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. Happy Donkey

    So glad we don't have to listen to her whiny stupid comments as a candidate this time around. Perhaps she will eventually just get old and fade away.

    February 25, 2012 07:10 am at 7:10 am |
  2. Reddog9500

    Not to be confused with an ice skating technique, "The Palin Spin" is easy to master if one lacks character and ethics but seeks political power.

    February 25, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  3. Brons

    Why should we continue to care about this loser/quitter?
    She's no smarter than when whe was a VP candidate and continues to preach "sky is falling,armageddon is coming". Palin and Bachmann..both graduates of the School of Rhetoric!
    She needs to stop whining and keep her mouth shut unless she's got something of value to contribute to the country's problems.

    February 25, 2012 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  4. michael

    pathetic. is the media still combing through this woman's trash too?? Probably, and yet they are incapable of asking the tough questions of Obama or about his administration. John king did not even bring up the subject of gas prices at the last debate. That is effecting everyone right now. If I hear another Democrap say that drilling wouldnt effect gas prices for awhile because it takes years to develop the site I'm going to puke. They said the same thing a few years ago. Just keep putting it off you idiots

    February 25, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  5. shirin mohammadian

    Ah... Man this is very crazy...):(:

    February 25, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  6. maizecavity

    Being a vile excuse for a human being should be expensive.

    February 25, 2012 07:58 am at 7:58 am |
  7. Inspector Clouseau

    Is CNN morphing into the National Enquirer? Do we really need to continue reporting on private family issues. Just drop it.

    February 25, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  8. dayhiker48

    Knowing now the emotional, as well as financial, toll this has taken on Palin makes the effort all the more worth it. My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all those responsible.

    February 25, 2012 08:04 am at 8:04 am |
  9. NanookoftheNorth

    Leave this woman and her family alone ! Most of us up here don't giving a flying fig what you think of Sarah's politics...but when it comes to her family...leave them out of all your smart-a$$ comments.

    (Go Todd Go ! Good Luck in the Iron Dog race this w/e !)

    February 25, 2012 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  10. NanookoftheNorth

    Oh and by the way.....The Anchorage Daily News is better known as 'The Daily Democrat' up here. Never an unbiased or fair reporting from that rag.

    February 25, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  11. Charlotte

    Thank you CNN for pointing out Sarah's frustration over the amount of politically motivated ethics violations filed against her and how much they were costing her state and her personally. Interesting how no ethics violations were filed against her before she ran for VP. I wonder how many people would continue to do a job if it personally costs them thousands of dollars a day and prevented them from effectively doing their job, as well as the negative toll on their family. Amazing how people just want to label her a quitter. Regarding the divorce email, it sounds like sarcasm to me. Regardless of whether or not you like her, don't be blind to injustice.

    February 25, 2012 08:11 am at 8:11 am |
  12. Stymied

    If Sarah & the "first dude" talked divorced, so what? Every marriage has rough patches & divorce will come into the conversation sooner or later. Sometimes the discussions conclude in a divorce & sometimes it doesn't.

    I was Catholic, my first husband was not. For 10 yrs, when we had a big disagreement he'd say I want a divorce & I'd freak out & give in no matter how uncomfortable I was with the outcome. One day I had enough, he said I want a divorce, the next day he came home from work and found a for sale sign in our yard, a list of demands from my divorce attorney, and an filled out job application for myself in another state. I had a busy morning. End of story, we did not sell the house, my lawyer only got a consultation fee, & I didn't take the job out-of-state. We were together for another 3.5 yrs when he was killed in an industrial accident at work. Those last 3.5 years were my happiest. Oh, we still had disagreements, but he never, ever said he wanted a divorce to me again. I felt I was on a more equal footing with my spouse. Oh I still compromised more he did, but I never again compromised on my core issues. It took me 10 years to grow a backbone.

    P.S. I am not a Sarah Palin & I hope she never hold an elected office again.

    February 25, 2012 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  13. tony

    Just gossip. Will that go on forever?

    February 25, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  14. Commento

    I feel sorry for this crap

    February 25, 2012 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  15. Charlotte

    I guess I don't get it. Why is CNN featuring a story like this? There's nothing in here that's relevant or even interesting as "news." I detest this moron as much as anyone but I can't see any point in an article like this. I won't even call it a 'story' because there's really no story here – it's certainly not 'news' because there is nothing new. It's like the fish/bicycle thing. Please, CNN, quit hyping stuff that isn't worth reading, whether someone obsessively adores this nitwit or finds her unbelievably offensive. This.....this is just tedious.

    February 25, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  16. Sam Smith

    Why must CNN waste time on this woman? She never intended to run for president, just wanted to take money from personal appearances and gullible voters. Yet they CNN continues to report these lurid details like a trash magazine.

    February 25, 2012 08:29 am at 8:29 am |
  17. ally buster

    She's a clown.

    February 25, 2012 08:33 am at 8:33 am |
  18. tnb

    This is news reporting because??? Oh yeah I forgot it's CNN....man can't believe you are still threatened by her. She is beautiful, smart, and conservative. Liberal feminists worst nightmare.

    February 25, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  19. Faithwalk

    Where is the full text of any one of these emails? How can you print a sentence with ..... missing words and think that is newsworthy or complies with journalistic standards, common sense or integrity?
    How stupid do you think the public is?

    February 25, 2012 08:37 am at 8:37 am |
  20. Faithwalk

    This it tabloid journalism. Sad thing is most of the media around the country will do the same. Does not make it right or good for our nation.

    February 25, 2012 08:38 am at 8:38 am |
  21. Kate

    Republich Family Values? Democrat sleeze-ball tactics?

    In the end, America loses!

    February 25, 2012 08:39 am at 8:39 am |

    My God, she is so stupid.

    February 25, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |
  23. NameFrank Deery

    This is outrageous!

    February 25, 2012 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
  24. dgmmwm

    So, does anyone really care?

    February 25, 2012 08:48 am at 8:48 am |
  25. Irma in north Carolina

    Oh sarah you poor thing. Who have you got your eyes on now. What goes around comes around.

    February 25, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
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