A Powerful 'First Dude'
February 5, 2010 8:12 AM Subscribe
Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with Alaskan officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband was intimately involved in governmental affairs. The 'Shadow Governor' (as some called him in Juneau) "got involved [among other state business] in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney."
"When msnbc.com, other news organizations and citizens of Alaska sought Palin e-mail records after she was named the Republican vice presidential running mate in August 2008, the state initially quoted a cost as high as $15 million for state technicians to find the e-mails, for state interns to print out the e-mails one at a time, for state lawyers to read them to determine what information could be withheld, and for a print shop to photocopy them.
That's still the laborious approach the state has taken, at what it says is a cost of more than $500,000 in staff time, but the prices it is charging have come down considerably. The state charged msnbc.com only $323.58 for the records released this week."
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