Sarah Palin in a bikini holding a rifle (gag)

Sarah Palin: The gift that keeps on giving.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

E-mails shed new light on Todd Palin’s role while his wife was Alaska’s governor, showing that the one-time oil field worker’s advice was sought on board appointments and suggesting he was close to matters related to state government, his wife’s image and politics.

Relatively few of the messages obtained as part of a public records request were sent by Todd Palin himself.

Rather, his personal e-mail address is included on messages sent by administration staff, top aides to then-Gov. Sarah Palin and Palin on topics ranging from use of the state plane to day-to-day governing issues and oil and gas legislation that Palin made a hallmark of her 21/2 years in office.

But the e-mails, first reported by, together provide fresh insight into what many had suspected was a highly influential role played by the self-proclaimed "First Dude." They also reflect the at-times fierce loyalty that Todd Palin and others close to the former governor felt, particularly amid tensions with lawmakers and criticism in the media.

"Have Meg take the news miner off the press release address list for a few days,see how long it takes them to realize their not on the list," Todd Palin wrote to his wife in an e-mail, dated June 21, 2007, after the governor questioned the fairness of an editor in Fairbanks Daily News-Miner.

It’s not clear from the e-mails whether there was a policy, unspoken or otherwise, that Todd Palin be copied in on certain matters either because he was a key adviser or a mere backstop to the governor. Several former aides to Sarah Palin declined comment Friday.

I’ll bet those former ades to Sarah Palin declined comment.

So, what exactly was the role of Todd Palin in Alaskan government? Was he the brains behind the operation?

A Palin attorney attempts to clarify:

Palin attorney Thomas Van Flein said in a statement Friday that each spouse of a chief executive is free to define his or her own role.

Todd Palin "was, and remains, a close advisor to the governor. Those in the administration knew this, and the public knew this," he wrote. "There is nothing unusual, untoward or inappropriate for a spouse of a chief executive to provide guidance, input and hands on assistance."

And then there’s the Alaska constitution. What role, exactly, does the Alaska constitution reserve for the spouse of the governor?

Did Sarah Palin make decisions on her own, or ndid she consult Todd every step of the way? Indeed, did Sarah Palin make any decisions on her own while ostensibly serving as governor of Alaska?

I want to hear from some Alaskans. Were you all really aware that Sarah was consulting Todd so frequently?

More here from MSNBC, first to break the story.

And more from Shannyn Moore:

Well, isn’t that interesting. He’s nothing, a nobody, a “husband” when there’s an investigation into abuse of power. His newly revealed emails demonstrate a clear and unambiguous over-reach…but he’s just an unpaid adviser…


Shannyn Moore, "just a girl from Homer," has a special place in her heart for the Palins. They’ve really helped her career, you know.

Sarah Palin: The gift that keeps on giving.