Alaska: Caribou, Political Intrigue, Etc.


Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is the dark horse blogosphere choice for John McCain's running mate. Female! Easy on the eyes! From a state that Obama is actually competitive in somehow! Scandals bounce off her like pebbles off a Humvee!

Scratch that last one.

Alaska lawmakers on Monday approved an investigation into whether Gov. Sarah Palin abused her power in firing a public safety commissioner. Lawmakers say they want to know whether Palin was mad at former commissioner Walt Monegan for not firing an Alaska State Trooper who went through a messy divorce and ongoing child custody battles with Palin's sister.

… The firing has dogged Palin since she dismissed Monegan July 11, saying she wanted the department to chart a different course. Palin replaced him with Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp, but that lasted just two weeks. He resigned Friday after an undisclosed reprimand that stemmed from a sexual harassment claim against him came to light.

Palin's response to the investigation (which will wrap up in, eh, February 2009) is "hold me accountable." The Draft Palin bloggers respond to the story by pointing out that it hasn't yet dinged her poll numbers. Is the corrupt state GOP, which runs the legislature, exploiting a phony scandal to hurt the governor? That, actually, would be great in the long run for Palin. But if it is phony, and her enemies' goal was to hobble Palin as a national figure, it will probably work. If you don't think unvetted VPs getting their first exposure to the national press have ever sunk a presidential ticket, two words: Eagleton, Ferraro. And a third word, if you want to count presidencies: Agnew.

It's all awfully depressing, as Palin's lieutenant governor Sean Parnell is running against Rep. Don Young (a fellow Republican) and providing the best chance since the late 1970s of knocking the guy off. You could hardly run a worse campaign than Young, but if this scandal sticks, the Alaska GOP's screwed in a massive way.

UPDATE: And not long after posting this, the news breaks: Sen. Ted Stevens (R) is being indicted on seven counts, the details to come at a Justice Department press conference at 1:20.

UPDATE 1:47: The press conference is on now. The seven counts pertain to Stevens's "gifts" from Veco.