Of course, Dedman took issue with Governor Palin's use of private email accounts, despite the fact that Alaska's Superior Court on January 22, 2010 ruled that Governor Palin's use of these accounts was perfectly legal.
Much Ado about Nothing
So, what is the major scandal that lurks here? Hint: It does not involve: black bag burglaries, "plumbers," wiretapping, embezzling, kickbacks, tax evasion, threats, harassment, intimidation, murder, arson, mayhem, buried bodies, drunk driving, sexual indiscretion, or other act of moral turpitude. All of the foregoing -- items that are real scandals -- have felled politicians of both parties over the past 30 years, but none of that is operative here.
So, what is the big scandal revealed in 3,000 pages of emails? Ladies and gentlemen, there were two major scandals uncovered. Let's start that drum roll......
- Governor Palin wanted Todd to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables for the family and avoid processed foods (Dedman, 2010, ¶19).
- Governor Palin, for the first time in four years wanted to carve out two hours to see Juno with Todd and without the children (Dedman, 2010, ¶21).
Dedman tried to make a scandal out of routine items like electrical circuits in the Governor's Mansion, and travel to bill signings throughout the article.
"Most horrifically," Todd Palin was an adviser to Governor Palin. Let's see....like Hillary Clinton was to her husband? Like politicians' spouses have been since time immemorial? Yes indeed, Todd was an adviser to his wife Gov. Sarah Palin, who was at the time Alaska's CEO. Every request that MSNBC tried to scandalize was routine, appropriate, or it was private emails from private accounts about private family matters.
Dedman tried to implicate Ivy Frye, who was Governor Palin's head of boards and commissions at the time in wrongdoing. Ms. Frye occasionally communicated with Todd about, well -- as her job title implied -- board appointments. Ms. Frye is one of Governor Palin's longest serving staffers since the early days of her gubernatorial campaign. She was referenced twice and acknowledged in Going Rogue, and now works for SarahPAC.
Thomas Van Flein, Governor Palin's lawyer said the following about this "exposé":
Like many married couples, including political 'power couples,' it is common for a spouse to play the role of key adviser to the other spouse. The Palins were no different. Todd Palin had official and unofficial duties, but one thing was clear: he was a key adviser to Governor Palin and involved in her efforts to improve the State of Alaska...(Van Flein, 2010, ¶1)What about that "confidential email" Todd Palin forwarded about his employer, BP (Dedman, 2010, ¶45-46)?
...But unlike some spouses of elected officials, Todd Palin did not travel with an entourage, had no designated office, had no title other than "First Dude", received no pay, and had no staff. He donated his time to the people of Alaska by assisting the Governor. Each spouse of the chief executive is free to define his or her own role. From the policy oriented Hillary Clinton, to the more traditional and charitable work of Laura Bush, to the combined policy/traditionalist role of Michelle Obama, the first spouse takes on the duties within their interests and within the context of their marriage to the chief executive (Van Flein, 2010, ¶1).
"[T]here are two distinct errors in the article: (1) the email itself was circulating in Alaska and was simply forwarded to Todd by a third party, it was not an email that was sent by BP to Todd Palin wherein he was told it was "confidential" and (2) the type of information within the email was years old and all, if not most, was a matter of public record under the tight regulatory strictures BP operates under and its release of data to shareholders, securities regulators, the Department of Revenue, and the state oil and gas commission, among others."MSNBC's Source a Stalker and Filer of Frivolous Ethics Complaints
Dedman cites Andree McLeod as his subject matter expert on Gov. Palin's emails throughout this article. McLeod had filed numerous frivolous ethics charges against Governor Palin, all of which were dismissed. Some of the charges filed were duplicates of charges filed by others that had also been dismissed. McLeod had a personal vendetta against Governor Palin, because she was denied a state job. She would routinely stalk Governor Palin, loitering in the lobby of the Anchorage state building and following her to events for the purpose of inquiring about working for the state. On one occasion, she approached Gov. Palin -- who was pregnant with Trig at the time -- in a hotel lobby. Following Governor Palin's resignation, McLeod kept the frivolous complaints coming. A member of the State Personnel Board finally had enough of it and told her to "quit your bitching!"
McLeod's frivolous ethics complaints cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars to adjudicate. She wanted a state job at any cost. In 2002 and 2004, prior to seeking the job, McLeod spoke in glowing terms about Governor Palin in letters to the editor of the Anchorage Daily News. "Leadership is about communicating values, and Ms. Palin does that remarkably well. Her prowess is in her uniquely nurturing and inoffensive demeanor as she sensibly articulates issues for the average citizen to understand. Her approachability builds confidence and signals a new era in Alaska politics. This will serve not only us but the rest of the nation," McLeod said in a her December 6, 2002 letter encouraging then Gov. Murkowski to appoint Sarah Palin as one of Alaska's Senators.
In her April 18, 2004 letter, McLeod wrote, "What is known is that Sarah Palin clearly demonstrated the intelligence, courage, integrity and resolve to bring to light what was going on, which reflects well on the AOGCC under her watch."
McLeod turned from a supporter to an arch-enemy, when she did not get the job she wanted.
Perhaps MSNBC is trying to do what Jerry Seinfeld could not do for his pilot -- a show about nothing. Because if MSNBC was intent on doing a show about something, they would not have neglected to mention that a George Soros-funded group, CREW had backed many of the ethics fishing expeditions against Governor Palin.
Dedman, B. (2010, February 5). "Palin e-mails reveal a powerful ‘first dude’" MSNBC. Retreived February 5, 2010 from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35238034/ns/politics/
Van Flein, T. (2010, February 5). Email about Todd Palin Advising Gov. Palin. Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein, Tiemessen, Thorsness, LLC.