Saturday, 23 May 2009

Sarah Palin's expensive transparency

On July 11, 2008, Fox News published an article in praise of Sarah Palin:

... they've overlooked the one shining victory in which a Republican star was born.

The triumph came in Alaska where Sarah Palin, a politician of eye-popping integrity, was elected governor.

Her rise is a great (and rare) story of how adherence to principle--especially to transparency and accountability in government.

What the article doesn't say is that Sarah Palin's transparency and accountability come with an eye-popping price tag.

AS 40.25.110 From the Alaska Statutes:

(a) Unless specifically provided otherwise, the public records of all public agencies are open to inspection by the public under reasonable rules during regular office hours. The public officer having the custody of public records shall give on request and payment of the fee established under this section or AS 40.25.115 a certified copy of the public record.

AS 40.25.115 refers to Electronic Services and Products.

(a) Notwithstanding AS 40.25.110 (b) - (d) to the contrary, upon request and payment of a fee established under (b) of this section, a public agency may provide electronic services and products involving public records to members of the public. A public agency is encouraged to make information available in usable electronic formats to the greatest extent feasible. The activities authorized under this section may not take priority over the primary responsibilities of a public agency.

(b) The fee for electronic services and products must be based on recovery of the actual incremental costs of providing the electronic services and products, and a reasonable portion of the costs associated with building and maintaining the information system of the public agency. The fee may be reduced or waived by the public agency if the electronic services and products are to be used for a public purpose, including public agency program support, nonprofit activities, journalism, and academic research. Fee reductions and waivers shall be uniformly applied among persons who are similarly situated.

The cost of searching ONE e-mail account is $925.44!

Linda Kellen Biegel, of Celtic Diva Blue Oasis, requested copies of some e-mails to and from the governor's office, together with other information. Linda was seeking clarification about communications between the governor's office and some members of the media in an effort to find out how they had obtained information they used to ridicule and discredit Republican activist Andree McLeod.

Linda received a quote for the service:

To provide complete responses to the e-mail portions of your request, we will need to electronically search the email accounts of the 71 current and former employees who have worked in the Governor's Executive Offices since December 2006. For that electronic search, we will need the assistance of the State Security Office in the Department of Administration, Division of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS). ETS estimates that each e-mail account retrieval, search, and record production will require 16 hours to complete. The ETS hourly rate is $54.84, so ETS estimates its costs per e-mail account will be $925.44. Based on that estimate, ETS's estimated costs for obtaining records from 71 employee e-mail accounts total $65,706.

Why should a division within a government department be paid TWICE to do their job? The people who work in that division are state employees, the 16 hours quoted are already included in their salaries.

Whenever I requested copies of documents from government agencies or private companies, I was charged the cost of printing and mailing the documents, plus a nominal administrative fee, not for the salaries of their personnel.

The convoluted logic of the governor's office and their creative accounting procedures leave citizens of Alaska without access to public records, unless they're very rich or use the information to write articles or broadcast radio shows that favour the governor...

RECALL Sarah Palin


Pat said...

Off Topic but several bloggers on different sites have asked for comparison of "graduation" baby and Today Show baby. I just looked and there isn't any way those can be the same babies. Size is too different. Can you look into this

Anonymous said...

Sarah is as transparent as a brick wall... or should we say "stone wall".

Sarah never releases her emails.. and will continue to hide them so the truth does not come out about many of her gates.

NYT article on Rex "the hammer" Butler saying a Levi book is worth millions.. Also Rex says the book will change the 2012 race.

The Rex threat of a Levi book scares Sarah to the max... be scared Sarah, be really scared.

Hopefully Sarah's dream of 2012 ends soon....

midnightcajun said...

This is off topic and kinda snarky, but what leapt out at me in that photo of Sarah is her hands. I'm not sure I'd ever seen a photo of them before. They could belong to a 60-65 year old woman. There is always a correlation between aging of the hands and face, unless 1) you're dealing with someone like a potter whose work is very drying and vigorous, or 2) the lady has had a face lift or botox. I don't think Sarah had a face lift, but she's obviously been on a botox regimen even before the GOP secluded her away for those two weeks.

regina said...


