Alaska's release of Palin emails could shed light on governorship

The state of Alaska will fulfill a long-awaited request Friday when it releases more than 24,000 pages of emails sent by Sarah Palin during her tenure as governor.

The documents have been sought after since 2008, when news organizations and other groups filed public records requests with the state government. They are expected to span from the beginning of her governorship in 2006 to one month before she joined Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign as the vice presidential nominee in 2008, according to The New York Times.

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Political observers hope that the documents, which will be released at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, will reveal new insights and behind-the-scenes details about Palin’s at-times controversial governorship as she contemplates a run for the 2012 GOP presidential nomination.

The release is expected to spark yet another media frenzy regarding Palin, who has generated buzz recently by traveling up and down the East Coast on a bus tour sponsored by her political action committee. 

The Washington Post and The New York Times on Thursday both issued public appeals, asking for volunteers among their readers to help scour the thousands of pages of emails for newsworthy items.

MSNBC, the nonprofit news organization ProPublica and left-leaning Mother Jones magazine are collaborating to make the documents accessible in an online database.

But it remains unclear what, if any, insight the emails will provide.

The office of Alaska Gov. Scott Parnell (R) decided not to release over 2,000 pages of emails, citing executive privilege and privacy concerns, and certain sensitive details have reportedly been redacted in the emails that are being made public.

Earlier this year, NBC News was given access to 3,000 emails that detailed the vast extent of Todd Palin’s role in state affairs as an informal adviser to his wife.