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. dennmax

    Palin is your basic political punk.

    February 24, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  2. Surfer George

    Where's the bus?
    If I can't get him on it, I'll throw him under it.
    ME, ME, ME!!!

    February 24, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. kayla

    oh boy, where was glen rice?

    February 24, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  4. WhereIsPalin

    She makes me vomit.

    February 24, 2012 08:01 pm at 8:01 pm |
  5. word

    Check previously released emails. Todd was forwarding confidential emails from his employer, BP, straight to the Gov's office when there were tax talks going on that substantially affected the bottom line for his employer for years to come. There was no love between employee and employer one could certainly surmise. Conflict of interest? I'd certainly think so.

    February 24, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    Palin is no longer a politician – As a matter of fact, she wasn't on when she was one!!! She belongs on the ET page and not on the Ticker!!

    Obama 2012

    February 24, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. Rags

    Thanks God I'm not married to that fool or I'd be divorcing her too. Go Todd. Get rid of that clown and get a real wife.

    February 24, 2012 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. Crist

    Say it ain't so, Sarah! "For I hate divorce," says the LORD, the God of Israel, "and him who covers his garment with wrong," says the LORD of hosts. "So take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously." Malachi 2:16

    February 24, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. louisebelind

    Well maybe she and Newt can get together since he likes to wife swap. If she is not pretty enough to be first (the other first lady) and his current wife does not get sick, Palin will have to wait in line until Newt is ready for a change.

    February 24, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  10. Lynn

    Yes, breakup just like Brad and Angelina. Every week it's another silly story and they are STILL together. What a nonstory!!

    February 24, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. MaryM

    Surprise, surprise. McCain, you really scraped the bottom of the barrel for Palin, huh?

    February 24, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  12. Squigman

    Like, who cares? Many people go through troubles, and do so without a thought of their problems entering this cretins empty head. Who really cares? Maybe with a few donations from her followers, she can trudge through. Even if they have to miss a trailor payment, they will have done their part to ensure the continued success of just one of the many that could care less about them personally. Just give till it hurts. That's what's expected.

    February 24, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. TPF

    A very dishonest family with absolutely no values. Well, except money. America is sick of this family as much as we are sick of the Kardasians.

    February 24, 2012 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Charlie from the North

    Oh. I thought you meant her divorce from reality. I am sorry her marriage is in trouble.

    February 24, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  15. Jim Bob

    Palin is crazy.

    February 24, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |

    So what? Who cares? She quit on Alaskans 2 years after she promised to serve on their behalf. Why did she run for governor in the first place, then? "I can't afford this job"? Really? Loser much? Did she not think that holding a public office means she's a public servant and that her private life will be compromised as a result? Well, good luck to her and her future endeavors. I don't begrudge her the fame and money she's amassed since her tenure as governor. In my view, however, she's a quitter and an opportunist. She is a phony–just like Romney and Santorum.

    February 24, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  17. pinkhaze

    who cares!!! She is so irrelevant.

    February 24, 2012 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  18. Marsha in IN

    I hope she would get her husband some peace. I would dump her if I was Todd.

    February 24, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  19. DMo

    Inconsequential Dirty Laundry

    February 24, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  20. tcaros

    Don't tell me she was thinking of getting divorced from "Todd the dude"

    February 24, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  21. Jay

    I very much enjoy only hearing her name when she is the butt end of jokes and ridicule:-)

    February 24, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  22. JakeW

    As a Alaskan well familiar with this story, it is entirely untrue that Palin HAD to pay any money at all for her own defense against the multiple ethics charges filed against her mostly by Republicans. She actually CHOSE to hire a private attorney rather than employ lawyers from the state of Alaska (who she would NOT have to have paid for). The reason she did this was that she could file an ethics complaint against HERSELF (you can't make this stuff up, folks!), one which would be subject to coming under the deliberation of the state Personnel Board, all of whom were subject to being fired by Palin at her whim. The ethics enquiry into Troopergate sponsored by a largely Republican Alaska state legislature found Palin guilty of ethical lapses in the whole Troopergate matter. The one she paid for out of her own pocket (and whose results were determined by her underlings) of course found her innocent.

    February 24, 2012 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. Barry from Wisconsin

    Who cares what this lightweight thinks or does?

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

    I have noticied that when ever our media dicuss Gov. Palin they always talk about her personal life. Rarely do they discuss her policy positions. They would never do this to a man. Every interview she does with Fox is about the issue of the day. Gov. Palin has kept her head down and focused on the issues, whereas our media thinks her personal life is more important. It was obvious even to Frank Bailey that the governor was mocking those that thought she was devorcing Todd. His response was to write back "very funny".

    February 24, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  25. Mary

    It's goes to character that her first thought was of her future political deals. She has none.

    February 24, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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