Shocker: Palin buys books to incentivize donors

posted at 1:50 pm on February 1, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

ABC News has a breaking story that amounts to this: famous politician does what other famous politicians do.  Sarah Palin’s PAC bought 63,000 copies of Going Rogue in order to fulfill donation pledges, in a move that is neither illegal nor unusual.  Of course, one needs to get a little further into the story to discover this:

Sarah Palin has been using her political action committee to buy up thousands of copies of her book, “Going Rogue,” in order to mail copies of the memoir to her donors, newly filed campaign records show.

The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate had her political organization spend more than $63,000 on what her reports describe as “books for fundraising donor fulfillment.” The payments went to Harper Collins, her publisher, and in some instances to HSP Direct, a Virginia-based direct mail fundraising firm that serves a number of well-known conservative politicians and pundits.

Sarah PAC spent another $8,000 on colorful bookmarks designed by a Nashville-based event branding firm. And her committee paid her publisher $20,000 for what appears to have been the cost of sending her personal photographer and another aide along on her book tour. Those expenses are listed by the PAC as travel repayment to Harper Collins.

Um … so what?  Palin isn’t a candidate for office (yet), and since each book retails for $13.50 on Amazon, that amounts to less than 4700 books — hardly an effort to pull a Dianetics-like dodge and artificially keeping it on bestseller lists.  Making the book an incentive for larger donations is not only a no-brainer, it’s just about SOP with plenty of other politicians as well … including those still holding office, which ABC’s Matthew Mosk makes clear once readers click to Page 2:

Palin would not be the first politician to use a PAC to underwrite the purchase of a memoir. The Federal Election Commission has heard a number of cases on the question of whether it is an appropriate expense. The rules are somewhat complex, but because Palin is neither a candidate for office, nor a sitting member of congress, her PAC is free to purchase the book under current law, according to Jan Baran, a campaign legal expert.

Joe Lieberman did the same thing in 2004, when he was a Senator and preparing for a re-election bid.  He didn’t take royalties off of those sales, but ABC also acknowledges that they don’t know if Palin did, either.  And since she’s a private citizen, it really doesn’t matter if she did or didn’t.

The big news here is that Palin’s PAC had at least 4600 donors in the fourth quarter who gave enough money to warrant the incentive gift.  Otherwise, this is a big nothingburger.

Update: Joe Lieberman ran for VP in 2000, not 2004.  I guess this is what I get for squeezing one last post into a very busy day of meetings.   Call it an Edwarteurism, or what it really is, an embarrassing brain fade.  Sorry for the error!


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Ed must laugh his butt off at how upset the Palin supporters get. For a while I thought he was serious in his dislike of her. Now I see it’s just to generate posts and traffic.

Well, either that or he’s jealous she has a bigger winky than he does. /S

Hard Right on February 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM

This is why ABC, aside from Jake Tapper, is such a chickensh*t organization. They treat something non-scandalous as, well…..SCANDAL.

I suspect that Short Fins and crrap6 work there and had to come up with SOMETHING to try and get the hell out of the mailroom before having to deliver yet ANOTHER gift bag of cosmetics to Baba Wawa.

victor82 on February 1, 2010 at 6:21 PM

I used money from my Bush tax cut to by our 15 copies.

Thank you W.

(Troll head explosion in 5…..4……3….)

PappyD61 on February 1, 2010 at 6:27 PM

Liberals think you can grow the economy by spending money you borrow what more information do you need to know they do not have an economic clue?

unseen on February 1, 2010 at 5:04 PM

But in reality, liberals borrow the money from The Chinese, because they’ve run out of Americans to loot.

Of course, the Chinese know that the last people in China who tried what Obama is doing was the Kuomintang in 1949. They were printing Chaing Kai Shek notes like the Bernanke Fed prints Jacksons just as Missimo was moving her massive shoe collection from Beijing to Formosa ahead of the Peng Deheui’s PLA 8th Route Army. So they are backing away from Obama’s dollar as fast as they can.

