(Julio Cortez / Associated…)
No one can say Sarah Palin wasn't reading the local papers – down to every last letter to the editor on every last topic.
On July 26, 2008, when Palin noticed a letter in the Anchorage Daily News that briefly criticized her for not attending the Miss Alaska pageant, she took action. Palin appears to write a response and then goes looking for someone else to send the letter, or one like it, to the paper.
The governor's response to the writer, Judy Spry, is written in the third person and begins "Dear Editor." In it, Palin notes that she's a supporter of the pageant system – a former Miss Congeniality, in fact – and that she was swamped with official business. She not only taped a video greeting for the event but Todd Palin "left commercial fishing early this season to keep his commitment judge."
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Palin sends the letter to aides saying, "I'm looking for someone to correct the letter writer's goofy comments, but don't want the letter to ADN in response to come from me."
Ivy Frye, an aide who eventually specialized in opposition research, comes up with a suggested author: "Kristan Cole would be perfect as she knows the pageant world."
Frye goes on to mention that she is "rallying the troops" to write supporting letters on other topics, namely Palin's role in "Troopgate" and the Alaska gas pipeline. Frye said she was making sure "we're sending variations and not duplicates of this letter."
The exchange seems to back up a claim made by former Palin advisor Frank Bailey in his book about working for the governor.
"It was Ivy's job to seek experts to contribute editorial content," Bailey writes.
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