Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Branchflower’s misleading headlines

Jerry Stratton, October 12, 2008

How heavily was Commissioner Monegan pressured to fire Trooper Wooten? So heavily that he didn’t have any idea who Wooten was. From page 70 of the Branchflower report:

On the eve of the 2008 annual Police Memorial Day ceremony, he sent [Governor Palin] a photograph to sign and present at that event, but failed to realize it was actually a photograph of Trooper Michael Wooten.

“Hey, remember that cop who threatened to kill your father? I think he’s the perfect symbol for honoring the State Police.” Either Monegan was trying to threaten the governor’s family, or Monegan was unaware of the threats from this trooper to the Governor’s family.

In order to find that, though, you’re going to have to read all 69 pages in front of it, or randomly run into it like I did. The report appears to have been designed to provide the press with an opportunity to misinterpret it, and spread false headlines about wrongdoing on the part of Governor Palin. The fact that it was released as scans of printed copies helps to ensure that the press will only read the conclusion page for their first headlines. Was this really typed on a typewriter, or was it deliberately released in a non-searchable format?

One of the reasons that I support Governor Palin is that she held the police to the same standards she did everyone else. When she froze spending in Alaska, that included the state police. Monegan tried to get around it by diverting funds for trooper pay to his own pet projects, and then claiming he needed more money to pay troopers. She still said no. That takes at least a small amount of fortitude. He continued to try to work around her, trying to find unrefusable projects with which to increase his budget. She continued to say no, and when he continued working behind her back through the corrupt old-boys network in Washington, re-assigned him. That took a lot of fortitude and clear principles.

The report is not completely worthless, however. It does show that the police unions in Alaska are just as powerful as they are elsewhere. In particular, I learned from the report that when someone files a complaint about an officer, Alaskan law forbids the investigators from letting the complainant know anything about the investigation—even whether it’s been completed. According to them, all they knew until the story broke were the threats from Wooten that “no one would ever punish him”, and that he continued to patrol the Palins’ neighborhood “even after he had threatened to kill Sarah Palin’s father”.

  1. <- Moving to McCain
  2. Helter Skelter Media ->