Saturday, February 19, 2011

Frank Bailey swings at Sarah Palin, misses

As he shops a made-up, mendacious manuscript
In an unpublished manuscript by former Palin aide Frank Bailey, the false claim is made that while Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin named Morgan Christen to the state Supreme Court because Judge Christen had taken the sided of Palin's sister Molly in a custody dispute with her husband at the time, Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. Bailey appears to be shopping to find a publisher for his manuscript, in which he writes that he had warned Palin that naming Christen would be a conflict of interest, but she allegedly ignored the advice.

Unfortunately for Bailey, what he contends just isn't so:
But a spokeswoman for the Alaska Court System said Bailey got his facts wrong. Christen was never the assigned judge in the Wooten custody case, didn't make any rulings in favor of either party, and played a "very limited role," according to Christine Johnson, administrative director for the court system.

Johnson said prior to applying for the Supreme Court Christen conducted a conference in the case, where both sides agreed to a settlement. Wooten and Palin's sister later had a dispute over what they'd agreed upon in the settlement and asked Christen to resolve it, Johnson said. But Christen sent it to another judge because she'd applied to the Supreme Court and had a conflict.
Under the state Constitution, Gov. Palin had to select from among the nominees sent to her by the seven-member Alaska Judicial Council, made up of lawyers, public members appointed by governors and the Supreme Court chief justice. Christen and Palmer Superior Court Judge Eric Smith were the two finalists. Both had been appointed as judges by her predecessor Democrat Tony Knowles. Both had past connections to left of center organizations.

The Council performs a bar poll of all applicants for Supreme Court justice positions by interviewing Alaskan attorneys about various qualities of the applicants, and rates them on a scale of 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest. Gov. Palin asked the council to send her all information it had on the two, reviewed the data, and made her choice.

Here's how the council scored Smith:

Professional Competence Integrity Fairness Judicial Temperament Suitability of Experience Overall Professional Performance
4.2 4.3 4.1 4.0 4.1 4.0

And here are its ratings for Christen:

Professional Competence Integrity Fairness Judicial Temperament Suitability of Experience Overall Professional Performance
4.5 4.6 4.5 4.5 4.5 4.5

As is clearly evident, Christen bettered Smith in every category. In our opinion, these ratings provide a much more reasonable answer to the question of why Gov. Palin picked Christen over Smith. But Bailey is trying to get a book deal, and in a crowded field of volumes already published about Sarah Palin, obviously has to float bogus charges that were long ago debunked and make things up to make his manuscript appeal to publishers. He should contact the Huffington Post, which is flush with millions of AOL's cash and has a history of printing lies about Gov. Palin. Arianna and her crew would likely jump at the chance to smear Sarah Palin in hardcover and paperback.

h/t: Free Republic

- JP

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