So much for transparency and accountability

SO MUCH FOR TRANSPARENCY AND ACCOUNTABILITY…. When Sarah Palin’s “troopergate” scandal first broke, the investigation was supposed to go smoothly. Everyone involved emphasized the importance of “transparency.” The governor told state lawmakers and the public that she welcomed the investigation, saying, “Hold me accountable.” The support for the probe was bipartisan, the governor’s office was anxious to cooperate and clear the air, and there wasn’t even any need for subpoenas.

So much for that idea.

The McCain campaign said [last night] that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) “won’t speak with an investigator hired by lawmakers to look into the firing of her public safety commissioner” in the controversy known as “Troopergate.” The campaign declared the investigation to be “tainted,” despite the fact that the five-member committee is composed of three Republicans and two Democrats. Palin had previously agreed to cooperate and thus was not subpoenaed.

And just as Palin is breaking her word about cooperating with the investigation, five Republicans in the Alaskan legislature filed a lawsuit today, asking a state judge to end the probe altogether.

On a related note, Palin is also claiming executive privilege to shield her gubernatorial emails from scrutiny from investigators. Asked about her refusal to cooperate today, Palin, according to an AP account, “looked up, smiled — and then stepped wordlessly into her waiting car.”

This is, of course, the same Palin who boasted to a Colorado audience yesterday, “We’re going to make everything more open, and more accountable, and more attractive to those who want to serve.” There’s no word on whether she was able to say the line with a straight face.

It’s a reminder that sometimes, when controversial political figures act like they have something to hide, it’s because they have something to hide.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.