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Alaska is poised to release more than 24,000 pages of emails sent and received by Sarah Palin during her time as governor, providing an inside look into her rise from obscurity to a spot on the national stage.
The release is being coordinated as Palin conducts a high-profile bus tour of historic sites on the East Coast and contemplates a run for president in 2012.
The emails cover a majority of her short term as governor, and could provide the most insight into how she governed the nation’s largest state. Her only other elected office was as a two-term mayor of her hometown of Wasilla, Alaska, which has a population of about 7,000.
The state is withholding another 2,275 pages for reasons including attorney-client, work product or executive privilege; an additional 140 pages were deemed to be “non-records,” or unrelated to state business.
The emails cover the first 21 months of Palin’s tenure, ending in September 2008. That’s when news organizations and citizens first requested her emails, after Palin’s selection to be John McCain’s vice presidential running mate.
Subsequent requests were made for the remainder of Palin’s emails. The volume of those records and timing of their release isn’t clear; Linda Perez, the administrative director for Gov. Sean Parnell, said she’s waiting for the records to be delivered by the group that runs the state’s servers.
Palin resigned partway through her term, in July 2009.
Emails set to be released by June 10 are from both Palin’s private and state accounts, Perez said. Palin and top aides were known for using private accounts to communicate, and emails sent via those accounts that are related to state business will be among those released, she said.
The state faced a Tuesday deadline for releasing the emails. It is working on the logistics of copying and shipping the documents to the growing list of requesters.
Becky Bohrer can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/bbohrer.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press