Monday, July 12, 2010

Palin Takes In The Cash But Doesn't Dish Out

I was reading this article from The Christian Science Monitor about Sarah Palin and the money she took in with her SarahPAC and I thought something was interesting.  In the article, author Peter Grier seems to praise Palin's ability to raise large sums of money, and I have to admit - for a woman who could not even complete a full term as governor and stand the scrutiny for her unethical behavior, she has raked in a large amount of cash.  That is only part of what I found interesting.  Grier also praises Palin's contributions, which make up only a small fraction of her political action committee's expenses.
SarahPAC has donated at least $87.500 to candidates Palin has endorsed in recent months. This includes a $2,500 donation to the campaign of Carly Fiorina, the ex-Hewlett Packard CEO now running for Barbara Boxer’s Senate seat. (Does this mean Palin helped pay for Fiorina’s demon sheep ad?) She’s also sent $2,500 to Sharron Angle, the "tea party" favorite who’s trying to dethrone Senate majority leader Harry Reid in Nevada.

But the outflow is not the news in the SarahPAC report. That would be the inflow. Sarah Palin’s political action arm raised more than $865,000 in recent months, and now has more than $1 million on hand to give to favored candidates in the run-up to the fall midterm elections. That’s quite a cash cushion. And in politics, donations – especially donations made as a vote nears – are favors that can produce return favors, with interest, in years to come.

“We’re going to really help a lot of Republican candidates get a chance to win,” said SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford.
Grier writes that the outflow is not the news but I beg to differ.  The majority of Palin's money had gone to consultants and silly expenses, not candidates.  Palin's defenders attack the critics of these expenditures, claiming the nitpicking is much ado about nothing, but why is it that Palin pays her staffers so much, pays for trivial things, and then gives so little to the candidates she endorses?

My opinion is that Palin and her cronies benefit from being in the public eye.  Every time she makes a little endorsement, she gets a little kickback from the fans of those she supports - I'm sure plenty of Nikki Haley voters gave to SarahPAC.  Sarah then throws a little bit money towards the candidates, and I mean a little bit of money, but those candidates can't complain, because doing so would aggravate the teabag base and Palin's minions would revolt, so the candidates stay quiet.  Meanwhile, Palin and her friends live off the rest and use SarahPAC as their own personal slush fund. 

SarahPAC's treasurer couldn't be more wrong. $2,500 here, $2,500 there - that is nothing in the campaigns, where it takes millions to win elections.

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