Is It LEGAL to Use PAC Money for a Family Vacation?

@anniepa (27238)
United States
June 3, 2011 4:58pm CST
I'm sure you all know by now that Sarah Palin is on another bus tour which she's called a "family vacation". Coincidentally, stops include New Hampshire and the trip actually started in Washington D.C. where she ruffled the Rolling Thunder participants' feathers by riding in the front of the group and being a distraction from the group's purpose which is to bring attention to the Vietnam POWs and MIAs. http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/05/reports-sarah-palin-to-launch-bus-tour-ride-with-rolling-thunder.html She's really enjoyed herself so far, "teasing" the media by not telling them where she's going next until the very last minute. She shared a pizza at Time Square in NYC with Donald Trump and she managed to be in New Hampshire the same time Mitt Romney was there to make his big announcement. Still, she hasn't made up her own mind about running. What I'd really like to discuss is whether it's actually legal to use funds donated by supporters to SarahPAC to ride a gigantic tour bus along the east coast and make what certainly LOOK like political stops but to call it a "family vacation" and whether or not Fox News is giving her preferential treatment by not suspending her from the network payroll since she's a potential Presidential candidate like they did with Gingrich and Santorum. Or is she just playing us and especially the media, and does Roger Ailes already know for certain she has not intention of running? I'm definitely leaning towards the latter because I think being a "celebrity" pulling in seven or eight figures a year is too much fun for Sarah and I think she realizes another losing campaign, which I think would be inevitable, would definitely damage her brand and lower her potential earnings. Annie
3 people like this
13 responses
@matersfish (6311)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Nothing much to add that's different from what I've read on here from a few people already. I just have to point out the ridiculousness of media's hypocritical nature - pooh-poohing her and playing as if she's the most unimportant person in America, but going hard on some Princess Diana nonsense to chase her down and actually having the marbles to criticize her for not handing over her itinerary so they can stalk her more safely. You can't make this stuff up. I'd even have to go to bat for Obama or even everyone's little buddy Weiner for something that utterly stupid. Not sure about any funds. If it's illegal, get her! Not that I'm rooting for anyone to get in trouble with the law, but I would absolutely love the 10,912 posts on myLot with people bragging about how they knew all along Palin was a criminal and other great tidbits of crap. Seriously. Palin haters need a win. They're o'fer infinity so far. I'm a root-for-the-underdog kinda guy. About The Donald - I've never seen someone as uncomfortable during a photo op as Palin sitting beside a pretending-to-eat-pizza Trump. She was one more glance at the toup away from a panic attack.
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
5 Jun 11
"Palin haters need a win" Exactly. They are so beyond frustrated. They've been chasing her down for three years and what have they got? Her family is still happily together, her husband didn't leave her, every single ethics complaint against her was dismissed and found to be without merit - nothing. After spending this much time poring over the contents of her underwear drawer and moving in next door to spy on her with binoculars they haven't got anything. The worst they' ve come up with is a couple of disgruntled, former employees who write books claiming she spoke sharply to them. A Political Action Committee is not the same as a campaign fund. If her bus tour is considered political action by those who donate, then so be it. I can't imagine that they'd embark on anything so public with the funds if there was any doubt that it was legal.
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
5 Jun 11
She has been very successful at drawing crowds for the Tea Party events. Perhaps her 'job' is to draw people to the conservative platform? I don't pretend to know what her backers are thinking but I do see that she is making an impression. Those who love her, love her because they feel she is refreshing in a world of professional politicians who think and act as if they are nobelity. I think conservative Americans are very sick and tired of the untouchable quality of their representatives and senators and the office of president. They may just be responding to that down home quality and the fact that that quality is the one most attacked makes me believe that that is so.
