Commentary: Palin's office now run by McCain campaign

Anchorage Daily NewsSeptember 20, 2008 

The following is an editorial in Saturday's Anchorage Daily News.

Is it too much to ask that Alaska's governor speak for herself, directly to Alaskans, about her actions as Alaska's governor?

A press conference Thursday showed how skewed Alaska's relationship with its own governor has become.

McCain-Palin campaign spokesman Ed O'Callaghan announced that Todd Palin will not comply with a subpoena to testify about his role in troopergate, the Legislature's investigation into whether Palin abused her power in forcing out former public safety commissioner Walt Monegan.

O'Callaghan also announced that Alaska's governor is "unlikely" to cooperate with the investigation by the Alaska Legislature about questionable conduct by Alaska's chief executive.

Monday, he and campaign sidekick Meg Stapleton stood before Alaskans and defended the official personnel decision by Alaska's governor to fire Alaska's public safety commissioner. ABC News reported that Gov. Palin's official press secretary, Bill McAllister, paid by the state of Alaska, didn't even know the McCain staffers were meeting the press to defend his boss.

Is the McCain campaign telling Alaskans that Alaska's governor can't handle her own defense in front of her own Alaska constituents?

Way back when, before John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Palin promised to cooperate with the investigation.

Now she won't utter a peep about it to Alaskans. Nor will her husband, Todd, who definitely needs to explain his role in Troopergate.

Instead, Alaskans have to sit back and listen to John McCain's campaign operatives handling inquiries about what Alaska's governor did while governing Alaska.

Residents of any state would be offended to see their governor cede such a fundamental, day-to-day governmental responsibility to a partisan politician from another state. It's especially offensive to Alaskans.

O'Callaghan said Todd Palin objects to the subpoena because the Legislature's investigation "has been subjected to complete partisanship." That's the kind of dizzying spin that Washington has perfected. It is the McCain-Palin campaign that has worked overtime to politicize the entire matter in a transparent attempt to justify the stonewalling.

Futile as the request may be, we encourage Gov. Palin to stand up to McCain's handlers and be personally accountable for her administration's response to troopergate. She is the governor of Alaska, not John McCain or Ed O'Callaghan.

BOTTOM LINE: Official state business -- like Troopergate -- should be handled by the governor of the state, not by McCain presidential campaign operatives.

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