MSNBC.com's lead story today on its morning web site reviewed nearly 3,000 pages of emails written and received by Todd Palin from state officials and oil executives while his wife was governor of Alaska and running for vice president on the Republican presidential ticket.
The bottom line? Todd Palin had a major influence on his wife's decisions.
Big frigging deal. Alaskans and the rest of America that paid attention already knew that. All the so-called investigative report accomplished was putting pillow talk on the public record. It made garbage respectable.
Before friends and foes of Sarah Palin go berserk over the report and my erudite perspective of the story, let me remind you of three cases in history that popped into my fertile brain.
Edith Wilson was defacto president of the United States in the waning days of Woodrow Wilson's administration.
Nancy Reagan was the spine giving husband governor and president Ronald Reagan a backbone of confidence for his decisions, according to son Ronald.
And, shall we ever forget Bill and Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency, saying voters get a bargain of two for the price of one?
Todd Palin may be Sarah Palin's Svengali. So what? As a critic of Sarah Palin, I say she needs all the help she listens to and accepts. Who knows? In time she may be up to speed to adequately fulfill the needs of her ambition. That's not God whispering in her ear. Its Todd.
Here's MSNBC.com's capsule synopsis:
Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with state officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state of Alaska under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband got involved in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked "confidential" from his oil
The only thing I can say in defense of the report released now is that it took that long for the state of Alaska to unshackle its arcane methods which could in some circles be interpreted as a means of stonewalling.
NBC filed the Freedom of Information request in August 2008. Although state law requires a response in 10 days, the state asked for a series of delays, at first claiming the cost to unearth the emails would be $15 million.
This week the state charged MSNBC.com $323.58 for the records, it said.
The news organization complained that many of the emails were redacted and 233 were not released. It alleged:
The still-secret e-mails between Todd Palin and senior officials reach into countless areas of state government and politics: potential board appointees, constituent complaints, use of the state jet, oil and gas production, marine regulation, gas pipeline bids, postsecondary
education, wildfires, native Alaskan issues, the state effort to save the Matanuska Maid dairy, budget planning, potential budget vetoes, oil shale leasing, "strategy for responding to media allegations," staffing at the mansion, pier diem payments to the governor for travel, "strategy for responding to questions about pregnancy," potential cuts to the governor's staff, "confidentiality issues," Bureau of Land Management land transfers and trespass issues and requests to the U.S. transportation secretary. Also withheld: a discussion of how to reply to "media questions about Todd Palin's work and potential conflict of interests."
Todd Palin was listed as an unpaid adviser to Gov. Palin by the state's ethical standards panel.
My verdict is that Todd Palin is guilty as hell as having political influence on an elected official, his wife.
As for possible charges of conflict of interest, that's for the Alaskan judicial system to prosecute.
Otherwise, this is old news and MSNBC.com should have treated it as such.