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A look at Sarah Palin, fundraiser

As Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin starts her career on the national political stage -- and joins the frenzied chase for big-time bucks -- she brings a fundraising past to the table that is modest (to say the least).

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, picked by John McCain as his running mate on the Republican presidential ticket Campaign finance reports show she raised $1.43 million from 2001 to 2006 -- less than what a winning race for a seat in the California state Assembly easily could cost.

She raised most of her total --$1.36 million -- in 2005 and 2006, when she was running for governor.

Palin has not raised money since becoming her state's chief executive. Under Alaska law, she cannot troll for dollars until next May, and at that point only if she declares for reelection (though if all goes well for her in November, all that will be moot).

Since John McCain chose Palin as his vice presidential running mate, Times staff writer Ben Welsh, researcher Maloy Moore and data analyst Sandra Poindexter have been gathering data from the Alaska Public Offices Commission’s website. A review of her campaign finance reports shows her biggest single source of money has been the Republican Party: $75,000.

People involved in the fisheries industry — her husband is a commercial fisherman — have contributed at least $70,000.

People listing their business as real estate have donated $46,000. Attorneys accounted for at least $30,000, and lobbyists donated $9,800.

Palin, who favors opening a part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development (a move McCain opposes), has taken about $13,500 from people involved with oil firms.

Although she is a Republican, Palin has friends in organized labor. Unions and self-identified union members have donated $17,000 to her campaigns.

Two days before McCain named her as his running make, Palin attended an AFL-CIO convention in Alaska and signed legislation ...

... putting up $500 million in state money to help TransCanada Corp. research the possibility of a natural gas pipeline from Alaska's North Slope, which could cost $30 billion and run 1,700 miles. The legislation includes guarantees of union jobs.

“We see eye-to-eye on a lot of stuff,” said Ron Axtell, vice president of a 1,500-member local of the Laborers Union that has donated to Palin and is in line to receive work on the pipeline. “She is an excellent pick. Most of the people in the state are shocked and pretty jubilant.”

Palin, who has made a practice of assailing Alaska’s political culture of corruption, took $5,000 from people affiliated with VECO Corp., the company at the center of the criminal inquiry of Sen. Ted Stevens, also a Republican.

Palin is not implicated in any wrongdoing in the case.

-- Dan Morain

Photo credit: Associated Press

Comments () | Archives (46)

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There wasn't a lot from Palin's mayoral days that I was able to find in my research, but the following article is a doozy.

From The Rocky Mountain News of 8/10/97. you can see how this idealogue walked over 3 elderly workers. I posted it in my blog, but thought others might like to see it, because it's not available by a Google search:

"WASILLA, Alaska -- Opal Toomey, Esther West and Ann Meyers don't seem like politically active types. There are no bumper stickers on their cars, no pins on their lapels.

But the three gray-haired matrons of Wasilla's city museum decided to take a stand. Faced with a $32,000 budget cut and the prospect of choosing who would lose her job, the three 15-year-plus employees decided instead to quit en masse at the end of July, leaving the museum without a staff.

``We hate to leave,'' said Meyers, who at 65 is the youngest of the three. ``We've been together a long time. But this is enough.''

If the city were broke, it would be different, she said. Instead, the city is flush with $4 million in reserves. There is no reason the museum's budget should be cut, Meyers said.

But the mayor and City Council members who supported the cut say the surplus is beside the point. They were elected to minimize government and concentrate on infrastructure - paving roads and extending sewer lines.

The museum, which had an annual budget of more than $200,000, was costing roughly $25 per visitor, said Mayor Sarah Palin. Museum supporters say losing the women will be a blow to this city north of Anchorage. The three have run the two-story building since the early 1980s."
Yeah, that's compassionate conservatism for you.

After being named as Obama's running mate Joe Biden made the rounds of News talk shows. Why isn't Palin on Sunday morning talk shows? Not ready yet?

Modest fundraiser? Now thats refreshing! I like Palin even more now!

LA Times you may bash all you want, but people like Palin and you need to GET OVER IT.

let's see if i have my menu options straight. on the left hand, i've got zero experience plus way too much experience, and on my right hand, i've got way too much experience plus zero experience. there's only one solution: lieberman uber alles!

