Hat tip to LC Scotty (from Buffalo, my conservative friend who likes to keep me in line).
Here is a pdf file of Governor Palin’s statement regarding Troopergate. Now, LC Scotty and the rest of y’all know me well enough to know that I’m not going to leave it at that. I’m taking a step back and TRYING to be objective about this (note, I said TRYING), so here are my thoughts.
Para. 32 — “Wooten has continued to act aggressively, including attempting to intimidate Governor Palin’s teenage daughter, Bristol, by confronting her at a football game and calling her a “f***ing a******.” Though no one in the Palin family ever filed a formal complaint, members of the family at times informally let officials in the Alaska State Troopers know their concerns about a rogue trooper, the safety of their family and of the public.”
I’m troubled by this paragraph. If, in fact, the Palin family feared for their safety and the safety of the public at large, why didn’t they make any official report that they could, including this verbal harassment/abuse directed against a minor child? It would seem completely derelict for them to not make a report considering they have postured so much on the trooper’s threats (justifiably so, it seems).
And why would they include, in the governor’s statement, an assertion that the family “at times informally let officials know…” when, again, they feared for their own safety and that of the public at large? Again, isn’t it irresponsible to think that an informal complaint or “chat,” as it seems, would accomplish anything? How could they expect anything other than the “slap on the wrist [their description of the trooper’s discipline received] if all they did was make informal complaints?
Para 35 – Molly was forced to call the police. Because Wooten was a trooper, the police refused to intervene, but eventually Wooten’s boss arrived personally to tell Wooten to comply with the court order.
There is absolutely nothing to substantiate this claim – it is pure speculation on the part of the family and such editorialization WITHOUT corroboration or supporting documentation lends a level of incredulity to the governor’s statement, which seems ripe with personal perceptions.
Throughout the governor’s statement, there appears a theme of the governor and her family not knowing what action had been taken against Wooten (and justifiably so, as it is a personnel issue and subject to privacy laws). It is clear that, because the governor and her family PERCEIVED that Wooten had not been disciplined, they continued to harangue Monegan and, in one instance, a staffer, allegedly acting of his own volition and not on behalf of the governor, made suggestive comments to the chief of State Police that Wooten hadn’t been punished enough, or to the satisfaction of the Palin family.
While I cannot see, from the governor’s statement, that any laws have been broken, I still see the use/abuse of power by the governor because, as a private citizen, she would not have had access to Monegan and other officials with whom she interacted regarding her ex-brother-in-law.
From my perspective, Trooper Wooten is a class A asshole and should be terminated from law enforcement. Using a taser on a child, even if the child did ask for it, shows a lack of judgment. His actions regarding failure to return the children from visitation and his verbal harassment/abuse of the minor child show poor impulse control as well — and the two elements combined make for a DANGEROUS law enforcement officer.
The fact that Trooper Wooten got a 5-day suspension and is back on the streets again does, in fact, indicate that the “brotherhood” has protected one of its own (as was suggested in the governor’s statement) but the reality is that we are hearing only one version of the events that occurred and, due to privacy issues, are probably not going to know the full extent of what disciplinary action(s) have, or continue to be placed on Trooper Wooten. While all of us might agree that the man SEEMS dangerous, and should be removed from law enforcement, LC Scotty has pointed out to us here (as he does so well) that our perception isn’t necessarily the reality that exists.
I still believe that the governor and her family acted inappropriately in this matter. I would not necessarily classify it as abuse of power (maybe overuse of resources that aren’t available to the average citizen) but I believe that the governor, and her family, by virtue of the statement, did not do the things that they should have done in order to protect themselves, their family, and effect the outcome they desired. Not filing formal complaints or reports gives the perception that they created the facts to fit their position AFTER the fact. Were it my family, I’d be documenting everything that asshole said and did, even if he only farted in my direction. If they feared for their family, they sure didn’t act like it by not filing official complaints and reports.
So, as far as I’m concerned, I’m reserving judgment on this. I don’t believe all of this statement, but am not convinced on the “abuse of power” allegation either.