Alaska Politics Blog

This is the place to talk about Alaska politics, state, local, national. Public life in the Last Frontier has rarely been more interesting -- a full slate of federal and state elections, the influence of former Gov. Sarah Palin, the usual hardball Alaska politics. Come here for news, tidbits and information, and join the discussion. We encourage lively debate, but please keep it civil and stay on point. Don't use profanity, make crude comments or attack other posters. Posts that violate the Terms of Use will be deleted. Repeat offenders will lose their ability to post comments.

New Senate organization announced - 11/7/2012 12:48 pm

Homer Revealed - 8/22/2012 2:08 pm

Seven-day countdown - 5/25/2012 8:37 pm

Anchorage city clerk resigns (UPDATED) - 5/23/2012 10:51 am

Gara to seek re-election - 5/2/2012 2:04 pm

For one lawmaker: Good news - 4/27/2012 12:20 pm

Anticipation in the Capitol - 4/26/2012 11:38 am

Election Commission finds 1/2 of precincts ran out of ballots; recommends no investigation - 4/25/2012 5:08 pm

FEC dismisses complaint on Palin's clothes

From Sean Cockerham in Anchorage --

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint that the Republican National Committee and Gov. Sarah Palin broke election law when the RNC bought all those clothes for Palin and her family during last year's presidential campaign.

The FEC found the clothing purchases were "coordinated party expenditures" the RNC is allowed to make to benefit the campaign.

The complaint was filed by the Washington, D.C., group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. CREW argued the clothing expenditures (which it figured at $144,731) violated the ban on personal use of campaign funds, but the FEC disagreed.

Here's the response from CREW:

"In effect, the FEC is claiming its hands were tied and it could not penalize the RNC or Governor Palin.

This means that the FEC will allow political parties to buy candidates whatever they want at whatever cost, and that the candidates and their families may keep these purchases. Despite the fact that Governor Palin and the RNC claimed the clothing would be donated to charity, it is not clear this ever happened, and in any event, according to the FEC, the law does not require it. Notably, this past March the FEC asked Congress to enact legislation to extend the personal use prohibition to all political committees, including party committees and leadership PACs. Unsurprisingly, Congress has yet to act."

I've contacted Palin and the Republican National Committee for reaction (as well as asking whatever happened to those clothes).

Click here to read the FEC decision.

UPDATE -- Looks like the Republican National Committee is continuing to ignore questions on the clothes, although I'll post if that changes. But click below for the statement that SarahPAC spokeswoman Meg Stapleton sent out to the media.

Here's the statement from Stapleton:

"We are pleased to learn that all the purchases and decisions made by senior campaign staffers, and paid for by the RNC and returned to the RNC, were all done according to the law. The clothes in this campaign were treated just like the many stages upon which the Governor stood and the hundreds of lights used to illuminate them; all were used during the campaign and returned upon its conclusion. It is difficult to reconcile the obsessive reference to clothing on the campaign trail with any legitimate political issue and that leaves the unsettling conclusion that Governor Palin is the single national political figure who is critiqued on policy, family and clothing. When people start asking details about the personal effects of other candidates, then maybe the double standard will be eliminated."

AttachmentSize
clothingcomplaint.pdf892.51 KB
© Copyright 2011, The Anchorage Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Anchorage Daily News is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service