It's quite obvious from this that such a rare and accomplished woman needs far less cash to get attention than the media favored Obama. She has a whopping 80% approval rate in her state! And just look how much free press and interest she has generated so far. Obama had the audacity to belittle her saying "she's an up and coming public servant". That's exactly what he is...up an coming compared to her.

Obama is an arrogant loser. He passed on Hillary cause he's cocky and thinks he can do it alone. Now he'll PAY..BIG TIME.

This article is so typical of the left wing media bias. You dont report the news you are more like an tabloid with an agenda. I didnt see any of this vetting on Obammas pick for VP. The LA times is arguable the second most liberal media outlet in the country, I think only behind the Washington Post. I will love when in November your rag you call a news outlet will be counting chads and saying how the voters were disenfranchised.

Country First? Now McCain will have to come up with a new motto.

Palin Family Values: "Whew! As Vice President I won't have to be involved in caring for my special-needs newborn!"

IMHO Sarah Palin is a great choice and a breath of fresh air

Obama has hired the best campaign team off all time and garnered 19,000,000 votes by managing them well. Oh yeah the topic was bucks Obama has raised over $290,000,00 which of thee displays leadership you do the math. Mc Same going to New Orleans today for a photo op is just proof he abhors the pictures of him eating cake with George W. when Katrina had already destroyed a great American city. "Let em eat cake" while NOL burns Mr. Mc Cain. Your pictures today is just insult to injury with your one hour visit pick for V.P. the LOL portion of your campaign now at a never before seen guffaw. OBAMA BIDEN for the serious American in you. YES WE CAN! No Way No How No Mc Cain!

Now was this really worth publishing? If you think of the population of Alaska and its few metropolitan areas I would think there fund raising is pretty good. So what is the comparison with the cost of an assembly seat in California. As I questioned, was this really worth publishing? I say NO!


I think she is the best! She has more experiece than Nobama. All the lefty nuts dint like her, thats why McCain will win.

McCain bows under pressure for the Religious right and will pay for it big time. Palin is now taking a four week course in foreign relations, so that she can be prepared to meet with Putin if she has to. We thought that Palin was very lucky to be asked after the first date but it seems that McCain has a history of making fast, instinctive and sometimes risky decisions. "I make them as quickly as I can, quicker than the other fellow, if I can," McCain wrote, with his top adviser Mark Salter, in his 2002 book, "Worth the Fighting For." "Often my haste is a mistake, but I live with the consequences without complaint." YIKES..........

Just for fun, why don't you do a side-by-side of Biden's contributors? Or for even more fun, Obama's?

Amazing that blogs associated with traditional media simply refuse to give Democratic candidates the go-over GOP candidates enjoy.

Pseudo-conservative commentator, Andrew Sullivan recently made these comments which clearly delineate the essential difference in world view between those who view Palin as a viable VP candidate and those who reject her out of hand.

"He (Obama) was the president of the Harvard Law Review; she (Palin) was the point guard on her high school basketball team."

"He (Obama) has surrounded himself in his campaign with world-class people and though I am doubtless an elitist and snob for saying so, I doubt that she (Palin) has even met a half-dozen world-class people in her lifetime. "

Those who view Palin as a viable VP candidate tend to perceive ordinary Americans as "world-class" people and hold a skeptical attitude toward institutions such as the Harvard Law Review. Those who reject Palin as a viable VP candidate tend to revere the Harvard Law Review with a cult-like fervor and to see ordinary Americans as contemptible scum.

Oh boy I certainly feel safe now that I know if McCain gets elected not only can the state quo continue, but should his heart miss a beat or two we can feel safe knowing we have a PTA mom that loves to hunt and fish to lead us and the rest of the world. I have a 21 year old niece that knows more about what is going on in the world than this lady. John you should have vetted my niece if you really felt compelled to make this type of political move.

The very reason that Sarah Palin is immediately hated by big city liberal media is the same reason she has probably got my vote: Pro life, pro liberty, a real person who gets things done by actually working; will not toe the line to the party bosses, etc... she is the antithesis to Obama and I now can see just how same ol' same ol' he is. If he had the guts to fight the corrupt Chicago DNC cabal, I might have retained some respect for his candidacy.

