Palin's PAC contributed just $9,500 to candidates in first quarter

Hotline’s snotty yet irresistible headline: “Palin Spends More De-Icing Planes Than For Candidates.”

The filings show Palin’s political wing, Sarah PAC, paid a FL-based airplane service company $14K to de-ice a private jet. The PAC spent more than $16K — twice as much as it donated to individual candidates — on hotels from New Orleans to New York City to Richland, WA…

Consultants for the PAC made more than $233K through their contracts, the report shows. Ex-spokeswoman Meg Stapleton, who left the PAC last month, had a $10K per month contract. Randy Scheunemann, one of Palin’s top advisors during the WH’08 campaign, also makes $10K a month; during the last 3 months, Jason Recher, another aide on the ’08 campaign, made $50K…

The $9,500 in checks represent just 2.3% of the money Palin brought in during the first quarter. Palin’s PAC spent a total of $409,760 in the first quarter.

SarahPAC took in $400,000 for the quarter; by comparison, Pawlenty’s PAC raked in $566,000 and Romney’s led the pack with $1.45 million. I tried to track down how much each of the latter two have spent donating to Republican candidates but can’t find the hard numbers. I can tell you that Romney’s PAC spent more than $120,000 last year, which was an off-year for elections, and that he reportedly dropped $9,000 alone on Scotty B’s campaign in Massachusetts. (His PAC also recently pledged $2,500 to Hawaiian House upstart Charles Djou.) SarahPAC’s treasurer is promising a big new fundraising push in time for the midterms so she’s bound to be more of a player in the next quarter, but I’m curious as to why she didn’t chip in more this time. Granted, she was busy with the book tour and the Fox gig, but she found time to issue endorsements and even hit the trail for the Artist Formerly Known as Maverick. Why not spread some wealth around? It’s not a huge deal, especially since she’s planning to donate more in the next few months, but it’s tempting to read it as a sign that she’s not quite as interested in building the bridges needed for a 2012 run as Romney is. Money would be one of the easiest ways to soften the GOP establishment’s opposition to her. Verrry curious that she’s not availing herself.

Exit question: Despite Hotline’s hyperventilating, is there even a single SarahPAC donor who’s going to care that she’s using the money to pay for her staff and travel instead of distributing it to candidates? I can imagine Romney’s and Pawlenty’s fans being annoyed with that, but Palin’s personal connection with her supporters is so intense that I assume they pretty much want the money to go to her anyway. If she spreads it around to help other Republicans, great. If she spends it all on consultants, great. Whatever makes her happy.

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