Sarah Palin didn't have a great 2015. Fox News unceremoniously dumped her, her subscription video service ceased operations after only one year, and her exploration of a 2016 presidential bid was derailed by a disastrous ad-libbed speech that the National Review called "meandering and often bizarre."
But 2016 is a new year, and Palin's endorsement of Donald Trump on Tuesday thrust the former Alaska governor back into political relevance. Palin's political action committee is now trying to capitalize on the newfound attention by making a fundraising push on the heels of the Trump endorsement.
Touting Palin's "historic" endorsement of Trump, an email to supporters got right to the point: cash donations. "SarahPAC plans to continue endorsing anti-establishment candidates who will not play politics as usual," said the email. “In order to get Sarah to political events to support endorsed candidates we need your help to fundraise her travel.”
So the Trump campaign values Palin's support, but apparently not so much that it's willing to pay for her travel to campaign events?
SarahPAC has a history of raising eyebrows with its spending. During the 2012 election cycle, for example, SarahPAC spent $4.8 million on consultants and less than $300,000 on contributions to candidates. The group spent a quarter-million dollars more than it took in during the first half of 2015, and its travel expenses included a $4,562 stay at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
Small donors fund the vast majority of SarahPAC's spending. During the first half of 2015, 78% of donations to the PAC were contributions of less than $200.