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Monday, April 19, 2010

SarahPAC Not Obligated to Follow Media Schedule

The latest hit piece against SarahPAC originates from Sandra Fish, a contributor to AOL Politics Daily. In this specimen, she rails against SarahPAC's spending on consulting, travel, and photography fees, and uses the PAC's routine disclosure filings in a lame attempt to build a case that it is not fulfilling its mission. In her lead, Fish points to 20 targeted districts and complains that SarahPAC did not support or endorse "favored candidates in those districts" (Fish, 2010, para. 1).

Calculus of Candidate Endorsements

The real world is not as simple as Fish makes it appear. Governor Palin identified 20 incumbents she wants to see voted out of office. That does not confer an obligation upon her to immediately identify the names of those she would endorse and financially support to run against them. In many districts, there may be contested primaries. Also, Gov. Palin and SarahPAC are not in the business of squandering endorsements. Even one losing endorsement can seriously deplete her political capital. Her endorsements have to be winners. Mere agreement with political values is necessary but insufficient to generate a winner. The candidate must have a clean shot of winning, i.e. run an effective campaign.

Expenses, Revisited

Further, the serious money is needed later on in the election cycle. SarahPAC has to leverage its endorsement money wisely. In my prior entry on SarahPAC's expenses, I already addressed how I am satisfied that the expenses incurred, are reasonable and customary. I expressed my satisfaction with SarahPAC's handling of its expenses both as a mid-range donor and as editor and publisher of a site that routinely asks people to donate to the PAC.

All PACs Have High Administrative Overhead

Mitt Romney's Free and Strong America PAC disbursed $52.4K to candidates. It has substantial consulting and administrative expenses, totalling over 20 times what was disbursed to candidates -- $1.226 million. HuckPAC disbursed $13,500 to candidates and it too disbursed more than 20 times that number in its administrative expenses - $270K. SarahPAC disbursed $9.5K to candidates and had $393K in other expenses. Romney's PAC raised $1.5 million; HuckPAC, $273K, and SarahPAC $400.5K.

There is nothing non-standard or untoward about SarahPAC's disbursements. Those whose opinions matter on the subject of donations to SarahPAC - the donors - have not lodged any complaints about how SarahPAC conducts business.

Did Fish bother to read the disclosure reports for Romney's and Huckabee's PAC's? Or is only SarahPAC the subject of Fish's fishing expedition?


Fish, S. (2010, April 19). "Sarah Palin's House Hit List: No Money to Favored Candidates So Far." AOL Politics Daily. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from: http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/04/19/sarah-palins-house-hit-list-no-money-to-favored-candidates-so/

Reports of Receipts and Disbursements. Committee: Free and Strong America PAC. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from: http://images.nictusa.com/pdf/321/10930570321/10930570321.pdf#navpanes=0

Reports of Receipts and Disbursements. Committee: HuckPAC. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from: http://images.nictusa.com/pdf/189/10990547189/10990547189.pdf#navpanes=0

Reports of Receipts and Disbursements. Committee: Sarah PAC. Federal Election Commission. Retrieved April 19, 2010 from: http://query.nictusa.com/pdf/552/10990533552/10990533552.pdf#navpanes=0

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