The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin I: Firing Monegan


This weekend, I’ll be re-posting all the factual untruths that Sarah Palin insists are still actually truths.I’ve updated each item to keep up with the new information that has come out since the original posting. I’m doing this because Sarah Palin’s contribution is to introduce a new level of detachment from reality to our politics. After Bush-Cheney, this would be hard for anyone. But youbetcha she can.

This has been the pattern from the start of her career: a denial of reality combined with an almost unhinged and unlimited ambition. Since the press is barred from questioning her thoroughly, since we will never know how she responds to the long list of untruths she has told – from the smallest biographical detail to the biggest policy – all I can do is remind my readers of the record one more time before November. There are nineteen assertions of factual untruths that I’ve been able to document.

We’ll start at the beginning, and Troopergate.

The key issue is whether she used her state office to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire her ex-brother-in-law. Here’s what she stated on the record in mid-July if this year:

Palin stated on July 17 that Monegan was not pressured to fire Wooten, nor dismissed for not doing so:[114][117] "To allege that I, or any member of my family . . . directed disciplinary action be taken against any employee of the Department of Public Safety, is, quite simply, outrageous."

Here’s Wikipedia’s account of the findings of the Branchflower Report, with links to the original sources:

On October 10, 2008, the Alaska Legislative Council unanimously voted to release, without officially endorsing,[135] the Branchflower Report in which Stephen Branchflower found that firing Monegan "was a proper and lawful exercise of her constitutional and statutory authority,"[136] and that Palin abused her power as governor by violating the state’s Executive Branch Ethics Act[137] when her office pressured Monegan to fire Wooten. The report stated that "Governor Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda, to wit: to get Trooper Michael Wooten fired."[138] The report also said that Palin "permitted Todd Palin to use the Governor’s office […] to continue to contact subordinate state employees in an effort to find some way to get Trooper Wooten fired."[138][139]

The eventual report found that she was within her legal rights to fire Monegan, but that her unethical persecution of her ex brother-in-law was a contributing factor to the firing. The report found her guilty of abuse of power and violation of Alaska’s Ethics Act.

(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty.)