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Sarah Palin's PAC Mostly Spends Its Money On Sarah Palin

The most recent quarterly reports show few candidates receive donations from Palin's personal PAC
Sarah Palin's PAC Mostly Spends Its Money On Sarah Palin
Image from: Gage Skidmore

Despite her utter non-viability as a candidate in 2016, Sarah Palin's piggy bank PAC still rakes in the donations. Presumably, this means it would give some of those donations to candidates Palin has endorsed, at the very least, right?

Well, yes and no. Open Secrets reports that her PAC is operating as usual, with few donations to other Republicans but lots of money spent on herself.

Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s SarahPAC continued to perform underwhelmingly as a source of funds for other candidates in 2014′s third quarter, a report filed with the FEC this week showed. Out of $1.4 million the PAC had available in the third quarter — $978,000 sitting in the bank at the beginning of the July 1-Sept. 30 period, plus another more than $433,000 raised during that time — SarahPAC managed to donate just $45,000 to fellow Republicans running in the midterms. That’s a little more than 3 percent.

For the two-year 2014 cycle, the former Alaska governor’s PAC, a vehicle that helps her stay in the game amid talk that she may run in the 2016 presidential contest, has raised $2.5 million on top of more than $1.1 million that was in the bank at the start of the cycle. It has spent $2.7 million, with about $150,000 — or 5.5 percent — going to candidates.

That’s right about on par with the PAC’s parsimoniousness in 2012. Of the 417 leadership PACs that made at least one contribution in that cycle, SarahPAC was one of only 19 to give less than 10 percent of its total expenditures to candidates, other PACs or party committees. And it was one of only three of those spending more than $1 million to do so — the others being Rep. Ron Paul‘s (R-Texas) Liberty PAC and Sen. Marco Rubio‘s (R-Fla.) Reclaim America PAC. Paul was a presidential candidate, and Rubio may be one in 2016.

What did SarahPAC spend most of its money on, then, in the third quarter? Many of the same consultants she has used all along — for speechwriting, fundraising, logistics and research. There’s even someone paid to consult on “coalitions.” Travel, presumably for Palin, is part of the equation; a PAC like this is useful for keeping a high profile nationally without having to pay those pesky airline and hotel tabs out of personal funds. And the PAC sent $10,885 to HarperCollins — publisher of all three of Palin’s books — for “books for donor fulfillment.” That wasn’t the only book purchase by the committee: A lump sum of $13,000 was listed as being spent for “lodging, SUV rental, books for donors.”


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The book purchases are standard Republican operating procedure. It's how they make sure to keep their books up near the top of the lists at the New York Times and Amazon.com, while the publisher gets to keep claiming they're pimping a "bestseller."

The rest of those consulting dollars are wasted, since she doesn't give a damn about coalitions or research. Her stylist makes more than her speechwriter does, I'll bet.

I wonder if next quarter's PAC reports will report expenditures for lawyers to surreptitiously purchase all the phone pics and videos from that brawl last month. Hmmm.

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