February 24th, 2012
05:55 PM ET
11 years ago

Newly released Palin e-mails show frustration and discussion of her marital status

Washington (CNN) - Thousands of newly released e-mails from former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin show her frustration with the increasing ethics complaints filed against her and the mounting legal costs her family was personally incurring.

Also there is one tantalizing e-mail from Sept. 26, 2007 - almost a full year before she was tapped for the unsuccessful GOP presidential ticket - with the subject line saying "Marital Problems." Addressing two of her gubernatorial aides, she said "So speaking of ... If we, er, when we get a divorce, does that quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?"

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That is apparently a reference to the oil company her husband, Todd, worked for. The oil company and the state would have a lot of dealings, but what exactly is meant in referring to the conflict of interest is not clear.

There is no further explanation about whether Palin was being serious or whether it was meant as a joke or sarcasm.

In a Twitter post Saturday, Palin poked fun at the media for their treatment of her e-mail, writing: "Good work, media. My '07 'divorce' email was a joke mocking you for making up divorce rumors. Keep up the, er, credibility-building efforts!"

What she is referring to is unclear since the e-mail was written in 2007, a year before she was tapped to be on the Republican ticket and many months before her marital status would be the focus of national stories.

Palin adviser Doug McMarlin said the divorce comment wasn't meant to be taken seriously.

"Governor Palin was clearly speaking tongue-in-cheek in the email," McMarlin said. "This email was during her fifth pregnancy and the Palin marriage remains one of the most solid in any environment. We thank the media for their, er, continuing attention to this particular issue."

Seperately, a Palin friend told CNN: "That divorce mention was a joke. The 'er' should have been the first clue. If you do the math, she was just finding out about her fifth pregnancy so they were quite close and doing well."

The Palins' marital status has been the source of rumors for years since she emerged on the national stage in 2008.

Several Alaskan websites reported in the summer of 2009 – soon after Palin resigned as governor – that a divorce was impending. Representatives for Palin have in the past vehemently denied any talk of divorce.

A Palin associate told People magazine in August 2009: "No truth to any of the rumors...No divorce. No affairs." Palin posted on her Facebook page a note saying she and her husband "remain married (and) committed to each other and their family."

These newly released e-mails also show clearly how frustrated Palin was, in the months leading up to her resignation, with the intense focus on her and the cost of it.

In April 2009, when another ethics complaint was lodged against her, Palin wrote to some aides: "Unflippinbelievable...I'm sending this because you can relate to the bullcrap continuation of the hell these people put the family through."

Ethics charges against Palin included an allegation she fired Alaska's public safety commissioner over his failure to fire a state trooper who was involved in a divorce with Palin's sister, complaints over travel expenses, and whether she used her influence to get a supporter a state government job.

A month earlier, when talking about the numerous Freedom of Information requests made with the state and how to respond to a reporter's query, she wrote they had cost Alaska over $1 million.

And then she said "We've all had to pay for OWN legal defense in this political bloodsport-it's horrendous-why do you think Todd is on the slope today? i am paying to defend in my capacity as GOVERNOR-actions taking in my official position. This is unheard of anywhere else." She went on to say "I can't afford this job."

In the e-mails, she and her aides also talked about the controversy over her being out of the state in the winter and spring of 2009. One aide e-mailed her indicating Palin had spent a total of 94 days out of Alaska. She was told the number dropped to 84 if Palin's travel days were counted as "in-state" since she spent at least part of the day there.

These e-mails are part of a second batch of documents released by the state of Alaska as part of a Freedom of Information request, which included CNN, that originated in fall 2008 after Palin became the vice presidential nominee.

This batch mostly covers the period of October 1, 2008, through July 26, 2009, when Palin left office. The state was supposed to release these last fall, but asked for an extension through this month.

The e-mails were released Wednesday to reporters physically located in the state and discs containing them were mailed to the respective media organizations on the same day. The Anchorage Daily News posted copies on its website, and CNN was able to examine them there.

CNN Political Reporter Peter Hamby contributed to this report.

- You can follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @KevinBohnCNN

Also see:

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Romney says Obama will 'divide 1% vs. 99%'

Specter disputes Santorum account of support

Axelrod on GOP candidates: 'All hat, no cattle'

Filed under: 2008 Election • Sarah Palin
soundoff (332 Responses)
  1. Bernie Ward

    And, the reason you are bringing this up is for what??????????

    February 25, 2012 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  2. trev

    not a word on this site about Corzine but plenty of Palin articles, how telling, but i understand what kind of people read this on a regular basis, the lost

    February 25, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Tillie in Texas

    Who is this Sarah Palin person you speak of? And why should we care if she was suggesting a divorce of convenience to "quell 'conflict of interest' accusations about BP?" while her husband was employed there?

    Oh, wait a minute... I think.....it's coming back to me now....

    $arah Palin...Grifter of Alaska. Why are we still talking about her, again?

    February 25, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. Debasser

    Seriously media, stop posting things about Palin. Please just let this go away so we can all move on together as a nation and be happy.

