McCain campaign tries to quell ‘Troopergate’

(AP) – The last straw, the McCain campaign said, was in July, when Monegan planned to travel to Washington to seek federal money for a plan to assign troopers, judges and prosecutors who could exclusively handle sexual assault cases — one of the state’s most intractable crime problems.

In a July 7 e-mail, John Katz, the governor’s special counsel, noted two problems with the trip: The governor hadn’t agreed the money should be sought, and the request was “out of sequence with our other appropriations requests and could put a strain on the evolving relationship between the Governor and Sen. (Ted) Stevens.”

Four days later, Monegan was fired.

Sexual Assault Case Processing in Anchorage, Alaska

A recent Justice Center examination of sexual assault case processing shows that close to 60 percent of cases referred by the Anchorage Police Department to the Alaska Department of Law result in a conviction on some charge–although not necessarily the original charge. The number of cases referred, however, is less than 20 percent of those reported.

Anchorage has a very high incidence of reported rape. Between 2000 and 2003, the rate of reported forcible rape in Anchorage was 163 percent higher than in the U.S. as a whole. Over the past twenty years, Anchorage has been consistently at or near the top of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas for rates of reported forcible rape.

Alaska Office of Victims’ Rights

GOP lawmakers sue to stop Palin investigation

On Tuesday, three state representatives and two state senators sued Democratic Sen. Hollis French, who is overseeing the investigation; Juneau Democratic Sen. Kim Elton, who heads the Legislative Council; independent investigator Steve Branchflower; and the Legislative Council itself.

The lawsuit seeks to either delay the investigation until after the Nov. 4 general election or remove French and Elton.

“There is no nonpartisan reason to complete this investigation until after the election,” said Anchorage attorney Kevin G. Clarkson. “We just want to take the politics out of it and bring fairness back into it.”

Clarkson said he and a nonprofit legal firm in Texas, Liberty Legal Institute, were donating their work on the suit. A phone message for French was not immediately returned.

The Legislative Council, made up of four Democrats and eight Republican, voted unanimously to investigate the circumstances of Monegan’s dismissal.

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    "But I will not let myself be reduced to silence."

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