Poor liberals. You a$$hat trolls have no idea that the roof is about to cave in on your Palace of Hopium.

victor82 on February 1, 2010 at 6:32 PM

*yawn*

So not a big deal. I’ll probably buy another copy or two, just because. ;-)

itzWicks on February 1, 2010 at 6:48 PM

Barry’s done quite nicely on book sales. I’m particularly interested in ebook sales to foreign credit cards. Foreigners can’t contribute to elections, but they can buy books. By the way, I hope the Obamas have extra copies of the AUDACITY first printing laying around, signed copies are going for as much as $19,500. I’m sure an MSM reporter is going to get right on that.

Mark30339 on February 1, 2010 at 7:09 PM

She’s a witch! Burn her!

Mr. D on February 1, 2010 at 1:53 PM

If she weighs the same as a duck…

Daggett on February 1, 2010 at 1:59 PM

Oh Yeah

mizflame98 on February 1, 2010 at 7:15 PM

OK, how much do we have to donate to get a signed book and a book marker? Count me in. WHere is her link?

karenhasfreedom on February 1, 2010 at 7:27 PM

I’m one of those “incentivized donors”, and unapologetically so. I saw an announcement that you would get a book for a donation of a certain size (I’ve forgotten how much). I wanted the book, which I had intended to buy, and also intended to contribute to Sarah’s PAC, so it made perfect sense. The amount I gave was much more than the cost of the book. What exactly is ABC’s problem?

I am reminded of when that good ol’ Florida dem. Claude Pepper, accused his republican opponent of “interdigitating with women” and “in public,” no less. He is, clearly, the role model for the modern newsman who covers Sarah Palin.

materialist on February 1, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Yep.

And I have two of those books. I bought one for $100 and the other for $1,000.

She’s worth it.

:)

Sapwolf on February 1, 2010 at 8:18 PM

hardly an effort to pull a Dianetics-like dodge and artificially keeping it on bestseller lists.

Interesting you brought that up. I like the part where they would send the books to book stores…and then the book store managers wondered where the heck they came from and then sent them back…and then the Scientologists counted those books as having been sold.

Anyone who follows that pseudo-religion really needs to be embarrassed.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 1, 2010 at 10:01 PM

sonnyspats1 on February 1, 2010 at 2:04 PM
Get lost jerk.

thevastlane on February 1, 2010 at 3:21 PM

Ok, I got my dander up over nothing. It’s Monday, sorry.

thevastlane on February 1, 2010 at 11:44 PM

I just read the story about the ridiculous magazine produced. Have you ever seen anything remotely close to this?

I haven’t. It won’t matter what Palin does that is quite “normal,” it’ll be presented as “evil” by the opposition.

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 8:37 AM

I just read the story about the ridiculous magazine produced. Have you ever seen anything remotely close to this?

AnninCA on February 2, 2010 at 8:37 AM

Not at all, Ann. Just those “commemorative specials” put out by Time Magazine, People Magazine, Et. al when Obama was elected.

gryphon202 on February 2, 2010 at 9:09 AM

The PAC didn’t “buy up” anything. They fulfilled orders for signed copies. I know because they sent me my copy.

Don’t you just hate the liberal media? I do.

Rod on February 2, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Funny, Palin writes on her Facebook page on Monday:

{The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded participants, calling them, “F—ing retarded,” according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking. }

Then today HA links to a story defending the books Palin bought that begins:

“When you read the headline of this ABC “Breaking News” it has all the emotion of catching someone in a major scandal doesn’t it?

The problem is you’d have the be at least a mildly retarded chimp…”

rjl1999 on February 2, 2010 at 11:43 AM

Why has Sarah Palin endorsed Ron Paul’s kooky son Rand Paul for the Kentucky U.S. Senate seat? Conservative Bill Johnson should be getting the support, not kooky Rand Paul.

“I’m proud to support great grassroots candidates like Dr. Paul. While there are issues we disagree on, he and I are both in agreement that it’s time to shake up the status quo in Washington and stand up for common sense ideas.” There is no shake up of the status quo in Washington if she supports a Rino coalition instead of a true conservative one.

RedRobin145 on February 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM

…AND SHE OWNS HER OWN TANNING BED!!!!ONE!11!11!ELEVENTY!!1!!

