Sunday, January 31, 2016

Sarah PAC - The Death Spiral Continues

By VinnieF

reported in July that Sarah PAC appears to be on the road to turning off the lights as the donations were not what they once were. This is confirmed by the PAC financials that just came out for the second half of the year.

The Overall Numbers

Three cash on hand amounts clearly show the PAC's trajectory:
January 1, 2015$ 825,556
July 1, 2015$ 565,830
January 1, 2016$ 380,963
Obviously, the drop between any two periods is the amount of spending more than you take in.

I'm again surprised at the amount she took in for the second half of the year - $457,459. This is only about $33,000 less than she did in the first half of the year.

She's doing a little better about spending in the second half of the year spending $642,326. It was over $750,000 in the first half.

NOTHING for Candidates or Organizations

We've laughed about Sarah PAC spending only 4 or 5 percent of their money doing something besides shuttling Sarah around the country. Well, this time there are NO donations to any candidates or organizations. Actually, it's worse than that. She received $1,500 from two candidates who never decided to cash the checks she gave them. (Why would a politician not cash a $1,000 check?) I could imagine Stephen Colbert doing a piece where he madly tries to figure out what percent of this organization's donation went to the cause when the number is negative.

Given that we're in a politically dormant season, giving nothing to candidates is not surprising. However, since it's a dormant season you should also cut back your spending since you're not doing anything. Instead, Sarah PAC spent over $640,000 to do nothing but keep the lights on!

Consulting Feeding at the Sarah PAC Trough.

This is the fourth time I've written about Sarah PAC's consultants spending like drunken sailors while having very little to show for it. This time I think the percentage spent on consultants is higher than it's ever been. Over $400,000 of the $672,000 total spent was on consultants! This includes a photographer, videographer and legal fees.

RAM (Rebecca Mansour, "Aries Petra") is out! She was paid her regular $6,000 a month through August but nothing after that. Maybe after her speech endorsing Donald she realizes that hiring a speechwriter wouldn't be such a bad thing.

The rest of the regulars keep pulling their monthly salaries and expenses. The figures below are their semi-annual take:
  • Tim Crawford - $78,260
  • Grey Strategies - $66,722
  • Northstar Strategies - $56,610
  • Andrew Davis - $33,750
  • Two Wasilla ‘clerical' workers - $15,000 each
I usually don't comment on the money spent on fundraising and postage because fundraising is a significant part of any similar organization. But things are getting a little ridiculous. They spent $205,179 on postage and fees, $78,260 on Crawford, their treasurer, and $20,000 on Kingston, a fundraising consultant. That's over $300,000 spent to raise only $457,000!

Then there are the books. We all know Sarah's latest book is horrible and its sales were as well. The PAC buys $18,500 worth of books and Sarah must get a cut on the books that are 'sold' to people willing to give her $75. I'm assuming that even if all of these books aren't given as gifts for a donation, Sarah still gets to consider the books as 'sold'. What a scam!

The Website that Wasn't

I've always been shocked not just at the amount spent on consultants but at how little work the PAC actually does. The website is a perfect example of this. I have to quote from my previous Sarah PAC article from July of this year.
The level of lethargy with regard to the Sarah PAC site is unreal. When the redesign was done early in the year they didn't have any new content. They took three articles from November of 2014 and simply changed the dates to 2015. Right now, if you go to "All Posts" the third most recent one listed is entitled "Victory" and dated January 28, 2015. It starts out saying "Last night was huge." The night they're referring to was the election night last November!
For that they paid $43,000. Harris Media continued to charge $6-7,000 a month for a total of $33,868 this reporting period. The lethargy continues. She finally posted two items recently after a lapse of three months. One was her FB post dated today (Jan. 28) on how dramatic her endorsement was. The other is dated January 16 but was definitely not there last night (Jan. 27). It's links to a bunch of her old videos. But those are from this year so they really don't count.

For all of 2015 there are only 17 posts. However, five of these are actually from 2014 with the date changed to 2015. Sometimes these have such deep thought as:
Happy 225th Birthday to the U.S. Coast Guard! Thank you for serving our great nation!
Yes, that and the Coast Guard's logo is the whole post. The five posts where they changed the dates are still there and it's still obvious from these that they fudged the dates. I just noticed that there's one about Joni Ernst that is doubly bad. It's dated January 28, 2015 and begins:
Hello, Iowa! It's time to get out the vote for conservative Joni Ernst for U.S. Senate tomorrow, June 3rd. ...
Wrong election Sarah! Oh, and every single post going back to June 3, 2014 is 'Posted in New'.
If the nerd in me may comment, the web designer was so bad that they didn't set the post content to be below the header. See below. It's scrolled all the way up. Note the headline is covered up. Amateurish! Sarah should ask for her $33,000 back.

Click to enlarge:

It's like they know no one visits the site so they're not even bothering.

A Vacation from Travelling?

One thing that she's spent less on, other than something useful, is travel. While she spent over $37,000 on travel this is far less than the $85,000 spent in the first half.
But as we know, Sarah has big plans to travel again. From one of her latest emails:
In order to get Sarah to political events to support endorsed candidates we need your help to fundraise for her travel
Will you do so by contributing what you can here?
This is rich! (Pun intended.) A multi-millionaire is asking working people to give her money so that she can travel on chartered planes and stay in plush hotels so that she can help get a billionaire elected. A billionaire that is with a tax plan that"Is A Big Giveaway To The Wealthiest" according to Think Progress.

If you're not yet convinced that Sarah is one of the most selfish person that exists, let's put her question back on her:
Will you do so by contributing what you can here?
Sarah's answer is a resounding NO. I looked through a number of campaign statements and found that Sarah herself does not donate to candidates. Only the PAC does. We've also seen that almost every trip she takes is funded by the PAC.

Her latest grift of endorsing Trump is also a lesson in self-centeredness. Her only interest in Trump is to grab some of his celebrity status for herself.



Many, many thanks again to our wonderful reader VinnieF for writing yet another of his excellent "SarahPAC reports"...!

The "Center for Public Integrity" also published a very detailed report about the latest SarahPAC filings, and published a very interesting chart as well.  This chart is particularly fascinating, because it shows the "death spiral" of SarahPAC very clearly. The raised money as well as the cash on hand dropped sharply, but the spending increased a lot since 2013.

You could call it the SarahPAC closing sale! Everything has to go!

Click to enlarge:


I also find it very amusing that Sarah Palin uses the photo of one politician in particular on the SarahPAC website to raise money for her flights, consultants and whatever her needs are: Ted Cruz!

Click to enlarge:

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