Obama's Wasilla Airborne

John Fund reports that the town of Wasilla, Alaska finds itself under siege this week.  Have the Russians invaded?  Have the Canadians surrounded them?  No, a far more malevolent force is at work in Alaska’s fifth-largest city — Democrats looking for dirt:

Democrats understand Sarah Palin is a formidable political force who has upset the Obama victory plan. The latest Washington Post/ABC Poll shows John McCain taking a 12-point lead over Barack Obama among white women, a reversal of Mr. Obama’s eight-point lead last month.

It’s no surprise, then, that Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau and Mrs. Palin’s hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background. My sources report the first wave arrived in Anchorage less than 24 hours after John McCain selected her on August 29.

So much for New Politics.

The main area of interest to the Democratic SWAT team is Mrs. Palin’s dismissal in July of her public safety commissioner. Mrs. Palin says he was fired for cause. Her critics claim he was fired because he wouldn’t bend to pressure to get rid of a state trooper, Mike Wooten, who had been involved in a bitter divorce battle with Mrs. Palin’s sister. Mr. Wooten is certainly a colorful character. He served a five-day suspension after the Palin family filed a complaint against him alleging he had threatened Mrs. Palin’s father. They also accused him of using a Taser on his 10-year-old stepson, drinking in his patrol car and illegally shooting a moose.

Actually, those were the charges that the Alaska State Troopers substantiated.  However, these at least are questions that have to do with Palin’s performance in office.  That’s a step up from the attacks that we’ve seen over the last ten days on Palin.  Factcheck got so disgusted with the smears that they finally dedicated a page to debunking them, which they titled Sliming Palin:

We’ve been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain’s running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.

  • Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn’t cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.
  • She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a “What if?” question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin’s first term.
  • She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.
  • Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a “courtesy” when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.
  • Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska’s schools. She has said that students should be allowed to “debate both sides” of the evolution question, but she also said creationism “doesn’t have to be part of the curriculum.”
  • But that has nothing to do with Democrats, some will say.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  Obama bundler and member of his National Finance Committee Howard Gutman questioned Palin’s parenting as well as her decision to seek higher office, claiming that she put her career ahead of her family.  His spokesman, Mark Bubriski, tried perpetuating the lie that Palin backed Pat Buchanan, and also called Buchanan a “Nazi sympathizer”.  CNN reported that the Obama campaign contacted the state troopers’ union in order to dig up more dirt on Palin, arguably interfering with an investigation to do so:

    And now, Fox News reports that Obama’s campaign has met with the three lead investigating legislators meeting at Obama HQ in July:

    SMITH: Molly, we understand you have some new information about the so-called Governor Palin ‘Troopergate’ case. First give us a back story on that case if you can and tell us what’s up now.

    HENNEBERG: Right, ‘Troopergate’ is the investigation into when Sarah Palin as governor – if – as her critics say, she fired her public safety commissioner because he wouldn’t in turn fire a state trooper, who was Palin’s ex-brother-in-law. Some Democrats and her critics are saying she was involved here and may have abused her power, but the McCain campaign today is out with a new picture of the three lead state legislators who are investigating this whole ‘Troopergate,’ and it shows the three of them at Obama headquarters in Anchorage, Alaska in July, which the McCain campaign says shows the whole investigation is politically tainted and compromised, something you will hear more from the McCain campaign as the investigation continues.

    The photo can be found on Obama’s website. This comes from a July meeting, which precedes the Palin pick. However, it also shows that the people running the investigation are overt Obama backers, which calls into question whether they can be fair — especially with Obama’s campaign involving itself with Wooten’s union.

    Team Obama certainly seems rather careless about keeping their fingerprints off of the smears, innuendo, and mudslinging. I guess they didn’t feel the media did a good enough job of it last week, and the polling numbers tend to show it.