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Report finds that Palin abused her authority

Republican Party vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was found guilty on Friday of abusing her gubernatorial power in the firing of an Alaska state trooper.

Though no punishment was suggested, the report issued by an investigator for the Alaska state legislature implies that an ethical violation did occur. According to the Independent, “the action was partly motivated by the official's refusal to bow to pressure to dismiss Trooper Michael Wooten, whose marriage to Mrs. Palin's sister ended in acrimonious divorce.?

The Independent speculated on the impact this release will have on the McCain campaign, devoting much of its length to the problems that the Republican candidate continues to face.

The Wall Street Journal, on the other hand, examined the particulars of the findings of the probe, as well as the response given to the media by Palin’s camp. The article emphasized that there was no ethical violation in the dismissal of Walt Monegan, the Commissioner of Public Safety; it only was problematic that Palin used her authority to try to fire Wooten.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “Gov. Palin's spokesman issued a statement saying the investigation ‘vindicated the governor by finding that she acted within her constitutional authority to remove 'at-will' employees,’ referring to her commissioner.?

The general facts given in both articles were nearly identical, though the Independent was not as clear as the Wall Street Journal about which of Palin’s actions or decisions were considered unethical. However, considering the fact that the Independent is a paper from the United Kingdom, the extensive coverage given to the incident is very telling of the importance being placed on the U.S. elections throughout the world.