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Desperately Seeking Sarah's Secrets

The state of Alaska has been snowed under with open records requests related to Governor Sarah Palin. Wanna know what the national press is looking for?

| Tue Oct. 7, 2008 3:00 AM EDT

Since Sarah Palin joined John McCain on the Republican ticket in late August, news outlets, as well as nonprofits and private citizens, have besieged her office with public records requests, seeking all sorts of documents related to her tenure as Alaska's governor. Some have requested access to her calendar and travel records. Others have asked for emails and memoranda concerning the firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan or a controversial ballot measure that would have placed new restrictions on mining companies, along with a number of other state matters. One news outlet asked for documentation to the "remodeling and/or redecorating of the governor's offices and/or state-owned mansions in Anchorage" during Palin's governorship. Mother Jones filed several of its own public records requests (see David Corn's article for more on that), including one for all of the records requests that were submitted between August 29 and September 23, 2008. Wanna know what dirt the national press is after? Read on for an abridged list and see here [PDF] for all the requests sent to Palin's office.

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Ian Urbina, New York Times
- "A copy of the Public Records database/log kept by your office that includes name of requester, date of request, summary of request made and/or title of request, and the status/determination of the request. We are only seeking the database that corresponds to June, 1,2008 through September 2, 2008."

Wesley Loy, Anchorage Daily News
- "All communications between Gov. Sarah Palin and U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona. This should include all letters or other written correspondence, as well as e-mail, BlackBerry transmissions or any other form of communications."

- "All communications between Gov. Sarah Palin and any member of the McCain presidential campaign or vice presidential search committee. This should include all letters or other written correspondence, as well as e-mail, BlackBerry transmissions or any other form of communications."

- "All communications between any member of the governor's office or staff and John McCain or any member of the McCain presidential campaign or vice presidential search committee. This should include all letters or other written correspondence, as well as e-mail, BlackBerry transmissions or any other form of communications."

Kimberly Kindy, Washington Post
- "A copy of Gov. Sarah Palin's calendar for the time she has been in office as governor."

- "Copies of all e-mails sent from the governor or members of her administration in which Todd Palin was copied. I am specifically referring to over 1,000 e-mails in which the governor's office has asserted executive privilege, and Todd Palin was CC'd on the e-mails. Executive privilege cannot be claimed under the law if a private citizen is copied on the correspondence."

Dina M Cappiello, Associated Press
- "All documents pertaining to Alaska's ESA [Endangered Species Act] Working Group, including a list of the participants, and all correspondence between Working Group members and staff of local, state and federal entities."

- "Please be advised that I am prepared to pursue whatever legal remedy necessary to obtain access to the requested records. I would note that violation of the open records law can result in the award of court costs and attorney fees. In addition, state law imposes criminal penalties on those who knowingly suppress or conceal a public record. Alaska Stat. Sec. 11.56.815 and 820(2).

Rita Beamish, Associated Press
- "The Public Records Request Log(s) for the Palin administration, starting with when Gov. Palin came to office. If you separately have compiled statistics on the logs such as total requests, total responses, redacted responses, total fees charged, etc., I request any such statistics also."

- "A copy of Gov. Sarah Palin's daily calendar and/or schedule from the day she took office as governor until Sept. 1, 2008. I am seeking a record of her public schedule as well as all events, meetings and activities on her daily calendar that were not public events."

- "A copy of the Public Records Request Log for the Office of the Governor from Sept. 5, 2008, through today, or through the day that you fulfill this request if that day is later than today."

- "A copy of any contract or employment agreement relating to the appointment and hiring of Charles Kopp, the former commissioner of Public Safety; copies of communications, e-mails, and/or correspondance [sic] relating to his appointment for that position; and copies of any documents, agreements, severance arrangement or other documents related to his resignation."

Jillian Starr, "Stay At Home Mom"
- "After hearing Gov. Palin deliver such an amazing speech, I wanted to know more about her. I understand that she has drastically reduced her budgets within the governor's office, including eliminating a luxury jet and a private chef. As a stay-at-home mom, I wanted to know if any other similar services are provided to her through taxpayer monies, particularly any services that assist her in caring for her family (such as nannies or child care). Also, I want to know a breakdown of the following line items that appear on the Governor's House

Component Financial Summary for FY 2007, 2008, & 2009:
71000 Personal Services
73000 Services
74000 Commodities"

David Corn, Mother Jones
- "All emails sent and received by Governor Sarah Palin from December 4, 2006, until now. This includes emails written by her, emails sent to her, and emails cc'd to her. I realize there are "deliberative processes" and "executive" privileges that cover communications between the governor and her aides involving policy matters. Under law, these privileges are not absolute and must be balanced by the public interest of disclosure. I hope that any response to this request takes that balancing test into account and that these privileges are not unduly applied."

- "Copies of all of Governor Sarah Palin's schedules and calendars from her first day as governor to August 29,2008."

- "Copies of open records act requests the Office of the Governor has received from August 29, 2008, until today. This does not include material produced in response to those requests. This request covers only the open records act requests themselves."

Sarah Laskow, Center for Public Integrity
- "Records reflecting the names of any overnight guests who stayed at the Alaska Governor's Mansion during the administration of Governor Sarah Palin."

Anne Weismann, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
-"All documents relating to the firing of Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walter Monegan. CREW also seeks all documents that refer, relate to or reference in any way Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten."

Kay Brown, Alaska Democratic Party
-"The public request log for all State of Alaska Departments and Executive branch offices. This request covers all public requests made between the period 1/1/2007 - 9/9/2008."

- "All schedules, calendars, itineraries of Governor Sarah Palin between the dates of 1/1/2007 and 9/15/08."

- "Emails between Sarah Palin and John Coghill with the words "abortion" and/or "AGIA" from 1/1/07 through 9/17/08"

- "Emails between Sarah Palin and Fred Dyson with the words "abortion" and/or "AGIA" from 1/1/07 through 9/17/08."

- "All emails from Sarah Palin from 1/1/07 to 9/15/08, containing any of the following words:

  1. Babysitter
  2. Childcare
  3. McCain
  4. Obama
  5. Democrat
  6. Huckabee
  7. Wal-mart
  8. Eskimo
  9. Natives
  10. Kuwait
  11. Passport
  12. Ruederich
  13. Kopp"

 

- "All emails between Sarah Palin and Todd Palin from 1/1/07 through 9/18/08 with any of the following words:

  1. Vote
  2. Veto
  3. Budget
  4. Oil
  5. Monogan
  6. Wooton"

 

- "All emails between Sarah Palin and Molly McCann between the dates of 1/1/2007 and 9/18/08"

- "Emails from Sarah Palin with the word "Tibbles" from 4/1/08 through 6/30/08."

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