Troopergate showdown may be avoided. The Wall Street Journal Washington Wire blog reported Sunday that at least two of the witnesses who received subpoenas Friday plan to testify. This word came after news last week that the Palin administration was threatening to quash the subpoenas.
On Sunday, Annette Kreitzer, Gov. Palin's commissioner of administration, said in a telephone interview that she has agreed to testify, probably as soon as this coming week. "My understanding (is) it's not just me but everyone," Ms. Kreitzer said, clarifying that by "everyone" she meant the four witnesses who worked directly in her unit at the Department of Administration.
Nicki Neal, another witness on the to-be-subpoenaed list, also agreed to speak to investigators without a subpoena.
No word yet on whether Palin's husband, Todd, who also received a subpoena, plans to come forward. His role in her administration gets a close look in The New York Times.
Other people close to the state budget process said Mr. Palin was in the room at times when his wife and aides discussed whether to veto specific items in the capital-spending budget, including money to improve the harbor in Mr. Palin's hometown, Dillingham. Money for the harbor project was approved.
The news swirled around Troopergate this weekend. Other stories that provide background and perspective include:
> John McCain camp braced to fight Troopergate fallout (Times Online, London)
Mr. Branchflower said that he wanted to subpoena Mr. Palin because he was the "principal critic" of Mr. Wooten's continued employment. In January 2007, just after Mrs. Palin was sworn in as governor, Mr. Palin met Mr. Monegan to show him a file on Mr. Wooten put together by a private investigator hired by the family.
> Alaska lawmakers vote to subpoena Todd Palin (Video: Associated Press)
> Palin and Troopergate: A primer (Time magazine)
> Transcript: Tony Knowles and Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell (Fox News Sunday)
> Rep. Les Gara on Troopergate (Progressive Alaska blog)
Until Aug. 29 "Troopergate" was a small state investigation Gov. Palin, and every Republican and Democrat in a Republican-led Legislature, had agreed was appropriate. But things changed the day Gov. Palin joined the McCain ticket. His handlers went ballistic that the governor agreed to an investigation they now needed to stop.
It's the ghost of Karl Rove.
> Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell on Troopergate (Reuters.com)
Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell said he was disappointed by how the investigation is being used to score political points against Palin and questioned the independence of Branchflower.
"Arbitrary deadlines, inappropriate public comments and secret deals ... have turned this process into a complete farce," Parnell said in a statement distributed by the McCain campaign.
Palin's earmark claims bring more scrutiny Monday morning. The Wall Street Journal takes a look at Palin's ability to bring federal dollars to Alaska following Sen. John McCain's reiteration Friday on ABC's The View that Gov. Sarah Palin has not requested earmarks since she became governor.
Last week, Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain said his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, hadn't sought earmarks or special-interest spending from Congress, presenting her as a fiscal conservative. But state records show Gov. Palin has asked U.S. taxpayers to fund $453 million in specific Alaska projects over the past two years.
These projects include more than $130 million in federal funds that would benefit Alaska's fishing industry and an additional $9 million to help Alaska oil companies. She also has sought $4.5 million to upgrade an airport on a Bering Sea island that has a year-round population of less than 100.
The Los Angeles Times reports that voters trying to sort out fact from fiction are turning to independent sources to find out what's true and what isn't.
But last week alone, well over a million people visited the nonpartisan FactCheck, a project of the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center, to sort fact from fiction.
On some level, truth or fiction has come to be almost beside the point if voters believe the information.
Tina Fey is a more popular version of Sarah Palin than Sarah Palin. You can read Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales' review of the "Saturday Night Live" opening skit of a nonpartisan moment between "Sarah Palin" and "Hillary Clinton."
In the parlance of the show (and comedians generally), they "killed."
The Globe and Mail called for replacing Palin with Fey on the ticket.
And late yesterday a snap poll on the Chicago Tribune Web site asked readers who they'd prefer to see on TV: Sarah Palin or Tina Fey-as-Palin. With over 20,000 votes in, more than 85 percent preferred the "SNL"/"30 Rock" star. Which means John McCain has only one choice: Dump Palin and replace her with Fey.
Hell, she's just as qualified for the position.
Journalists tackle ciphering the real Sarah Palin after she joined the McCain campaign. Many news analysts are commenting on the shifts in language and position Palin made over the years and especially once she was onboard the McCain ticket.
The New Yorker has a short column on how Palin talked about issues before she was the VP candidate.
Then again, on McCain's signature issue - the prosecution of the war in Iraq - she did not sound so gung-ho. Her son is a soldier, and she said, "I'm a mom, and my son is going to get deployed in September, and we better have a real clear plan for this war. And it better not have to do with oil and dependence on foreign energy."
