McCain – Obama Dance Off…Business Ethics? – NO… Campaign Fun? – YES!

October 27, 2008

As a 51 year old business ethics speaker, I must say…this presidential election has been interesting.  Not only is it historic but the level of creativity has been over the top.

For the younger generation – history has been made as the first black man in history has won the nomination of his party and is a viable candidate for president of the United States.  And, had it not been Obama chosen, then history would still have been made as the nomination of her party would have been a female.  Either way, this is an historic election.

Likewise, the selection of Sarah Palin as a VP candidate has been attention getting in and of itself.  Should McCain win – many will credit his victory to Sarah’s down home charm.  Should he lose – there is not doubt she will be blamed.  Either way the governor of Alaska has received national attention.

So…with a race that some say is not so close…what can we do to bring some excitement to this race.  Well…here’s a solution.  Click on this next link – give it time to download and enjoy.  As I said, the creativity that has come from all sectors is rather amazing.

Dance off

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Sarah Palin – Ethics Violation? I Violated Nothing!

October 11, 2008

Nothing more contentious than a hot presidential election, especially when everyone is looking for dirt – for that one fatal choice that could cost the election.  On Friday, it was reported that Palin violated Alaska ethics law when she tried to get her former brother-in-law fired.

Sarah claims – NO VIOLATION!

According to a report on CNN:

“If you read the report, you will see that there was nothing unlawful,” Palin said as she emerged from her hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

According to the report Palin violated state ethics law by trying to get her former brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator’s report for the bipartisan Legislative Council concluded Friday.

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.

The investigator’s report states Palin’s efforts to get Wooten fired broke a state ethics law that bars public officials from pursuing personal interest through official action.

Of course Palin’s attorneys have stated in a CNN report:

Any abuse of power, they said, was on the part of the Legislative Council members, not the Palins.

“Sen. French and Sen. Green may have abused their government power by using public money to pursue a personal vendetta against the governor…”

“Put bluntly, Branchflower completely misapplied the Ethics Act and has instead sought to create a headline to smear the governor,” the lawyers wrote.

McCain spokeswoman Stapleton said the Legislature exceeded its mandate in finding an ethics violation. “Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached.”

Ethics Violation or not?  In Presidential politics the issue of truth may not be important.  Rather, illusion and the ability to sway popular opinion seem to be more important than the truth.

Do you think Palin violated ethics law in Alaska or do you think that this is mostly a political ploy?  Your comments are welcome.


A State Ethics Law Violation – Report Says Palin Abused Power!

October 10, 2008

There is nothing easy about politics – not state politics and certainly not presidential politics. Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin was cited in a state investigators report today for abuse of power and a violation of state ethics law. Palin is accused of trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police.

Now, this investigation was already on track before John McCain made his surprise announcement that Sarah Palin was his choice as running mate. Palin certainly brings spice to the election as McCain (clearly a powerful and smart man) lacks in the spice department. But what McCain does not need at the crucial time in the election is to have any part of his campaign (which appears to be dying) fail.

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.

Now, let’s face it…Alaska is a small state when it comes to politics and perhaps without national media attention Palin could get by with attempting to exert undue pressure to influence who is hired or fired as the case may be. But, Sarah, this is the big league and every move you make will, no doubt, be under heavy scrutiny.

According to a CNN report:

Palin and her husband, Todd, have consistently denied wrongdoing, describing Wooten as a “rogue trooper” who had threatened their family — allegations Branchflower discounted.

“I conclude that such claims of fear were not bona fide and were offered to provide cover for the Palins’ real motivation: to get Trooper Wooten fired for personal family reasons,” Branchflower wrote.

The Branchflower report states Todd Palin used his wife’s office and its resources to press for Wooten’s removal, and the governor “failed to act” to stop it. But because Todd Palin is not a state employee, the report makes no finding regarding his conduct.

The bipartisan Legislative Council, which commissioned the investigation after Monegan was fired, unanimously adopted the 263-page public report after a marathon executive session Friday. About 1,000 more pages of documents compiled during the inquiry will remain confidential, the council’s chairman, state Sen. Kim Elton, said.

Here’s the question – did, in fact, Sarah Palin violate state ethics law. While she may have been vindicated of the allegation of an improper filing, that does not mean that she walks away scott free. Of course, the McCain camp says that this is a democratic ploy in a hotly contested election. Others, however, might say that the report is accurate – ethics laws were violated.

The full report can be found here.

With all that is taking place in America right now, one thing we do not need is a newly elected official being tarnished when entering office. As an ethics speaker, I am reminded daily of how easy it is to make the wrong choice in the heat of the moment – only to find that the consequences are far worse than you could every have imagined.

What do you think – Ethics Violation – or not? Your Comments are welcome!


Palin – Biden Showdown! Will Tonight’s Debate Decide the Election?

October 2, 2008

In the heartland of our country the east will take on the west, the experienced Washington insider take on the Alaskan outsider to inside belt line politics and the outcome could be a deciding factor in this hotly contested presidential race.

Palin is articulate (something that as a speaker I like), a self proclaimed outsider and someone who has shown that she is not in full command of what is going on politically. Now, by no means am I saying that she is dumb or incapable of serving as Vice-President, but she is earning her stripes as a political newcomer and outsider by some of the comments and answers she gives. Yet, with all of her missteps, she is gutsy and has infused energy into the McCain campaign – something it desperately needed. The question is – will Sarah Palin step up to the plate and hit a home-run for the team or strike out leaving her team flat.

According to CNN:

Palin’s interview gave the vice presidential candidate a chance to showcase elements of her life story and demonstrate some of the folksiness that’s been central to her political success.

It’s exactly the kind of interview that voters can expect to see from the governor in the coming weeks, according to a Palin adviser, who recognized that there is hunger in Republican circles and among the public at large to see a less-scripted, more authentic candidate.

Biden, on the other hand, has years of experience inside the belt line and, most would say, ignoring political choices, would come across Presidential due to his age, experience and understanding of how Washington works. Those attributes could be Biden’s assets, but too many they are substantial liabilities. CNN states in an article:

For the Democrats, Biden has served in the Senate for 35 years. His biggest challenge will be to stick to the script. He’s known for making off-the-cuff remarks, including some gaffes.

Either way, the debate tonight should be noteworthy. It’s odd to observe, but Obama (a newcomer to the political scene) selected an experienced insider as his running mate. On the other hand, McCain (an experienced Washington insider) selected a new comer as his running mate. It seems both candidates are playing a balancing act that has significant ramifications. I’m sure that both candidates are a bit nervous about how the person in their court will do.

With the economy in the tank and more negative publicity floating in the media than one can keep up with, it would appear that Obama has the potential for taking the lead. Perhaps tonight will give American’s more information with which to make this all important decision.

QUESTION: If you read this before the debate – (1) who do you think will win? If you read this after the debate (2) share your opinions on what you observed.