POLITICS

Before Troopergate, Palin Said Tough Investigations "Healthy For Democracy"

11/01/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

As the state investigation into Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's alleged role in firing a state trooper has effectively been stalled until after the election, so has it fallen from front pages.

But Democrats aren't through pressing the matter -- with some passing around a Palin op-ed from December 2004 in which Palin called for an independent, legislature-approved investigation into a corruption charge dogging a different Alaska official.

"When Alaska's top attorney is accused of law violations, it's imperative to follow proper investigation procedures to ensure independence and thoroughness. Alaskans deserve this," Palin wrote in the Anchorage Daily News, adding that such probes were "healthy for democracy."

At the time, Palin was disappointed over attorney general Gregg Renkes's decision to only submit to an executive-branch investigation over his alleged wrongdoing. "The governor, instead, hired his own counsel, paid for by the state, to investigate his long-time friend, confidant and campaign manager," Palin wrote. "The report could be filtered through attorney-client privilege before public release. Let's instead follow statute because all involved deserve a fair, legal hearing. Despite those in Juneau who think otherwise, it's healthy for democracy to ask questions. And I'll bet there are hockey moms and housewives all across this great state who agree."

But as ABC News has reported, now that Palin is the subject of a probe, she herself is only willing to cooperate with an executive-branch inquiry, as opposed to the more robust legislature-approved panel approved by both Republicans and Democrats in Alaska.

Initially, Palin had pledged cooperation with the legislature's investigation. She changed her position after joining the GOP ticket, claiming that probe was politically biased and that the legislature lacked constitutional authority to investigate her. She argued the proper venue was the three-member Personnel Board -- part of the executive branch -- and filed a complaint against herself, saying she "welcomed" its investigation.

In a sharply worded statement to the Huffington Post, a DNC spokesman accused Palin of backtracking.

"Governor Palin's double standard on transparency and accountability is further proof that a McCain-Palin Administration would continue the secrecy America has suffered under in the Bush-Cheney era. That's not the change we need. America cannot afford four more years of secrecy, hypocrisy and failed policies from the Bush-McCain-Palin Republicans," said DNC spokesman Damien LaVera.

A email request for a response from an RNC spokesperson was not returned.

Suggest a correction