@jerzgirl (8030)
• Gloucester City, New Jersey
4 Jun 11
I don't know enough about the law and PACs to say myself, but she is definitely a manipulator, a poser and a user, trying to extend her 15 minutes of fame that she obviously craves so much. She puts herself in the limelight, even when it's not her own, just to be sure the cameras are turned her way. It's all a big circus and, as was said about Mr. Barnum's show, "there's a sucker born every minute." http://www.historybuff.com/library/refbarnum.html
2 people like this
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
4 Jun 11
"She puts herself in the limelight" What's so funny is that she's not even telling the press where she's going, she's actually snuck out on them when they were waiting for her and they are chasing her bus down the highway like celebrity-stalking paparazzi. It's the media who keep her in the limelight, if they didn't follow her around and hang on her every word, there wouldn't be any limelight. And the attention they are paying to her drives everyone crazy and the fact that she isn't paying any attention to the media is driving them crazy. The biggest suckers appear to be the reporters who are chasing after her while pretending they don't think she's very important. It's hilarious.
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
5 Jun 11
way to go Rollo!
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
5 Jun 11
I don't know all the laws regarding PAC and proper expediences. She is making public appearances and giving speeches. If this upsets you then why aren't you upset with the President or The First Lady and their travels? Traveling to Ireland to find his roots then dinner with the Queen and then give a speech in another country and all with his family. This is done with taxpayer money, if I don't like what Gov. Palin is doing I don't have to donate to her PAC, but with the President I have no choice they just take the money from me.
2 people like this
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I see you still got that girl crush going on for Sarah.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I guess I should just say right back at you! Annie
@irishidid (8734)
• United States
4 Jun 11
You know I'd vote for her- just the chance to irritate you for 4 years would be worth it! LOL
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Here I REALLY thought you loved your country! Annie
@gewcew23 (8011)
• United States
4 Jun 11
What a class act Sarah Palin is, she creates a political action committee so she can solicit money from her adoring fans. She uses the PAC money to buy a touring bus that would be usually obtained by a rock star. Then she takes the bus out onto a national tour. Is this stunt for a family vacation trip or is it to jump start her Presidential campaign, well she says a family vacation. Though that is a really interesting family trip. If all Palin wanted to do is to show her family some national monument maybe Palin should have just bought a low key RV? Maybe one bought with the money maybe from her book sells or reality show instead of donors money. Now if she is doing this to jump start her campaign then just say so. Of course that would supposedly cost her job on FNC, and why would Palin want to lose such a great gig. Oh and to the legality of the whole thing, currently it is probably legal but in my opinion unethical.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jun 11
Hmm jumping too conclusions before the facts. There is absolutely nothing in the article that says she is using PAC funds. The only thing in there, if you had bothered to read it, stated that they put on their blog site she was going on the tour. Which with her multiple incomes she can definitely afford a bus and she can afford all the costs of going on a tour. Likely, her appearances/speeches are paid for. But that really isn't any secret and that money is not coming from PAC but from the different venues.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I agree, gewcew, with all you wrote. Sierras, as I posted above SHE said the tour was paid for by SarahPAC and got really irritated when she was asked how much it cost. You're right, she certainly COULD afford to pay for the trip herself but apparently she preferred using money others gave her for, I would presume, a different purpose. Annie
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Seems to me from what I've read that her supporters don't feel she's doing anything illegal with their money. You know, I typed in 'something positive about sarah palin' in my search engine and still NOTHING but slurs, insults and accusations filled the search. AND liberals are concerned people are to negative about Obmama and sick of hearing about what we think about him? If she's off the radar as far as becoming president as the press all seem to think, WHY is the press so concerned? Can one person REALLY be worth all that hate? And make no mistake Annie, IF negative suposition about ONE is wrong, it's wrong in this case too. It all sounds like a bunch of 6th grade girls who are jealous and being catty. And they say conservative religious folks are hypocritical when they act like this- IMHO, the press is about as hypocritical as it gets.
