Palin’s Empty Anti-Consultant Nonsense

John Avlon has been looking at the FEC filings for SarahPAC, Sarah Palin’s primary vehicle for pretending to still be politically relevant by throwing a little money — and I mean a little money — at mostly losing candidates (I’m looking at you, Christine O’Donnell). I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that those records contradict her empty rhetoric.

In total, Palin’s PAC spent $980,000 on campaign expenses, $1.3 million on administrative costs (including almost a million dollars on postage), and three-quarters of a million on fundraising. Hidden in all of this—amid the direct mail and the media buys—is consultants’ cut of every dollar spent.

These are the top-line costs of life in PAC era. But the devilish details in expense reports are what makes it really come alive. Palin’s chief PAC consultant, Tim Crawford, pocketed more than $321,000 this election cycle in direct payments alone, according to the documents. Aries Petra Consulting was taking in between $6,000 and $8,000 a month for speechwriting and “grassroots consulting”—something that sounds like an oxymoron, but ended up costing north of $160,000. C&M Transcontinental racked up $10,000 a month in management consulting, which is hard to imagine for a PAC whose job is simply to raise money and spend it on candidates. Inside SarahPAC, there were consultants for research and consultants for logistics and consultants for issues and on and on and on. It’s hard to find any area where consultants weren’t employed.

So when Palin thundered at CPAC that “Now is the time to furlough the consultants, and tune out the pollsters, send the focus groups home and throw out the political scripts, because if we truly know what we believe, we don’t need professionals to tell us”—it was a riff written by speechwriters and informed by all tools she tried to diss.

Follow the money in politics and you get a glimpse of the truth. Sarah Palin wants to be a defender of the middle class while chartering $27,000 private plane flights and burning through enough cash on consultants to feed a small village for a year or two. As much as advancing a political cause, SarahPAC seems to be a lifestyle play, propping up an expensive ideological entourage.

I’d say we’re about at minute 14.

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  • amenhotepstein

    The tragedy of this is that we are NOT at minute 14. If there were any justice in this world, her 15th minute would have come last year when she decided not to seek the nomination.

    I think she’s found a nice niche where she can live comfortably without any serious competition – and she doesn’t even believe in evolution! Ha!

  • trucreep

    She’s living the American dream.

    Turned her name into a brand, and is selling her product to anyone that will buy it. And a TON of them are buying it!!! What she’s been able to do in the past 4-6 years is pretty impressive. In terms of making a ton of money for nothing that is!

  • Larry

    Protests against consultants even whilst using and paying them.

    Ridicules the POTUS for using a teleprompter even whilst using one during the ridicule.

    The irony is lost on this one.

  • jnorris

    I hope Sarah Palin’s 15 minutes run through the 2016 election cycle. You can’t spell Crazy Republican Tea Party without Palin!

  • timberwoof

    I keep seeing things that remind me of Byzatium in its long downhill slide.

    We have judges avoiding actually deciding an issue by focusing on procedure, and we have politicians spending huge amounts of money on consultants. Add to that the lawyers who sue each other over the shapes of thermostats and what fruit appears in a company logo, and others who create laws useful mostly for patent and copyright trolling.

    How much money is involved in all this? What sort of a parasitic drain on the economy is all this?

    If a friend of yours wasted as much time worrying about all this crap, you’d shake him and take him to a movie or even one of those parties. Why are we letting the country do this?

  • cottonnero

    trucreep #2: Yeah, I’m actually kind of impressed with Palin. The way I am with Wal-Mart, or Pokémon, and anyone else who has gotten themselves into a really secure money-making position. The kind where I say, “I wish I had thought of that… and was evil enough to take advantage of it.”

  • bybelknap

    Yeah, reports of her 15 minutes being nearly over are greatly exaggerated. I mean, I wish it were true, but she’s riding a gravy cow that just keeps making more gravy. Or something. I think we are going to be stuck with her for as long as she can make great fat wads of cash off of real merikkkans.

    And even after she is dead they will make up shit about what a fantastic president she was and how she (tried to) saved us all from the homosexer agenda and kensyean muslin communiss dark person(s) etc. even though she will never be president. In the future, wingnut history will include the Miracles of Saint Sarah and the defeat of the Gummint Death Panels. With lipstick on. And hockey.

  • The greatest irony imaginable would be if she did one day become president, and, at the end of her four or eight years (assuming she doesn’t turned the planet into a scorched, uninhabitable wasteland within days of taking office), having a library named after her.

    The “Sarah Palin Presidenshual Liberry of Real Patriotic Murkan Patriots and Stuff.”

  • fifthdentist:

    I wouldn’t worry. If by some fluke she did become president, she’d quit before doing any real damage.

  • Nick Gotts (formerly KG)

    I think she needs to hire a consultant to advise her on how to reduce her reliance on consultants.

  • mikecline

    bybelknap, you are good!

  • Actually, Palin’s contempt for consultants may be hypocritical, but it’s consistent with her (and her party’s) utter contempt for intellect, expertise, or professionalism, even when it’s employed on their side.