Palin’s Hidden Emails

There’s still considerable interest in Sarah Palin’s foreshortened term as Governor of Alaska, interest that will certainly increase should she decide to forge ahead with a presidential run.

But, ten months after she was tapped to be John McCain’s running mate, the state of Alaska has still not filled spates of public records requests for emails between Governor Palin and her leadership team, many from news organizations, both local and national.

In a letter from June, quoted recently by’s Bill Dedman, Alaska’s acting attorney general cites all the usual reasons for the wait—an unprecedented level of requests, a lack of sufficient funding, technical difficulties in retrieving the files.

But one cause for delay the attorney general apparently didn’t mention is that Palin and her aides routinely conducted state business on private email accounts. While Alaska’s courts have thankfully ruled that those emails are also subject to the state’s records laws, obtaining them is an additional technical hurdle—one that now looks likely to help keep some of her dealings out of the light until well after she’s left office.

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Clint Hendler is the managing editor of Mother Jones, and a former deputy editor of CJR.