    February 25, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  5. omg

    can we please just stop reporting on this irrelevant woman and her family?

    February 25, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Liberals are so deathly afraid of that woman. She is obviously more intelligent and far more qualified to be president then Obama, but that is true of most of the population. You shouldnt be so worried.

    February 25, 2012 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  7. Eric

    Sarah Palin cries about the "lamestream" media all the way to the bank, where she deposits the millions she's fleeced from her willing sheeple followers. Like Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, the worst thing that could happen to her is if she stopped being controversial and people started to ignore her.

    February 25, 2012 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. Patrick W.

    Liberals don't think Sarah Palin is hot. They seem to prefer the Barney Frank type of woman.

    February 25, 2012 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  9. sdgman

    Oh good lord.. the woman never stops lying... "the talk of divorce was a joke for the media" How did this woman become famous without taking her clothes off?

    February 25, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. doug

    If you don't confirm to the National Socailsts, Democrats in America, they will destroy your life.

    There is no doubt that Mrs. Palin has lived a far more ethical, honest, and decent life than any Democrat, she has given back more than any crat ever has or will, yet she has to fight these bs ethical charges?

    Going only by the truth and facts, how silly and insane is it for a Democrat to claim that anyone else has been unethical?

    Democrats openly express their desire to see every Conservative and their family harmed and even killed, they can't debate a real Conservative so create characters like Colbert to be the Conservative they want to debate, since not one of the 50 million people who voted for McCain in any way resemble the liberal Democrat Colbert acting out the Conservative that doesn't exist yet liberals constantly talk about.

    The klan starting Democrats knew that no African Americans fit the hate they spewed about them so the Democrats got out their shoe polish, put it all over their face, and then acted out the African Americans they would hate against, they had to create their boogieman then and now, because in reality that person just doesn't exist. Colbert is no different than the shoe polish wearing libs of the 20th century, Democrats don't change, it is always all hate and lies for 'dem.

    February 25, 2012 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  11. doug

    The treatment Palin has received from the hate and lies National Socialists leaves no doubt that every American who has values, who has integrity and true compassion, has a moral obligation to vote Republican.

    A Democrat saying that someone else has been unethical is like Stalin calling someone else a murderer.

    Sarah Palin has lived a more ethical, honest, compassionate life than any Democrat, you simply cannot find a single Democrat who has half the decency and integrity that Sarah Palin has.

    February 25, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  12. Palin Power

    Sarah Palin is going to win the nomination in a brokered convention and be our next President.

    February 25, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  13. Backdoorpalin

    She's Back!

    February 25, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Bigfella

    Palin is a politically wrong but very attractive gal

    February 25, 2012 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  15. td

    She was mayor of nowhereville alaska in 07'. What media was following her in 2007?

    February 25, 2012 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  16. Shadenfroyd

    Glen Rice took her for a nice little ride. So, she has that and seeing Russia from her kitchen going for her.

    February 25, 2012 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  17. LouieD

    "What she is referring to is unclear since the e-mail was written in 2007, a year before she was tapped to be on the Republican ticket and many months before her marital status would be the focus of national stories."

    Oh, it's pretty clear, although you're not qualifying it as such in order to stay within the bounds (such as they are) of "good" journalism. In a nutshell, she got caught saying something embarrassing again, and had to backtrack to make up an excuse for it. She tries to turn it around on the media in the process, AGAIN, because she's so frustrated at how her own self-publicity backfires on her all the time.

    February 25, 2012 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. Tam

    There are still people who send her money?!

    February 25, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  19. not_Republican_anymore

    I can't stand Sarah Palin, but this looks like she was making a joke. And even if she wasn't, so what? Anyone who has been married for a long time has occasional times when things aren't easy. No story here and frankly, the media should leave her alone.

    February 25, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  20. dale

    It's the quitter governor.

    February 25, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. Cleareye

    Most likely she was referring to how should game the system, get a divorce, escape accusations, and maybe remarry down the road. People do that all the time for tax purposes or legal reasons.

    February 25, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. kateslate

    I don't find anything shocking in these emails. She was obviously stressed by having a large family and also being a politician. It takes a lot of support to pull that off. I don't agree with her on many topics and would never have voted for her to be VP, but these emails are not shocking. The electoral process took care of things.

    February 25, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  23. DYWM

    Which example shows better character? – Sarah Palin, for having marital problems which, like every other facet of her life, show her to be an ordinary person with extraordinary principles? (Which is why elitists hate her) - Or CNN, for being just another vulture rooting through a private citizen's emails.

    Private info (like grades) become public property when the person holds an office which is public property – like the Presidency. If Palin is unqualified to lead, then why are you going through her emails as though she were Presidential material? You are lending her credibility in the eyes of so many of us, CNN, and making yourself look tackier and tackier. There's a reason media bias is somehow becoming a household topic despite your best efforts – because its real.

    February 25, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Larry

    Palin love for BBC is well known.

    February 25, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  25. Debby

    Who cares about this woman already. She mentioned divorce so what. Borger is the only one frothing at the mouth on this one.

    February 25, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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