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. tony

    I don't understand the attraction. I wouldn't even want to see that woman twice, let alone ask her out, even if she was single and back in her twenties.

    February 25, 2012 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  2. GailS

    Big deal. I'm not a fan of Palin's but even I can see how insignificant this is. She and Todd have been married over 20 years, so it's not unusual that divorce may have been a consideration at some time. Give it a rest.

    February 25, 2012 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  3. Norm

    One of the main and loudest proponents of "Family Values"...
    LOL....Conservatives are so mentally il.

    February 25, 2012 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  4. J myer

    Maybe if Sarah quit making remarks for the "lame stream media," and letting them know when and where she is all the time, we can forget about her. She is the one driving the interest in her by making hateful comments, sarcastic statements, and criticism about everyone she doesn't agree with. It makes news and that is what the media wants – even if it is negative, they will jump on it. It brings up ratings for them as the evidently the public loves drama, which there is plenty of with Sarah Palin and her family. If she would just stop saying all the crazy things, and looking for attention, it would be better for everyone concerned. Then we could get on with making our country better and try to solve our problems.

    February 25, 2012 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Grim Reaper

    Yes Tony you go with the attraction of hotties like Hillary and Pelosi. You blind scamp.

    February 25, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  6. Bobinonn

    Norm: You miss the point. It is because of Family Values that they worked things out and stayed together. I take it you're not married or if you are and have never had stressful times you are either lying or living in an alternate reality.

    February 25, 2012 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  7. KeninTexas

    Why is this news?

    February 25, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Brian

    "It is because of family values that they worked things out and stayed together." Yeah, nothing says family health like two adults, who don't love each other, staying married just to remain miserable under one roof. But thanks for the insight, Mr Cleaver.

    February 25, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  9. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    This is nothing new, Levi, Palins's daughter baby daddy Levi, disclosed the problems in her marriage and shortly after they made sure they slandered him. Palin see Todd as political damage to her and that folks is what she calls her "family values". But always remember "water seeks it's own level" and she ain't no better than Todd.

    February 25, 2012 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  10. Grumpy Old Lady

    The think she has a large following of elderly people. I'm not one but the older they are the more she's liked. She seems to appeal to a group of the population.

    February 25, 2012 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. ThinkAgain

    "If she would just stop saying all the crazy things, and looking for attention, it would be better for everyone concerned."

    Palin's got nothing to offer beyond being a photogenic harpy willing to say ridiculous things. The people who like her are equally shallow and ignorant. Pretty pathetic all around ...

    February 25, 2012 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  12. EddyL

    Some marriage. Both of them have had affairs. The marriage is just for politics.

    February 25, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  13. adsf

    Considering Palin's political irrelevance, "news" about her personal life should be removed to CNN's entertainment page. She was a reality star since she was a politician (and a better one).

    February 25, 2012 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  14. Lonewolf

    I'd like to take her behind the wood shed still.:-P

    February 25, 2012 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  15. Pat

    I'm flabbergasted at the idea that there are still people out there who think palin is qualified for any kind of public office. Walking in a swimsuit in high heels was the optimal achievement any logical personn could hope for her and her public image.

    February 25, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. Mercfan

    So if this was so insignificant, why did it take 4 years to release these emails? CNN filed a Freedom of Information request in 2008 when she was running as the VP candidate. I'd admit that she was probably being sarcastic when she made the comment about if they were divorced – but then why fight it for 4 years?

    What it does prove though, is that she was not prepared for the scrutiny of running as a national candidate. She certainly enjoyed attention being on the Campaign stage, but not the vetting of her personal life. To be honest not many people want to go through that and avoid running for national office for that very reason. Mario Cuomo avoided it because there were some questions about connections his father may have had.

    Others are able to get through it by ignore the question or chastising the reporter that asks the question. A tactic George W Bush used when reporters asked him about his cocaine abuse or the vehicular manslaughter charge against his wife Laura.

    February 25, 2012 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  17. Fla Pete

    Palin,as governor gave a cold shoulder to parents of special needs children.Once she had Trig who has Downs syndrome ,she became the postermom of all special needs parents,a wolf in sheeps clothing,total hypocricy to gather votes.She was sued,while being mayor of Wasilla,for property she got using the eminent domain rule,losing in court costing Wasilla over a million dollars .The property owner said he would have happily donated the property but because of Palins actions,decided to sue...So if you want anything on this hypocritical bit...look her up under Palin in fact check.con or politifact .comThere's a lot about her,that's why she doesn't want to run,she's problematic,a lightning rod of trouble.....

    February 25, 2012 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  18. sk

    Really? Why is this worthy of print?

    February 25, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. Rim Greaper

    Have to concur w/ Tony. This woman does nothing for me, other than sicken me each time I have to
    come across her in these seemingly never ending stories. When is the media going to move on from this
    big fat zero?

    February 25, 2012 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. Edi

    Can't blame him... who'd ever want to be married to Palin?

    February 25, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  21. Joe Blow

    I live 1 mile from this unruly clan–both the Heaths and Palins. Now Bristol moved to our side of the lake, across from T&S. Alaskans know all of Sarah's dirty laundry–and there is plenty!! She and Todd have had HUGE, can-throwing, screaming, voltile, fighting at that house. We have know this for years. It is only with the VP nodd did they miraculously find "Christian values". Anyone seen any Heath or Palin in a Sunday pew? NO!

    February 25, 2012 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  22. lalo_hopscotch

    What a flipping hypocrite, she doesn't like it when people lie about her and make up charges, how many timnes has SHE lied about the president and made up lie after lie?

    February 25, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  23. NoKidding

    What I got from this email was: She was Governor of Alaska, he worked for BP (oil company), so since BP could have a lot to gain from having connections with the Governor, this would pose a conflict of interest as far as Palin is concerned. Therefore, with a divorce, Palin would be able to get out of the conflict of interest claim (and who is going to check if they were really divorced in reality)
    Obviously she doesn't have to worry about that anymore since she is no longer the governor of Alaska. That's probably why she is still married.

    February 25, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  24. jesse james. take them to street and shoot them like the dogs they are

    People have enough to deal with. We realy do not need to hear about this woman.

    February 25, 2012 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  25. marty

    Seems as though the only thing Sarah really 'values' is herself!

    February 25, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
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