ADN columnist Michael Carey comments on Palin's new voice on Alaska Politics:
Sarah Palin ran for governor in 2006 on who she is. In 2008, she's running for vice president on who she is not. This is a breathtaking high-wire act that will have life-changing consequences for her whether she succeeds or fails.
E.J. Dionne, a columnist for the Washington Post, asks today whether journalists will keep the same standards for truth for the McCain/Palin race as they applied in past campaigns, including Hillary Clinton's fuzzy memory of her 1996 Bosnia visit, among others.
Is there one standard for Hillary Clinton -- a tough one -- and another, permissive standard for Sarah Palin? I'll be curious about this and so, I suspect, will Hillary Clinton's supporters.
The Dallas Morning News, on its editorial page this morning, notes a problem:
Ronald Reagan was jammed with facts by advisers prepping him for his first 1984 debate against Walter Mondale. He lost. "Let Reagan be Reagan" came the call from those who knew Mr. Reagan's real strengths. It worked.
Perhaps the McCain camp should "let Palin be Palin." But who is that person? Was it the talking-point machine of Thursday or the warmer, more relaxed candidate of Friday? And how much does she really know?
Politico.com has an interesting look at Palin's 2002 race for lieutenant governor, a hard-fought loss for Palin. It offers a candid look at how she carefully positioned candidacy among her fellow Republican contenders, and her loss really positioned her for a political future.
But in the 2002 lieutenant governor's race, (Loren) Leman, well-known as an evangelical Christian, had locked down the religious vote, while he, Phillips and Taylor all had Palin beat on the state-level experience front.
So Palin cast herself as a breath of fresh air - an outsider with hands-on executive experience who was not beholden to either corporate fat cats or the fractious state political establishment and who was not seeking the state's No. 2 spot as a steppingstone to the governor's office.
Watchers in Wasilla wonder if a VP loss this year might not position her for a run for president in 2012.
The pastor who clashed with Palin. Salon.com interviews Howard Bess, a Baptist minister from Palmer who says his book, "Pastor, I Am Gay" was targeted by Palin in the 1990s. But the point of the article isn't to debate that fact, but to hear Bess on Palin's theological roots.
"She scares me," said Bess. "She's Jerry Falwell with a pretty face.
"At this point, people in this country don't grasp what this person is all about. The key to understanding Sarah Palin is understanding her radical theology."
"Forget all this chatter about whether or not she knows what the Bush doctrine is. That's trivial. The real disturbing thing about Sarah is her mind-set. It's her underlying belief system that will influence how she responds in an international crisis, if she's ever in that position, and has the full might of the U.S. military in her hands. She gave some indication of that thinking in her ABC interview, when she suggested how willing she would be to go to war with Russia.
The Houston Chronicle reports that young evangelicals are still searching for a political home.
"I think the jury is still out on young evangelicals," said Cameron Strang, editor of Relevant magazine, an influential publication for this group. "Both parties have the opportunity to address issues of deep concern for this voting bloc."
"Although I think Palin will energize the conservative base, I don't think the Palin pick does anything for progressive evangelicals," said Jones, who caucused for Obama. "If anything, it tarnishes McCain'
Bloggers, local and national, report back on the Saturday anti-Palin rally. Alaska Dispatch was there, and quoted one unhappy state employee who asked not to be named.
But underlining the protest was a sentiment that couldn't be quipped, that no sign was big enough to contain. It was something that I had been hearing only in snippets for the past two weeks, but until today, I hadn't heard articulated. This was from a state worker, who, for fear of reprisal, didn't want their name used (it wasn't the first state worker who expressed the same fear at the rally-some even wore masks to conceal their State of Alaska identities). This is what this person told me:
"I just feel exploited. I feel like they're using this state like they use products in commercials. It is like, ‘OK, what can we sell?' And Alaska and Palin are what they chose. They're selling our state out, and she's allowing it. It almost feels like a violation."
You can find photos and more commentary on these
> Video interviews with women on why they attended (Aliza Sherman rants and raves)
> Protest signs that give a history of women's movement (Washington Post The Trail blog)
> Taking it to the streets (Own the Sidewalk)
> Palin rally is huge (Mudflats)
> More pictures than you can shake a stick at (aliza sherman)
Does Gov. Palin really have a tanning bed in the mansion? We don't know for sure, but take a look at this report from The Narco News Bulletin (which usually reports on "the drug war and democracy in Latin America").
The Republican nominee for vice president, Governor Sarah Palin, it turns out, is a pioneer of the Great Indoors:
"The governor did have a tanning bed put in the Governor's Mansion," Roger Wetherell, chief communications officer of Alaska's Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, confirmed to this newspaper. "It was done shortly after she took office [in early 2007] and moved into the mansion."