ABC: Document contradicts Palin’s Troopergate claim about police chief’s trip

posted at 12:11 pm on September 20, 2008 by Allahpundit

A scoop — or is it? The claim from Palin is that she fired Walt Monegan, her police chief, not because he refused to fire her trooper ex-brother-in-law but because of general insubordination, the “last straw” of which was his supposedly unauthorized planned trip to D.C. in July to seek funds for an anti-rape program. Enter ABC with a copy of Monegan’s travel report proving that Palin’s chief of staff, Mike Nizich, authorized the trip in late June. A smokin’ hole in her credibility?

Maybe not. People are e-mailing to say that the document looks weird, partly because Nizich signed on a line reserved for approval of trips abroad but mainly because the date next to his signature is June 18 whereas the document itself is dated June 19. Could he have signed a blank form at Monegan’s request, with the details of the trip added in later? Anything’s possible, but (a) that doesn’t reflect real well on Nizich or Palin if they’re in the business of signing blank forms, especially for a guy with an alleged pattern of insubordination, and (b) Occam’s Razor suggests that Nizich probably just spaced on the date and wasn’t paying attention to which line he was supposed to sign on.

Even so, what does the document really prove? Go back to the AP’s story from earlier this week:

The last straw, the McCain campaign said, was in July, when Monegan planned to travel to Washington to seek federal money for a plan to assign troopers, judges and prosecutors who could exclusively handle sexual assault cases — one of the state’s most intractable crime problems.

In a July 7 e-mail, John Katz, the governor’s special counsel, noted two problems with the trip: The governor hadn’t agreed the money should be sought, and the request was “out of sequence with our other appropriations requests and could put a strain on the evolving relationship between the Governor and Sen. (Ted) Stevens.”

Four days later, Monegan was fired. He said he had kept others in the administration fully apprised of his plans to go to Washington.

And now here’s how ABC describes Palin’s spin:

The McCain-Palin campaign echoed the [insubordination] charge in a press release it distributed Monday, concurrent with Palin’s legal filing. “Mr. Monegan persisted in planning to make the unauthorized lobbying trip to D.C.,” the release stated.

Where’s the contradiction? Follow the timeline: Nizich approves the trip on June 18; Palin and/or Katz get wind of it shortly thereafter and object, leading to Katz’s e-mail of July 7; Monegan “persists” in his plans to go, and he’s finally canned four days later. Feels like … a last straw. Even Monegan, quoted at the very end of the ABC piece, admits it sounds more like a breakdown in communication within Palin’s staff, with Nizich not on the same page as everyone else, than some sort of cover-up. Good work, ABC.

Update: More from the ABC piece:

In response to inquiries about the document Friday, the McCain-Palin campaign provided a statement from Randy Ruaro, another aide to Palin.

According to Ruaro, Monegan asked for — and received — approval for the travel without telling Palin’s staff his reason for going. “As a matter of routine, the travel was approved by Mike Nizich … weeks before the actual purpose was made clear by former Commissioner Monegan,” Ruaro wrote.

“When you receive permission to travel, it does not mean that you receive blanket authorization to discuss or do whatever you would like on that trip,” he added.

I.e. Monegan’s stated purpose on the travel report, “To attend meeting with Sen. Murkowski,” didn’t clue Nizich or anyone else in to what it was, precisely, he wanted to meet with Murkowski about. Again, it doesn’t speak well of Nizich and/or Palin if they’re signing off on travel vouchers before demanding specific reasons for the trip, especially for an employee who’s supposedly gone renegade, but this does jibe with Katz’s e-mail on July 7. They found out what he was going to D.C. for, told him to cancel the trip, he refused, and voila.


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meh..

stlpatriot on September 20, 2008 at 12:16 PM

yawn

D0WNT0WN on September 20, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Doesn’t matter what all that says. The headline is all anyone will see or remember.

Someday Sarah Palin will be sitting in the waiting room next to Ray Donovan, wondering where she can go to get her reputation back.

