If you hadn't been paying attention because it was so boring in comparison to Bristol Palin and rape kits, Sarah Palin was actually being investigated for ethical violations everyone pretty much suspected she was guilty of. That investigation stemmed from her firing Walt Monegan, Alaska's public safety commissioner, after she, Todd Palin and a number of her staff attempted to pressure him into firing her former brother-in-law, Michael Wooten. Well, independent investigator Stephen Branchflower's report, released by lawmakers yesterday, says that Sarah Palin was well within her constitutional rights to fire Monegan for any reason — but that her efforts to get him to fire Wooten were out of line. Does that mean she's a goner? Hardly.For starters, the inquiry surrounded the firing of Monegan, which has been ruled legal. This will allow her to claim — as she's doing — that the legality of her consequential actions has been upheld. Furthermore, her other actions — which she's claiming were technically outside the scope of the investigation — aren't likely to have many consequences other than in terms of public relations and were completely ineffective. Wooten remains a trooper, never got denied his worker's comp and no one besides Monegan ended up on the outs. She'll be dirtied, slightly, by the allegations that she attempted to get her former brother-in-law fired, but most people pretty much already knew that she did that. If she and her advisers were smart, they would have made much more of the restraining order her sister filed, the ugliness that supposedly came her way, the events that Wooten showed up at that he was asked to stay away from, and generally painted her as so legitimately concerned for her own safety and that or her sister's that she maybe went ever-so-slightly over the line in trying to make sure no harm came to her sister or her own family. Luckily for those of us that don't want to see people sympathize too much with her, her advisers came from the locked-down, deny-everything school of political management and thus were unable to see a better narrative than "she didn't do it" and now that it's confirmed that she did, they're not going to have an easy time finding a new narrative. Though, it is kind of ironic that she was claiming that she fired the guy for going to Washington to lobby for more money to combat domestic violence when what kicked this all off were allegations against Wooten (that were never proved) of domestic violence. Alaska Inquiry Concludes Palin Abused Powers [NY Times] Branchflower Report [NY Times]
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They'll probably try to refer to it as a lefty conspiracy and try to spin it as if Palin is the victim of the MSM again....
But let's hope not.