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:

Maher puts one-million dollars behind pro-Obama Super PAC

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. J.V.Hodgson

    You do not joke about divorce especially if you are of her particular religious persuasion. No one does the only issue is if it is in discussion or even hinted at: IS; WHAT WOULD DRIVE EITHER SIDE TO PUSH ANHD MAKE IT HAPPEN, if not already partially on the table somewhere i.e at home or in some lawyers office.
    Personally i think this generic kind of freedom of information act request from media is ahuge invasion of privacy both personal and governance policy wise . Meaning since you are governor and elected and subject to re-call in many cases this kind of post facto digging is disgraceful as an invasion of privacy, especially as they are still married. It should not be in the "news"

    February 25, 2012 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  2. RT

    Stay married, Sarah. Who else would have you but a guy who likes to disappear into the Alaskan wilderness time to time?

    February 25, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  3. dgkdgk

    An, you connies were ALLLLLLLL about getting this woman elected .... what a joke.

    February 25, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  4. Kathy

    Rings true to the book by her former aide, Frank Bailey "Blind Allegiance". Read it please, Palin-bots.

    February 25, 2012 12:23 am at 12:23 am |
  5. Jack

    Palin is nothing more or less than a she-skunk caught in a trap. She can't help what she is, and I almost feel sorry for her. She was just going for all she could get and now it has caught up with her.

    America owes her. She has at the very least exposed the Republicans for what they are and have always been since 1960.

    Sarah Palin will have a well deserved place in history but it won't be the one she imagined. She will get credit for the beginning of the end of the Republican party. I expect within the next five years we'll hear the "shocking" news of her death due to a presriiption drug overdose.

    She fits that personallity type. Or maybe the Republican establishment will just kill her off and try to use her as a martyr to rally the nasty rightwingers that make up their base.

    February 25, 2012 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  6. Sarasux

    what a loser!

    February 25, 2012 12:29 am at 12:29 am |
  7. Ohplease

    For crying out loud, can't you vultures ever get enough blood? I have no opinion one way or the other about Sara Palin, but for crying out loud, leave these people alone! Enough already!

    February 25, 2012 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  8. vote the Tea Party OUT in 2012

    sorry but I see no real reason why this is even on political Ticker. I guess CNN misses the once daily Palin posts. SEESH!

    February 25, 2012 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  9. Aces Full

    Exactly how is this political news today? Liberal press, what a joke.

    February 25, 2012 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  10. Seattle Voter

    Unbelievable! She talks like a Saint but I guess she's also hiding a lot of secrets and they are finally coming out from the necks of the woods! As a woman, I never thought she was being truthful. I wonder why she's still working at FOX but then again a lot of FOX's staff are AIRHEADS!

    February 25, 2012 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    Typical, whiny Palin. However, I'm guessing the "marital problems" email was written as a sarcastic response to yet another episode of her feeling picked on by her "enemies."

    Palin = Quitter, Liar, Mooch

    February 25, 2012 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  12. TerryV

    should we be surprised? this is the woman who cares so completely about herself, that she was willing to put the country in danger by having her as a possible vice-president. it must be hell for her husband living with this ego freak.

    February 25, 2012 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  13. Creed

    Granted this woman is a real nut case and has no business running for national office because she here view of America is limited but this going a little bit out of bounds. A persons marriage is between them and God not the rest of us. I really could careless what she wrote in a email and why this has become public fodder I don't know. Somethings are news and other things none of any ones business.

    February 25, 2012 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  14. Walter

    Exactly what role does this worman currently play in politics which warrents such continual press? Of course, that's a rhetorical question. It's simply an attempt to bad mouth the Republican party. When PBS put out a show focusing on beloved lib Bill Clinton's extra-marital affairs, there was very little press. Typical.

    February 25, 2012 02:33 am at 2:33 am |
  15. Tom

    Is there anyone at CNN who is not a utterly brainless, leftist dimwit? CNN actually "thinks" from the mention of "divorce" in an e-mail by Palin that she and her husband were considering "divorce"?

    Also, note how CNN asserts that "[s]everal Alaskan websites reported in the summer of 2009 – soon after Palin resigned as governor – that a divorce was impending." "Several Alaskan websites"? Hahahahahahaha! CNN, try: "Several whack job, America-hating, leftist, freakshow freak, fringe websites (like CNN!) 'reported' ...." Gotta love how CNN "thinks" that those fringe, America-hating, leftist, freakshow freak, fringe websites "reported" something!

    Does anyone at CNN know what evidence is?

    February 25, 2012 03:19 am at 3:19 am |
  16. Suggesion

    She can then marry Newt, and run for vice president with Newt as the president. Truly a win-win couple with predictable landslide.

    February 25, 2012 03:25 am at 3:25 am |
  17. anna

    Please stop your BS when it comes to Sarah Palin...The media got what they wanted her not running for President...Leave her alone I think you did enough damage with your lies and trying to destroy her & her family...Enough is enough....She is an accomplished woman...Like it or not she is gonna make a come back you can not keep a good woman down...

    February 25, 2012 03:48 am at 3:48 am |
  18. ufadoof

    Palin and ethics = oil and water.

    February 25, 2012 04:45 am at 4:45 am |
  19. Dave

    I'm surprised Palin knows what the word "quell" means.

    February 25, 2012 05:19 am at 5:19 am |
  20. Peggy

    Really? Get off her back. Most married couples go threw hard times, say things, write things, have a bad patch. They made it threw it and thats wonderful for their family. I wish many other couples could endure their struggles and come threw together in the end. How about a postive story like that instead of the hogwash of making her look bad! =(

    February 25, 2012 05:22 am at 5:22 am |
  21. Kevin

    Poor misunderstood sarah. Man, did we ever dodge a bullet with this bimbo. How fortunate for all of humanity!

    February 25, 2012 06:23 am at 6:23 am |
  22. modmike

    CNN...please! We have more important issues to discuss, like the presidental election. No one is interested in her and please stop digging up stuff about her! Honestly I don't like her but, still leave the woman alone!

    February 25, 2012 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  23. Kellsey

    This is pathetic. CNN is trying to scandalize a private issue among a married couple who has marriage problems. I'm sure they'll post next week about how Obama and Michelle are the couple of the century.

    February 25, 2012 06:40 am at 6:40 am |
  24. Liz

    She was likely being sardonic.

    February 25, 2012 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  25. Marlee

    Sarah Palin sure is a popular topic of discussion and she isn't even running. Too bad.

    February 25, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
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