Alaska to release 250 pounds of Palin emails, some may touch on family matters

Steven Nelson Associate Editor

The state of Alaska is poised to release thousands of pages of emails that once passed through the accounts of possible presidential candidate Sarah Palin during her time as the state’s governor.

Palin served as governor of Alaska from 2006 to 2009. The documents were originally requested by an assortment of news organizations during her candidacy for vice president in 2008.

There are 24,199 pages of documents being released according to Linda Perez, administrative director for current Republican Alaska Governor Sean Parnell. The total compilation weighs over 250 pounds.

Perez informed TheDC that some of the emails, which will likely be made public sometime next week, may touch on delicate family-related issues.

“Some emails concerning state matters might touch on family matters,” according to Perez. However, “the emails that pertain solely to family matters are not state records and therefore would not be included.”

Asked if the word “Bristol” would qualify for redaction, Perez noted that, “The presence of a particular word in a record would not determine whether that record was withheld or redacted.”

The news organizations that requested the documents will not be charged for the cost of labor to assemble the emails, as is sometimes done for information requests.

Perez noted that there was no figure available for the number of hours spent by state employees to produce the documents, which included the legal work required to redact privileged content.

The state is charging organizations 3 cents per page for the cost of copying the documents, totaling $725.97 per set. Organizations outside of Juneau, Alaska will also be required to pay the cost of shipping.

Over 2,400 pages of emails were determined to be privileged from public records requests and are not being released. The state will provide a listing explaining why each redacted email was withheld.

The assembled Palin emails are from both her government and private accounts. As governor she frequently used a personal Yahoo! email account, prompting the state to search for email records in the accounts of several Alaska state employees.