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Old August 29th 08, 01:11 PM posted to
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Investigation dogs Alaska governor

By STEVE QUINN Aug 14, 2008

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) Gov. Sarah Palin, a rising young GOP star
mentioned as a possible running mate for John McCain, could see her
clean-hands reputation damaged by a growing furor over whether she tried
to get her former brother-in-law fired as a state trooper.

A legislative panel has launched a $100,000 investigation to determine
if Palin dismissed Alaska's public safety commissioner because he would
not fire the trooper, Mike Wooten. Wooten went through a messy divorce
from Palin's sister.

Palin has denied the commissioner's dismissal had anything to do with
her former brother-in-law. And she denied orchestrating the dozens of
telephone calls made by her husband and members of her administration to
Wooten's bosses.

Palin said she welcomes the investigation: "Hold me accountable."

Still, the allegations she abused her office could prove embarrassing
for Palin, who got elected in 2006 on an ethics reform platform.

"It could be a bit of a knock on the clean-government issue in Alaska
she backed," said Shaun Bowler, a political scientist at the University
of California at Riverside.

Referring to Republican Sen. Ted Stevens' recent indictment on
corruption charges and the bribery-and-conspiracy scandal that has
ensnared five former or current state lawmakers, GOP analyst John
Feehery said: "Right now, in Alaska all you have to do is say the word
'investigation' and people are going to be running away."

Nevertheless, Palin is still riding high in Alaska, where she
jump-started a project to build a natural gas pipeline and pushed
through a plan to send every resident $1,200 from the state's oil-rich
treasury to offset high fuel prices.

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Default Just in Case


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