Palin got at least $1.25 million for book, forms show

McClatchy NewspapersOctober 27, 2009 

WASHINGTON -- Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was paid at least $1.25 million for her upcoming memoir, a book that's one of the top pre-orders on online bestseller lists even before its release next month.

Palin reported that she'd received what she described as a "retainer" as part of a required financial disclosure to the Alaska Public Offices Commission. The disclosures, which cover Jan. 1 to her resignation date of July 26, were released Tuesday. They're the final financial information that the one-time Republican vice-presidential candidate is required to file with the state of Alaska.

No other details are offered on the book deal, but a retainer would be only an upfront piece of the total that Palin would receive for the book. HarperCollins, its publisher, describes "Going Rogue: An American Life" as a "rare, mom's-eye view of high-stakes national politics."

"The governor has complied with Alaska disclosure law by her filing yesterday. Now, as a private citizen, her business dealings, including her publishing agreement, are confidential," Palin's spokeswoman, Megan Stapleton, said in an e-mailed statement.

The Washington lawyer who brokered Palin's deal, Robert Barnett, said he had no comment on the information in her financial disclosures. HarperCollins never releases information about how much an author is paid, said the book's publicist, Tina Andreadis.

Typically, authors are paid their advances in several chunks. They get portions when they sign contracts and other checks when the manuscripts are completed. Then, they're paid when the hardcovers are published, and again when the paperback versions are released. Palin turned in the manuscript after she stepped down as governor, so if she's being paid several installments for the book, she no longer must disclose how much she's receiving for it.

Palin also reported in the disclosures that she took out a home loan from Wells Fargo bank for "legal fees to fight false allegations while governor." She didn't give a date or amount, and Stapleton didn't respond to questions about the loan.

Palin's associates have said she incurred more than $600,000 in legal fees as a result of last year's "Troopergate" investigation by the state Legislature, as well as various ethics complaints against her.

Palin has a legal defense fund that's still soliciting contributions more than three months after an investigator hired by the state personnel board found probable cause that it violates Alaska ethics law. The state says the process is confidential. All that's known is that the personnel board hasn't followed up on the report by filing any formal accusation, which would trigger a potential hearing or penalties.

Kristan Cole, the trustee for the fund, didn't respond to questions about the status of the fund or how much money it's raised to this point. Cole had said in July that it would be "frozen" pending the resolution of the legal issues.

Palin's new disclosure report also lists her as owner of "Pie Spy LLC," and describes it as a marketing business. The business is referred to as "services for the elderly and persons with disabilities" in the state's corporation database. The address of the business is listed as the office of Palin's lawyer in Anchorage, Thomas Van Flein. Palin spokeswoman Stapleton didn't respond to questions about it.

Palin listed several gifts as well, including $4,250 in Yankees tickets in June from former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani for her husband, her daughter Willow and herself.

Palin reported receiving $1,664 from evangelist Franklin Graham's Samaritan's Purse for airfare as part of an effort to deliver food aid to western Alaska villages last spring.

Palin's husband, Todd, reported a $2,000 gift from the teen abstinence advocacy group Candie's Foundation for a May trip to New York. Their daughter Bristol was a spokeswoman for the group.

Palin also reported that she'd received $73,000 in salary and $6,370 in per diem as governor from Jan.1 until her resignation from office.

Todd Palin reported receiving $34,086 during that time as a BP production operator. He reported $32,260 from his commercial fishing operation in Bristol Bay, under the business name "Toad's Fisheries."

He also reported $3,500 in winnings from the Iron Dog snowmobile race. He disclosed a $3,252 snowmobile discount from his sponsor, Arctic Cat.

(Cockerham, of the Anchorage Daily News, reported from Anchorage, Alaska.)

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