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First posted on Sep. 22, 2008
Add: Sep. 23, 08
|Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has every right to change out a department head,|
but an Alaska legislative committee is investigating as if there could be wrongdoing.
The single heads of each principal department "serve at the pleasure of the governor" according to the Alaska State Constitition and Alaska statute.
(The Governor does not have to give a reason when she fires a department head. See exact text of the law below.)
|Governor Palin appointed Walt Monegan to be the Public Safety
Commissioner shortly after she was elected in 2006. She terminated him
from that post on July 11, 2008.|
Not much of a reason was given at the time. A Palin spokesman at the time
simply indicated: "Palin wanted the public safety department headed in
a new direction". Governor Palin offered Walt Monegan another post -
executive director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. Walt
Monegan declined that offer.
Some have speculated that the
reason Palin fired Monegan was because he didn't take steps to fire a
state trooper in his department named Michael Wooten. Wooten is the
ex-husband of Sarah Palin's younger sister, Molly McCann. Molly McCann
and Mike Wooten were involved in a bitter divorce in 2005.
Governor Palin denies that that is the reason why she let go Walt Monegan.
feel that Governor Palin did nothing wrong at all. Since the former
Public Safety Commissioner was a high level political appointee, and
serves at the pleasure of the governor,
he could be fired for any
reason or no reason at all. Whether it's a personalty conflict,
policies differences, philosophical differences or whatever, the reason
is immaterial. All that mattered
is that the governor wanted a new person in that slot. That is a
We don't need a legislative investigation to try to figure out her thoughts. There should be no "thought crime"
or "reason crime" here. What matters is the actual action. Was it legal
to terminate Commissioner Walt Monegan without showing cause? Yes, it
But what does the Alaska State Constitution have to say about it?
3 of the Alaska Constitution has to do with the Executive branch of
government. Article 3, Section 25 is the key provision.Alaska Constituion, Article 3: ...
|Section 24. Supervision|
Each principal departement shall be under the supervision of the governor.
Section 25. Department Heads
head of each principal department shall be a single executive unless
otherwise provided by law. He shall be appointed by the governor,
subject to confirmation by a majority of the members of the legislature
in joint session, and
shall serve at the pleasure of the governor,
except as otherwise provided in this article with respect to the
secretary of state. The heads of all principal departments shall be
citizens of the United States.
Section 26. Boards and Commissions
a board or commission is at the head of a principal department or a
regulatory or a quasi-judicial agency, its members shall be appointed
by the governor, subject to confirmation by a majority of the members
of the legislature in joint session, and may be removed as provided by law.
They shall be citizens of the United States. The board or commission
may appoint a principal executive officer when authorizied by law, but
the appointment shall be subject to the approval of the governor.
What does "serve at the pleasure of the governor" really mean?
The State of Alaska publication from the Alaska Legislative Research Agency titled:
Alaska's Constitution A Citizen's Guide explains it (considering both section 24 and 25):
I added the red highligts.
24 specifies that each department is supervised by the governor, and, by making
the tenure of department heads dependent upon “the
pleasure of the governor,” the present section gives the governor the
means to make that supervision effective. In removing a department head, the governor does not, for example, have
to show “cause” (such as incompetence, neglect of duty, or moral turpitude) or
provide a public hearing, nor may the legislature impose conditions on the
removal of department heads (however, it may do so on the removal of certain commission members, as authorized in Section 26).|
To see the entire publication: Alaska Constitution A Citizen's Guide on the internet, go to:http://w3.legis.state.ak.us/docs/pdf/citizens_guide.pdf
about Article 3, Section 25: of the Alaska Constitution above: It
says: "...except as otherwise provided in this article with respect to
the secretary of state." This refers to the lieutenant governor. The governor can't fire the lieutenant governor which is an elected position.
On Aug. 25, 1970 an amendment to the Alaska Constitution was passed
that changed the name of the position "secretary of state" to
"lieutenant governor". They changed the name in several locations in
the constitution, but inadvertantly did not change it in Article 3,
Section 25. |
Article 3, Section 25 is the part that covers former Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.
|Section 26 does not cover the Public Safety Commissioner nor any of the single heads of the principal departments. (Those are covered in section 25 of Article 3.)|
Section 26 does cover multiple people that are on boards and commissions. These people that are members of boards and commissions do not
necessarily "serve at the pleasure of the governor". It is up to the
legislature to decide that. You will notice that section 26 of the
Alaska Constitution says: "...and may be removed as provided by law."
