Hundreds of Alaskans rally to protest Palin on 'troopergate'

ANCHORAGE — A protest rally blasting Gov. Sarah Palin's handling of the state's so-called troopergate investigation -- and calling for the attorney general to resign -- drew 1,000 or more people in Anchorage on Saturday.

Protesters chanted "Recall Palin!" as organizers told the crowd to push state legislators to keep after their investigation into the governor's firing of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

The investigator hired by the Legislature is scheduled to present his report on Oct. 10.

"This report needs to be released. Not just for us ... it needs to be released for all those people in the Lower 48 who are going to make a decision on Nov. 4," Democratic blogger Linda Kellen Biegel told hundreds of protesters.

Earlier, hundreds of people lined a nearby street, waving signs that said "Steady on her heels, wobbly on her words" and "Tina Fey would do a better job" at passing cars. A group calling itself Alaskans for Truth organized the event, which at times resembled a Barack Obama campaign rally.

Anchorage singer-songwriter Libby Roderick led the crowd in a chorus of "We're gonna keep on moving forward" and "Stand tall for Obama," while Obama volunteers signed up supporters under a nearby tent.

Next to the Obama fliers sat petitions calling for Attorney General Talis Colberg to be removed from his job.

On July 28, the Legislative Council -- a bipartisan group of 12 state lawmakers -- voted to launch an abuse-of-power investigation into Palin's firing of Monegan.

Palin initially said she'd cooperate with the investigation. Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain announced Palin as his running mate Aug. 29, and the McCain camp has argued that the investigation became a partisan witchhunt spurred by Democrats.

Colberg is suing to quash the Legislature's subpoenas of Palin aides in what's become a turf battle between the state's executive and legislative branches of government.

Nicole McCullough came to the rally with her grand-niece and grand-nephew -- twins born the day before Palin's youngest son, Trig. McCullough wore a pitbull mask with large red lips, a reference to a Palin's joke about hockey moms at the Republican National Convention.

A Hillary Clinton supporter earlier in the election, McCullough called Palin "a female Dan Quayle" and carried a sign that read: "Gov. Pitbull, call off your McCain dogs.

It's a reference to the McCain spokespeople and attorneys, including the self-described "Truth Squad" that's been defending the governor in regular Anchorage press conferences.

"She's had a lot of outside lawyers coming into the state ... and I think they're just being in the way of our legislative process," McCullough said.

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