On Friday, the bipartisan Alaskan Legislative Council voted unanimously to release the findings of its “Troopergate” investigation. The report stated unequivocally that “Sarah Palin abused her power” by violating a statute of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act. As the report emphasized, “Compliance with the code of ethics is not optional.”
The McCain campaign has decided to simply turn the finding on its head. On Fox News Sunday this morning, campaign manager Rick Davis claimed the investigation absolved Palin of any wrongdoing:
DAVIS: Let me tell you, this whole thing has been a kangaroo court form day one. … The reality is there was absolutely no wrongdoing found in the report. 1,000 pages, an enormous waste of time and the best that they could come up with was no violation of any laws or ethics rules, but —
WALLACE: Wait wait. It said she violated the state ethics board.
DAVIS: But that she acted within her power and scope of authority as governor to do exactly as she did. … It was a great public circus.
Davis’s claim that the investigation was a partisan hit job is laughable. The investigation was originally authorized by a unanimous, bipartisan vote of the Legislative Council; a bipartisan majority voted to subpoena key witnesses, including Todd Palin; and its findings were released Friday under unanimous, bipartisan agreement.
Yesterday, Palin similarly reversed the report’s findings, telling Alaskan reporters yesterday she was “very very pleased to be cleared of any legal wrongdoing,” or “any hint of any kind of unethical activity there”:
ADN: Governor, finding No.1 on the report was that you abused your power by violating state law. Do you think you did anything wrong at all in this Troopergate case?
PALIN: Not at all and I’ll tell you, it, I think that you’re always going to ruffle feathers as you do what you believe is in the best interest of the people whom you are serving.
Perhaps Palin’s complete misunderstanding of the report’s findings is rooted in the fact that she apparently still hasn’t actually read it:
ADN: Have you read the whole report? (No response; Stapleton invites question from KTVA reporter).