2 people like this
• United States
4 Jun 11
It's all about what column you put the expenditures in at the end of it all. Since she has been making enough money to fund this relatively cheap trip all by herself, she doesn't have to claim any PAC money to fund it, yet. There is also an "exploratory" clause which would allow her to earmark PAC funds just toward the possibility of running, which the bus tour could be viewed as. Meanwhile you all can donate to me for my "exploratory" trip to DC and I'll decide later if I'm going to run.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I'll donate to yours if you donate to mine...lol! Annie
@Rollo1 (16685)
• Boston, Massachusetts
4 Jun 11
Hey, you forgot to bring up Martin Bashir's ludricrous notion that the bus tour is illegal because there's a flag painted on her bus and there's a flag code you know. Although the Supreme Court has ruled that it's legal to burn the flag, you just know they'd be pissed off to find out someone had an image of the flag on a motor vehicle. I am still giggling over the quality hosts they hire over there... "Or is she just playing us and especially the media"... Oh, she's playing you and the media like a fiddle. The reporters having to read her blog to find out where she's going or has gone, then rushing off to a spot based on the tweet of a fan who's seen her in the neighborhood. Or better still, the reporters having to just follow the bus to find out where it's going, then complaining loudly that she's creating a dangerous situation. Gosh, there could be accidents from all these reporters following her around and it would be all her fault. Just like it was Princess Diana's fault that the paparazzi had to chase her, being so unkind as to refuse to give them her full itinerary. It's priceless, really. I think if it isn't illegal now to make blathering fools of the media, they will soon find a way to make it illegal. Until then, it's just mighty fine entertainment.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Gee, I don't know WHY I'd bring up Martin Bashir's ludicrous notion. As for the quality of hosts, hey there aren't enough Glenn Becks to go around, are there. Personally, I don't know why the media gives her the time of day. However, I guess if she keeps coming up with gems like her own original version of Paul Revere's ride, they'll keep trying to find her. Talk about a blathering fool... Annie
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Jun 11
Let me get this straight; the MEDIA said she'd fall off the face of the earth and no one would care what she did or said. ok, got that. Then they follow her around making fools of themselves trying to find where she is going and what she will say when she gets there? Does no one else see the hypocricy of the MEDIA in this? ANYTHING they say HAS to be right on and true, and anything Palin does HAS TO BE WRONG?? give me a break... Annie, you can take the time to look up Palin's movements and comment on them, so why is it you will not do the same concerning the eligibility of your president? Oh yea, forgot....anything the MEDIA says is absolultely correct! you bethca!
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Jun 11
So, you waste your time commenting on something about a non person you feel does nothing right? But when it involves the leader of our country your so sure he's right you won't allow yourself to question him? I'm just as sick of hearing people judge SARAH PALIN as you are hearing about the judgment pronounced on Barack Obama. I too wish people would get over it already.
@sierras236 (2740)
• United States
3 Jun 11
I am not reading where she is using PAC money. All, I read is that they posted a blurb on their website about what she is doing. That's really not that unusual to do. She does get money from her book sales, from appearances, and from Fox News. Still don't think she is running though even if the appearance is that she is. Like you stated, Fox would have suspended her contract. It is very likely that we will hear about Fox setting a deadline fairly soon on her decision to run like they did with Huckabee.
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
According to this, she confirmed it herself. According to ABC News' Sheila Marikar at the Statue of Liberty, ABC News asked the former Alaska governor how much her tour has cost so far and how she's paying for it. "How am I paying for it? SarahPAC," she said, adding that she's traveling in "our own personal motor home that we've had in Alaska." http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/06/how-is-sarah-palin-paying-for-road-trip.html Reportedly she refused to disclose how much the trip had cost her so far, in fact she became visibly irritated: "Check SarahPAC.com," she said. "I don't know why in the world you would ask a question like that. I'm just thinking about America and our foundations and our freedoms and our opportunities. Why would you ask something ..." Anyway, any thoughts as to why, if Fox has or does set a deadline, she's gotten so much more time than the others? Annie
• United States
4 Jun 11
Thanks for providing actual proof. As far as the legality goes, I really don't know the laws on PAC spending. But since there is a disclosure on the website for what the money is being used for then it might not be an issue. But there are probably some lawyers or something sniffing around on the issue even as we comment. I would have to look further into the issue. I just hate to see your emotions get in the way when you discuss Sarah Palin. I get that you don't like her or her politics. As far as Fox not giving her deadline, she probably flat out told them she isn't running. I have a feeling though if this appears to be escalating into a campaign then they will suspend her contract. The next few weeks should be determine whether this is the case or not.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27238)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I'm sorry if you think I let my emotions get in the way when I discuss her. Here I thought I'd been pretty good lately since this is the first post I've started about her in a long time...lol! Anyway, I really thought this was a legitimate question and I HOPE it's one that would be asked about anyone else doing the same thing she's doing. You have to admit if there were others we could probably never know it because the media sure does hang on her every word and movement. Seriously, don't you think that tour bus looks like something other than what would be used for an ordinary family vacation? Annie
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I don't think she's going to run. This is all just a ruse to get attention. She makes too much money to interrupt things for a presidential race. And I think she already knows that she's not going to run. Too much media attention is being directed at her antics. She won't tell her travel route because she knows she'll have them following her around anyway. Stupid MSM.
