By Kevin Bohn and Emily Smith, CNN
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?”
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. Representatives for Palin did not respond to CNN’s request for a comment or context regarding the divorce comment.
The Palins’ martial 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