10.01.2008 0

Hollis French and the Palin Witch Trial

  • On: 10/22/2008 15:06:09
  • In: Hard Left
  • URGENT ALG Editor’s note: The ALG News op-ed below was written before both Democrat and Republican members of the Alaska legislature began demanding an end to the Hollis French Palin Witch Trial. All of the information contained is still operative and lends substantiation to the revelations now coming out about Mr. French and his dubious connections.

    ALG News is now in possession of additional information. We will keep you posted.



    The evidence is now in on Hollis French, the Democrat party functionary and Obama operative now orchestrating the inquisition into Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

    And it tells the story of a man so obsessed with party politics and personal vendettas that he is unable to control his own base instincts for bludgeoning his opponents – and then lying to cover his bloody tracks.

    In fact, if the Republican members of the Alaska Senate had even a modicum of courage, they would bring Hollis French up on ethics charges before the end of the week. Enough talk. Get it done.

    When Mr. French was appointed Project Director of the Legislative Council charged with examining the firing of Walter Monegan, he promised that investigation would be “professional, unbiased, independent, and objective and conducted at arm’s length from the political process.”

    That, it turns out, was a lie. And, the fact is, French had begun his unprofessional, biased and bare knuckled witch hunt even before he wormed his way onto the Legislative Council star chamber.

    The star chamber did not officially begin its proceedings until Monday, July 28, 2008. Yet, in December, 2007, French had already held a press conference with Monegan, whom the senator considers a close friend, to announce their joint efforts to undercut the Palin Administration by having the Safety Commissioner present his own budget in defiance of the Governor’s instructions.

    So, the political fix was in. And that was just the beginning. On July 11, after Monegan continued to defy the Governor’s explicit instructions concerning the budget, she secured his resignation. And Hollis French was waiting in the wings.

    Just 10 days later, on Tuesday, July 21, French and Monegan appeared on KUDO radio’s popular Cary Carrigan show together and talked about getting an aggressive prosecutor to prove the existence of “a complex crime”. French stated that he was “angry” that his friend Walt Monegan got fired.

    Then, setting the stage for the “cover-up” charges he knew he would eventually spring, he observed, “Usually it’s not the initial wrongdoing so much as the cover-up, and we’re seeing that now with some of the conflicting statements coming out of the administration.” At that point, it’s important to note, the state Senate had not even commissioned a full investigation, and the Governor had answered all inquiries both from her political opponents and the press.

    In fact, it wasn’t until July 28 that the state Legislative Council actually approved hiring an independent investigator to look into Monegan’s firing and any abuse of power. But, the investigator, however – one Steve Branchflower — turned out not to be quite so independent. Though French had promised to that the investigator would be “independent of me and everyone else,” it turned out that Mr. Branchflower had his own strong ties to Walter Monegan.

    Branchflower served as an Assistant District Attorney in Anchorage from 1974-1998, holding numerous positions requiring him to work extremely closely with the Anchorage Police Department. In 1974, Walt Monegan joined that same police force, rising up through the ranks to become chief in 2001. During that time, Branchflower provided legal advice to APD officers, trained APD officers, and was even a co-founder of the APD’s Homicide Response Team. Branchflower’s wife, Linda, also worked as a detective for the APD, not retiring until 2002, and working under Walt Monegan.

    In a 2001 interview with the Anchorage Daily News, Linda Branchflower crowed of Monegan, “Monegan is a respected supervisor because he listens to his employees and isn’t afraid to change course if something isn’t working out.”

    And it gets worse. No sooner had French installed Monegan colleague Branchflower in power than the senator began upping ante in his inquisition.

    On September 2, 2008 – in direct violation of his pledge to conduct a “professional, unbiased, independent, and objective” investigation, the vitriolic politician bragged to ABC News that he had an “October Surprise” in store for Sarah Palin” that would be “damaging to the administration.”

    Taking a direct jab at the McCain campaign, the Obama “Team Alaska” leader then added, “If they had done their job properly, they never would have picked her.”

    So much for the political operative’s commitment to conduct the investigation “at arm’s length from the political process.”

    On September 5, alarmed by French’s blatant violations of the Legislative Council’s clear-cut instructions and his own promise of objectivity, state Senator John Coghill sent a letter to Council chairman Kim Elton asking that French be removed from his position. Wrote Coghill: “Sen. French appears to be steering the direction of the investigation, its conclusion, and its timing in a manner that will have maximum partisan political impact on the national and state elections.”

    Not surprisingly, Elton turned Coghill down flat. Not surprisingly, because not only is Mr. Elton one of Hollis French’s fellow Senate Democrats – he is also a fellow leader on Barack Obama’s Alaska “Action Team” hit squad, who has contributed $2,250 to the Obama campaign.

    So now, Obama operative Hollis French had the table completely set – with razor-sharp cutting knives. He had openly violated Council’s strict guidelines on objectivity. He had brazenly announced that he was dervishly preparing an “October Surprise,” and he had handpicked a Monegan cohort as the “independent” investigator. It was time to turn up the heat and assure that no trace of equanimity entered the scene.

    To do that, he needed to make sure certain that Branchflower didn’t “get off the reservation” and make some sort of errant attempt to be impartial. The appearance of impartiality was fine – and, in fact, French had feigned such early on, telling KTUU-TV that Branchflower would take “an independent, unbiased, objective look at what happened.”

    Such, of course, was not to be the case, as French seized control of the investigation:

    • When Palin’s attorney, Thomas Van Flein requested witness statements and documentary evidence, French instructed Branchflower not to comply telling Van Flein, “Your letter also requests a copy of all witness statements Mr. Branchflower has secured. I have instructed him to not comply with that request.”

    • Likewise, in response to Van Flein’s request for adequate time to vet the witness list, French wrote, “I have instructed Mr. Branchflower to adhere to the witness interview schedule that he has worked assidiously to set up.”

    • At a hearing on Friday, September 12, when Rep. David Guttenberg (D.) asked Branchflower why he was requesting subpoenas for only those people attending a meeting key to the investigators case and not Mike Tibbles, Palin’s chief of staff who conducted the meeting, French’s ironfisted control became all the more apparent. Branchflower said he would “have to defer that question to Mr. French,” adding, “I put the list together with, talking to Mr. French.” Pressed for a more responsive answer, Branchflower conceded, “I’m not sure why his name was removed. My initial request was to have him on the list.”

    In Hollis French, the Obama campaign has found the perfect tool for eviscerating its most dreaded opponent: Sarah Palin. He is a man with a relentless antipathy for those he hates, a ruthless zealotry for those he supports, a thorough lack of ethical restraint, and a decided penchant for prevarication. Indeed, in its September 15 report on the French-orchestrated inquisition, CNN reported, “He denies working for the Obama campaign.” And never mind his picture front and center on the Obama web site.

    Now, it’s up to the Republican members of the Alaska legislature to decide whether they will let this rapacious predator continue tracking his victim’s blood through the great north’s frozen tundra.

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