JUNEAU, Alaska - Sarah Palin's final months in office saw her fighting for a signature accomplishment of her tenure -- a natural gas pipeline project -- and frustrated over a series of ethics complaints that had been filed against her, according to emails released Thursday by Alaska state officials.
In a June 4, 2009, email to aide Katryn Morgan, Palin told her to "push hard to get gasline tweet language today. We MUST give Alaskans their deserved updates on the project." Just a week later, TransCanada Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. announced that they would be working together to advance a gas line project.
That email was among those released by state officials, who say are the last of her emails from her time as governor. Citizens and news organizations, including The Associated Press, 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.
The 24,199 pages of emails that were released last year left off in September 2008. Thursday's release includes 17,736 records, or 34,820 pages, generally spanning from October 2008 until Palin's resignation, in July 2009. Of those, 13,791 records were released without redactions, according to the governor's office. Another 965 documents were withheld.
The release also includes some records that the current governor's deputy chief of staff said were inadvertently omitted from the earlier release.
Days before she announced her resignation, Palin, in a June 29, 2009 email, told a press aide that there may need to be a statement on upcoming court proceedings related to the person in Tennessee who hacked into her personal email. The response from the aide, Sharon Leighow, is redacted but Palin reacted strongly: "The state is involved- has been since day one- it's not a political angle. Don't do a statement then, but know that my staff and Law has been working on this, spending state public time and resources, and the public does have right to know how their public resources are spent, in this case it's to address a TN hacker's bad actions affecting us up here."
Palin's frustration over a series of ethics complaints filed against her, one of the issues she cited when stepping down, comes through in a series of e-mails on March 24, 2009.
"These are the things that waste my time and money, and the state's time and money," she wrote to Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell.
She told her staff to release a statement about the most recent complaint filed by a blogger that said, in part, "Yes, I wore Arctic Cat snow gear at a snow machine event, because it was cold outside. And by the way, today I am wearing Alaska's own Paige Adams' jeans and Alaska's Romney Dodd-Ortland hand-painted clogs. When will I see the ethics charge for wearing these? Now how much will this blogger's asinine political grandstanding cost all of us in time and money today?"
National news organizations flocked to Juneau for the first release, a frenzy that came amid speculation about whether Palin might seek the GOP presidential nomination this year. Palin announced in October that she did not plan to run.
The emails released last June showed that Palin was angling for the vice presidential slot months before John McCain picked her to be his running mate, but they produced no bombshells. They painted 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.
Emails released by the state also show Palin involved in touting the news of the day. In one exchange with aides, dated June 1, 2009, she asked: "What's the twitter news for the day? Ideas?'