Last night, the McCain campaign made it clear that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) would not cooperate with the Alaska legislature’s investigation into “Troopergate,” which centers on a charge that Palin improperly fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. The campaign complained that the investigation had become “tainted” and politicized — despite the fact that the investigation was approved by unanimous vote by the eight Republicans and four Democrats on the Legislative Council.
This afternoon on CNN, McCain spokesman Ed O’Callaghan tried to spin Palin’s stonewalling of the legislature’s investigation by claiming she “is 100 percent going to cooperate with the Personnel Board inquiry.” Of course, what he doesn’t say is that the three-member personnel board is appointed by the governor. Watch it:
In July, Palin said she’d welcome the legislature’s investigation, but “after McCain picked her as a running mate,” her lawyer “urged that the investigation be conducted by the Alaska Personnel Board, which is appointed by the governor.”
Palin’s emphasis of secrecy first and cooperation only with loyalists is reminiscent of the current vice president, who has consistently refused to speak on the record or participate in various congressional investigations. Just like Cheney, Palin seems to put a high price on loyalty. As the New York Times recently reported, Palin “runs an administration that puts a premium on loyalty and secrecy,” choosing to surround herself “with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.”
Speaking to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last night, Monegan — the Commissioner at the heart of Troopergate — lamented Palin’s Cheney-like stonewalling. “She campaigned and she was all of I think Alaska’s hope for an open and transparent government. And now it’s being thwarted,” he said.
CNN: Just one more for the record, as it stands right now, and as the investigation stands, Sarah Palin is likely not to cooperate. Is that correct?
O’CALLAGHAN: Sarah Palin is 100 percent going to cooperate with the Personnel Board inquiry. That is the appropriate jurisdiction and is where this inquiry should lie.
CNN: But not the legislative inquiry?
O’CALLAGHAN: We’ll have to see how that transpires. The legislative inquiry, they have certain moves that they can make too I believe. And what we want to do is make sure it’s fair and impartial. We have had absolutely no indication over the last several weeks that this is going to be a fair and impartial inquiry in the Legislative Council.
CNN: But one more time. As it stands right now, she will not cooperate with the legislative inquiry. Is that correct?
O’CALLAGHAN: If the legislative inquiry asked Gov. Palin of certain things, I’m sure that Gov. Palin’s attorney would consider those requests. However, the Personnel Board is the appropriate inquiry, and Gov. Palin is an open book with regards to that fair and impartial inquiry.
Today, Rush Limbaugh declared the entire Troopergate investigation to be “sexism in Alaska on the part of these old boys trying to get rid of Sarah Palin.” He added, “She didn’t put up with it, and she didn’t bend over and let them have their way.”
,Testifying before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution today, Center for American Progress President and CEO John Podesta warned that too much secrecy puts our nation at risk.