Democratic state senator and staunch Barack Obama supporter Hollis French of Alaska boasted in early September that he would provide an "October Surprise" which would upset the McCain-Palin campaign. Indeed, he originally planned to time it for October 31, four days before the election, for maximum impact, until other legislators forced him to abandon that particular strategy.
Today, however, in an episode of political theater that would make Josef Stalin blush, French gave it his very best shot: The investigator he hired and directed, Steve Branchflower, has labored mightily and given birth to a bloated and redundant 263-page report which boils down, for purposes of the ongoing presidential campaign, to two paragraphs that completely contradict one another. And the one of them that's unfavorable ignores the most important - indeed conclusive - evidence on point, but goes on to provide Branchflower's guess as to whether Gov. Palin has done anything improper.
Please understand this, if you take nothing else away from reading this post: The Branchflower Report is a series of guess and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy, and it hasn't been approved or adopted or endorsed by so much as a single sub-committee of the Alaska Legislature, much less any kind of commission, court, jury, or other proper adjudicatory body. It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations. Rather, it's just Steve Branchflower's opinion - after being hired and directed by one of Gov. Palin's most vocal opponents and one of Alaska's staunchest Obama supporters - that he thinks Gov. Palin had, at worst, mixed motives for an action that even Branchflower admits she unquestionably had both (a) the complete right to perform and (b) other very good reasons to perform.....
What's more incredible is that Branchflower utterly ignores the public admission made by Walt Monegan himself that ought to have ended this entire inquiry:
"For the record, no one ever said fire Wooten. Not the governor. Not Todd. Not any of the other staff," Monegan said Friday from Portland. "What they said directly was more along the lines of 'This isn't a person that we would want to be representing our state troopers.'"
That explains, of course, why it took a couple of weeks for Monegan to be persuaded that he'd been improperly "fired" (for supposedly refusing to fire Wooten) by an Alaska blogger, Andrew Halcro - a bitter loser whom Gov. Palin crushed in the 2006 Alaska gubernatorial race (he got less than 10% of the vote, proving that most Alaskans have long since figured out he's an untrustworthy windbag).
Instead, Branchfire has piled a guess (that the Palins wanted Wooten fired, rather than, for example, counseled, disciplined, or reassigned) on top of an inference (that when the Palins expressed concern to Monegan about Wooten, they were really threatening to fire Monegan if he didn't fire Wooten) on top of an innuendo (that Gov. Palin "fired" Monegan at least in part because of his failure to fire Wooten) - from which Branchflower then leaps to a legal conclusion: "abuse of authority." Branchflower reads the Ethics Act to prohibit any governmental action or decision made for justifiable reasons benefiting the State if that action or decision might also make a public official happy for any other reason. That would mean, of course, that governors must never act or decide in a way that makes them personally happy as a citizen, or as a wife or mother or daughter, and that they could only take actions or make decisions which left them feeling neutral or upset. This an incredibly shoddy tower of supposition, and a ridiculous misreading of the law.....
Branchflower, I'm told, is an attorney and a former prosecutor. If he thinks this kind of nonsense could support a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt, or even a finding of proof by a preponderance of the evidence, then he may be the worst lawyer I've ever encountered - and I've met a lot of awful ones in almost three decades before the bar.
More likely, however, Branchflower knows that his imaginary case will never be tested before any judge or jury - and instead, Branchflower's audience, and the audience of his political patron Sen. French, is a purely political one. They do not want you to read the 263 pages of his report, but I invite you to do so: By the end of it, you'll be thoroughly convinced that both Wooten and Monegan ought to have been fired! And if you're a person, as I am, who admires husbands and fathers who stand up for their families, you'll definitely want to shake First Dude Todd Palin's hand, and maybe even give him a (manly) bear-hug.
No, indeed, Sen. French and Mr. Branchflower dearly hope most Americans won't look past the headlines generated by this ridiculous farce of a report. French and Branchflower hope that Americans will be misled into thinking this report is from someone whose judgment or opinions actually count for something - instead of being from a hitman hired to complete a political hatchet job, as it actually is.
LAT Deliberately Edits Errors Into Palin Quote to Make Her Look Stupid: "But she didn't say them. She didn't say "confliction stories," as the LATimes claimed. She said "conflicting stories." And they made other changes like this. Most newspapers will clean up a politician's minor grammatical errors if only for ease of readability -- ever try to follow an exact uh-by-stutter transcription of speech? Today the LAT begins a new tradition -- deliberately inserting grammatical errors and wrong words to give the "flavor" of someone's presumed stupidity. Even if that person wasn't obliging enough to provide that flavor herself.
ACORN voter fraud in North Carolina: "State Board of Elections officials are trying to determine whether about 100 voter registration forms submitted by a local chapter of a national grassroots organization to the Durham County Board of Elections are fraudulent. Similar accusations have been lodged across the country against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which goes by the name ACORN. In Durham, the claims were made last month after the group submitted about 5,000 voter registration forms to the county board of elections. "All of a sudden, I started seeing the same names over and over again," said Mike Ashe, county elections director. He said some forms had similar names but different addresses or dates of birth.
ACORN Under Investigation, Yet Again, This Time in Pennsylvania: "Right here in Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala confirms an investigation of potential voter fraud involving ACORN and other organizations. "ACORN is part of this but there are other applications which have been filed which appear to have fraudulent signatures and fraudulent identifications of individuals," Zappala said. Currently the election bureau is reviewing some 45,000 new registration applications and Zappala says some of them have forged signatures of people who may or may not exist. "There are clearly people on these applications who have not either been solicited or may not exist and the signatures are clearly not - they're forgeries," Zappala says.
Obama's Rotten ACORN in Missouri: "ACORN has an assorted history in Missouri when it comes to voter registration. In 2007, four ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City for charges including identity theft and filing false registration. In 2006, eight ACORN employees plead guilty. So you have 12 employees from the 2006 election cycle that were up to no good, that were violating our laws and it's the sort of behavior we've seen from ACORN. "Right now, there are seven ACORN workers registering voters, collecting names, addresses, Social Security numbers and dates of births of lots of people in my state and they have criminal records. So seven ACORN workers have criminal records and they're out there collecting that sort of sensitive information. "And we've seen some serious problems with registration cards submitted by ACORN. In 2003, for example, ACORN submitted in St. Louis in one submission, submitted more than that year and the course of that election cycle, but in 2003 out of 5379 voter registration cards, only 2013 of those appeared to be valid and at least a thousand were believed to be attempts to register voters illegally.
For more postings from me, see OBAMA WATCH (2), TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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