What's scary about all of this is that the Republicans can spin any crap they want and somehow make it work. That's what's happened this past eight years. Lot's a crap. I think Sarah has proven she's a good Republican...she's managed to reach office without qualification and she's stingy with others. I love that her own mother in law contributed to her opponent. Wow That's sayin' something, isn't it? Who do you think is going to run the war in Iraq now, the tight tshirt wearing Sarah...or the bumbling "where am I today?" Mccain? I yi yi. And let's not be fooled....Ms. Palin won an election in a state where the majority of voters are men. I wonder if they were using the head on their shoulders for that vote? As an intelligent, hardworking, single mother I am insulted by this dirty move. Does McCain really think that I would vote for his ticket just because he's picked up a woman along the way. He doesn't even know her! Feels a little mail order bride to me. Wow. So on one side, he's got his pulled together, pinched, rich kid wife....and on the other side, he's got a beverly hillbilly, miss runner up beauty pageant queen with a clippy in her hair. And he looks like he doesn't know what hit him. Now there's a winning team!! woo hoo!

Your readers may find this interesting regarding Sarah Palin from an Alaskan's point of view.

Blog re Palin:

Talk about gagging on a gnat and swallowing a camel! The LA Times takes the cake.

The selection of Palin by McCain caused an immediate one day $7 million bump in contributions to McCain, including mine. Fiscal Conservatives, who have been sitting on their wallets (or have been selective in their contributions) are starting to open them up for McCain. By accepting federal funds, McCain will be bound to not accepting any more contributions, so expect the RNC's coffers to swell in the next few weeks as a result of McCain choosing Palin As the VP pick.

Any shift manager at any fast food restaurant is more qualified to be VP than Sarah Palin. I will not be voting Republican for the first time in life.

Palin is proud of her reputation for going against "the good ole boys" club. Well now she has a chance to face off with the mother of all such clubs, David Rockefeller's Council on Foreign Relations. She will undoubtedly be offered membership. Will she have the courage to refuse, and to risk assassination by going against the power elite's sovereignty destroying North American Union agenda?

It is astonishing to me the press has for the most part stopped being Journalists and are now predominantly Editorial contributors. I wish we could get back to a time when the media, would just report facts and not opinions. I want to know what Sarah Palin brings to the debate with regards to energy and ethics. I don't want to know that she doesn't bring big money with her.

A number of conservative opinion blogs have contained a disturbing anti-Palin undercurrent today, the gist of which is that there is a lot of opposition to her based on the fact that she is a woman. DIe hard conservatives share her opinions, but don't want to see women running their lives. I doubt Sarah Palin will bring one net vote to John McCain.

Her selection highlights one of McCain's weaknesses--he tends to be impulsive on matters that should be decided after a careful weighing of all the pros and cons. Palin is cute and bouncy, but so are Playboy bunnies.

Alaska is only 670,000 people while California is 37 million with another 5 to 10 million illegal Mexicans. The statement that 1.3 million dollars is comprative to a state house race is a bit far fetched. Show me the data. Is this alll you could dig up on Sarah?

I have never made public comments on politics but feel I must tell you my story in light of the Democratic attacks on the announcement of Governor Palin as the Republican choice for Vice President.

I am a Democrat living in Redding, Ca. I voted in the primary for Hillary as did my wife and all 4 of my daughters. We watched the inspiring convention speech of Barack Obama but still felt unsure of who he really is and quite frankly are concerned with his thin resume.

When McCain announced Palin as his choice for Vice President and we then heard her talk I saw tears in the eyes of my wife and daughters who all declared they were voting for McClain/Palin. They said that they wanted a women as Vice President even though my five females are pro-choice. They were very impressed with her reformer credentials and said that outweighed her pro-life stance and were impressed with her choice of knowingly bringing a downs syndrome baby into her life. We also feel she has more germane experience for President then Obama does

We all feel she will be the next Vice President and are now actively supporting the McCain/Palin ticket by organizing our friends and donating to their campaign.

After the last 8 years, I don't give a flip who the republican party runs, I would not vote for them again...........Mike from Arizona

Even Locals Are Blasting Palin Pick

by SusanG

Sat Aug 30, 2008 at 11:00:18 AM PDT

An editorial in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:

She has never publicly demonstrated the kind of interest, much less expertise, in federal issues and foreign affairs that should mark a candidate for the second-highest office in the land. Republicans rightfully have criticized the Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama, for his lack of experience, but Palin is a neophyte in comparison; how will Republicans reconcile the criticism of Obama with the obligatory cheering for Palin?...Most people would acknowledge that, regardless of her charm and good intentions, Palin is not ready for the top job. McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation's when he created the possibility that she might fill it. It's clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance.

