RNC/Palin Expenditures FollowUp
Larson is the Karl Rove protégé who’s a principal in the robocalling firm of FLS Connect (the “FLS” stands for Tony Feather, Jeff Larson, and Tom Syndhorst, all veteran Republican political operatives). Larson’s firm is the same one that launched the scurrilous robocalls against John McCain in 2000, and that McCain has now hired to make robocalls connecting Barack Obama to Bill Ayers. He’s also well known in Minnesota for leasing his basement apartment at a steeply discounted rate to embattled Republican Senator Norm Coleman. Evidently, Larson also has quite the eye for women’s fashion.
Here's the actual schedule showing the payments the RNC made for Sarah Palin and her family during September. The form that's required to be filed is a Schedule F. The forms for all candidates and parties are available at the FEC website. [More...]
There's not just Gov. Palin's clothes, there's the $98.00 romper for baby Trig from the baby store Pacifier in Gaviidae Common, Minneapolis, already noted by the Minneapolis Star last month.
In addition to the makeup artists, makeup, clothes, etc, there's the stylists. They not only get their fees, but a per diem and expenses, down to the $30 baggage fees charged by the airlines and their meals and taxis to and from the airport and for car services.
The amount spent on postage is simply enormous. HuffPo has a more on the makeup expenditures.
ABC reports even if the clothes are returned, Palin may have to pay income tax on them.
Palin's claim that the pricey duds belong to the RNC and she's just "borrowing" them and will return them later, reminds him, he says, of some of the issues going on in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. (Some of the issues, he specified, not the allegations of criminality.)
"This is exactly the issue with the Stevens case," he said. "When you loan something to someone can you call it a 'loan' if, upon its return, it has no practical value?
"The consensus view is she would have to count the wardrobe as income at least in the amount of the fair value of the rental of the wardrobe," he said.
I wonder if one test would be whether the clothes were altered to fit her. In that case, wouldn't their fair market value as to anyone else be diminished?
ABC also reports the expenditures are perfectly 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).
There's also the voice coach, billed as a "Get Out Your Vote" expense.
I think this photo of Piper Palin carrying a Louis Vitton bag is my favorite.
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