As governor of Alaska Sarah Palin kept an eye trained on her Republican predecessor Frank Murkowski, according to emails released late last week that shed light on the long-running intra-party feud between Palin and the Murkowski family.
Palin requested information from her aides in her first weeks in office that would portray Murkowski as a big-spender in the governor’s mansion.
In February 2007, a month after taking office, Palin asked her aides to find out how much a plaque that Murkowski had installed in the governor’s residence had cost. The plaque cost $5,800, an aide reported to Palin in an email, which noted that she had requested the information.
A few days later, another aide told Palin that the governor’s staff had disclosed to a local blogger that Murkowski kept an apartment in Anchorage at an annual cost of $10,901 to taxpayers.
“No, Governor Palin does not have a state provided apartment in Anchorage,” the aide, Linda Perez, told the reporter, Gregg Erickson, in an email.
Palin’s rivalry with the Murkowski family dated back years. After nearly challenging Frank Murkowski’s daughter, Lisa, in a Senate primary in 2004, Palin beat the elder Murkowski in a GOP gubernatorial primary in 2006.
The emails released on Friday show Palin’s office repeatedly trying to defend her and criticize Murkowski by comparing their spending habits, particularly on state travel.
In September 2007, Palin vented about Murkowski to an aide while complaining about criticism she was facing for hosting a high school football team at the governor’s mansion.
“This was the most frustrating issue I've faced in a long time because it's hyprocritical [sic] and nonsensicle [sic],” Palin wrote. “It was ok for Murkowski to wine and dine Bill Allen and members of the Corrupt Bastards Club, but I'm going to get hassled over how many old boxes of brownie mixes we use to serve a flippin' high school football team?”
In 2010, Palin endorsed conservative Joe Miller over Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiAnti-Trump Republicans endorsing vulnerable Democrats to prevent GOP takeover GOP rallies around Manchin, Sinema McConnell gets GOP wake-up call MORE in a primary. Miller won the primary but Murkowski held onto the seat by running as an independent in the general election.