The Anchorage Daily News samples some state politician reaction:

"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said [State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla]. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"

And the News-Miner again, in round-up local reaction story:

Lately her reputation within the state has been bit by allegations of mixing political and family business, and by mistreating one of the state's premier marine mammals. Palin's catch-phrase of "openness and transparency" has been tarnished by revelations that staff members tried to have Palin's former brother-in-law fired from his job as an Alaska state trooper. Also, the governor of the only state with polar bears has adamantly opposed listing the animals as a threatened species, despite strong evidence that global warming has devastated their sea ice environment off Alaska's coast. Dermot Cole, a longtime columnist for Alaska's second largest newspaper, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, called McCain's choice of Palin "reckless" and questioned her credentials. "Sarah Palin's chief qualification for being elected governor was that she was not Frank Murkowski," Cole said of her enormously unpopular predecessor, who lost favor with Alaskans in part because of unpopular budget cuts. "She was not elected because she was a conservative. She was not elected because of her grasp of issues or because of her track record as the mayor of Wasilla."

I have never been happier that she was selected as the VP on the Republican ticket. I am sick of all the other long time politicians who don't think anything other than bigger government is betterin both parties). She is such a breath of fresh air. Check her out and you will see.

The difference between Palin and Obama is Common sense, She's GOT IT, He DOESN'T.

Keep whistling past the graveyard boys. $7,000,000 in donation to McCain since her pick. No decimal point there. SEVEN MILLION. Choke on it. Best regards, Larry

Keep whistling past the graveyard boys. $7,000,000 in donation to McCain since her pick. No decimal point there. SEVEN MILLION. Choke on it. Best regards, Larry

I basically feel John McCain's judgement for picking Gov. Palin was a political move of which she is basically being used to get the "Hilliary Votes". There is no real connection or karma between them. They only met once and has not had a chance to discover if they are indeed a match or can work together as a team.

I'm a woman with my own career and business. On one hand while I am excited for the accomplishments of women, I am a wife and mother 1st. I can't help but wonder why no one seems to be raising this question. "Who needs her more, America or her 5 month old baby with special needs?"

I thought the order of service was God, family, others and then self. Before going full throttle in starting my business, I first attended the needs of my family by raising my children and put them 1st through high school.

Considering its been said she is evangelical, the bible says that the women are to guide and nurture the children.

If McCain really had her best interest in mind, she would't have been in the hat. The role of vice president and even president has much more responsibility and is more demanding than that she is accustomed. Considering McCain's health challenges, it is very likely she could be president within a "heartbeat".

Is she really ready? Her family should not be a consideration for the sacrifice. If the republicans win, we may never get wind of it, but her husband, children and especially that baby who need her the most, will be the ones to suffer. In my opinion, that is not a gamble worth taking. I don't care if its V.P. of the world!

I sent $500 to Palin-McCain yesterday. She's raised $7 M in two days for the campaign. Maybe the rich folks in CA will give something to a genuine feminist for a change instead of plastic phonies.

I think she will be a fine choice, she has plenty of experience in dealing with corrupt politicians, she is well respected by the people of Alaska, and she's a hard working person with good work ethics. My friends in Alaska that I've been able to talk to are happy for her but sad that they may loose her as thier Covernor. They said she put Ethics legislation through that will help protect the people up there from having corrupt officals getting back into office. I have no problem with her taking over as president. We all base our decisions off our life experiences, and I believe hers have given her a good base to tackle any problem. How often do you get to choose a politician with an approval rating of 80% to 90%? Very seldom, I would say.

This article is a perfect example of why I do not understand blogging. Why have I read this piece? What have I learned?

Get real! Alaska is a small state with a small population. So a small monetary amount fundraised is within normal expectations. As far as money raised, McCains campaign funds jumped 7million the day he announced Palin as VP. How about adding that to her "fundraising resume"?????

And to associate her fundraising money sources with VECO is unethical! Someone who works for VECO giving money to a campaign he or she believe in in NOT the same thing as VECO corporation giving money as part of a bribe deal to get preferrential treatment. You liberal news people are just desperate to find dirt on Palin but you are failing to meet your own standards of journalism.

