Thursday, 20 August 2009

Transparent Sarah Palin

ADN, September 15, 2008:

Palin routinely uses a private Yahoo e-mail account to conduct state business. Others in the governor's office sometimes use personal e-mail accounts too.

ADN, August 18, 2009:

The Alaska Department of Administration this week announced the policy, which tells the employees of Gov. Sean Parnell's administration to use state e-mail "whenever feasible" for state business. It says that, if a private account is used, employees must then send copies of those e-mails to their state account where they can be archived and subject to public records requests.

People in Alaska have their doubts, as seen in these comments:

Does the "if possible" term come from when people are out doing business on their blackberries and what not? So they are not connected to a state server? I don't know , I definitly don't condone or agree with doing the people's business in secret though.

Somebody else commented on what Parnell should have said:

"There is NO reason to use private emails for state business. Bcc's are not to be used EVER. Those who are caught doing so will be immediately fired." See how simple that is?

From the ADN September 2008 article:

As far as McLeod can tell, all but one of the e-mails to the governor used her private e-mail address. The one time an aide e-mailed the governor's state account, he was reminded not to.

"Frank, This is not the Governor's personal e-mail account," an assistant to Palin wrote to Bailey in February.

"Whoops~!" Bailey responded in an e-mail.

In one e-mail string among the volumes turned over, Frye wanted to know if she would be audited or "dinged in any way" if her personal and state e-mails all routed to the same device.

"I would gladly buy my own blackberry if it and its contents were truely mine. Any thoughts here?" Frye wrote on March 17 at 10:56 a.m.

Administrators were waiting for guidance on confidentiality issues from the state Department of Law, Kim Garnero, state Division of Finance director, wrote back at 11:06 a.m. But using a personal device made an audit much less likely, she wrote.

Frye later forwarded strings about the personal e-mail issue to Palin and her husband, Todd.

In April, Frye asked the state's information technology office for help in getting her BlackBerry to default to her Yahoo account.

No one in the Palin administration could say if the governor is saving her Yahoo e-mails. If she's emptying her e-mail trash, they are zapped from Yahoo's storage system within days or at the longest, months, according to the company.

"If you are asking do we have those e-mails, then the answer is no," said Anand Dubey, director of the state's Enterprise Technology Services. "We don't control Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail or anything like that."

It looks to me that those with things to hide will hide them. Even when the courts tell them otherwise.

ADN, October 16, 2008:

A state judge reaffirmed Wednesday that government-related e-mails Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff sent from private accounts must be preserved and ordered further arguments over whether to halt the use of such accounts for state business.

But this is what happened:

The outright deletion of the accounts can be verified by attempting to pull up the public profile on both addresses, which both existed during the incident.


- Both accounts were deleted simultaneously, thus linking the publicly-known e-mail address "gov.sarah" and the private e-mail address "gov.palin".

- This outright deletion may have the potential to be viewed as destruction of evidence, considering that the e-mails in the now-deleted accounts are the subject of several legal controversies.

Sarah Palin's transparency sure looks opaque...


Lynn said...

Wow, Regina, very clear explanation of the issue! The email exchange where the sender is chided for using the government email put together with the fact that yahoo completely zaps deleted emails tells the whole story. I would love it if somehow Sarah ended up in court and NEEDED one of those deleted emails. I wonder if a forensic email techie could ever unearth buried emails on Yahoo or Gmail?

The only time I can think of anyone needing to use private email would be if the state server was down. I don't have a blackberry but I do have an iPhone and it has a default email program. You can always use other email by just opening a web browser and bypassing the mail program. I've always wondered why Sarah had two blackberries. Maybe one was set up to yahoo and the other to the state mail server? Otherwise I can't imagine what function having two devices could serve except as a status symbol...or to "show" how very hard working she is and oh so hip.

EyeOnYou said...

It is my belief that "being open and transparent" was simply a line used by Sarah Palin to scam people into thinking she was something she is not, and has never been. An Honest Politician.

She is sneaky, devious, untrustworthy, and downright dangerous.

She wants openess and transparency only if it will benefit her in some manner, but if it might show her in a bad light, she will claim that it is someone who hates her using the system against her to try and distort things. She did this same thing with the ethics laws. She was the champion of reform for them until they applied to her and then it was people abusing the system to attack her for no real reason.

Allowing Frank Bailey to set up private accounts for himself, Sarah & Todd, Ivy Frye & Kris Perry reeks of deliberate attempts to hide what they were doing and attempting to make it difficult if not impossible to retrieve the emails they were sending between each other. Including Todd Palin on anything compounded the problem because he was not a public official and should NEVER have had access to official business regardless of how close he and his wife are. It is understood that a husband and wife are close and may discuss things in private, but we know that Todd was not only to privay to conversations about official state business with his wife, he was given total access to all state business, via copies of emails sent to him, his use of the Governor's office and complete and total access to state employees for whatever he wanted as is evidenced by his sitting in on meetings, being the "go between" for his wife and others, having access to state employees for conversations regarding Wooten/Monegan, use of state facilities and equipment for his own personal use.

There is absolutely no reason for a public official to use a private account for official business unless it is to hide something, and it should NEVER be acceptable to allow a public official's spouse/SO/family member or public employee's spouse/SO/family member to enjoy the kind of access that Todd was given.