Bailey was a central figure in the “Troopergate” matter, in which the Legislature investigated whether Palin abused her power and pressed for the firing of state trooper Mike Wooten, her former brother-in-law. In August of 2008, after the Legislature had started its investigation, Palin held a press conference in which she said Bailey had acted out of bounds.
At the press conference Palin released a recording of a phone call between Bailey and a trooper lieutenant outlining various complaints against Wooten -- from drunken driving to lying on an application -- saying the governor and her husband wondered why the trooper still had a job. The recording had apparently surfaced after the Department of Law began its own investigation of the matter at Palin’s request following the start of the Legislature’s inquiry.
Here’s how Bailey describes the release of the recording in which he pressured the trooper lieutenant:
"My family suffered alongside me, largely in silence while Sarah and Todd Palin resorted to doing what they did so often in the past, deny, deny, deny. “His comments were unauthorized as well as just wrong,” she said about me during a hastily-called press conference on August 13.
Bailey doesn't say whether Palin knew that he made the phone call to trooper lieutenant. But he wrote "by this time we all understood truth was a thing to be dragged out only when convenient."
In the manuscript, Bailey expresses regret over his actions related to Wooten and describes his growing disillusionment with the Palin crusade.
"Trooper Wooten and how nearly all of us Rag Tags became pre-occupied with bringing him down, is a complicated story, less straightforward than describing the illegal coordination of the campaign with the RGA, or using an insider in the Halcro campaign to mine information, or phony letters-to-the-editors and op-eds. In those cases, we were running for office and felt the pressure of win-at-all-costs. Losing at the ballot meant losing the dream. On top of that, our chasing after Ruedrich, Fagan, Halcro, Lyda Green, Andree McLeod, ADN columnists, Governor Murkowski, John Binkley, and later, in 2009, an endless list of enemies, paled in comparison to the Trooper Wooten quest. And what, I wish to heaven I’d asked myself, was the importance to our job of governing Alaska in destroying Mike Wooten, and how was that remotely worth the hundreds and hundreds of man-hours spent trying to do so? How, for the love of God, would destroying him personally and professionally make the first family safer, as Sarah and Todd swore over and over was their main concern?
"This tale, unfortunately, includes the worst of Sarah’s dysfunctional psyche and administration, including the compulsion to attack enemies, deny truth, play victim, and employ outright deception.
"And while the seeds of the scandal were planted back in 2005 and continued unabated into 2008, the pathos was exponentially elevated when John McCain reached out to Sarah Palin as a savior for his floundering presidential ticket. As such, these events directly related to McCain’s own incompetent vetting process. As political Perfect Storms go, this resembled two Category Fives meeting head-on."