How Many People Does It Take to Screw an Ex-Brother-In-Law?

In Sarah Palin’s melodrama called “Troopergate”,  I’m counting 56 55 53 52 51 people. Many of these people are featured players while others are extras caught up in the undertow of this multi-part, epic that has been produced on time and under budget.

But Troopergate is a melodrama with a twist. After several years, an extensive cast of characters, hundreds of meetings, calls, and emails, and reams of documentation, Mike Wooten is still an Alaskan State Trooper. Troopergate is a multi-parter, so it’s important to remind people who may have just tuned in how the story started:

Troopergate began because Sarah Palin wanted her ex-brother-in-law Mike Wooten fired. But to date, Mike Wooten is still a state trooper.

The premise may sound pedestrian. The governor of Alaska, full of righteous anger and hungry for revenge, wants to get someone fired. You think that Sarah has a lot of power and people with power get what they want, right? But then you watch the story unfold. You see Sarah, with Todd Palin in a large supporting dude role, flailing impotently at Mike Wooten; wreaking havoc in their wake. And all the while Sarah and Todd dismiss calmer heads who advise them to stop before Sarah gets hurt. You’re waiting for the moment when her actions come back to haunt her.

It’s a story straight from Proverbs 16:18:

“Pride goeth before destruction. And a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Firing public safety commissioner Walt Monegan is easy for Sarah since Monegan is a political appointee and serves at her will. And from the beginning Monegan tells us that he “wasn’t long for the job”. So when the axe falls we’re not surprised. When commenting on the Branchflower Report this is the storyline that Sarah emphasizes: The Branchflower Report finds that she did not break any laws in firing Monegan. It was petty, vindictive, and classless, but it didn’t break any laws.

More dramatic tension comes from the turmoil Sarah and Todd stir up.

In terms of understanding and using the system to satisfy her obsession to fire  Wooten, Sarah Palin fails miserably. And in the process, Sarah Palin is found to have violated Alaskan state ethics statutes and abused her power.

What does Sarah draw on for her inspriration? Does she see the governor as a “Survivor”: If she gets enough people on her side she can vote Wooten off the iceberg? Or does she watch “Judge Judy” and see herself ruling against whomever she dislikes and dismissing them in shame? Inquiring minds want to know.

I’ve compiled a list of characters in Troopergate. I’ll update the list as I collect more names and annotate the Troopergate casualties. Remember: Troopergate is still not over, so this list will continue to grow. Branchflower has more interviews to release. The Personnel Board ethics complaint is both heating up and expanding under investigator Tim Petumenos. And Sarah Palin is still in the national spotlight.

  1. Frank Bailey
  2. Mayor Mark Begich
  3. John Bitney
  4. Stephen Branchflower and his investigative team
  5. Chris Brightbill
  6. Kevin Brooks
  7. Cassandra Byrne
  8. Cheri Cadiente
  9. Sunny Cayce
  10. Robert Cockrell
  11. Talis Colbert
  12. John Cowdery
  13. John Cyr
  14. Trooper Rodney Dial
  15. Kim Elton
  16. Hollis French
  17. Ivy Frye
  18. John Glass
  19. Greg Goodale
  20. Johanna Grasso
  21. Lyda Green
  22. Julia Grimes
  23. David Guttenberg
  24. Leonard Hackett
  25. Chuck Heath – CASUALTY: Now everyone knows he butchers illegally hunted moose.
  26. Audie Holloway
  27. Dianne Kiesel
  28. Charles Kopp – CASUALTY: Left his job to replace Monegan. Lasted 15 days.
  29. Annette Kreitzer
  30. Sharon Leighhow
  31. Major Matt Leveque
  32. Barry Lowe
  33. Janice Mason
  34. John McCain
  35. Molly McCann – CASUALTY: Her family’s dirty laundry. And we know she hunts moose illegally.
  36. Walter Monegan – CASUALTY: Fired. But at least he has his retirement from his old job. NOT happy with the way Sarah Palin has dragged his name through the mud. He’s demanding a hearing to restore what from all reports has been a stellar reputation as a law enforcement professional. If he doesn’t get his hearing, then he’s going to court.
  37. Nicki Neal
  38. Michael Nizich
  39. Bristol Palin
  40. Sarah Palin – CASUALTY: Claim to integrity. Appearing competent. The executive experience she brags about. And what about all those employment harassment law suits people are going to file against her?
  41. Todd Palin – CASUALTY: He’s now unofficially the First Dud. He should keep his day job at the North Slope. Ditto about the employment harassment law suits.
  42. Kris Perry
  43. Kim Peterson
  44. Tim Petumenos
  45. Lauren Rice
  46. Randy Ruaro
  47. Meg Stapleton
  48. Rick Svbodny
  49. Gene Therriault
  50. Brad Thompson
  51. Mike Tibbles – CASUALTY? Talis Colberg says Tibbles was frustrated  with Frank Bailey and how Frank was talking about Mike Wooten. Tibbles is back working with Sen. Ted Stevens on his reelection campaign. Or did he just jump the sinking ship?
  52. David Tyler
  53. Chris Watchus
  54. Gary Wheeler
  55. Murleen Wilkes
  56. Mike Wooten – CASUALTY: He’s not making himself look like great brother-in-law material. And you don’t cheer for him. It’s ironic how attacking him reflects so poorly on Sarah and Todd’s judgment. I am aware that the term “tar baby” carries racist overtones and don’t evoke the term lightly. But it is a concept from African folklore that very aptly describes Troopergate and I know of no other term in western culture that applies so well. In sum, this is a problem that gets worse the more one struggles against it. The only resolution is disengagement. There’s probably a good parallel in Buddhist literature. I’ll look it up. I think the problem in western culture is that we don’t like to acknowledge that it’s sometimes wisest to let go before we get dragged down. Oh, and with the assistance of his union he’s filed a complaint with the state personnel board for Palin’s inappropriate access to his files and harassment.
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