This mean that the legislature can write up a law on the
conditions for removing a board member. Section 26 doesn't say anything
about "serving at the pleasure of the governor", but section 25 does.
Section 25 does not have the words "...may be removed as provided by law." In
other words the legislature is not authorized to
interfere with the governor when he or she wants to change out one
of the principal department heads.
addition to the Alaska Constitution, the Alaska statutes also affirm
that a department head (such as the Commissioner of Public Safety)
"serves at the pleasure of the governor".
Title 39 of the Alaska Statues is titled: Public Officers and Employees
Sec. 39.05.020. Appointment of department heads.
The governor shall appoint the head of each principal executive
department in the state government. Each appointment is subject to confirmation
by a majority of the members of the legislature in joint session.
Sec. 39.05.030. Service at governor's pleasure.
Each principal executive officer serves at the pleasure of the governor.
More thoughts on the matter
far as I know, high level governmental (and political) appointees are
generally "at will" employees and serve at the pleasure of the
When a newly elected
governor comes into office, it is very customary for them to sweep out all of
the previously appointed department heads and appoint their own. It has also
happened many times where a governor or mayor or president replaces their own
appointees because they feel like it. They have a right to assemble a team that
they are comfortable with.
level government workers.
As far as lower down
government workers, they are not “at will” employees. We the
people, are the owners of our government, and don’t want our government
employees arbitrarily discarded. So reasons for dismissal become very important.
There are written regulations and statutes that must be followed concerning the
hiring and firing of our government workers.
The same thing goes for
a big private company. If we are stock holders of that company, we would want a
fair hiring and firing procedure written into the company policies. Why? -
Because we are interested in maximizing our profit. We want maximum wealth
production which is dependent on good employees. We do not want some middle
manager to arbitrarily fire some good employee, just so that he can stick his
bowling buddy into that position. We want to make sure that the threatened
employee has some redress within the company structure. He should be able to go
over the head of the middle manager. If there is some kind of personality
conflict, then we as stock holders of the company would like to make provisions
where by the employee could possibly be transferred to another department. Why?
Well, one reason is so that we won’t lose a productive employee that has already
been trained up. Another reason why we want company policies and a company
reputation that protects employees is so that all of our employees won’t be
stressed out and worry about being fired arbitrarily while they are doing a good
job. This will keep them happy and productive. We want to discourage them from
jumping ship. Also, if our company has a good reputation in its treatment of
employees, then our company will always have a good pool of applicants knocking
at our door. When it comes time to hire, we will have a better chance of getting
an excellent employee. If we had a bad reputation and had bad working
conditions, then we would have to substantially increase our wage offering to
attract suitable applicants. But since we are competing with other companies we
cannot increase our costs too much or we will go
pay salaries of political appointees
Back to the high level
government appointee – We the citizens are still paying the appointee’s
government salary, and so we certainly have the right through our legislature to
come up with some new regulations that says that the governor can terminate the
appointee only for “certain reasons” but not other specific reasons. And we
could even set up an appeal process for the appointee who is being threatened
But until such a change is made in print, we live by the rules and
customs we have. Also, in certain cases we would have to amend the
state constitution in order to change the rules for firing a political
Clinton Impeachment in 1998
I am concerned about
the Palin / “Troopergate” issue not just because I support the McCain / Palin
ticket, but rather because the investigation smacks of an area where we are losing
our freedoms in this country – “thought crimes”. I’ll touch on that again further below.
I (as just a citizen writing letters and calling on the radio talk shows)
came to the vigorous defense of President Clinton during the impeachment
proceedings way back in 1998. I wrote scores of letters (in 1998) to republican congressmen and
republican senators asking them not to impeach and not to convict Clinton. The impeachment
proceedings had to do with “perjury” and “obstruction of justice”. These stemmed
from President Clinton’s association with Monica Lewinsky. Clinton and Lewinsky
were forced to answer questions about their relationship in a deposition. This
was because of an earlier legal action by Paula
What I objected to
was a change in the “Federal Rules of Evidence” that allowed attorneys to
cast a wide net in fishing expeditions in sexual harassment cases. This law was
passed in 1994 by the Democrat controlled congress. President Clinton signed the
bill into law.
Ironically, it was
the very same law that ensnared President Clinton. He was impeached in December
1998 by the U.S. House of Representatives. Fortunately, he was not “convicted” by the
I came to President
Clinton’s defense during the impeachment proceedings, not because I liked him (I
never voted for him), but because I so much opposed the “Rules of Evidence”
provision that he had signed into law 4 years earlier. I saw that law as one
more bite out of our American freedoms.
