'First Dude' or Shadow Governor?

Todd Palin's role is scrutinized as he's thrust into spotlight
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 3, 2008 11:14 AM CDT
Todd Palin drives his wife, Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin, to the staring line of the Iron Dog snowmobile race last year.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo, File)
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(Newser) – Todd Palin likes the title "first dude," but some Alaskan critics of his wife have dubbed the apparently unassuming husband the state's "shadow governor," the Wall Street Journal reports. The oilfield worker and champion snowmobiler is copied on some official correspondence and is accused of playing a key role in the "Troopergate" scandal that triggered an investigation into Sarah and Todd Palin's role in firing an official who refused to ax a state cop who divorced Sarah's sister.

Palin's press secretary said Todd passes along some correspondence he receives but doesn't attend meetings or play an executive role. Todd often appears at public events and has helped promote vocational education. He's part Yupik Eskimo and his pet cause has been getting more native Alaskans trained to work in the state's industries.