State to probe allegation of Mormon church role in Prop. 8

By Aurelio Rojas
arojas@sacbee.com

California’s political watchdog agency is investigating a complaint alleging the Mormon church failed to report non-monetary contributions to the Yes on 8 campaign, a state official said Monday.

The sworn complaint by a group called Californians Against Hate contends the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints organized phone banks from Utah and Idaho and sent direct mail to voters.

The complaint, filed four days after Californians voted to end gay marriage in the state, also alleges the Utah-based church transported people to California to walk precincts and distributed thousands of lawn signs and other campaign materials.

The church is also accused of establishing Web sites and producing commercials and other video broadcasts geared toward nonmembers.

Roman Porter, executive director of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said the agency sent a form letter last Friday to Fred Karger, founder of Californians Against Hate, informing him it would investigate the complaint.

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PAC wants lawmakers to follow-up on ‘troopergate’

By MARY PEMBERTON

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A new political action committee wants the Legislature to censure Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and bring contempt charges against her husband over the so-called Troopergate investigation.

Alaskans for Truth asked on Monday that the Legislature respond to an investigative report that found Palin had abused her office in firing Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. At issue was whether Palin and others pressured Monegan to fire a state trooper who was involved in a contentious divorce from Palin’s sister, and then fired Monegan when he wouldn’t dismiss the trooper.

Two probes were conducted. The first, a Legislative Council investigation led by special counsel Stephen Branchflower, found that Palin had abused her office but the firing was legal since Monegan was an at-will employee.

A subsequent investigation by the Alaska State Personnel Board found there was no probable cause to believe Palin nor any other state official violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act.

Palin maintains that Monegan was ousted over budget disagreements.

Alaskans for Truth, a PAC formed just last week, is calling for Palin to be censured, and that contempt charges be sought against her husband, Todd, based on the findings of the first report.

The group also wants hearings held to find out if Palin and her husband lied in sworn statements to the Personnel Board’s independent counsel, Timothy Petumenos.

The group also wants an independent investigation into whether there was witness tampering in advance of the Branchflower investigation, including that on the part of Alaska Attorney General Talis Colberg.

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