/MSM

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 2:20 PM

RedRobin145 on February 2, 2010 at 1:18 PM

What about him is kooky?

fossten on February 2, 2010 at 2:20 PM

She’s a citizen, why does anybody care?

tarpon on February 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

See what happens if we let liberals of the hook at school for their inability to do math and understand numbers?

it’s the same reason why they think that $20B on $20T is a great cost cutting effort of Obama.

mooseburger on February 2, 2010 at 3:28 PM

why does anybody care?

tarpon on February 2, 2010 at 2:25 PM

About her, or about the incentive buys?

Dark-Star on February 2, 2010 at 8:22 PM

The # of books sold is not the question. It’s the royalties on the book. At her publisher, Harper Collins, a division of New Corp, an author can set themselves up as a “special sales client”, buy their book in bulk, and the author gets a 10% royalty on the deal.

Bill Blizzard on February 3, 2010 at 4:34 AM

Just to note- Palin just endorsed loony candidate Rand Paul (son of nutjob Ron Paul). I’m starting to think she’s just as manufactured as Obama, and she will do ANYTHING her handlers tell her to do. No one can be as politically ignorant as Palin without the help of some even dumber political hacks telling her do this and do that.

Someone mentioned this on Free Republic, and the palinbots went crazy. Do NOT dare criticize the Sarah-Messiah.

TheBlueSite on February 3, 2010 at 8:25 AM

{The Obama Administration’s Chief of Staff scolded participants, calling them, “F—ing retarded,” according to several participants, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.

Just as we’d be appalled if any public figure of Rahm’s stature ever used the “N-word” or other such inappropriate language, Rahm’s slur on all God’s children with cognitive and developmental disabilities – and the people who love them – is unacceptable, and it’s heartbreaking. }

BLECH. I hate this politically correct crap. The guy called someone a retard. Big ‘effin deal.

Comparing the word retard to the word n**ger (it blocked my last attempt to post- maybe because of this?) is patently absurd and, well it’s just plain retarded to be frank.

Seriously, Palinbots, are you all smoking something together and that’s why this fembot moron in a short skirt is somehow appealing?

TheBlueSite on February 3, 2010 at 8:29 AM

:roll:

kangjie on February 3, 2010 at 9:45 AM

BLECH. I hate this politically correct crap. The guy called someone a retard. Big ‘effin deal.

Comparing the word retard to the word n**ger (it blocked my last attempt to post- maybe because of this?) is patently absurd and, well it’s just plain retarded to be frank.

Seriously, Palinbots, are you all smoking something together and that’s why this fembot moron in a short skirt is somehow appealing?

Libs can’t debate Palin’s ideas…so like with Reagan they just cry like babies and call names..:lol
The woman has sold millions of books..and it just drives Palin bashers nuts!!!! :lol And yes no matter how much Palin looks good in a skirt,(and she does…), It’s her core values,faith and wisdom that is the main attraction for millions of Americans.

dec5 on February 3, 2010 at 10:22 AM

Someone mentioned this on Free Republic, and the palinbots went crazy. Do NOT dare criticize the Sarah-Messiah.

TheBlueSite on February 3, 2010 at 8:25 AM

And especially not her kid, who is apparently only slightly less holy to the wingnut brigade than baby Jesus.

Dark-Star on February 3, 2010 at 10:54 AM

There are porn stars who have sold millions of books. So, please, let’s not attach any significance to such a feat.

And, I didn’t just call names, and I’m not at all liberal. The fact that anyone who thinks Palin has shown she’s pretty much a dullard is automatically labeled a liberal sort of goes to show what I said- don’t dare criticize the Sarah-Messiah.

In fact, I didn’t just call her names. I pointed out the stupid politically correct crap where saying the word “retarded” somehow means you’re evil. Not to mention the absurd equating of the N word (hotair blocks attempts to spell the word out for some reason) with “retarded.”

TheBlueSite on February 3, 2010 at 11:36 AM

Sarah Palin’s PAC bought 63,000 copies of Going Rogue in order to fulfill donation pledges.

So if someone sends a donation $xx.xx dollars, then they got a copy of her book?

So long as the donation is greater than the cost of the book (plus shipping and handling), what’s the story here?

DSchoen on February 3, 2010 at 2:51 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3