Alaska officials will release 24,199 pages of Sarah Palin’s emails today after the first public records request was made.
Seventeen media organizations and individuals will each receive six 50-pound boxes of printed and partially redacted copies of emails from Palin’s term as governor through 2008. Palin’s emails from the McCain presidential campaign are not included in what will be made available.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, Palin indicated there isn’t much news in the emails. “Every rock in the Palin household that could ever be kicked over and uncovered anything, it’s already been kicked over,” she said.
Fox News has reported sources say there is no “smoking bombshell” in the documents.
Shortly after Palin was chosen as Senator John McCain’s running mate in 2008, Alaska officials received a public records request. The request set off a three-year paper chase to assemble the documents. Palin’s office first said the cost to produce the documents would exceed $15 million dollars. That figure was later lowered to $725.97, a much lower number. Alaska officials still claim they were unable to create an electronic copy, thus the reason for the six boxes.
Due to the limited Internet bandwidth in Juneau, media outlets have to employ creative ways to pour through the heavy boxes.
The Washington Post is seeking help in wading through the volume of material they are about to receive, asking for “100 organized and diligent readers” to work with reporters to “analyze, contextualize and research the material. Other news organizations such as The New York Times are implementing similar strategies.
News organizations are most interested in the former governor’s involvement in the so-called “Troppergate” scandal that involved Palin’s former brother-in-law. Also of interest will be former aide Frank Bailey, who used many quotes from Palin’s emails in his recent tell-all book, Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin.
MSNBC obtained 1,200 emails from Todd Palin in March of this year highlighting conversations he had with his wife. Palin’s staff and advisers have been relatively quiet about the release of the emails.
Although some of the emails could be used against her, her disagreements with advisers in the 2008 presidential campaign and Senator McCain himself have previously been reported. Whether or not the emails will affect Palin’s decision to enter the presidential race is yet to be determined.
Clive Thomas, a Palin observer who is writing a book on Alaska politics told Politico he’s not sure what the emails will reveal. “I guess most people, I think, who don’t like Sarah Palin are hoping there’s something in there that will deliver the final sort of blow to her (politically),” he said.