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Sarah Palin emails: Relationship with Senate president grew 'toxic'

June 11, 2011|By Kim Geiger
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Sarah Palin feuded bitterly with Senate President and fellow Republican Lyda Green.

When Green contacted the governor's office in May 2008 to discuss calling a special session to move stalled legislation, Palin said Green was asking the governor's office to "bail her butt out of the pickle she got herself in."

RELATED: Read the Palin emails

"She believes her hide will be saved if she gets us to take on this entire burden and wheel and deal to get the bills passed," she wrote in an email to staff.  "I feel very 'set up' by Lyda on this one...we're being used.  I do want the bills passed, obviously, and I don't want her to get to put any blame on me for the failure of these bills to have been adopted."

In his memoir "Blind Allegiance to Sarah Palin," former aide Frank Bailey says Palin's relationship with Green started going downhill in 2007 when Green called for an audit of a flailing state-run dairy that Palin had sought to save from closure.

"A relationship that was once cordial grew toxic,” Bailey wrote.  “As a result, Green had to be dealt with. When she decided to run again for the state senate seat in late 2007, Sarah actively plotted against her, even suggesting in an email, 'Hey—Ivy even lives in [her] district come to think of it!'" referring to aide Ivy Frye. "'Never hurts to rumormonger.'"

(That statement was not included in the 24,000 pages of emails that were released Friday. If the conversation between Palin and Bailey did not appear on a government email account, it may have been withheld or redacted by the state.)

"Differences and any show of disagreement on policy dissolves into, for her, a disagreement on personality," Green said in a 2008 interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. "And it becomes personal very quickly.”

By April 2008, Palin became convinced that Green was the one spreading rumors.

It started with a rumor that Palin's daughter Bristol was pregnant, which Palin traced back to Green’s office. (Bristol gave birth to son Tripp in late December 2008.)

"Flippin unbelievable," she wrote. "Wouldn't you think they'd be afraid of being proved wrong when they rumor around the building like that?...hopefully it'll be another reason why reporters and the public can't trust that odd group of strange people."

A week later, press aide Sharon Leighow reported to Palin: "Lyda’s office was also spreading a rumor a couple of days ago that [Chief of Staff Mike] Tibbles had a panic attack this week and [Deputy Chief of Staff Mike] Nizich had to take him home.”

"Oh flippin geez," Palin replied. "That was probably when he went to his doctor’s appt to get his [REDACTED] checked out?  What is wrong with these people.”

The conflict seems to have tainted even the most uneventful of encounters between the two warring offices.  

"Another thing -- dumb, but in case the Ear calls,” Palin wrote, referring to the Anchorage Daily News gossip blog.  “One of Lyda’s aides stopped me in the hall to say the building was getting a kick out of my 'burn toast' episode this morning …She thought it was funny I was cooking breakfast in the capitol and burnt it.  I assured her I was not in the building this morning, I was not cooking breakfast here at any time, and I did not burn any toast.  She looked at me warily, I doubt she believed me. Just a head's up."

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