Sean Parnell became the Governor of Alaska when Sarah Palin resigned from the office. His ties to Palin are obvious.
But who is “Sharon Leighow”? She is the person who appears to actually be in charge of the production of the Palin e-mails.. Linda Perez, Parnell’s administrative director, has been reported to be “in charge” of coordinating the release, but the video above would suggest that Sharon Leighow is intimately involved. Ms. Leighow currently holds the position as Governor Sean Parnell’s spokeswoman,Even though Sean Parnell replaced many commissioners, deputy commissioners, directors, and state employees once elected, he did not replace Ms. Leighow. She has been called the spokeswoman for Palin. She has been called Palin’s “aid”. Others have referred to her as Palin’s Deputy Communications Director. Whatever she was to Sarah Palin, it is undisputed that she was one of Sarah Palin’s closest confidants while in office. A simple search of the MSNB site that has made the e-mails available on line shows 12045 e-mails that have the name “Sharon Leighow” on them.
Thus almost HALF of the 24,199 pages of e-mails contain the name “Sharon Leighow”. Considering the fact that many e-mails are more than one page long, we can easily conclude that half or more of the e-mails produced contain the name of the person producing the e-mails. A small sampling of the 12,000 e-mails that contain the name “Sharon Leighow” demonstrate the extent of the involvement of Ms. Leighow in the Palin administration:
1. …With regard to Walt Monegan and the troopergate matter Ms. Leighow says: “I dropped all sorts of questions about linda,” referring to Branchflower’s wife, “……
2. In September 2007, Kristan Cole, Palin’s good friend and chairwoman of the creamery’s board, submitted an op-ed piece. Deputy press secretary Sharon Leighow sent around an e-mail: “Folks – This is our final draft of the Mat Maid Op/Ed to be submitted on behalf of Kristan Cole. Thoughts?”
3. Palin’s staff was setting up an interview on natural gas issues with Energy TV from Canada. Here’s how the interview was set up: Her aide, Sharon Leighow, asked the questions, and the answers were posted on a teleprompter for Palin to read. Then the fake interview was uploaded by satellite…
4. E-mails demonstrate that Sharon Leighow was intimately involved in the “strategy” involved for presenting the story about Palin’s alleged pregnancy. On March 4th at 11:29 am Leighow sent Palin & T. Palin an e-mail :
The text of this e-mail was redacted.It appears that Ms.Leighow asserted that the “strategy” was privileged. In three years of law school I never learned about a “pregnancy strategy” privilege. Maybe that’s a law unique to Alaska.
5. On March 5th Palin send Sharon Leighow this e-mail:
Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 10:02 AM
To: Leighow; Sharon W (GOV)
Subject : Re: Does Beth know?
No. Should we tell her about the baby bump? If you want to, go forth. If not, that’s fine.
Sent from my BlackBerry® device from Cellular One
From: “Leighow, Sharon W (GOV)” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 05 Mar 2008 09:52:22
To:Sarah Palin <gov.saraheyahoo.com>
Subject: Does Beth know?
Deputy Press Secretary
Deputy Communications Director
6. On June 16, 2008, Palin sent Sharon Leighow an e-mail, regarding Track’s rank in the service. That was information about her son that someone did not redact or withhold.
7. Palin sent Leighow e-mails that were redacted alleging that the material contained in the e-mail was “privileged or Personal”. However they were sent during the normal work day, on the Governor’s state business e-mail account, to Sharon Leighow, a State employee. One example would be the e-mail sent on July 7, 2008 at 3:42 pm, with a subject line of “please approve”. Do you think this was sent from Bristol Bay where the Palin’s fish every summer, and during the time that Sarah didn’t hold a crew member license?
8. Multiple e-mails were redacted between Palin and Leighow with the notation “Privileged or Personal Material Redacted” that contained a reference to the Troogergate matter. If these were “personal” in nature then they would tend to support the finding of the bipartisan legislative committee that Palin acted unethically, and should have been produced in that matter.
Alaska is supposed to respond to document requests within ten days, but they can ask for extensions, and the state did so repeatedly when it came to the Palin emails.
We waited for almost three years for these e-mails only to discover that:
(1) More than 2,300 pages were “redacted.”
(3) An entire month of e-mails, from December 6, 2006 to December 30, 2006, have not been produced and there is a complete absence of any explanation or acknowledgement of the missing e-mails.
(4) The state has said it has not finished reviewing the emails from late 2008 through the summer of 2009, when she abruptly resigned. It remains unclear when those emails will be released.
(5)Sean Parnell never made the e-mails available in electronic form, which would have made the production much easier and more accessible to the average person. By delaying the production for over two years, and producing only a limited portion of the e-mails, and doing it in a costly paper form, Governor Parnell has demonstrated his “contempt” for the public records law.
“Ready availability of public records should be a matter of course….The administration’s foot-dragging naturally raises suspicions about why — and about the reasons for some of the redactions and withheld emails. After their performance so far, there is no reason to trust the redaction and withholding judgment of an office full of holdovers from the Palin administration….the attitude of the administration (Sean Parnell’s) toward public records law and the rights of Alaskans has eroded public trust. And that’s of permanent interest.”
It seems that a trend is emerging. The Governor of Alaska, Sean Parnell, Sharon Leighow, and other employees of the state of Alaska appear to feel no sense of accountability to the citizens of Alaska, or to the laws of the state. I am not a citizen of Alaska. I live far away. But even a resident of the State of Texas is offended by the obvious corruption and blind allegiance to Sarah Palin. Without respect for the law we are no better than countries that we condemn like Iraq and Afghanistan that are evil and corrupt. When Transparency International released its annual list of the most and least corrupt countries in the world — the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the United States received a score of 7.1 ,( ranked from 0 to 10, 0 being the most corrupt, 10 being the least). It appears that Sarah Palin, Sean Parnell, and Sharon Leighow have done their part to maintain our ranking far below 10.