This editorial appeared in The Anchorage Daily News.
In appointing Wayne Anthony Ross, Gov. Palin took a gamble and lost. She gambled that the controversial conservative could keep himself out of trouble long enough to win confirmation. The problem was not Ross' political views. On most controversial policy questions, he and the governor agree. Some in the bipartisan majority that voted him down share Ross' views on issues like subsistence and gun rights.
The problem was that Ross revealed himself as temperamentally unsuited to serve as the state's top law enforcement official.
He was acting attorney general when his boss, the governor, plainly disregarded state law on filling Senate vacancies. Asked about the legality of her move, he said, on tape to reporters, "The most important thing that can be done by the Senate is not argue with legal or illegal but to appoint somebody to represent Juneau."
Ross dug himself a deeper hole by denying the obvious meaning of his remark. He issued a letter claiming a "rumor" was going around "that I have advocated or implied that the law should be ignored" in filling the Senate vacancy.
That is plainly what his remark suggested – that adherence to the law is somehow secondary to other considerations in this case. His denial sealed his fate.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Anchorage Daily News.