Sarah Palin emails: Governor had icy relationship with state’s congressional delegation

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) listens as then-Gov. Sarah Palin testifies at a public hearing in Anchorage in April 2009 on the federal government's proposed five-year oil and gas leasing program.
(Associated Press)

Sarah Palin had a tough relationship with members of her home state congressional delegation, as she did with many other public officials.

E-mail exchanges between then-Gov. Palin and the head of her Washington office, John Katz, often have “Palin administration/congressional delegation” in the subject line and are heavily redacted. Many of these e-mails are also marked “attorney client privilege.”

Still, the un-redacted emails provide hints of a troubled relationship.

RELATED: Read the Palin emails


In late 2007, Palin is apparently considering proposals for working with the delegation including joint news conferences. At one point she tells Katz she likes the idea but is wary.

“I trust this is a two way deal,” she writes from her personal Yahoo account. “That they don’t say one thing to us and something else to others.”

In mid-2008 she had strong exchanges with Rep. Don Young after publicly suggesting that former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens needed to explain his role in an alleged corruption scandal.

The chilly relations turned even frostier as the year progressed. In one e-mail, Palin is informed by a staffer that Young wants to talk to her. She asks for more information about the proposed conversation, telling her staffer “I don’t want to get chewed out by him yet again.”

A member of Palin’s Washington staff at the time, Larry Persily, said that there was constant tension between Alaska’s members of Congress and Palin, who ran as an anti-establishment candidate.

“She was so distrustful of Washington, and so ignorant of it,” Persily said. “If you are governor, you need to really make an effort to establish a relationship and get along with the congressional delegation. She didn’t do it.”


Palin email: Palin defended gas pipeline project
Palin email: Palin aides dismayed by media requests
Palin email: State redacts emails concerning oil leases
Palin email: Alaska House speaker’s comments irritate Palin Palin email: Palin fielded death threats as campaign heated up