Palin fundraising trails other 2012 presidential prospects

McClatchy NewspapersApril 14, 2010 

WASHINGTON — Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin continues to lag behind some other potential 2012 presidential contenders in fundraising for her political action committee, reports filed with the Federal Election Commission show.

However, Palin also plans an aggressive fundraising campaign timed to help out candidates she supports in the 2010 midterm elections, according to her political action committee's treasurer. In fact, her PAC on Wednesday launched a new campaign to raise money, timed to the April 15 federal income tax deadline.

"Did you know that Americans will pay more in taxes in 2010 than we do for food, clothing, and shelter combined?" Palin asked Wednesday in an e-mail to supporters. In her solicitation, she promised that a donation to her political action committee would "help the campaigns of good, strong, commonsense Americans who will clean up the mess that Washington has created."

Over the past three months, though, SarahPAC gave just $9,500 in donations to seven candidates or causes Palin supports, including several veterans whose congressional campaigns she endorsed recently.

That's far less generous than the other high-profile Republicans who have indicated interest in a presidential bid. Not only did they outraise Palin in the first quarter, they also outspent her — in terms of donations to the candidates they support.

In addition to supporting a whole slate of congressional candidates, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty gave $10,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Congressional Quarterly reported. Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney also gave to a slew of candidates, including $9,000 alone to help elect fellow Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown to the U.S. Senate.

Palin's committee raised $398,481 in the first quarter of the year but spent $400,260, largely on consultant fees for the close-knit team Palin has surrounded herself with.

Former Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton — who stepped down this winter — earned $20,000 from the PAC in the first quarter. The committee paid the treasurer, Timothy Crawford, $30,000 for the first three months. The committee paid out $18,000 to Pam Pryor, who also serves as a spokeswoman. SarahPAC paid consultant Andrew Davis $22,500; and speechwriter Lindsay Hayes was paid $2,000.

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