The McCain campaign may soon find itself defending against criticisms from a entirely new angle, thanks to some hackers who have apparently broke into two personal e-mail accounts of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. While details of what exactly was included in those inboxes are still in the process of being disclosed, it could possibly add fuel to speculation that Palin had been using personal e-mail accounts for state business.
McClatchy reporter Lisa Demer reported on this practice on Tuesday, writing that the Governor is not the only one to use personal e-mail for official work, but several others in Palin’s administration do so. Some see this as a potential method for Palin and others to get around archiving laws.
Activists have been pressing the government for more disclosure on exactly what Palin has been doing in these e-mails, which may have been the impetus for the hackers known as “anonymous” to attempt the hack. According to Wikileaks, the group gained access to Palin’s account sometime Tuesday.
While in fairness to the governor, many of the e-mails appear harmless and of a personal nature, a few are addressed to state officials. One is to Lt. Governor Sean Parnell, another to Governor’s Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse member Amy McCorkell. There also appear to be quite a few e-mails to Ivy Frye, an aide of Palin’s (see here and here). The contents of the Frye e-mails are not known.
Wikileaks says the Guardian has looked at the data and found that some of the e-mails include a draft of an email to Governor Schwarzenegger, discussions on state appeals court nominees, and e-mails from a “DPS,” likely the Alaska Department of Safety.
The e-mail accounts in question have since been deleted, which could be a potential problem in the ongoing investigation of the so-called “Troopergate” mess (Critics argue that Palin may have used this accounts in connection with those events). Either way, the McCain campaign has wasted no time in quickly denouncing the hack.
“This is a shocking invasion of the Governor’s privacy and a violation of law. The matter has been turned over to the appropriate authorities and we hope that anyone in possession of these emails will destroy them. We will have no further comment,” McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said.
I doubt however that the campaign will be able to stay quiet, especially if it is discovered that Palin was misusing the accounts as has been suspected.