Like Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin has a Super PAC. And like Bachmann, Palin’s PAC spends money on almost nothing but perpetuating itself and funding her travel and other expenses. Ben Jacobs at the Daily Beast has some of the details.
But because Sarah Palin’s political action committee is dedicated primarily to promoting the political profile of the former Alaska governor and former VP nominee, it can get away with spending more than it takes in—and doling out nearly $97 to Palin’s inner circle for every $1 that went to elect Republicans.
Over the first half of 2013, SarahPAC took in $460,000, but spent more than $495,000. Despite its stated purpose of supporting like-minded candidates, it donated to only one—giving $5,000 to Jason Smith, a conservative Republican backed by the NRA and pro-life groups who won a special election in Missouri’s Eighth Congressional District in June by a margin of 67–27.
In contrast, the group spent almost $484,000 on fundraising, research, speechwriting, and high-end travel. This is a comedown from the 2012 cycle, when SarahPAC raised eyebrows for spending more than $4.8 million on consultants while doling out $298,500 to candidates…But SarahPAC seems to be especially focused on paying its consultants, even by contemporary standards.
The biggest individual beneficiary of Palin’s largesse was SarahPAC’s treasurer, Timothy Crawford, who made $80,500 as consultant for fundraising and compliance. Others who profited off the group include Rebecca Mansour, the aspiring screenwriter behind the website Conservatives4Palin. Her firm, Aries Petra Consulting, made $38,000 for speechwriting. Andrew Davis, a longtime Republican operative and Palin adviser, netted nearly $35,000 for research. SarahPAC also paid Carol Ryan and Marilyn Lane, two women from Wasilla, Alaska, $2,500 a month apiece for “part-time clerical work.”
Nice work if you can get it.