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. Bobby

    The liberal left just can't stop whipping Palin. WHO CARES? I mean really? You can't find something important to report.

    February 25, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  2. shellyTx

    Seriously??? This is all the "dirt" you can come up with against Sarah Palin out of thousands of emails?? And you know what? Even if Todd and Sarah had been experiencing troubles–which they obviously weren't–WHO CARES?!?! Every married couple has troubles!! I've been married 25 years and...SHOCKER!...we've had our ups and downs. Sheesh, people. Get over Sarah Palin already!!! She's a good woman at best; a poor choice for president at worst. Done. End of story. Move on.

    February 25, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  3. Beverly - NYC

    So even before being thrust upon us by John McCain she had a media persercution complex. Right Sarah tell us another whopper. In 2007 no one in the lower 48 knew who the Governor of Alaska was, wished it had stayed that way

    February 25, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  4. JM in Minnesota


    Seriosly people.... There is a treatment for this thing – the pathological obsession with the Palins. I voted for SP as the VP and would vote for her again. Would pick her over BO any day for the POTUS; twice on Sunday. But even I do not remember her as often as the libs do!
    Yes, their is a treatment for this thing – it's called a lobotomy. I would have that done and have your head examined thoroughly if you ever vote for Sarah Palin for anything higher than garbage collector.

    February 25, 2012 06:35 pm at 6:35 pm |
  5. notogop

    I can't imagine being married to Sarah Palin and not having marital problems! Living is Alaska would be difficult enough, but being housebound with the witch would be unfathomable.

    February 25, 2012 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  6. GI Joe.

    I can't understand why CNN keeps up the free advertising for a FOX person that does nothing but lie, whine, complain, hate. Journalism is dead.

    February 25, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  7. TangledThorns

    Haha, Sarah Palin schooled the lamestream media again. Another reason why she leads unlike Obama.

    February 25, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  8. Mike

    Ummmmmm,,,,,,,who is Sarah plain?

    February 25, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Lucky18

    This is all about John McCain over-reaching and over-reacting. His campaign was failing. They thought they needed someone that would the deflect the current critizism at the time. They didn't "vet" Palin properly and wound up with someone who was way, way, over her head!
    Look, some people like her. She's not the smartest tool. She's used what she has and has made money off of the Republican establishment.
    That's it. She is not going any further!

    February 25, 2012 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  10. Blazz

    I could care less about Sarah Palin's personal life However, this is exactly what I would expect to see on the cover of the National Enquirer... To think that someone actually approved print of this? Unbelieveable.

    February 25, 2012 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  11. dgkdgk

    It must be very embarrassing to be a Republican.

    February 25, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. willie

    This broad has set back women's rights 50 years. Just take off your clothes and shut up. I can't imagine any man putting up with her constant nonsensical babbling. Her husband must have learned the valuable skill of selective hearing, or he's just deaf.

    February 25, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  13. Chitown Jason

    I am by no means a Palin supporter, she's as stupid as they get, but this time the media is out of hand. Just reading the paragraph it sounds like a joke, and even if it wasn't, why is it a story if they had marital problems 5 years ago? If they did, they obviously resolved them or decided to work around them.

    February 25, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. Thaw

    Palin belongs on an iceburg far, far away !!!!!!

    February 25, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  15. johndoughboy

    Sometimes for preservation of sanity and good health it is wise to back off frustrating situations. Ms. Palin probably made the right decision by not running for national politics this time.

    February 25, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  16. Bob

    Glen Rice didn't happen to be in town at the time did he? If he was, there you go.

    February 25, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  17. Enitan

    We are not as stupid as she is, we got it very clearly.

    In my 33 years as an adult, i have never ever read anything from this bubble head Palin as stupid as she has become.

    What an idiot. SARAH YOU WILL NEVER EVER BECOME ANYTHING OTHER THAN A FOX NEWS PROPAGANDA. The more you open your mouth, the stupider you sound. Family family value my A..

    February 25, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  18. Ron

    We saw this coming for a while now, it's really no secret. Real family values I tell 'ya!!!

    February 25, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  19. krazytrain41

    who cares

    February 25, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. Lizzy10

    If McCain hadn't picked Ms. Palin, he may have been President today. She was wrong on so many levels.

    February 25, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. John in Colorado

    She asked the people of Alaska to entrust her with the most important job in the state for a term of four years. They gave it to her. She gave it back before even two years were up. And why? Because her ethical lapses caused her mounting legal-defense bills, and the restrictions to making outside money by being Governor of Alaska frustrated her. Perhaps she was not suited for the job. Many people would consider being elected Governor to any state as a great honor; an opportunity to serve and improve the lives of the citizens of their state. I know I would.

    February 25, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. JJJ

    Who cares. Useless excuse for a female.

    February 25, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  23. William Shipley

    You can't help but post tabloid headlines about Sarah Palin, can you? Even though the article clearly and repeatedly points out that it was a joke, you still put it up as the headline. You can, of course, say that your story makes it clear that it was but anyone just looking at the headline will get the 'story' you want to tell.

    And this is journalism. Man, I thought the Tabloids specialized in that. I suppose there isn't any journalism anymore.

    February 25, 2012 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  24. JimZZZ

    Who cares what this nitwit does. No one with any intelligence pays any more attention to her than to get a good laugh.

    February 25, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  25. KeninTexas

    Why is this news? This silliness belongs in The National Inquirer along with the UFO stories.

    February 25, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
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