Mr. D on September 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

The liberals and the MSM (but again, I repeat myself) are DESPERATE to find something that can really hurt Gov. Palin.

And for the 47 billionth time – if only the press gave Obama’s record 1/10th the scrutiny!

Religious_Zealot on September 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

Form just says to attend a meeting with Murkowski… not what that meeting would be about…

I’m sure this guy had plenty to talk to Murkowski about… but was not supposed to bring up this subject… which it turns out was the whold reason for the trip…

Thus, the firing…

Romeo13 on September 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

A stupid story. Palin had the right to fire him if she didn’t like the color of his eyes. “Just because” is all the reason she needs.

But that point gets glossed over by the Democratic campaign operatives/crack MSM journalists.

flenser on September 20, 2008 at 12:19 PM

The same amount of effort ABC expended on getting this non-story would almost surely turn up horrendous dirt on, say, Osama Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko.

But we’ll never see anything like that.

The “authorization” approves no expenses, is dated a month in advance of the actual trip, and is so lacking in detail that even a government office would be unlikely to accept it.

I see this as simply one more of the guilt-by-inference stories the MSM is pushing against Palin and McCain. It’s all in how you choose to see it.

Unfortunately, it’s the headlines that grab many people who will be voting. I’m beginning to think we are doomed to have an Obama presidency to deal with. It won’t be pretty.

MrScribbler on September 20, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Well, at least the message is starting to get out that Gov. Palin didn’t fire the guy because he wouldn’t fire her ex-b-i-l.

I guess that’s progress…

Religious_Zealot on September 20, 2008 at 12:21 PM

Zzzz.

Good Lt on September 20, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Personally, I like a senior executive who knows how to fire the right people.

This whole “Troopergate” thing will blow-back on the Democrats if the McCain camp plays their cards right.

Anton on September 20, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Notice the total funded on the travel request is $0. The document proves something, all right: ABC is stupid and gullible.

Also, anyone who hasn’t done so: read the email chain on this. Scroll to the bottom and read up.

It’s quite obvious that Monegan was trying to keep his funding trip quiet and was pretty much trying to obligate Federal funds for the state without the Governor’s knowledge.

And no, Monegan did not appear angry about being canned; in fact I’m sure he knows he was writing his own rules on this and would get in trouble if the Governor found out. He still seems supportive of Palin in his emails and does not seem bitter at all – which probably explains why he’s kept quiet about this and hasn’t given ammo to Hollis French and the Alaska arm of the Obama campaign.

Anybody who thinks there’s still a scandal here…. is probably already a lock Obama voter.

Thanks to ninjapirate for the link.

fiatboomer on September 20, 2008 at 12:24 PM

Minor details, Allah, that will not detract from another Drive-By hit piece.

ManlyRash on September 20, 2008 at 12:26 PM

Unfortunately, you’re preaching to the choir. After the first 10 dishonest smears of her, I stopped worrying. She’s intelligent and honest. I fear not. However, all this slime is believed by a lot of people. I think this is what has caused the polls to drop.

Blake on September 20, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Just another MSM hit piece.

TooTall on September 20, 2008 at 12:27 PM

Years ago I worked in the travel office at IU. Vouchers came through there everyday for all kinds of trips. They are not requests for permission to make the trip, they are requests for renumeration of money paid out for said trip. It could well be that Palin did not even know about the voucher until after the fact.

Terrye on September 20, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Unfortunately, it’s pretty hit or miss with the McCain camp “playing their cards right”

anniekc on September 20, 2008 at 12:30 PM

but this does jibe with Katz’s e-mail on July 7

Ugh, AP you’re not getting it… every time his trip is mentioned there’s ambiguity around it… “potential trip” or “wants to go to DC” instead “is going”… it’s much more than Katz email… as far as signing the travel doc… one person indicating requesting him to only get like $500,000 if he goes… that was said after he got the travel permission…

ninjapirate on September 20, 2008 at 12:30 PM

Manly Rush:

Actually, I think most people think Palin should have fired both the trooper and this guy. They don’t much care about this issue one way or the other. That is not what bothers them about Palin.

