Thursday, June 2, 2011

It wasn't named 'SarahPac' for nothing -- Palin running for money, not President - UPDATED

The Washington Post's Dan Eggen has written "The Influence Industry: The fine lines between a Palin vacation and Palin tour:"
When most families go on a summer vacation, they don’t have a political-action committee to pay the bills.

Not so for Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor, who has joined her husband, children and parents in a widely publicized bus tour of East Coast historic sites this week.

The trip appears to be part vacation, part political rally and part reality show. Fuel, lodging and other expenses are being paid for by SarahPAC, Palin’s political committee, which is also soliciting donations online in connection with the journey. ...

... The arrangement is perfectly legal, campaign-finance experts say. SarahPAC is set up as an unconnected PAC, meaning that the usual restrictions on candidate committees don’t apply. Regular candidate committees, for example, are barred from converting campaign money to personal use.

As a result, unless Palin decides to formally explore a possible presidential run, she is free to spend the money raised by SarahPAC for “any lawful purpose” under federal law, experts said. That means it doesn’t matter whether the trip is a holiday, a political event or something in between. (emphasis added)

“Not only can she use SarahPAC for a family vacation, she could use it for her home mortgage payments or anything else she wants,” said Paul S. Ryan, associate legal counsel at the Campaign Legal Center, an advocacy group focused on election laws. (emphasis added) ...

Palin's ability to convert PAC donations to personal use is an incentive for her to avoid being considered a candidate for the presidency. Even though use of the PAC's funds for personal use may be legal, doing so creates an appearance of impropriety.

Sarah Palin's supporters are fond of saying, "She's just like us," or "She's one of us," but how are their vacations paid for?

Eggen's article has more information than what has been excerpted, above; for example, the IRS may consider the PAC's expenditures for personal use to be part of Palin's personal income. If so, she would have to pay taxes on that income.

Update: The IRS has a "Whistleblower - Informant" award.

Update: It is a vacation! '“Thanks for ruining our vacation,” she [Piper Palin] said to our [TIME Magazine's ] photographer.'

Update: The Washington Post also has Piper Palin's comment.


0>w/hole>1 said...

Oh my sweet money-Jeebus, I need one of those things.

Anonymous said...

I can see it now:


Where does it stop?

Jill said...

Why does the media continue fawning over this dead zebra?

I have zero respect for Sarah and Todd as parents. Children deserve to have their privacy and dignity respected, regardless of the ambitions of their parents.

It was exceedingly unwise and exploitive for the Palins to put their children on a reality TV show (just ask Kelly Osbourne if spending one's teen years on reality TV is a good idea). And yes, I have zero respect for the Gosselins, too.

Now, on Sarah's ego trip, poor Piper is not being protected by her lousy parents and grandparents. It is painful to see the girl so mistreated, and shamed, in public, by the very people who should be protecting her from the glare of the spotlight.

The Bushes and the Clintons vigorously protected their children from the media circus. Completely aside from politics, I admire them as parents. I have total disdain and contempt for the Palins as parents.

A Quitter we can count on. Palin 2012

WaveLength said...

I've been listening to comments about the "tour" on TV. I think there is an undercurrent of snarkiness in most of what is being said.

FEDUP!!! said...

So, are you actually saying that *I* could open my own -PAC and keep all the $$$ for myself? I thought 'PAC stands for Political Action Committee?

Joie Vouet said...

FEDUP!!! Just make sure it is a nonconnected PAC.

Quick Answers to PAC Questions

Anonymous said...

Alaska to release 250 pounds of Palin emails, some may touch on family matters :)