Shopping: The Captain Underpants campaign embraces yet another Bush administration strategery!

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.

…snip…

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).

…snip…

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.

…snip…

[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.

24 Comments

Filed under 2008 election, Alaska, Barack Obama, Chimpy, Corruption, FEC, Federal Election Commission, George W. Bush, humor, Joe Biden, John Edwards, John McCain, Justice Department, movies, parody, politics, Republicans, Russia, Scandals, snark, Ted Stevens, Wordpress Political Blogs

24 responses to “Shopping: The Captain Underpants campaign embraces yet another Bush administration strategery!

  1. bloggingmom67

    I think this is just terrible, and the thing is: I don’t think Palin’s clothes are all that considering how much they cost.

    She’s attractive, yes. But even her clothes — like the words that come out of her mouth — seem so staged and fake. I’ll take Michelle Obama and her off-the-rack dressing and genuine sense of style any day.

  2. hello bloggingmom67!
    welcome to the raisin! 😀
    i agree with you completely. you can put lipstick on a pig and polish a turd. you’re still left with a pig and a turd. 😉
    hope you will stop by and comment often!

  3. Friend of the court

    That Barbie is classic, nonnie. Thank you.

  4. fotc,
    i used the caribou barbie as part of a dvd cover before, but this story inspired me, so i warmed up photoshop this afternoon and added the rest of the image. that really is a barbie clothing store. i found it on the internets. other people find obama inspiring. i guess princess sarah inspires me. but not in a good way.

  5. I was hoping Palin would slip and say she planned to sell those clothes on eBay.
    Can you imagine? That would be as big as the naked fat guy selling his teapot on eBay.

  6. oh karen, that would be hilarious!!!
    i’m waiting for the palin truth squad to try to twist this into the media being sexist, because they wouldn’t ask a man about his clothing. i am soooo hoping they try that! i really think the public has had enough of princess sarah. even the rethugs are tired of being treated like they are idiots.

  7. jlms qkw

    oh nonnie! i knew you would have fun with this!

    see you soon , more regularly anyway, and in a closer time zone. aloha!

  8. jenn!
    i just answered you over at big orange! i miss you! have fun and a safe trip home. mmmwwaahhhh!!

  9. Here’s the relevant passage from the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform act of 2002:

    SEC. 313. USE OF CONTRIBUTED AMOUNTS FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.
    (b) PROHIBITED USE
    (1) IN GENERAL- A contribution or donation described in subsection (a) shall not be converted by any person to personal use.
    (2) CONVERSION- For the purposes of paragraph (1), a contribution or donation shall be considered to be converted to personal use if the contribution or amount is used to fulfill any commitment, obligation, or expense of a person that would exist irrespective of the candidate’s election campaign or individual’s duties as a holder of Federal office, including–

    (A) a home mortgage, rent, or utility payment;
    (B) a clothing purchase;
    (C) a noncampaign-related automobile expense;
    (D) a country club membership;
    (E) a vacation or other noncampaign-related trip;
    (F) a household food item;
    (G) a tuition payment;
    (H) admission to a sporting event, concert, theater, or other form of entertainment not associated with an election campaign; and
    (I) dues, fees, and other payments to a health club or recreational facility.’

    LOL! Yet again Captain Underpant’s campaign can’t even follow the law CU himself helped write!

  10. neon vincent,
    the captain underpants campaign didn’t buy the clothes, the rnc did. apparently, it can be argued that, though it is against the spirit of the law, it is not specifically mentioned that the parties or pacs cannot pay for all of those things. i am wondering if she broke alaskan laws. is she allowed to “borrow” clothing? i doubt that anything will happen in the legal arena, but i think there will be a lot of rethug contributors who might be a little pissed off. hopefully, they will be pissed off enough to stay home on election day.

  11. neon vincent!
    i almost forgot. did you read the story of scotch tape emitting radiation? a scientist got an xray of his finger on scotch tape. let me find the story. i thought of you when i read it earlier. here it is:

    http://tinyurl.com/567buz

    do you foresee people with no health insurance buying scotch tape and vacuum cleaners?

  12. Thanks, nonnie! I now have a physics story for Saturday!

  13. i thought it might be a good entry for the science saturday ond. 😀

  14. Carolita

    Nonnie,
    Love the graphic, but if we are going to compare apples to apples, you are going to need to revise your haircut math. The $150,000 was just for clothes from Saks and Needles Markup. If you’re gonna talk haircuts, you have to add the $4,716 the RNC ponied up for her hairdo in September. I understand why you would forget it, though. I find it hard to believe that 50’s look could cost $47, much less $4,700. And don’t forget the $700 for Kawasaki glasses — no telling how much more they would cost if they had prescription lenses.

    I guess those Republican Eagle donors don’t know when they are well off. Aravosis over at AMERICAblog is reporting some of the top Republican donors aren’t appreciating where their money is being spent. Gotta love it — here are some choice comments:

    “As a Republican Eagle and a maxed-out contributor to McCain’s general campaign, I’d like my money back,” complained one irate donor on Tuesday.

    “I’d just like to think they were successful enough in the private sector to have afforded their wardrobe with their own money, not the party’s or the campaign’s, which is really our money as contributors.”…

    “$150K is big money,” [a big Republican donor] added. “It kind of makes it worth running. Even if you lose, you’ve got a whole new closet.”

    Cheers,
    Carolita

  15. caro!!!!!! 😀
    this is the bestest surprise!!!! clearly, i need to do more research before posting only half the information. for example, i had no idea that supercuts charges $4,716! 😯 to be fair, maybe it’s not supercuts charging that much. maybe they are paying apiarists to keep her beehive under control. 😉
    on tv today, one of the rethug femininnies™ was on, screeching about how it’s fine that princess got $150,000 worth of clothes, because she’s just middle class. she didn’t make a lot of money like obama and michelle, and she has 5–count ’em!–5 kids!! so, we are to believe that this is the party of fiscal responsibility? hell, she could have gone on what not to wear, and stacy and clinton could have gotten her an entire wardrobe for 5 thousand bucks!
    of course, the rethug femininny™ didn’t mention that princess owns the most expensive house in all of wasilla, owns a seaplane, and has a net worth of over a million bucks. if she’s just a member of the dirt-poor unwashed masses, then why the hell did she have 5 kids?

  16. I thought that she just sported a combination toque/wig? Why would she need to spend money on hair style…

    The X-Ray thing is cool, I can save some $$ next time I go to the Dr, I’ll just do it myself ;-). Sounds like them ‘dangerous’ Sparking Wintergreen Lifesavers.

    Good times we live in!

  17. sandy!
    that’s exactly what i thought when i read about the scotch tape! sick people will be lining up at the stationery store in hopes of being able to get an x-ray they can compare to pictures at web md so they can diagnose themselves.
    i am wondering if she actually takes the beehive down to brush it or if she just has someone on the payroll who dusts it every once in a while.

  18. i can dress her for a lot less. what they normally do is buy clothing and then charge it to advertising expenses

  19. dcAp,
    i wish someone would field dress her. now, that would be cheaper and more satifying!

  20. thanks lulu! 🙂
    i was just over at your blog, and you’re pretty damned good yourself. very funny!

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