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In July 2008, Sarah Palin was upset when a reporter inquired about state payment for family travel.
On July 3, Palin's deputy press secretary, Sharon Leighow, emailed Palin a note saying she had spoken "at length" with Anchorage Daily News reporter Kyle Hopkins "about First Family travel."
"He asked about the Barrow trip and why the state should pay for Piper's travel expenses," wrote Leighow, referring to Palin's youngest daughter and a trip to Barrow on the state's remote North Slope.
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"Huh?" replied the governor, "Is he writing a story on the First Family's invitation to attend a native celebration. The state only bought one, one-way ticket for only one other member of the First Family. ... When we're invited to a family event I do road trips when possible, but Barrow ain't a road trip. They were thrilled at least Piper could make it ... and we didn't even spend the night, so no hotel!"
She added that her travel was "1/4 what Murk's was" -- referring to her predecessor Frank Murkowski -- "despite having a large family that's invited to all these Alaska first family events."
Palin asked Leighow to have the reporter call an organizer of the Barrow event to verify "this was a first family event."
"And," Palin concluded, "flippin'a ... do they need an explanation for Trig being there also, in his snugglie?" Trig, her fifth child, was 11 weeks old at the time.
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