Saturday, July 04, 2009

Palin Spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton Claims Ethics Complaint Spamming Drove Sarah Palin To Announce Resignation; If So, Andree McLeod Is Toast

According to CNN's Political Ticker, Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton blamed the swarm of ethics complaints that have dogged the Alaska governor for Sarah Palin's unexpected announcement of her intent to resign as governor effective July 26th.

Stapleton was interviewed Friday on The Situation Room, and she told Suzanne Malveaux that when Governor Palin returned to Alaska after the Presidential campaign and pressed her agenda, "she found…resistance, and she found as she looked up more and more that state time and resources were being just wasted with just frivolous ethics complaints coming in, and FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests and lawsuits — but to an extraordinary extent, and from literally those doing opposition research"... . And so she said really, is this good for Alaska? Is this what a governor is supposed to do, sit and watch money going down the drain?" CNN video embedded below:

But in addition to the ethics complaints, Governor Palin was pressured into backtracking on her decision to reject federal stimulus funds, her selection of Wayne Anthony Ross for attorney general was rejected by an increasingly hostile legislature, and her personal life has continued to grab headlines. So the picture being painted by Stapleton is that it all became too much and Palin decided enough was enough.

Of course, the primary ethics complainer has been Andree McLeod, who filed four of them, three of which have been dismissed. McLeod has been as morbidly obsessed with Palin as Hitler was with Stalingrad. And there will be payback - Andree McLeod is political toast in this state now.

Other reaction from around Alaska:

-- Andrew Halcro: Back in the blogging business, he posts his initial reaction HERE and a more detailed analysis HERE. Halcro earlier predicted that Palin would not run for a second term, but no sane person would have expected her to take a powder with 16 months to go in this term. Halcro believes that because Palin did not offer the public a clear and concise reason why she is abruptly stepping aside with 16 months to go, she's leaving the field wide open for "truthers" to speculate. Already there are rumblings of possible scandals yet to be unveiled.

-- Dan Fagan: On The Alaska Standard, Fagan, who has been a persistent critic of Palin, suggests that Palin quickly learned that the job was above her pay grade, and grew to hate it as a result. He cites AGIA as an example. While this may be a bit exaggerated, it is clear that AGIA was in trouble until Exxon stepped in and partnered with TransCanada, thus raising the project from its sickbed.

-- Thomas Lamb: On It's A Kwazy Life, Lamb suggests it was a good move by Palin because it robs the left of their primary political target and it will give Sean Parnell a leg up on the 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Parnell has already stated he will run in his own right in 2010,

-- Anchorage Daily News: A new ADN news story HERE. Has also now editorially weighed in, considers Palin's explanation of her decision to be ambiguous. Characterizes her decision as "self service rather than public service".

-- Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Editorially approves of Palin's resignation because they perceive she has lost interest in the job.

-- Juneau Empire: No editorial position yet, but soliciting comments HERE and HERE.

-- Mat-Su Frontiersman: Updated story HERE, quotes Borough Mayor Talis Colberg, who was Palin’s attorney general when the governor hit the national stage, as saying “There was so much petty attacking of her that it was incredible the amount of volume that came with the national campaign”. Perhaps if Colberg had actually done his job as A.G. and asserted himself, Palin would have gotten into less trouble.

The Bottom Line: Many Alaskans, even Palin supporters, feel a sense of betrayal. They can understand her desire to resign, but find it difficult to swallow the timing. The decision would have made more sense had it been made later, like around October or November. In actuality, I would have preferred she not resigned at all, since when I voted for her, it was with the anticipation that she would serve a full term.

Whether this will hinder her Presidential chances in 2012 remains to be seen.

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