Pro-con: Did ‘Troopergate’ investigation vindicate Palin?

Democratic state senator and staunch Barack Obama supporter Hollis French of Alaska boasted in early September that he would provide an “October Surprise” which would upset the McCain-Palin campaign. The investigator he hired, Steve Branchflower, has given birth to a bloated and redundant 263-page report which boils down to two paragraphs that completely contradict one another. The Branchflower report is a series of guesses and insupportable conclusions drawn by exactly one guy. It contains no new bombshells in terms of factual revelations. It’s just Steve Branchflower’s opinion that he thinks Gov. Palin had, at worst, mixed motives for an action that even Branchflower admits she unquestionably had both the complete right to perform and other very good reasons to perform. – Hugh Hewitt,

Sarah Palin’s reaction to the Legislature’s Troopergate report is an embarrassment to Alaskans and the nation. She claims the report “vindicates” her and the investigation found “no unlawful or unethical activity on my part.” In plain English: She did something “unlawful.” She broke the state ethics law. Palin trumpeted the report’s second finding: that she was within her legal authority to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. But the report also said one of the likely reasons she fired him was his failure to get rid of her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Palin and her husband felt passionately about Wooten because the case was personal to them. They had no sense that the power of the governor’s office carries a special responsibility not to use it to settle family scores. – Anchorage Daily News editorial