Terrye on September 20, 2008 at 12:31 PM

I had the time I would cut up the emails from the pdf, put them in a timeline just to show how stupid this story… it was all headline whoring… just by reading the emails you could have came up with the responses from the person who got fired and from team palin….

ninjapirate on September 20, 2008 at 12:32 PM

And now here’s how ABC describes Palin’s spin

Palin’s spin. Uh-huh.

I’m glad you put up the update, that cleared up the confusion for me yesterday when I read that.

Spirit of 1776 on September 20, 2008 at 12:33 PM

Seriously, spend time with the emails… this story is a complete joke and a hitjob…

ninjapirate on September 20, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Lets face it,, with their army of community organizers, community hackers, and community agitators, as well as the entire mainstream media and little future democrat congressional wonders out there with pockets full of cash combing the alleys and bars, shaking awake any sleeping homeless man they find,,,,, if this is the best they got, their ain’t much to be found.
I truly would not be surprise for an entirely made up story to be the Oct surprise we all expect. They may be weaving the tall tale even now,,, what do they have to lose but the most important election there is.
Sure,, just make it all up,,, create a fantasy about Sarah being accused of smuggling drugs out of Asia, complete with a grainy photo of a woman with her face hid carrying a backpack,,, or maybe a fantasy about Sarah secretly being in the occult and sacrificing kittens and drinking their blood deep in the basement of her home in Alaska,,, I know,, they could make up a story about her being in some kind of militia,, “The Militia of God”,, that sounds good,, photoshop a picture of her again holding up an m60 machine gun with her foot on the head of a moose she secretly shot in some zoo somewhere.
This is about where the mainstream media is at today. They are not that far off of just making it all up. they can come out and claim later, after McCain loses the election, that they need to be more careful with their reporting,, but that it just seemed so true and the allegations were so serious they had a journalistic duty to go wall to wall with it.

JellyToast on September 20, 2008 at 12:37 PM

I heard that Obambo was a close associate to some guy named Ayers, and they controlled a fifty million dollar fund which didn’t show much in the way of results.

Ah well, it’s probably nothing. You media jackoffs can go back to your bowing and scraping at Baracky’s altar.

Bishop on September 20, 2008 at 12:39 PM

Doesn’t it actually prove his insubordination? He gets permission to go on a trip, but then they find out that he’s going to do something on the trip that he’s not been authorized to do, and try to cancel the trip.

It’s as if up is down.

“You approved the trip, liar!”

“Eh, we approved the trip, but not what he planned to do on it”

“Liar!”

Hurray for the Obama Media Empire.

Seixon on September 20, 2008 at 12:44 PM

“Meh,” “yawn,” and “zzzz” may make us feel better. However, these little dribs and drabs of bad news are really hurting.

The American people don’t like to heard “document contradicts,” “ignored subpoenae,” and so on. It just sounds sleazy. We can try to explain all we want. It won’t help much, and then we are playing defense. We don’t win on defense.

Mike Gravel (of all people) said it best: “This is a nothing story. The trooper tazered his stepson. Drank beer in his patrol car [etc.] He deserved to get fired.”

Same thing with Monegan; he served at the pleasure of the Governor, he disobeyed a direct order, so she fired him. He deserved to get fired.

People understand insubordination. They understand bad cops. If what Sarah says is the truth remember this: The Truth Works.

This is getting way too complicated and is dragging on way too long.

__________

RJGatorEsq. on September 20, 2008 at 12:49 PM

This is about where the mainstream media is at today. They are not that far off of just making it all up.

You’re saying that the Dems would forge fictitious letters and give them to their accomplices in the media, perhaps 60 Minutes, who would pretend to believe every word of it?

Gee, that sounds a little far-fetched ….

flenser on September 20, 2008 at 12:51 PM

Doesn’t it actually prove his insubordination? He gets permission to go on a trip, but then they find out that he’s going to do something on the trip that he’s not been authorized to do, and try to cancel the trip.

That’s what I’m saying.

