Sarah Palin’s PAC hoards cash while GOP candidates she endorsed go begging
Sarah Palin’s reluctance to put her money where her mouth is has left some 2014 candidates she endorsed floundering in the polls with many unable to make it past the primaries.
According to OpenSecrets.org, SarahPAC, the political action committee controlled by Sarah Palin, has dispensed only $45,000 to fellow Republicans running in the midterms, less than 3 percent of the $1.4 million available as of Sept. 30, the end of the reporting quarter.
With elections three weeks away, Palin seems inclined to hang onto her cash, possibly with an eye on 2016, where she may use the money to increase her profile going into a presidential election.
According to filings, SarahPAC had $978,000 on hand at the beginning of the July 1-Sept. 30 period, and raised an additional $433,000 during the period.
During the third quarter, SarahPAC made contributions of $5,000 to nine GOP candidates, including incumbent Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, who is currently trailing in the polls, Joe Carr, who lost to incumbent Sen. Lamar Alexander in Tennessee’s GOP primary, and former NFL player Clint Didier, who is in a tight race in Washington.
While the 2014 campaigns are running at a fever pitch, flooding people’s email boxes with hourly requests for donations, SarahPAC spent their money on speech-writing, more fundraising, logistics, research, and even a consultant advising on “coalitions.”
Additionally SarahPAC paid HarperCollins — publisher of all three of Palin’s books — $10,885 for “books for donor fulfillment,” with another disbursement listed as $13,000 for “lodging, SUV rental, books for donors.”
Questions have been raised about the influence of a Palin endorsement — only 4 of the 15 congressional candidates she endorsed won their primaries — with high profile candidates like former Susan. G. Komen Foundation executive Karen Handel, Oklahoma representative T.W. Shannon, and home state Tea Party candidate Joe Miller failing to get past the primary in their runs for the U.S. Senate.
OpenSecrets notes that SarahPAC has never been a big contributor to campaigns — spending more money marketing itself — which may be a reflection of its founder Sarah Palin who has personally donated a mere $628 at the federal level, with those donations made over a decade ago.