Tag Archives: Alaska

Troopergate: The Invesitigation of Governor Sarah Palin

Some facts about the “independent investigator” Mr. Stephen E. Branchflower indicate he may not be as independent as the Troopergate Committee claims. Nor are the democrats leading/participating on the committee. The main power players in Troopergate are Senators’ Kim Elton, Hollis French, Bettye Davis, and Johnny Ellis. And in the photograph below, it’s not difficult to figure out who they support in the 2008 presidential election.

Obama's Alaskan Team

Obama's Alaska Team

Now, getting back to the so-called “independent investigator”, documents on the Anchorage Municipal website revealed Troopergate investigator Stephen E. Branchflower’s wife, retired Detective Linda J. Branchflower, served as an officer and later as a detective in the Anchorage Police Department (APD) from about 1985 until December 2001.  Linda Branchflower and Walter Monegan served together in the APD for almost the entire 16 years.

Walt Monegan joined the APD in 1974 and was promoted to APD Chief of Police in February 2001. He served as chief until his retirement around September 2006.

Anchorage Resolution No. AR 2001-364 indicated Detective Linda J. Branchflower was recognized for her almost 16 years of service in the APD by the Anchorage Assembly during the December 18th, 2001 regular session.

In his resume on aksenate.org, Mr. Branchflower indicated that he also enjoyed a close relationship with the APD, as a co-founder of the APD Homicide Response Team in 1985, and was commended for his work with the Homicide Response Team by the 16th Alaska Legislature in May 1989.

While the level of personal and professional relationships between Mr. and Mrs. Branchflower and Mr. Monegan has not been determined, the possible conflict of interest should be investigated before  Mr. Branchflower continues with the Troopergate investigation of Governor Sarah Palin.

On September 18, 2008, in an effort to verify the integrity of the independent investigation, a Freedom of Information Act request was initiated for “all documents pertaining to the Alaska State Legislature inquiry” into the Monegan matter, including all documents related to the hiring of Stephen Branchflower and the evaluation of any other candidates for the position; all communications between Mr. Branchflower, Mr. Monegan, Senators Kim Elton, Hollis French, and other members of the Legislative Council; all documents relating to communications between the parties and PSEA officials relating to the inquiry; all documents relating to communications between the parties and representatives of the Obama campaign; and all documents relating to communications between the parties and Andrew Halcro.


Governor Palin and the Bridge to Nowhere-The Facts

September 11, 2008

The following information was provided by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste.

CCAGW: BRIDGING THE KNOWLEDGE GAP ON THE “BRIDGE TO NOWHERE”

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today released a backgrounder on congressional funding for the bridge from Ketchikan to Gravina Island in Alaska, better known as the “Bridge to Nowhere.” The material addresses some of the questions raised about the history of the bridge and its ultimate demise.

“There has been much debate and even more speculation about how funds for the Bridge to Nowhere were first provided, Congress’s role in changing the nature of the funding, and the various options the state of Alaska had to build the bridge,” said CCAGW President Tom Schatz. “Many in the media and the public are providing an opinion when they should be providing the facts. We intend to continually update this document on our website as additional verifiable information becomes available.”

The Bridge to Nowhere was first funded in August 2005 through the 2005 SAFETEA-LU Act through a $223 million earmark inserted by then-House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Don Young (R-Alaska). In October, 2005, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) offered an amendment to the fiscal 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act to transfer $75 million in funding for the Bridge to Nowhere, along with money for the Knik Arm Bridge in Alaska, to support the rebuilding of the Twin Spans Bridge in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. His amendment was defeated by a vote of 15-82. Senators Biden (D-Del.) and Obama (D-Ill.) voted against the amendment; Sen. McCain (R-Ariz.) was not present for the vote.

In November, 2005, Congress included language in the final version of the fiscal 2006 Transportation Appropriations Act that allowed the state of Alaska to either spend money on the two bridges or on other surface transportation projects. In October, 2006, Alaska Governor Frank Murkowski included $91 million for the Gravina Island Bridge in his budget submission for fiscal year 2007. As a candidate for governor, Sarah Palin expressed a mixture of support and doubt about the bridge, particularly about how the project would be funded. As governor, she submitted her budget on January 17, 2007 without any money for the bridge. On July 17, 2007, the Associated Press reported that “The state of Alaska on Friday officially abandoned the ‘bridge to nowhere’ project that became a nationwide symbol of federal pork-barrel spending.” Governor Palin said in a statement that “Ketchikan desires a better way to reach the airport, but the $398 million bridge is not the answer.”

“Media reports that Congress killed the Bridge to Nowhere are not accurate,” said Schatz. “The 2006 transportation appropriations bill allowed Alaska to decide whether or not to move forward. Governor Murkowski said yes; Governor Palin said no. Any discussion about the project should begin with facts.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.