• United States
4 Jun 11
I don't think she's going to run because she knows she can't handle the scrutiny. She's really not that smart either--she just takes what the Tea Party folks feed her and she spits it back. She IS great fodder for SNL and Tina Fey though...
@yoyo1198 (3643)
• United States
5 Jun 11
The repubs wouldn't put her on their ticket for love nor money. They know she wouldn't have a chance against BO. She's put her foot in her mouth too often. Can you just see her in another debate standing up there with her 'you betcha' and little winks. The rest of the world would laugh us off of the planet (if they aren't already over the Donald fiasco).
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Jun 11
For someone who complains about books being written that have destroyed someone's career, you and the MEDIA sure are trying hard to destroy Sarah Palin's career.
• United States
4 Jun 11
Please tell me--just what IS Sarah Palin's 'career'? Last year, she was a reality TV personality (because of her show 'Sarah Palin's Alaska'), and it seemed that before that, she was a politician for a short time. In between, she seems to pop up and only talk about how government is too big--has she ever said how she'd make it smaller? If anybody ruined her 'career', it was the dummies that made her the VP on McCain's 2008 ticket!
1 person likes this
@debrakcarey (19924)
• United States
4 Jun 11
...and isn't it hilarious that even her detractors hang on her every word? Even get the feeling the JOKE is on YOU?
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Jun 11
I would think that it would be illegal to use monies raised for the specific intention to run for President as a 'family vacation'. Look at what just happened to John Edwards. Sarah Palin was a pawn in the 2008 election--I doubt that the brain trust who came up with that idea of pitting her on the ticket ever thought that she'd actually speak! Palin demonstrated during the election that she's not too bright--she was governor of Alaska but the best answer regarding foreign policy had to do with Russia. Did she forget Canada actually TOUCHING. Alaska? She broke from the main part of the GOP because she can't be molded to how they wanted, and decided to join the Tea Party because she would be in charge for a change (this is MY opinion). If this is the best the GOP has to offer, I think they're going to lose even more votes. I'm registered as a Democrat but I vote for the best candidate, no matter their party affiliation.
• United States
5 Jun 11
That is a great question. I agree with you about Sarah not running, unless we go back into a recession, and Obama's approval numbers drop dramatically (in other words: It is a sure thing). I don't think that Sarah's popularity is a great as she thinks. Many republicans I talk to don't like her, and have said that they won't vote for her. She also has to deal with her lack of experience, and the fact that she has never finished any political term in her life.
@Taskr36 (13925)
• United States
4 Jun 11
I will honestly say that I have no idea whether or not it is legal. Frankly, with how open they are about using PAC money for this, I'd be very surprised if they didn't check first. Typically when these things become scandals the person involved is hiding the fact that they used PAC money in such a way. As such, I'm guessing that it is somehow legal, but it's purely a guess. Regarding her potential candidacy. I'm about 99% sure she's not running and I agree, she's probably already told Fox News unofficially that she's not running. Just being a potential candidate generates a lot of press and unlike Trump, she's not pretending she's going to run, she's just dodging the question. Honestly I think PAC money is just a big mess with how all the laws work. I was reading an article on how Steve Colbert tried to set up a PAC in some attempt to make a joke out of the Citizen's United case. He was thwarted at every turn by various different rules and regulations because of his job at Comedy Central.