I also noticed the hands and think they look older than the rest of her...

On the Glenn Beck interview in January, she looked VERY botoxed.


basheert said...

She's getting old and haggard.

Aging rapidly.

Blatant pathologic liars frequently have a lot of stress. Tough on what collagen she has left and hasn't supplemented.

I'll bet the people of Alaska pay for her Botox.

lisabeth said...

Sorry I did not see this or I wouldn't have posted about the NYT article on another thread.

On this topic it would be interesting to request records like this from other states and see what they charge. Also I highly doubt that even if you paid this outrageous amount, you would be given the emails. They would go through and remove things.

Sarah Palin is as crooked as they come! Alaska, DO something!

teal said...

take a look at sarahPAC, her hands are weird....yes, her hands & face don't match at all...yes botox!

Yet she claimed in her last 'right to life' speech that she was happy with the way god made her...MADE HER WHAT is my question...

Anonymous said...

If you want to see a recently botoxed face, do go look at the Beck interview (Regina has provided the link). I think she was also, too, trying to show it off with the "windswept" hair doo. Pay attention to the lack of movement in her forehead when the rest of her face is moving. She is a bit uncomfortable also, if you look at her posture, it may be the lack of feeling when trying to be expressive right after a treatment.

KaJo said...

I believe Sarah Palin's hands look that way because she sometimes didn't use gloves when out in the bush hunting moose/caribou back-in-the-day, or when she went out fishing with Todd.

There's several videos of her hauling in fish in a net, or storing the net -- several instances she's wearing no gloves, even though the person next to her has gloves on.

You'd be surprised what a little daily care with moisturizer will do for face as well as hands. And what lack of that care will do to age face and hands (I've been using moisturizer since I was 14 years old -- my avatar picture is me at age 62).

P.S. People really don't have to buy the $300/jar stuff, either.

honestyinGov said...

Mudflats has posted a story and some scathing comments by Bob Poe about Palin's narcissistic behavior and her actions regarding the Veto of the Funds. I hope everybody talks up Bob's opinions. He has a voice and has some credibility and can take Palin down. Now is the time to act.Lots of people need to interview Bob Poe.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty clear that Palin and her henchmen have devised a way to screw the public out of their right to information...just raise the price so high that people can't pay it. Totally unethical if not illegal.

Get the ACLU, FBI, CREW involved. Alaskans are too afraid to get involved since Alaska is just a small town where most people know each other.

The Palin administration's tyrannical behavior simply would not fly in most places in the lower 48. Disgusting!

Chaim said...

Any Alaskan lawyers reading this? Any way someone can sue? Obviously, if public officials can put a ridiculous price on disclosure, they can thwart disclosure. Duh. Honest courts don't like people thwarting laws.

FEDUP!!! said...

Hmmm I have a google account, and thus have thousands upon thousands of emails collected over the years (was on several email lists...), and it takes me something like 10 seconds to search ALL my emails for a specific expression/word.
Soooo... WHERE THE $%^&* do they get the hours upon hours of searching they would have to do? What kind of arcane system are they using? Even my yahoo accounts will spit out relevant emails with split seconds!

Kyra said...

NOT a Sarah Palin fan as you all know, I am older than her but my face looks younger - but I'm allergic to the sun so have been very careful over the years. At the same time, I have arthritis, so my hands look knotty and I have had the eczema that goes along with working outdoors a lot. Just sayin. As women, we tend to take much better care of our faces than our hands and by the time we realize we need to, it's too late. :-)

Anonymous said...

I actually unerased our computer hard drive and reconstructed the entire contents of an email account, including all previously deleted mail, in a single day.

Cost: about $45, the cost of a really good utility program at Staples.

Just sayin'!