Sarah Palin Husband, Todd, Emerges as Powerful Shadow Figure in Scandal

September 13, 2008

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s abuse of power scandal in Alaska is centering on her husband, Todd Palin, who it turns out, wields considerable behind-the-scenes power in the state government, even though he has no official job. He’s also the latest to be subpoenaed in the investigation into Sarah Palin’s firing of the state public safety director.

Meanwhile political maneuvering is underway in the state capital to delay the probe until after the Nov. 4 election. Republican state legislators were stymied, however, after GOP state Sen. Charlie Huggins, who represents Palin’s hometown of Wasilla, sided with Democrats. “Let’s just get the facts on the table,” said Huggins, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

Sarah Palin is under investigation for allegedly abusing her power by firing public safety director Walt Monegan, after he refused to fire Mike Wooten, a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce and custody battle with the governor’s sister. Palin claims Monegan was let go because of a budget dispute.

Stephen Branchflower, who is investigating the case, obtained the subpoena for Todd Palin from the state Senate Judiciary Committee. Branchflower also wants to interview the governor but chose to exclude her from the 13-person list of subpoena targets. He called Todd Palin “a central figure” in the scandal.

Palin was portrayed at the Republican National Convention as an affable oil-rig worker and championship snowmachine racer. But news broke this week that he is also a powerful shadow figure in his wife’s administration. Despite holding no government position, he attends official meetings and is copied on e-mails concerning state business, according to the Anchorage newspaper.

The McCain campaign released a statement from Alaska Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell, blaming Democrats. “I’m disappointed by the complete hijacking of what should be a fair and objective process,” the Republican said, calling the investigation a “smear.”

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