Allahpundit on September 20, 2008 at 12:51 PM

Biden and his son must be awash in terror that once Palin is impaled by the sword of journalistic righteousness that the focus will then be turned on the payments and cash washed of the Biden family

Simply awash in terror

EricPWJohnson on September 20, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Andrew Sullivan foams at the mouth (well almost): http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2008/09/20/sullivan-palin-pick-most-irresponsible-act-candidate-ever-made

Obama supporters do not care about the truth any more, they just need to make sure that Obama wins.

Mr. Joe on September 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM

Even at the worse case scenario and Palin wanted the trooper fired…..

Oslima kills babies and Palin wants a drunkard, moose poaching, step-son tasering low life trooper fired.

Guess which story gets the press?

csdeven on September 20, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Why do democrats fail to understand that political appointes serve at the appointers discretion – like US attorneys

Never remembered anyone in the media questioning a Democrat when they even fired civil servants like the travel office

EricPWJohnson on September 20, 2008 at 12:59 PM

I seen some really minor and petty things develop into minor and petty scandals since I started paying any attention to politics. But this troopergate nonsense has got to be the dumbest, most non-happening “scandal/gate” piece of crap ever.

titus_pullo on September 20, 2008 at 1:01 PM

There’s no scandal in this scandal

Kini on September 20, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Mr. Joe,

Obama supporters do not care about the truth any more, they just need to make sure that Obama wins.

One false assumption there… that they ever cared about the truth in the first place.
The truth ain’t in them, son (lifted from Donald Kincaid, one of the detectives in David Simon’s book Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets).
As for Sullivan, all that is is a highly advanced stage of Palin Derangement Syndrome.

either orr on September 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

I am not so sure how much this hurts Palin. I think that one of the reasons her supporters are so strong for her, is that they believe she has been unfairly smeared by silly and partisan accusers. In a way it is a wash. Most people honestly do not care about something like this. If they did, Obama would not have gotten the Democrat nomination in the first place.

Terrye on September 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Maybe, after naming this non-scandal ‘trooper-gate’ and seeing how flat it falls…

…maybe, JUST maybe…

…people will STOP putting ‘-gate’ at the end of every political ‘incident.’

sheesh!

Religious_Zealot on September 20, 2008 at 1:04 PM

The liberals and the MSM (but again, I repeat myself) are DESPERATE to find something that can really hurt Gov. Palin

They don’t need to find anything, just grab some innuendo from any leftist blog and repeat it long enough no matter how debunked it might be, that works just fine.

neuquenguy on September 20, 2008 at 1:06 PM

There’s no scandal in this scandal – Kini on September 20, 2008 at 1:02 PM

Not according to the Drive-Bys. And they will continue beating the drum, with increasing fervor and intensity, until October, when the report comes out. Regardless of the conclusion in the report they will rise up in unison, as a jury.

Dan Rather will ask them, “What say you good people of the media?”

As one they will cry in response, “Guilty, guilty, guilty!”

Count on it.

ManlyRash on September 20, 2008 at 1:08 PM

Never remembered anyone in the media questioning a Democrat when they even fired civil servants like the travel office – EricPWJohnson on September 20, 2008 at 12:59 PM

Democrats = good and noble

Republicans = evil and scheming

Repeat it out loud 400 times until it sinks in.

ManlyRash on September 20, 2008 at 1:10 PM

They found out what he was going to D.C. for, told him to cancel the trip, he refused, and voila.

Makes sense to me.

Somebody please tell ABC that this stuff is getting tedious, a real yawner. If this is the best they can do, then Palin’s a slam dunk.

petefrt on September 20, 2008 at 1:13 PM

It’s BS..

More proof that Liberal want to try cases in Public..

Why didn’t the Media report about the Rezko trial while that was going on, OR ask that Obama speak at the trial?

Why doesn’t the Media tell us about Rezko and Obama’s Shady stuff.

