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Friday, September 12, 2008

Open records request denied for e-mails between government aides, Todd Palin

The reason for the secrecy? The e-mails deal with policy deliberations and could also reveal more controversy surrounding Sarah Palin. The decision is currently being appealed.

An open records request was initially filed in June for copies of the incoming and outgoing e-mails of two top Palin aides suspected of using business hours to engage in political activity. The documents Palin's office turned over to Andree McLeod, an independent government watchdog in Alaska, revealed possible ethics and hiring laws violations but also raised an interesting question: Why were 1100 e-mails, many of which were written by or sent to Palin, withheld?
Dozens of e-mails exchanged among several government employees and Todd Palin, the husband of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who has no formal role in her administration, are not being turned over in response to an open records request in the state.

The e-mails are being kept secret ostensibly because they deal with policy deliberations between the governor and her staff, the contents of which do not have to be disclosed to the public. However, Todd Palin's presence in the e-mail chains seems to belie concerns that their contents need to remain strictly in the domain of the state government.
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