Sarah Palin should not be called “gate”, because there is no physical wrongful
In “Watergate” there
was an illegal break-in into a private office at the Watergate apartments in
Washington D.C. and an illegal tapping of a phone (in
1972). But the firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan on July 11, 08
was perfectly legal.
investigated by an Alaska legislative committee, is Sarah Palin’s
thoughts and her reasons. Subpoenas have been issued. To me that is a scary
thing when there is no wrongful action involved.
it is proper for the government to probe into a person’s thoughts and
Example: If Jack is on trial for
killing a person, it is necessary to find out if it was murder in the
1st or 2nd degree or manslaughter. Perhaps there are
extenuating circumstances and Jack is guilty of no crime. Every physical event
of the case needs to be analyzed, and Jack’s thoughts and reasons need to be
analyzed. Was he frightened, angry, resentful, jealous or temporarily insane?
Did Jack feel threatened? Did he feel someone close to him was threatened? Did
he think that the person that was killed was someone else? Perhaps it was an
accident. What was Jack thinking during the few seconds prior to the killing?
What did he do after the killing and what were his reasons for doing
All of the above
questions from the government (in court) are pertinent in this case where a
serious and bad action has been committed.
But these type of
probing questions are not pertinent for Ralph
prefers Wendy’s over McDonald’s
Example: For 5 years, Ralph
went out of his way to avoid a nearby McDonald’s restaurant and spent extra gas
to regularly patronize a distant Wendy’s. Who knows what his reasons were, it’s
not the government’s business. It may very well be that he has a fierce
prejudice against clowns. Or maybe he has an irrational and
unjustified dislike of some of the people that work at
The government still
does not have a right to issue him a subpoena and probe his thoughts and
reasons, even if his thoughts are dark and malicious. Why? – Because the
physical action of avoiding McDonalds is not a crime. We still have some
individual freedom in this country.
(This is just an example. I like McDonald's just fine.)
Thought crimes have
arrived in this country, unfortunately. We have lost some of our freedoms during
the last few decades. It is a continuous political struggle to hold onto the
freedoms that we have and to not slide further into the abyss of governmental
Granted, it’s not
thoughts alone that will get a person into trouble with the government. What can
get a person into trouble are thoughts and reasons combined with certain
physical actions that by themselves are perfectly
The federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 is an
example of this type of thought or reason violation. In other words it is
perfectly legal for a private company to terminate an old person. That is a
fundamental freedom in a free country. But in a country that has lost some of
its freedoms, it is not necessarily legal to fire an old person. It depends on
what the reason (thought) was.
This Age Discrimination in Employment Act "protects" me from
being fired from a private sector job since I (Randy Griffin) am over
40 years old. But I do not not like this kind of
"protection". I can stand on my own 2 feet. I do not need to ride up on
the shoulders of the federal government. I consider this law to be an
insult to me and to the U.S. Constitution. It should be wiped off the
common to probe into another person’s thoughts.
A friend may ask
another: A penny for your thoughts? A mother may say to her child: You set that
glass of milk right where it could get knocked over. What were you thinking? We
ask for other people’s thoughts and reasons all the time. That’s perfectly
Sometimes, we take
actions based on what we find out about other’s
A man has been
interested in a certain lady. But he finds out that she thinks he is stupid for
having a beer bottle collection on display at his home. But he is proud of his
200 bottle collection from all around the world. He takes the action of avoiding
her from now on.
A father finds out
that his daughter thinks horses are the most wonderful creatures. So the action
he takes is to get her a horse for her birthday.
In these 2 cases the
men had the right to take the actions that they took based on other people’s
the government have the right to ask you for your
Sure. Just like a
pollster can call you up and ask for your opinion.
Does the government
have the right to punch you in the nose or fine you for certain thoughts and
opinions? No, they certainly should not.
But in fact the
government can fine you for certain “bad” thoughts when combined with certain
normally acceptable actions. It’s a sad situation.
anti-discrimination laws directed to the private sector that I allude to, foster
mediocrity and diminish the productivity and strength of this nation in my
powerful government vs. individual liberty
For several thousand
years, there has been a struggle between those that want to go in the direction
of an all powerful government and those that want to preserve individual
freedom. This struggle will always be with us. Many times in history, societies
have been under the yoke of an all powerful government for many generations.
More recently we can look at the old Soviet
Union starting in 1917. Millions of people were brutalized and
murdered under the hammer of that regime. A few rays of freedom were able to
shine in starting in the 1980’s due to some brave Russian reformers and due to
efforts from outside the Soviet Union (the United
The fate that has
befallen other societies can befall us in the United States.
