Monday, December 08, 2008

Riley Wooten, Father Of Alaska Trooper Mike Wooten, Speaks Out On Troopergate And Sarah Palin

I just found this YouTube video of an interview with Riley Wooten, the father of Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. The interview, conducted by KSPR in Springfield, MO back on September 7th, 2008, is old, but did not get much attention in Alaska. The video itself has not received much attention period, but is of interest as it provides some insight as to the type of childhood Mike Wooten may have experienced.

As expected, Riley Wooten does corroborate much of his son's account of the key events triggering Troopergate. And it has affected his personal politics - towards the end of the video, he says that, thanks to Sarah Palin, he will no longer vote Republican, but will be voting independent, or perhaps even Democratic in the future.

In other Troopergate-related news, the Anchorage Daily News is editorially calling upon Sarah Palin to release the deposition she gave Personnel Board investigator Tim Petumenos to the public. During the vice-presidential campaign, her attorney said she wanted to release it -- but now that the race is over, she doesn't plan to do so.

Responding to a Daily News request for it, spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said in an e-mail: "The matter was investigated and voted on by the only entity in state law empowered to rule on ethics complaints against members of the Executive Branch. This matter is closed. We see no public purpose in artificially prolonging this controversy."

ADN's premise is that if Governor Palin truly believes her conduct in the Troopergate matter was justified, then she should have no problem letting Alaskans see exactly what she told the investigator who exonerated her. The Anchorage Daily News is quite skeptical about the Personnel Board which exonerated Palin, because although the Board by definition is an independent body, the members are appointed by the Governor. One can see how the perception of a conflict of interest could arise.

The November 3rd ADN story about the results of the Personnel Board investigation is available HERE. Other pertinent links below:

-- Executive summary and recommendations of the report
-- PDF: The Petumenos report

Releasing the deposition is the least Governor Palin can do to begin rebuilding confidence among the Democrats and even some Independents who turned against her as a result of Troopergate. What saved her was her strong Republican base and her charm. She quite literally charmed and bluffed her way out of a situation that would have leveled someone like Frank Murkowski. She should not think that it could work out as well the next time it happens, if indeed there is a next time.

1 comment:

  1. One needs to ask Riley Wooten about his own acts of misconduct while in law enforcement. Like the Federal lawsuit he got involved in while working as a Pulaski County Deputy. He needs to explain what he did in the courthouse elevator to a county employee that started a federal lawsuit against him, the sheriff of Pulaski County (Missouri) and the County itself for violating her civil rights. And of other complaints he has had filed against him.