Emails Reveal Todd Palin’s Hidden Role In Gov’t; Efforts To Disguise Use Of State Resources
Newly-released emails obtained by NBC reveal a much larger role in running the government of Alaska for Todd Palin than was known publicly.
…the governor’s husband got involved 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.
Twelve hundred e-mails were released and 243 withheld with the claim that executive privilege applies to Todd Palin as an unpaid adviser. Subject lines in these emails, however, tell a story.
The still-secret e-mails between Todd Palin and senior officials reach into countless areas of state government and politics: potential board appointees, constituent complaints, use of the state jet, oil and gas production, marine regulation, gas pipeline bids, postsecondary education, wildfires, native Alaskan issues, the state effort to save the Matanuska Maid dairy, budget planning, potential budget vetoes, oil shale leasing, “strategy for responding to media allegations,” staffing at the mansion, pier diem payments to the governor for travel, “strategy for responding to questions about pregnancy,” potential cuts to the governor’s staff, “confidentiality issues,” Bureau of Land Management land transfers and trespass issues and requests to the U.S. transportation secretary.
Also withheld: a discussion of how to reply to “media questions about Todd Palin’s work and potential conflict of interests.”
Also revealed are attempts by the Palins to disguise how state monies were spent:
- The governor coached her staff on how to disguise the amount of electrical work needed at the mansion to hook up her new tanning bed.
- Palin and her staff stewed over the refusal of the state Public Safety Department to provide a plane so the children could fly to Todd’s family’s home in Dillingham; after all, they were going to attend a bill signing, so the travel requests could be justified. Sarah Palin called the decision “outrageous,” and an aide said it provides “a great excuse to privatize” the governor’s jet service.
- The manager of the Palins’ travel schedule searched for a public event to use as justification (“I just need one”) to charge the state for an airplane flight for Palin’s daughter, Willow, who made the trip but had missed the event given as its justification.
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