$150,000 Palin Shopping Spree Legal? Yes, but Barely

By | October 23, 2008

$150,000 Palin Shopping Spree Legal? Yes, but Barely

When news broke that Gov. Sarah Palin and her family managed to spend $150,000 of other people’s money on clothes after joining the McCain ticket, many scratched their heads. Is that legal?

Thanks to a loophole in federal law the answer, experts say, is yes.

Handily, the loophole was codified into law by the landmark campaign finance law passed by her ticketmate, Sen. John McCain.

It would be illegal for the McCain-Palin campaign to buy a new wardrobe for Palin and her husband, say campaign finance lawyers contacted by ABCNews.com. But the law is silent on whether such purchases can be made by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

“The party committee has much greater latitude,” said Kenneth Gross, a federal election lawyer. “I think it is permissible for the party committee to make that judgment.”- abc

Big deal. She is in the running to be the vice president of the most powerful nation in the world. In 2001, Clinton raised the salary of a US President to $400,000 per year. — Cripes! Do you realize GW Bush is getting paid $400,000 per year!? — Anyway, it is interesting that the GOP spent over 1/4 the annual salary of the President for clothes for its would be Vice President. From another angle, Vice President Cheney makes $203,000 per year salary. — Cripes! Do you realize Dick Cheney is getting paid $203,000 per year!? — Anyway, a lot of rich companies have already paid a lot for a slice of this upcoming election, and they should get to dress up their candidate a bit, you know, have a little fun.

0 thoughts on “$150,000 Palin Shopping Spree Legal? Yes, but Barely

  1. Ann

    I enjoyed this. It is from an interview with Noam Chomsky in Spiegel, October 13th.

    SPIEGEL: “Change” is the slogan of this year’s presidential election. Do you see any chance for an immediate, tangible change in the United States? Or, to use use Obama’s battle cry: Are you “fired up”?

    Chomsky: Not in the least. The European reaction to Obama is a European delusion.

    SPIEGEL: But he does say things that Europe has long been waiting for. He talks about the trans-Atlantic partnership, the priority of diplomacy and the reconciling of American society.

    Chomsky: That is all rhetoric. Who cares about that? This whole election campaign deals with soaring rhetoric, hope, change, all sorts of things, but not with issues.

    SPIEGEL: Do you prefer the team on the other side: the 72 year old Vietnam veteran McCain and Sarah Palin, former Alaskan beauty queen?

    Chomsky: This Sarah Palin phenomenon is very curious. I think somebody watching us from Mars, they would think the country has gone insane.

    SPIEGEL: Arch conservatives and religious voters seem to be thrilled.

    Chomsky: One must not forget that this country was founded by religious fanatics. Since Jimmy Carter, religious fundamentalists play a major role in elections. He was the first president who made a point of exhibiting himself as a born again Christian. That sparked a little light in the minds of political campaign managers: Pretend to be a religious fanatic and you can pick up a third of the vote right away. Nobody asked whether Lyndon Johnson went to church every day. Bill Clinton is probably about as religious as I am, meaning zero, but his managers made a point of making sure that every Sunday morning he was in the Baptist church singing hymns.

    SPIEGEL: Is there nothing about McCain that appeals to you?

    Chomsky: In one aspect he is more honest than his opponent. He explicitly states that this election is not about issues but about personalities. The Democrats are not quite as honest even though they see it the same way.

    SPIEGEL: So for you, Republicans and Democrats represent just slight variations of the same political platform?

    Chomsky: Of course there are differences, but they are not fundamental. Nobody should have any illusions. The United States has essentially a one-party system and the ruling party is the business party.

    SPIEGEL: You exaggerate. In almost all vital questions — from the taxation of the rich to nuclear energy — there are different positions. At least on the issues of war and peace, the parties differ considerably. The Republicans want to fight in Iraq until victory, even if that takes a 100 years, according to McCain. The Democrats demand a withdrawal plan.

    Chomsky: Let us look at the “differences” more closely, and we recognize how limited and cynical they are. The hawks say, if we continue we can win. The doves say, it is costing us too much. But try to find an American politician who says frankly that this aggression is a crime: the issue is not whether we win or not, whether it is expensive or not. Remember the Russian invasion of Afghanistan? Did we have a debate whether the Russians can win the war or whether it is too expensive? This may have been the debate at the Kremlin, or in Pravda. But this is the kind of debate you would expect in a totalitarian society. If General Petraeus could achieve in Iraq what Putin achieved in Chechnya, he would be crowned king. The key question here is whether we apply the same standards to ourselves that we apply to others.

    SPIEGEL: Who prevents intellectuals from asking and critically answering these questions? You praised the freedom of speech in the United States.

    Chomsky: The intellectual world is deeply conformist. Hans Morgenthau, who was a founder of realist international relations theory, once condemned what he called “the conformist subservience to power” on the part of the intellectuals. George Orwell wrote that nationalists, who are practically the whole intellectual class of a country, not only do not disapprove of the crimes of their own state, but have the remarkable capacity not even to see them. That is correct. We talk a lot about the crimes of others. When it comes to our own crimes, we are nationalists in the Orwellian sense.

    SPIEGEL: Was there not, and is there not — in the United States and worldwide — loud protest against the Iraq war?

    Chomsky: The protest against the war in Iraq is far higher than against the war in Vietnam. When there were 4,000 American deaths in Vietnam and 150,000 troops deployed, nobody cared. When Kennedy invaded Vietnam in 1962, there was just a yawn.

    SPIEGEL: To conclude, perhaps you can offer a conciliatory word about the state of the nation?

    Chomsky: The American society has become more civilized, largely as a result of the activism of the 1960s. Our society, and also Europe’s, became freer, more open, more democratic, and for many quite scary. This generation was condemned for that. But it had an effect.

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