Ironically, She was Supposed to Fight Corruption

The good citizens of Alaska elected Sarah Palin Governor of Alaska on her promise to fight corruption. She quit, of course, but before she quit, WC can point to at least one case of blatant political payback by Caribou Barbie. And it involves candidate Joe Miller.

Shortly after the Alaska Legislative Council undertook its investigation of Troopergate, Joe Miller, on September 16, 2008, representing five Interior Alaska citizens, filed a lawsuit to stop the Alaska Legislative Council from looking into the scandal. He also wrote an opinion piece for the September 22, 2008 Catholic News Agency, extolling his theories and a pretty distorted statement of the facts. On October 16, 2008, just a month later, he voluntarily dismissed the case after a parallel case in Anchorage had been shot down. Think about it: the Judicial Branch telling the Legislative Branch what it can and cannot do about the Executive Branch. WC would assume a constitutional expert like Candidate Miller would know about the doctrine of separation of powers and know not to go there.

But before quitting, Palin demonstrated her gratitude to Joe Miller for his efforts. The Alaska Judicial Council selects nominees for judgeships in Alaska. Three of the positions are appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the Senate. It’s a compensated position. Palin nominated Kathleen Tompkins-Miller – Mrs. Joe Miller – to fill one of those three seats. Her qualifications, as shown in her resume and at her confirmation hearing on February 20, 2009, seem to have been she was the mother of 8 kids, worked in her husband’s law office and “knew a lot of lawyers.” And, of course, her husband had been helpful to Sarah Palin.

You don’t have to go to law school in Chicago to see the obvious connection.

Some of WC’s readers may think irony is rusty water. WC thinks irony is Palin running against corruption, and then engaging in patent Chicago-style political patronage and cronyism. And avowed maverick candidate Joe Miller jumping at the chance to put his wife in a six year part-time job.


6 thoughts on “Ironically, She was Supposed to Fight Corruption

  1. On the surface; the actions of Sarah and others on her team appear contradictory, hypocritical, confusing and even dirty.

    Confusing one’s opponents and playing “dirty” are time tested and reliable tactics in the art of winning.

    When winning is valued above all else; all actions are seen as justifiable as long as they work.

    • WC doesn’t think it is contradictory or confusing. For political hacks like Palin and Miller, if it serves their interests, they will unhesitatingly do it. They don’t even think to consider the public interest.

  2. [Edited to correct an error described in a later comment]

    This piece operates well as your own critique of your own piece, Judging Judges. If there are faults in the IL system for electing judges, as you pointed out the risk of corrupting influences, then this points to a similarly grave concern–and weakness–of our own system. After all, the appointment of just one whose objective is political manages to assign a 1/6 vote to that domain. (The CJ votes to break a tie.) Each system has its disadvantages and neither is pure. Unlike WC, before AK I was in a state of an elected judiciary but no tradition of corrupting influences. In that environment, an electorate can cancel out bad influences, and one does not find one-sixth of the electorate that is questionable. The judicary was the equal of AK’s–easily–and far more diverse in so many aspects, which is another attribute that an engaged electorate can bring about more easily than our system.
    Paul B. Eaglin
    user: paul2eaglin

    • Fair points. But the Alaska Judicial Council members serve six year terms. The Alaska Bar Association fills three seats; the Governor and Legislature three seats. The Chief Justice is picked by the Alaska Supreme Court. It’s designed to be tough to “pack.”

      By contrast, corrupt political systems last a long time. Tammany Hall in New York City; the Daley Machine in Chicago; those wielded power for decades.

  3. Several years ago, I was part of a “project” where Palin’s Gubernatorial donor list was being compared to her list of appointees. After comparing to past governors, it seems that Palin, as far as anyone knew, appointed the most obscene number of donors anyone had ever seen. She had a special penchant for appointing their spouses…especially if those spouses regularly used a different name.

    FYI–Sean Parnell has gotten rid of exactly NONE of Palin’s appointees…it’s as if there was some kind of weird agreement…or something…

Comments are closed.