The state of Alaska is planning to release 24,000 of former Gov. Sarah Palin's e-mails, which are likely to be closely scrutinized as the 2012 election nears.
State officials told the Anchorage Daily News that they're sending the e-mails to a commercial printer so they can be copied, a process that should take about four days.
The request for the former governor's e-mails comes from the media and stems from as far back as the 2008 presidential campaign, in which the former governor was a vice presidential candidate. Multiple news organizations, including the New York Times, the Associated Press, MSNBC.com, the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News, the Washington Post, and CNN have all requested the files. So did some individuals including Geoffrey Dunn, author of the new book "The Lies of Sarah Palin," and Andree McLeod, who has had ethics complaints against Palin that were dismissed by the state.
State officials, while planning to release the megabytes of messages, say they'll withhold another 2,415 pages that the state feels is privileged, personal, or otherwise exempt from Alaska's disclosure law. Sec. 40.25.110 of Alaska's Freedom of Information Act law says that unless specifically provided otherwise, the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection by the public under reasonable rules during regular office hours.
Gov. Sean Parnell's office made the final decisions concerning which e-mails would be withheld, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Linda Perez, the governor's administrative director, told the paper that specific e-mails were redacted and withheld "based on the right to privacy afforded by the state constitution as well as legal justifications established in court cases over Alaska public records law."
Curiosity about Palin's e-mail messages isn't exactly new. A former University of Tennessee student, David Kernell, was convicted of obstruction of justice and unauthorized access to a computer after breaking into Palin's Yahoo account during the 2008 presidential campaign.