From Lisa Demer in Anchorage --
Back on Sept. 10, the ADN made a public records request for a single day’s worth of e-mails from and to Gov. Sarah Palin.
We finally got them — three months and 19 days later. Nothing earth shattering showed up. The e-mails from Aug. 27 — just before she was named John McCain’s running mate — give a picture of a busy but ordinary day for the governor, a mix of mundane housekeeping duties, public relations and serious business.
One aide sent her a report on suicides in a Western Alaska village. A commissioner and his deputy wanted to meet with her on an “in-state gas line issue.” A waitress was among a half-dozen private individuals who e-mailed Palin, most to say thanks or attagirl. Others reached out because of her baby Trig, who has Down syndrome. And she got her media schedule for the upcoming Republican National Convention.
Her office still is working through public records requests that flooded in after she was catapulted into the presidential race.
Requests for her e-mails have been a particular challenge because she routinely used a Yahoo e-mail account, not her official state e-mail.
Aides had to sift through e-mail accounts of 51 state officials — cabinet members, executive staff, close aides — to search for any to or from Palin. Some 14 requests were still pending as of the year’s end, an aide said.
When the ADN made its request, her use of a private account for government business was an issue, and we wanted to see whether her Yahoo e-mails would be provided, among other things.
(After someone hacked into her Yahoo account, Palin shut it down. She now uses an official state e-mail account with an unpublished address, an aide said.)
None of the e-mails provided to the Daily News were to or from the McCain campaign, meaning if there were any, Palin didn’t forward them from her Yahoo account to her staff.
In all, the governor’s office turned over 76 pages of Palin e-mails but that includes a number of repeats.
In a piece of early-morning business that Wednesday, Palin was eager to finalize her pick for chief of staff, Mike Nizich.
“R u in Juneau?” she asked in an e-mail. She didn’t hear back, so she checked with Kris Perry, director of the governor’s Anchorage office, who wrote back that he was in the city.
Around 8:39 a.m., Palin asked her communications director, Bill McAllister, and assistant director, Sharon Leighow, to put out a press release that Nizich was chief of staff — “no longer 'acting.’ ” She copied Nizich and Perry.
“Thanks Mike Nizich! WhooHoo!!! Palin exclaimed.
“YIIIIPPPPPEEEE!” Leighow answered a couple of minutes later.
“I know! I’m so thankful he said yes!” the governor responded.
An e-mail about her schedule at the Republican National Convention gave almost no hint of what was to come.
“Here’s what I’ve got for you for media to this point at the RNC,” wrote McAllister, her communications director.
Scheduled interviews: Newsweek, National Public Radio, syndicated columnist Cal Thomas, USA Today, National Review, Fox News, Bloomberg. The PBS program “NOW” had canceled with no explanation, he wrote.
None of those interviews happened. Palin was largely cut off from the media after McCain announced her as his pick, though selected journalists eventually got interviews.
Still, two days before the craze of worldwide attention, Palin was being positioned for a larger national profile.
“The convention itself is requesting you to act as a surrogate for McCain for national media,” being available to reporters during a scheduled block of time, McAllister wrote.
He listed that one under “Outstanding media requests (not granted yet due to scheduling conflicts or dubious importance).”
Others in that group included the BBC, Wisconsin Public Radio, a forum moderated by “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl, and Pan Desi, which McAllister described as “the first English-language TV network for South Asians.”