We are not immune. It takes eternal vigilance and constant citizen effort to
keep us from sliding toward governmental
We have lost many
freedoms in this country and we citizens wear many handcuffs, but thankfully we
still have many freedoms left.
During George H. W.
Bush’s (41, the elder Bush) presidency, a handcuff was added with the passage of the Americans
with Disability Act.
Clinton’s presidency our bondage increased with the passage of the Family
Medical Leave Act.
With the possibility
of Barack Obama as president, additional bondage and inefficiency looms for our
country, in my opinion: Specifically ENDA (Employment Non Discrimination Act) and the Employee
Free Choice Act.
for God of some form
Not all left wingers
want total government. Some just want a moderate increase in government control
and a moderate loss of freedom. There are differing motives that may drive
But I believe there are
many left wingers that adhere to the secular religion of Governmental Omnipotence.
Through out history most human beings have searched for or pondered on the
existence of some type of god. Mankind has sought the security that a higher
power could afford – something that could bring needed rain, help with a
successful hunt or protect them from natural disasters and other enemies. They
have given thanks and offerings in order to stay on the good side of the god
that they sought.
humans have postulated that a god exists as an explanation for the amazing and
mysterious natural phenomena that they witness.
Then of course there
is the desire for eternal life. Also many people seek to discover hints as to
the rhyme, reason, purpose and plan of this whole conscious existence thing.
Rhyme, reason, purpose and plan implies the existence of a planner or higher
governing authority. A supernatural governing authority in turn gives people
comfort because it assures them that there is a supreme intelligence at the
Many people reject the
idea of a supernatural god. However the reasons why people seek a god are still
present. Rather than seek a supernatural god, some people, on at least a
subconscious level, seek a secular god. This secular god can take the form of an
all powerful (but benevolent) government. The ultimate Nirvana for them would be
a one world government.
I, Randy Griffin, personally believe in a supernatural god. By
"supernatural" I mean above and beyond our natural 3 dimensional
Some people believe
that such a governmental system could do much good. It could prevent wars.
Massive defense spending would no longer be necessary. That money could instead
be spent on health care, education, day care and nutrition. They feel that such
a one world government would have enormous resources to do good. Thousands of
talented and dedicated government workers could pool there efforts to solve
global problems. The culmination of such a talented bureaucracy would be an
omniscient, wise and all caring government.
The adherents to a
one world government feel that it would give us a wonderful feeling of oneness
and camaraderie with our brothers and sisters around the globe. We could sing
and sway in unison.
The disciples of one
world government know that the dream of a one world government cannot be
achieved in a short time. They feel that there are too many people with archaic
and petty nationalistic feelings. A patient gradualism must be used to
accomplish the grand end of a united global
progression of small steps must be taken:
1.) Increase paternal
governmental power within each country, which in turn diminishes individual
freedoms and responsibilities.
2.) Diminish and
ultimately eliminate private firearm ownership.
3.) Bring the
States down to parity with other countries so
that it can be comfortably merged with other countries. (This includes both in
the areas of defense capability and economic
The pro one world
government adherents within the United
States, recognize that the free enterprise United
States is the single biggest impediment to the
dream of a united global government. Therefore labor laws that allow for union
strangulation of the domestic American car industry are not a bad thing in their
view, because that helps reduce American productivity to the point of parity
with other nations.
Likewise union laws
that support the stranglehold by the National Education Association on the
American education system is not a bad thing, because that helps advance
leftwing indoctrination in the schools and at the same time contributes to the
reduction of educational excellence. This in turn aids in the ability to lead
the American people into collectivism. That's my opinion anyway.
Omnipotence Belief – GOB
Most of the disciples
of GOB are decent and well meaning people. But I believe that they are mistaken.
Creation of a one world government would be a horrible and perhaps irreversible
mistake. Freedom can only be guaranteed through the separation of powers. If a
benevolent one world government became a malevolent one world government, the
world citizens would have no where to escape.
I would call a leader
who leads the call for a one world government - a Governmental Omnipotence
Belief Leader of the Ignorant and Na´ve.
For short I would label
them a GOBLIN.
GOBLINs are not
necessarily bad people. They are simply practitioners of their secular religion
of Governmental Omnipotence Belief or GOBism. They have every right to engage in
their religion according to the First Amendment of the United States
But we pro Americanism
people have every right to speak out in favor of preserving our
Written and paid for by Randy S. Griffin, PO Box 73653, Fairbanks, Alaska, 99707
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