Quite the opposite of the fundraising of most politicians. Her contributors all seem rather modest. Also quite eclectic. Doesn't look like she's beholden to anyone. I would expect that Republicans would not expect her to fundraise a lot herself, but to use her as a headliner at events to attract contributors. Looks like Ms. Clean to me.

Apparently the McCain Palin campaign received over 4 million overnight after it was announced she was McCain's VP pick. I'm sure plenty more will be flowing in once people get to know her.

(More than that actually. Read some of the back items.)

The fact that Sarah Palin and her husband are card carrying Union Members is a surprise to me. Since Ronald Regan tried to kill the Air Controllers bargaining power, McCain's choice for her as his vice president may backfire if she decides to favor Union policies. Good Luck John in explaining how Palin will handle the call for more Unions from her AFL-CIO brothers and sisters.

Rise Up Sisters and take your place. We are finally going to have BALANCE in the White "House".. Pa John McCain and Ma Sara Palin to bring unity, a "Big" change and strengthen our nation... My granddaughter will be able to hope and see that someday she can become president of a great nation too. Don't know what soap opera Obama and Michelle got caught up in not choosing Hillary??? But thank goodness for other parties and other choices....I was sure that McCain was going for Liberman,(which would have been a challenge to us) but WOW didn't see Palin coming at all....What an exciting election this will be....Her imperfections are endering to me. SARA PALIN for Vice President....Where can I get the sign and bumper stickers? I'm jumping on board. Go sister Go sister Go sister GO!!!

Palin seems dishonest she has a commercial fisherman as a husband. All the lobbyists and real estate people supported them plus the oil people. OMG there goes Alaska. Now her daughter has to get married at 17 what is this woman thinking. Are we spiraling back to the 50's

Someone above made an interesting point. BO made no attempts to reform the nortoriously corrupt Illinois political machine yet he professes to be ready to change Washington. In fact he was a darling of the establishment - something we've continued to see with the press.

Gov. Palin took the system head on and made positive changes in Alaska - corruption legislation, holding big oil accountable etc. She is a card carrying union member. You would think that Democrats would be on this womans bandwagon.

Fankly I'm less interested in her pro-life stance and more interested in how she has fought and gotten results for Alaska. I'm interested in a shake up in DC. I'm pretty sick of the way things are run up there.

When I look at who has delivered. Who has a track record of shaking things up. Who is most likely to to affect change in DC. It's pretty obvious who will get my vote.

Qualifications? Oh, blah, blah, blah. I'd take a Sarah Palin over a George W. any day. I just wish she'd move down here to British Columbia. Experience is overrated. I guess parents shouldn't be allowed to procreate either because - gosh, darn - they're so darn inexperienced!

And blah, blah to foreign policy. I'd be far stretched - with the exception of a few enlightened American souls - to find many who actually know who their number one energy supplier, main trading partner, or banker is. Most naysayers are vastly underestimating Palin. Can't wait to see her get the last laugh.

"Also, the governor of the only state with polar bears has adamantly opposed listing the animals as a threatened species, despite strong evidence that global warming has devastated their sea ice environment off Alaska's coast."

Complete and utter nonsense. Incidentally, I tend to immediately disqualify the opinions of people who attach their names to a Ph.D.

It is amazing how many Southerners have become experts about all things Arctic - the majority of its North America perimeters in Canadian territory, which means that's where you'll also find about 60% of the world's polar bear population. So please don't fret so. I'll take the opinion of a Northern biologist or Inuit anyday, rather than some academic located in the States who wouldn't know a sub-zero temp. if it bit him in the rear end.

Humour aside, polar bears are NOT on the verge of extinction. Anyways, if you are concerned about it, then complain to the American hunters who harvest most of Canada's 500 yearly allowance.

And just for the record Al Gore's ice is melting factoid movie is a sham. The arctic ice between Greenland and Canada is INCREASING. But this is not uncommon since melting ice is replaced by expanding sheets of ice. But then you'd have to actually LIVE IN THE NORTH to know this. So some parts ARE melting but other parts are INCREASING. It's called climate change - and it's been happening for eons.

Go Palin! Remember ANYBODY is an improvement over BUSH. Just not United Nations loving Obama...


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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