Palin PAC reports $1.4M raised in 2nd half of 2009

Filing shows $65,000 was paid to law firm representing Palin in ethics complaints

Posted: Tuesday, February 02, 2010

ANCHORAGE - A new report filed with the Federal Elections Commission shows Sarah Palin's political action committee raised about $1.4 million in the second half of 2009, most of it following her resignation as Alaska's governor.

SarahPAC paid publisher HarperCollins almost $47,800 for copies of "Going Rogue" - Palin's best-selling memoir featuring her 2008 run as the GOP vice presidential candidate - according to the filing, which covers the period between July 1 and Dec. 31.

With the book's November release, SarahPAC offered signed copies to people who donated $100 or more.

"The fundraising tool was wildly successful," said Palin's spokeswoman, Meghan Stapleton, who was paid $54,000 in the filing period.

SarahPAC treasurer Tim Crawford, who made $48,000, said the disbursements to HarperCollins covered books at nearly $12 per copy as well as shipping them to HSP Direct, a direct mail fundraising company. HSP Direct, based in Herndon, Va., was paid more than $15,700 by SarahPAC for its services.

The FEC year-end filing shows $65,000 was paid to the Anchorage law firm of Clapp, Peterson, Van Flein and Tiemessen, which includes attorney Thomas Van Flein, who represented Palin in multiple ethics complaints when she was governor.

Palin, who recently signed on as a Fox News commentator, quit her elected office in July with 17 months left in her first term.

Palin said the frivolous grievances against her were partly to blame for her decision to step down. She said the grievances crippled her administration and cost her family more than $500,000 in legal debts. The great majority of complaints were dismissed outright.

Van Flein said Monday he was prohibited by ethics rules to discuss what services he provided SarahPAC unless he was first cleared by his client.

Crawford said none of the PAC payments to Van Flein's law firm were to cover Palin's legal fees from the complaints, but for legal and political work right before and after Palin's resignation.

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