drag out the investigation until after voters decide the fate of her vice-presidential bid.

Instead, Gov. Palin should honor her pledge to cooperate with the Legislature's investigation, conducted by former state prosecutor Steve Branchflower. [...]

When this investigation into Troopergate started, Gov. Palin's response was refreshingly open. Since she became the Republican candidate for vice president, her approach has changed for the worse. America deserves the same openness and ethics from vice-presidential candidate Palin that she promised to Alaska voters in 2006. [...]

Gov. Palin is stonewalling on Troopergate; the Legislature should issue subpoenas.

When the state legislature's started its investigation, lawmakers didn't give Branchflower subpoena power, because it seemed unnecessary -- the Palin administration was "anxious" to cooperate. Now, the Daily News noted, "That's over." The governor's goal, apparently, is to run out the clock, get elected to national office, and leave all of the abuse-of-power unpleasantness behind. Thus, the stonewalling.

I have no idea whether the political climate in Alaska would support a turn towards a more aggressive investigation, including subpoenas, but the Anchorage Daily News pushing the subject like this might very well raise the stakes.