From the New York Daily News:
WASHINGTON – Lipstick isn’t the only difference between America’s top hockey mom and a pit bull.
Sarah Palin also has a spectacular new wardrobe, and Republican campaign donors picked up the breathtaking tab.
The Republican National Committee spent $150,000 on clothing and accessories for the vice presidential candidate and her family since early September, according to a report by the Politico Web site.
Hey, kids! $150,000 is the equivalent of 375 John Edwards haircuts! 😀
Original DVD cover.
At Saks Fifth Avenue stores in Manhattan and St. Louis, the RNC paid for $49,425.74 in Palin apparel, the report said, citing financial disclosure records.
There also was a $75,062.63 shopping spree at Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, where the Palins stayed during the Republican National Convention last month; $9.447.71 at Macy’s in Minneapolis; and $5,102.71 at Bloomingdale’s in New York.
Another $4,716.49 on hair and makeup came from the GOP while wooing “Joe Six-Pack” to vote for John McCain, the records showed. And more than $5,000 went to a men’s store and a baby clothing store.
At first, the McCain-Palin campaign and RNC refused to explain the spending.
“The RNC does not discuss expenses as it relates to strategy,” said spokesman Danny Diaz.
Late Tuesday night, McCain-Palin spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt said the clothes will be tossed in a charity bin of some sort after Nov. 4.
😯 I want to know where that Goodwill store is!
The Obama-Biden camp had no comment. But were Democrats salivating over the prospects for ridicule? You betcha.
“I wonder how ‘Joe the Plumber’ feels about his donation going to Sarah the Shopper,” one Democratic operative joked. “I guess she can also see Saks from her doorstep,” the party source said – a takeoff on Palin’s comment that you can see Russia from Alaska.
Joe Biden’s uninspired wardrobe does not receive a campaign subsidy, a source close to Biden said, and the follicle-challenged Democratic veep nominee gets $20 haircuts from a barber in Wimington, Del., according to past reports.
Federal law would bar the McCain-Palin campaign from converting campaign funds to “personal use” – a definition that specifically includes clothing purchases.
But a Republican strategist said the expenditure by the party committee was legal.
From ABC News:
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.
Call the Irony Police for this next part, kids!
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 distinction is simply a matter of statute. The McCain-sponsored campaign finance reform bill in 2002 specifically bars the campaign committees from purchasing items for personal use such as clothing, campaign finance lawyers say.
That same ban, however, is not written into the statute for other fundraising entities like PACs or the political party, creating one of the many loopholes that allow campaigns to skirt some of the restrictions put on election spending.
Some have still raised questions about whether the Palin wardrobe purchase is legal because it was made as a coordinated expenditure, a type of purchase done by a political party directly for a campaign and subject to monetary limits each election cycle by law.
While largely the Federal Election Commission hasn’t applied the personal use restrictions to coordinated expenses, some lawyers say should be.
“There’s an argument that as a coordinated party expenditure, it should be treated the same,” said Lawrence Noble, former general counsel at the FEC. “I think there is a strong argument that it is.”
The Captain Underpants campaign should have asked me, because I have the answer. Princess Sarah should say that she is just borrowing the clothes for the next seven years or so! From the Los Angeles Times:
Testimony in the corruption trial of Sen. Ted Stevens concluded Monday, with a Justice Department attorney trying to undermine the credibility of the Alaska Republican by questioning why he didn’t return items of value that friends had left at his homes in Washington and Alaska.
[Public integrity attorney Brenda] Morris asked Stevens about a $2,700 Brookstone massage chair delivered to his home in Washington in 2001. Stevens has taken the position that the chair was a loan from a friend. But he acknowledged on cross-examination that it remains in his home to this day.