Alaska state business done on the Yahoo mail server.
IF THE QUESTION is whether personal e-mail accounts should be used for state business by Gov. Sarah Palin and her staff the answer is obvious.
And that answer is no. Such a practice does not ensure that public information will be saved and appears to be a neat way around Alaska’s public records law.
Her spokesman, Bill McAllister says, according to the Daily News’s front-page story by Lisa Demer this morning, that he does not hear any “public clamor for access to internal communications of the governor’s office.” Unfortuntely, who cares what he has heard or not heard?
Those communications, unless properly classified as protected by executive privilege, if sent on state equipment, on state time, by a state employee, belong not to the governor’s office or McAllister, but to the people of Alaska.
The idea of the law is to make as much information as possible available about government to average person, not to make such information unavailable.
Unfortunately, it appears this administration for some time has been trying to keep the public in the dark by mixing public and private e-mail accounts to cover its tracks, and there is no telling how long, or if, those messages are being saved. So much for any pretense of “clear and transparent.”
“And I don’t think the public expects us to inundate them, flood them, with all kinds of communications that they don’t need, when in fact, the final decisions will be public, will be documented, will be substantiated, and they always have been.”
Trust us, he seems to say, we’re from the government and we know what you need to see.”
Alaskans deserve better.