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Via Mudflats, which has become one of the go-to Alaska blogs for watching the slow-motion train wreck that is John McCain's loony tunes VP pick, comes this observation from the Anchorage Daily New's very conservative columnist Dan Fagan:

Most Alaskans don't seem to mind all the changing of stories, obvious delay tactics, coverups and pure obstruction of justice because they believe Palin was acting in the state's best interest when she, her husband and her staff over and over and over and over again told former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan and other trooper management how disappointed and confused they were Wooten was still on the job.

So why would the governor sacrifice her reputation as an honest and different kind of politician just to cover the fact that she was doing something for the public good? Why do she and her new handlers in the McCain camp believe there is something in Troopergate that could cost them the election?

The real damage to Palin from Troopergate comes with an injury claim involving trooper Wooten when he hurt his back while in the line of duty.

This is something I've seen emptywheel chasing down in the past few days. She's been asking just what the Troopergate investigator, Stephen Branchflower, was saying when he testified that he believed a key witness had had a "financial incentive" to lie to him in the course of his inquiry.

Specifically:

Independent investigator Steve Branchflower testified recently he believes someone in the governor's office tried to block Wooten's workers' compensation injury benefits.

Harbor Adjustment Services, the company hired by the state to process, evaluate and decide on workers' benefit claims, had great financial incentive in bowing to pressure from the governor to deny Wooten's injury claim.

Now, you can quibble about whether or not getting Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten -- Palin's estranged ex-brother in law -- fired from his job does anything to protect her family or her sister's family, as Palin herself still claims. Me, I can't see how making it hard for him to pay his bills protects anybody. But maybe the guy shouldn't be carrying a badge and gun. That's possible.

But what possible protective benefit is there in denying the guy's worker's compensation claim?

Palin's got no answer for that, and never will have one. Because there is not possible protective benefit in it. It's 100% pure, uncut spite. And it's using the trappings of high public office to twist the knife in a long-running and increasingly pathological personal vendetta, too.

Sick.

But it gets worse.

We know the governor's office was very interested in Wooten. Dianne Kiesel, a state employee with the Department of Administration, tells me former Palin chief of staff Mike Tibbles instructed her to walk Wooten's personnel file over to the governor's office.

And there is the governor's aide, Frank Bailey, caught on tape admitting he has information that came from Wooten's workers' comp file.

Oooooh boy. This lunatic really can't help herself!

Nor may she ever have the strength to. Because she's married to an equally sick enabler:

The very file that includes pictures, taken by none other than Todd Palin, of Wooten riding a snowmachine trying to prove the trooper was not injured.

Oh. My. God. Todd Palin stalked the guy and took secret photos of him!

These people are mentally disturbed.

John McCain owes it to America and the world to derail this insane nomination immediately. No ifs, ands or buts about it.

And every day the truth is delayed by McCain's continued stonewalling of the Alaska State Legislature's investigation is a stain on what's left of his crumbling reputation.

What incredible spite this man must have for the American voters!

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Tue Sep 23, 2008 at 03:26 PM PDT.

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