Chakra Hammer on September 20, 2008 at 1:18 PM

I’d like to see Sen McCain go on the offensive, call a news conference and proclaim that he has instructed Gov Palin and his staff not to repond to any troopergate questions. Nor will he. Explain that, “Gov Palin was in her rights to fire these individuals and I have examined the reasons and agree w/her decision. We will not waste valuable time during this campaign going over this non-issue”.

Well thats what I’d like to see McCain do, anyhow. DD

Darvin Dowdy on September 20, 2008 at 1:22 PM

That tears it! I am voting for that racist-marxist Hussein and hiz knitwit sidekick Biten, you know, the Euro-trash candidates. I wish that the GOP would stop sending us conservative, family-oriented, pro-life, heterosexual beauties by Mrs. Palin. When will they learn?

saved on September 20, 2008 at 1:26 PM

She’s untouchable and the Dems can’t stand it. She’s the best.

mindhacker on September 20, 2008 at 1:28 PM

Even at the worse case scenario and Palin wanted the trooper fired…..

Oslima kills babies and Palin wants a drunkard, moose poaching, step-son tasering low life trooper fired.

Guess which story gets the press?

csdeven on September 20, 2008 at 12:58 PM

Yeah. It’s not what they “report”; it’s what they leave out.

Like:

“I’m Barack Obama, and I approve this message”

Saltysam on September 20, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Mike Gravel (of all people) said it best: “This is a nothing story. The trooper tazered his stepson. Drank beer in his patrol car [etc.] He deserved to get fired.”

Same thing with Monegan; he served at the pleasure of the Governor, he disobeyed a direct order, so she fired him. He deserved to get fired.

People understand insubordination. They understand bad cops. If what Sarah says is the truth remember this: The Truth Works.

This is getting way too complicated and is dragging on way too long.

__________

RJGatorEsq. on September 20, 2008 at 12:49 PM

AP had a good analysis of the new information ABC “spun” for propaganda purposes.

RJG calls out the best way for McCain-Palin to respond. It puts the Troopergate into perspective with a quick sound bite for MSM idiots reporters.

Right_of_Attila on September 20, 2008 at 1:36 PM

Obama Biden, whatchya hidin’?

Saltysam on September 20, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Ayersgate.

Rezkogate.

Alinskygate.

Wrightgate.

Now there are some “-gate” stories worth checking on!

MrScribbler on September 20, 2008 at 1:45 PM

meh..

stlpatriot on September 20, 2008
yawn

D0WNT0WN on September 20, 2008

Ditto.

SKYFOX on September 20, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Now there are some “-gate” stories worth checking on! MrScribbler on September 20, 2008 at 1:45 PM

We have till November to get those stories out. Get out your checkbooks!

You left out infanticide-gate.

Mojave Mark on September 20, 2008 at 1:48 PM

So we have seen the democrats strategies and methods at work, with the help of the MSM for decades now:

1. Destroy conservatives by character assassination of all kinds (Republicans are racists, want to poison your water, starve your children, take away your pension, impose their values and control your life, etc, etc.
2.Make a scandal of anything you can, exaggerate it, associate all conservatives with it.
3. Suppress all democratic scandals with the help of the MSM
4. Preemptively defend yourself from your scandals by accusing your opponent of being responsible for it and make it stick with the help of the MSM.
5. Use Stalinist tactics to control all dissent.
6. At election time pretend you are a centrist or a conservative. Don’t ever let them know who you really are.
7.Through continued repetition, implant in peoples mind the illusion that democrats are for the little people and republican are for the rich (it doesn’t matter if there are more democrat millionaire politicians than republicans and that all the Hollywood millionaires are on your side, the idiots never think that far)

All of this as worked very well in part because liberalism is easier to take, it does not demand moral integrity or personal sacrifice like conservativism does.

So my question is: Why haven’t we been able to articulate effective counter-strategies? or have we? I believe the brighter minds are in the conservative movement and republican party but I have not seen a comprehensive treatise on how we combat these effective liberal MO. Am I missing something

neuquenguy on September 20, 2008 at 1:51 PM

OBAMA: LUCIFER IS MY HOMEBOY

Ann fires back.

