News / USA

Alaska to Release Ex-Governor Palin's Official E-mails

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, holding a booklet depicting Paul Revere, speaks briefly with the media as she tours Boston's North End neighborhood, June 2, 2011 (file photo).
Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, holding a booklet depicting Paul Revere, speaks briefly with the media as she tours Boston's North End neighborhood, June 2, 2011 (file photo).

Officials in the far northwestern U.S. state of Alaska have released more than 24,000 pages of Sarah Palin's e-mails from her first two years as governor.

The e-mails were distributed in paper form to reporters Friday, at the state capital, Juneau.  Several news agencies have begun scanning them for distribution electronically.  Two major U.S. newspapers are posting the texts online.  

Some of the e-mails show Palin was already sensitive to negative press coverage even before she became a national political figure.  She also complains about "misinformation," especially about her family, and asks her staff members to be vigilant about calling for corrections.

Other e-mails indicate she was more open to a working relationship with then-Senator Barack Obama.  She praises a speech he gave calling for more gas and oil drilling in Alaska, and said she was "game" to a meeting with one of his closest aides.

Later, as a Republican vice presidential candidate and, as a political commentator, she became a strident critic of now-President Obama, a Democrat.   

The e-mails were first requested by journalists in 2008, when Palin was chosen as the running mate for Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain of Arizona.  The messages cover the period between December 2006, when she became Alaska governor, to September 2008.  They include e-mails sent from two personal accounts that Palin used to conduct state business.

The release comes as Palin contemplates a bid for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.  Palin recently told a reporter that everything is already known about her time as governor - in her words, "every rock" has already been turned over by those seeking to discover details about her and her family.

Palin said many of the e-mail messages were never meant for "public consumption," and she predicted that some people would draw the wrong conclusions about her intent.

Tim Crawford, a top official in a political group that supports a Palin presidential bid, said the e-mails show Palin was "very engaged" as governor and says "everyone should read them."

Palin resigned as Alaska's governor in July 2009 with 18 months remaining in her four-year term.  Requests have also been made for e-mails covering her final 10 months in office.  

Journalists traveled to the state capital to retrieve the documents, for which they are being charged more than $700 in printing fees.  The state printed out the e-mails because officials said they were unable to create electronic copies.

More than 2,400 pages are being withheld by the state for legal reasons, including attorney-client confidentiality or executive privilege, in which a head of a government chooses what kind of material to keep private.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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