Lawsuit over Palin's e-mails gets under way today

ISSUE: Private e-mails on state business need to be public, ex-state worker says.

October 10, 2008 

A lawsuit aimed at forcing Gov. Sarah Palin to preserve any private e-mails she wrote involving state business hits the courtroom today.

Former state employee Andree McLeod filed the suit a week ago. The goal, she said, is to make Palin retrieve e-mails from her private accounts that involve state business and make them part of the state's public records.

McLeod has filed a records request for the e-mails and other records. The lawsuit also calls on Palin to stop using private accounts for state business, she said.

Palin spokeswoman Sharon Leighow said Thursday she can't comment on pending litigation.

A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. today in Anchorage Superior Court.

NECK & NECK

The Senate race between Sen. Ted Stevens and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich is a virtual tie, according to a telephone survey Monday from the national polling firm Rasmussen Reports.

The firm reports Stevens leads Begich 49 to 48 percent, and that Stevens has gained on Begich since last month, when the Anchorage Democrat led 48 to 46 percent.

"Stevens' slight bump up in the race comes after his federal trial began last month in Washington, D.C. Stevens defeated two challengers in the state GOP primary even after his indictment," Rasmussen reports.

The poll says Begich's approval ratings are 59 percent, compared with 36 percent unfavorable; with Stevens rated 54 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable.

The same poll places Gov. Sarah Palin's approval rating in Alaska at about 62 percent. That's based on a survey of 500 likely Alaska voters.

Anchorage pollster Ivan Moore released new results this week too, including similar approval numbers for Palin, which he says are slowly falling.

Her positive-to-negative numbers dropped 3 percentage points in the past two weeks, to 65 percent favorable and 30 percent unfavorable, Moore wrote.

That's compared with 68-27 in late September and 82-13 just after McCain chose her as his running mate.

Moore's survey shows Begich with a 4-percentage-point lead over Stevens -- which, like the Rasmussen survey, places the race within the statistical margin of error.

Moore's numbers are based on an Oct. 3-6 survey of 500 likely Alaska voters. KTUU Channel 2, KENI 650 AM, The Frontiersman and the Anchorage Press paid for his poll, he said.


Find Kyle Hopkins' political blog online at adn.com/alaskapolitics or call him at 257-4334.

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