The cost of Sarah Palin: RNC pays $150K for fashion
By April MacIntyre Oct 22, 2008, 15:29 GMT
Dressed to impress: Alaska Governor and US Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin talking with her husband Todd during a rally with her running mate US Senator and Republican Presidential nominee John McCain (unseen) at Van Dyke Park in Fairfax, Virginia, USA. EPA/MATTHEW CAVANAUGH
The cost for grooming and presenting Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin in the few short months she has been stumping for Sen. John McCain is reportedly over $150,000.
The RNC, through election donations, has foot the bills for her couture clothing, hair and makeup artists that accompany her for key appearances and speeches.
Politico investigated the expenditures and turned up a revealing look at exactly how political donations are used by Republican National Committee.
The RNC has spent more than $150,000 to dress and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August, claims Politico.
They claim the bills started racking up in September where retailers like Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Atelier (men's clothes-for Todd) Barneys, Bloomingdale's and Macy's were the beneficiaries of well over a $100K spent on just clothes alone. The complete accounting of this is in RNC’s September monthly financial disclosure report under “itemized coordinated expenditures.”
Hair and makeup artists, according to Politico, cost the RNC near $5000 for Palin. The entries, according to Politico, note a purchase at Pacifier, "a top notch baby store, and Steiniauf & Stroller Inc., suggesting $295 was spent to accommodate the littlest Palin to join the campaign trail."
Politico poses ethics questions in their reporting, citing "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."
McCain's camp and specifically their spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to answer specific questions about the expenditures, according to Politico.
“The campaign does not comment on strategic decisions regarding how financial resources available to the campaign are spent," she said.
Politico raised the issues of Democrat John Edwards’ $400 hair cuts in 2007 and Republican McCain’s $520 black leather Ferragamo shoes this year, and noted that ostentatious expenditures often sullied the good will of voters who are sensitive to excessive consumption, especially when so many people are hurting in the country currently.
Question of the day: How do you feel about political donations going to pay for fashion, accessories, hair and makeup for any candidates and their spouses?