Several weeks ago, I fought to find a parking spot near the Legislative Information Offices in downtown Anchorage. The hearing would decide the fate of subpoenas for Alaska state employees and Todd Palin. The investigation, now known as “Troopergate”, was born through unanimous support of eight Republicans and four Democrats, and then signed by the Republican Senate President, Lyda Green and Republican House Leader, John Harris. Governor Sarah Palin had instructed all employees to cooperate with the investigation and welcomed it. The need for subpoenas came only after the McCain campaign selected Palin as a running mate.
The hearing room was full of cameras, laptops, and reporters better dressed than Senator Charlie Huggins garbed in moose hunting camo. Special Investigator Steven Branchflower was there to explain the need for subpoena power. The biggest revelation that day was lost in the news that Todd Palin and seven others would be subpoenaed. Mr. Branchflower justified why he needed to subpoena a witness he had already deposed. Her name was Murlene Wilkes, who owns Harbor Adjustment Services, an Anchorage company contracted to handle the workers’ compensation claims for the State. Branchflower explained how after his initial interview with Wilkes, a Harbor employee had called the tip line and supplied information contrary to what Ms. Wilkes had provided. He wanted to clear that up. He would not give the name of the whistle blowing employee, but felt credibility in her testimony. He indicated he would reveal more in his report. There was no indication of this being a “smoking gun”, but I’m interested to see how much different the employee’s story is from Ms. Wilkes. She did meet later that day with Mr. Branchflower for a follow up interview.
Jason Leopold has reported in the link below. I don’t know if this story will pan out to something or not-that really isn’t the point. I don’t report this as a “gotcha”, but rather as another example of why to support an investigation. Alaska deserves the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Sarah Palin promised us an open and transparent administration. She is getting more transparent. As a proud Alaskan, I do not fly the flag upside down out of lack of respect; it is a sign of distress.
PALIN IMPLICATED BY WITNESS IN ‘TROOPERGATE’ PROBE
UPDATED ARTICLE BY JASON LEOPOLD: October 2