Sarah Palin's long-awaited and much-debated trove of emails from her time as Alaska governor will be released in Juneau at 9 a.m. local time on Friday. It will be your classic document dump--sort of. Boxes full of the 24,199 pages of emails will be available at the door of the governor's office for 3¢ a page (along with handtrucks for reporters to wheel them to their cars), reports MSNBC's investigative unit. Although the state once quoted figures as high as $15 million for providing the documents, the full release will cost interested news organizations only $725.97, plus shipping for those who decide not to travel to Juneau for first dibs.
The release is an incomplete victory for transparency seekers. The emails come from Palin's private Yahoo account, on which she, "First Dude" Todd Palin and up to 50 of her staff conducted state business outside the jurisdiction of public records requests. After organizations like MSNBC waiting nearly 1,000 days--longer than Palin was even in office--for the emails, thousands of pages will still be withheld and those released will be scrubbed with redactions. As we said last week, though, past Palin email releases have proved to be a boon for headlines, and the scale of this dump dwarfs all before it. Linda Perez, administrative director to Alaska's governor, offered a sneak preview of what can be expected: "Some emails concerning state matters might touch on family matters, [but] the emails that pertain solely to family matters are not state records and therefore would not be included."
For any intrepid investigative journalists out there, MSNBC will be scanning the entire store and putting it online for free. (This is a sensible alternative to hauling 250-pounds worth of paper home from Alaska.) But they'll probably snatch up all of the good scoops first.