Sarah Palin's emails reveal frustration before resignation
Former Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin waves to supporters before addressing a Tea Partly Express Rally in Manchester, N.H., on Sept. 5, 2011. (AP / Stephan Savoia, file)
Published Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:21PM EST
JUNEAU, Alaska - In the final months before she resigned as Alaska's governor, Sarah Palin displayed growing frustration over deteriorating relationships with state lawmakers and their perceived efforts to stall the former Republican vice-presidential candidate's administration, along with outrage over ethics complaints that she felt frivolously targeted her and prompted her to write: "I can't take it anymore."
The details are included in more than 17,000 records released Thursday by state officials -- nearly 3 1/2 years after citizens and news organizations, including The Associated Press, first requested Palin's emails.
By the spring of 2009, the emails show, Palin was regularly butting heads with lawmakers of both parties over her absences from the Capitol and over her picks for vacancies in the state Senate and her own cabinet. The emails she sent to staff illustrate Palin's growing suspicion that those legislators were seeking to undermine her administration by harping on how often she was away from Juneau, the state capitol.
She asked her aides to tally how many days she was out of Alaska in 2008. The staff came up with 94 days, but 10 less if counting travel days when she was in the state part of the day. The absences included all of October and most of September while she was on the campaign trail as John McCain's running mate.
"It's unacceptable, and there must be push back ... " Palin wrote to her top aides on April 9.
Palin also asked her aides to see if they could hold certain legislators' "feet to the fire" and hold votes on her nominees. She wrote words of encouragement to Wayne Anthony Ross, her nominee for attorney general, telling him to "stay strong."
"Those who want to turn this into a kangaroo court will soon see you confirmed as Alaska's AG," Palin wrote.
Ross was not confirmed, the first ever cabinet level candidate rejected by the Alaska Legislature. Palin travelled to an anti-abortion rally in the state of Indiana the day he was defeated.
The emails are the last from her time as governor, according to Alaska state officials. Citizens and news organizations, including the AP, first requested Palin's emails in September 2008, as part of her vetting as the Republican vice-presidential nominee. The state released a batch of the emails last June, a lag of nearly three years that was attributed to the sheer volume of the records and the flood of requests stemming from Palin's tenure.
Palin's frustration over a series of ethics complaints filed against her, one of the issues she cited when stepping down, emerges in a series of emails on March 24, 2009.
"These are the things that waste my time and money, and the state's time and money," she wrote to then-Lt. Gov. Parnell.
In an April 2009 email, she commiserated over a story indicating another ethics complaint was to be filed: "Unflippinbelievable... I'm sending this because you can relate to the bullcrap continuation of the hell these people put the family through," she wrote to Ivy Frye, an aide during the first part of her term, and to Frank Bailey.
Later that day, in an email to her husband and two top aides, on the issue, she said: "I can't take it anymore."
The first batch of emails released last June, before she announced she would not run for president, showed that Palin was angling for the vice-presidential slot months before McCain picked her to be his running mate. Those records produced no bombshells, while painting a picture of an image-conscious, driven leader, struggling with the gossip about her family and marriage, involved in the day-to-day duties of running the state and keeping tabs on the signature issues of her administration.