Ex-AK Gov. Sarah Palin (R) raised more than $1.2M for SarahPAC during the last quarter, "giving $93,500 to conservative candidates and causes ahead of the looming midterm elections in which she's played a major role."
The financial disclosure, filed 10/12 by her SarahPAC, shows Palin spent a total of about $1M during that time. Much of it -- more than $255K -- "went to consultants in areas including coalitions, media, international affairs and finance."
Palin, who has said repeatedly that her immediate focus is on the midterm elections and on helping elect candidates she considers "commonsense conservatives," gave money to 15 candidates, including NH SEN nominee Kelly Ayotte (R).
Her fundraising "exceeds that from the previous reporting period, which covered April through June." Then, Palin reported raising about $866K and giving at least $87,500 to candidates.
For the latest reporting period, SarahPAC Treas. Tim Crawford said SarahPAC received an average of $50 from more than 21K contributors. He said he "wouldn't read anything into the spending on consulting" -- Palin's last report showed her spending more than $210K on consulting. He said he was writing additional checks to candidates "right now. ... There's more coming."
Palin's report shows she ended the period 9/30 with nearly $1.3M CoH. Crawford said "it's up to Palin how much of that she plans to tap before the election." Crawford: "It's there for what she wants" (Bohrer, AP, 10/12).
In addition to her contributions to individual candidates, SarahPAC also contributed to the IA GOP, "an early hint of her possible ambitions" as a WH '12 candidate.
Whether Palin will run for WH '12 is unclear. Some of her potential challengers, including ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R), "have a head start on her in terms of fund-raising."
Romney "created a sophisticated network" of federal and state PACs to support his bid. And Romney "proved his fund-raising prowess at the time, raising millions at several one-day events."
Palin's PAC is limited to $5K contributions, "making it harder to take in huge sums of cash at one time" (Shear, New York Times, 10/12).