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Palin PAC raises $460K in first half of year, down from previous years

Posted: July 31, 2013 - 11:08pm

JUNEAU — Sarah Palin’s political action committee brought in just over $460,000 during the first half of 2013, well short of its fundraising totals for the same period in previous years.

Campaign finance disclosures show Palin’s SarahPAC ended June with about $1.1 million available.

Spending between January and June totaled nearly $500,000, including such things as travel, speechwriting and consulting costs. SarahPAC gave money to one candidate — $5,000 to Jason Smith — who won a June special election for a Missouri U.S. House seat.

The total compares with the roughly $1.2 million brought in by SarahPAC during the first half of 2012 and about $1.7 million during the first half of 2011.

SarahPAC reported nearly $1.3 million in receipts for the first half of 2010 and more than $730,000 in the first half of 2009.

SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford said in an email to The Associated Press on Wednesday that the PAC, for the most part, gave donors a break and didn’t fundraise aggressively during the latest reporting period.

“Very pleased with the results,” he said. “It is an off year after a presidential election where every donor was bombarded with requests.”

Palin was the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee and former Alaska governor who, after resigning from her post in 2009, went on to be a best-selling author, public speaker and Fox News contributor. She passed on seeking the GOP nomination for president last year.

Palin caused some ripples recently, when she told a national radio host she has “considered” running for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Democrat Mark Begich of Alaska, because people had asked to her to consider it. She also said she was waiting to see who would get into the race.

Current Republican candidates for the Senate seat in next year’s race include Joe Miller, whom Palin supported in his unsuccessful challenge to Republican U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in 2010, and Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell.

Niger Innis, with the Tea Party Leadership Fund, said if Palin got in the race, he believes she’d be “quite formidable” in raising money and competing with Begich. But he said at some point in the near future, she will need to decide whether she’s in.

Innis’ group has been trying to coax Palin to run, but he said it is exploring playing a role of some type in the race even if Palin doesn’t run.

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