T J Green on September 20, 2008 at 1:57 PM

Allah, you are assuming much here…like the dinosaur media will take the time you did to piece this together. Remember, it’s the nature of the charge.

SouthernGent on September 20, 2008 at 2:20 PM

Snort!

However, if the MSMLSDs are so inclined I ditto-

Ayersgate.

Rezkogate.

Alinskygate.

Wrightgate.

Now there are some “-gate” stories worth checking on!

MrScribbler on September 20, 2008 at 1:45 PM

freeus on September 20, 2008 at 2:22 PM

I’ve read through these documents. The bottom line is that both the Trooper and the Commissioner should have been fired. Even the Trooper’s suspension papers say if he were a civilian he’d be fired.
.
The Commissioner was working to create a new program with 30-40 new hires that was not approved by the Governor. He was going to DC to ask for an “earmark” despite funding for 50 unfilled authorizations on his staff and the Governor wanting to reduce reliance on federal earmarks.
.
Earmarks are one time funding, so those new positions would need to be rolled into the state’s budget. You certainly don’t ask for an earmark in DC before you have agreement with the Governor, esp when that’s who you work for.

ROMDOC on September 20, 2008 at 2:36 PM

I wish that the GOP would stop sending us conservative, family-oriented, pro-life, heterosexual beauties by Mrs. Palin. When will they learn?

saved on September 20, 2008 at 1:26 PM

Yep, stop it with all the pseudo-females with brains, leadership competence, patriotism, personality, humor, charisma, beauty, family and family values. Worst of all, these people are terrible role models. Instead of playing up their victimhood, they have the nerve to appear as happy, well-rounded people, seemingly in control of their lives and their destinies. It’s really sickening. No wonder we hate them so.

petefrt on September 20, 2008 at 3:11 PM

This type of thing is exactly why I worried about the Palin pick. She is was an unknown. Despite her excellent performance at the RNC, the spin by the media is starting to bite deeply into her credibility with the soundbite voters. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those.

Hawthorne on September 20, 2008 at 3:36 PM

I noticed last week that several MSM were insinuating that she lied about going to Iraq when every news report I had ever heard or seen said she went to Kuwait. Luckily it didn’t appear to amount to anything but I think it was another attempt. These people are not logical and they sure like to play games.

Cindy Munford on September 20, 2008 at 3:49 PM

Wolf!!

abrown28 on September 20, 2008 at 4:30 PM

I’ve read through these documents. The bottom line is that both the Trooper and the Commissioner should have been fired. Even the Trooper’s suspension papers say if he were a civilian he’d be fired.
.
The Commissioner was working to create a new program with 30-40 new hires that was not approved by the Governor. He was going to DC to ask for an “earmark” despite funding for 50 unfilled authorizations on his staff and the Governor wanting to reduce reliance on federal earmarks.
.
Earmarks are one time funding, so those new positions would need to be rolled into the state’s budget. You certainly don’t ask for an earmark in DC before you have agreement with the Governor, esp when that’s who you work for.

ROMDOC on September 20, 2008 at 2:36 PM

Thanks for taking the time to read through the whole thing. I was just going to skim it last night, but I started reading and found that -no kidding- the dude really did try to go behind the administration’s back.

Hollis French is going to try as hard as he can to find wrongdoing here with his MSM cheering squad, but there’s nothing to find. I guess he’ll just have to make it up.

fiatboomer on September 20, 2008 at 5:37 PM

This latest “revelation” will have no impact on Palin’s rep, imho. The public understands that this guy served at the pleasure of the governor.
But, boy, has ABC gone off the deep end. I remember when they used to be the sane one of the big three networks.

Y-not on September 20, 2008 at 6:01 PM

My understanding is that Mr. Monegan was appointed by the govenor and that continued employment was at the pleasure of Mrs. Palin. In such cases no reason is needed for asking for a resignation. A simple “loss of confidence” is sufficient.

I wish Mrs. Paloin would stick to that position and tell the MSM to go suck lemons.

drewas on September 20, 2008 at 6:40 PM