Wednesday, October 22, 2008

RNC shells out $150K for Palin fashion

The Republican National Committee has spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August. According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74. The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September. The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August. The cash expenditures immediately raised questions among campaign finance experts about their legality under the Federal Election Commission's long-standing advisory opinions on using campaign cash to purchase items for personal use.

It turns out to be legal if the expense was incurred by the RNC.

Spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, including whether it was necessary to spend that much and whether it amounted to one early investment in Palin or if shopping for the vice presidential nominee was ongoing. “The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said. But hours after the story was posted on Politico's website and legal issues were raised, the campaign issued a new statement. "With all of the important issues facing the country right now, it’s remarkable that we’re spending time talking about pantsuits and blouses," said spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt. "It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign."

The media, especially the liberal media (as Politico, in this case), do anything they can to dig dirt. to find an angle, to create what might not be there. And to many liberals, finding something bad about Palin is an important mission. It is fun to do.

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