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1000 day wait for Sarah Palin emails nearly over

Transparency delayed...

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After close to 1,000 days, the Alaska governor's office is finally set to release more than 24,000 pages of emails sent and received by former Gov. Sarah Palin during her first 21 months in office.

The release will take place on Friday in Juneau and will comprise electronic messages sent and received by Palin and her husband Todd using various addresses, including one from a Yahoo Mail account. Citizens have invoked open government laws to obtain the email since Palin was named as the 2008 Republican candidate for vice president. On Friday, it will have been 997 days that reporters from MSNBC.com and other news outlets have been seeking the documents, eclipsing the 966 days that she was Alaska governor.

The charge for the 24,199-page dump is a reasonable $725.97, or 3 cents a page, a far cry from the $15 million price tag state bean counters had previously quoted for the release. It will not include 2,275 pages that will be withheld and an additional 140 pages that were deemed to be non-records. The release will include emails sent from December 2006, when she took office, to September 2008.

Electronic correspondence from her last 10 months in office will be released later.

The state of Alaska refused requests to release the emails electronically, agreeing instead to make them available by hard copy only. MSNBC is working with Mother Jones and Pro Publica to scan the documents so that they can be restored to their electronic form.

So far, the only Palin emails that have been subjected to public scrutiny were the handful of messages that were posted to WikiLeaks following the breach of her Yahoo Mail account. The perpetrator of the break-in has been sentenced to 366 days in federal prison after he was convicted of using publicly available information to reset Palin's account. ®

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