Earlier this month, msnbc made quite a splash with a big story on Todd Palin's influence during his wife Sarah's administration as Alaska governor.
The story was based on 2,544 pages of e-mails msnbc obtained through public records requests. The e-mails were among the Palins and members of the governor's staff, and are collected in a searchable archive.
Naturally, Deckboss went fishing in the archive and found a few items of interest to the commercial fishing community.
The items make it clear that Todd Palin, the "first dude," was very much a player in state affairs involving the industry.
My search also turned up some valuable insight into something Gov. Palin made quite a bit of noise about: allowing foreign ships into state waters to process salmon at Bristol Bay.
The Palins fish commercially in the bay, and like many of their fellow gillnetters, they hate it when the domestic processors cut back on buying for lack of capacity.
Gov. Palin told me back in 2008 that she had a "much more open mind" than prior governors about letting in foreign processors to buy fish the bay's existing processors couldn't handle.
I included her comments in this article published in the Anchorage Daily News.
After that story was published, Ivy Frye, an aide in the governor's office, made sure to forward it to Todd Palin, who evidently was away fishing.
Todd Palin's e-mail address, by the way, was firstname.lastname@example.org, reflecting his success as an Iron Dog snowmachine race winner.
Frye for a time was director of boards and commissions, an important post because of the many people seeking the governor's favor for an appointment.
Frye sometimes would ask Todd Palin to recommend people for the boards of agencies such as ASMI, the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute, as this redacted e-mail shows.
Another administration official who communicated with Todd Palin was the governor's adviser on fisheries policy, Cora Crome, now Cora Campbell.
Here's an update Crome sent Todd Palin summarizing her inquiries within state government on prospects for foreign processors coming to Alaska.
In another message Crome passes along material from lobbyists for domestic processors laying out the "risks and downsides" of allowing foreign processors into Bristol Bay.
Finally, here's a revelatory e-mail in which Crome tells Todd Palin state lawyers had advised that making a decision on issuing a permit to a foreign processor would raise ethical questions for the governor — presumably as a conflict of interest. Crome wrote "it could be an extremely sticky situation."
We should note that no foreign floaters ever were seen off Alaska's shores during Palin's short term as governor, apparently because none asked to come in.
Deckboss can't say whether these e-mails really prove Todd Palin was a "shadow governor," as some have observed.
He just knows the messages are good reading.
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