by Whitney Pitcher
A lot has already been written about the John Avlon piece at the Daily Beast that casts Governor Palin as some kind of hypocritical charlatan who exploits donors to her PAC. I don’t want to re-hash what has already been said too much. Please just read here, here, and here.
I do want to make a few points though. Please excuse this atypical format. I’m writing after a long work day combined with overindulgence in caffeine. If it’s not too violence inciting, I just want to make a few bullet points. I’m italicizing my sarcasm to avoid confusion:
* John Avlon is the co-founder of No Labels, an organization that is supposedly centrist, but stands for nothing in particular. This No Labels organization is classified as a 501c4, which is not required to itemize their disbursements nor reveal their donors. While Avlon is decrying SarahPAC’s FEC report, he himself doesn’t even have to report anything specific. No labels, no transparency. (By the way, Avlon’s wife is Margaret Hoover, former staffer in the Bush White House and in Bush’s 2004 campaign, meaning she worked with the likes of Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace).
* Avlon also tries to conflate a PAC with a political campaign. When Governor Palin called for consultants to be fired and pollsters to be furloughed, she was referring to the types of overweight consultant schmucks who told her what to eat, micromanaged her every move, and suggested to her running mate that suspending his campaign was a good idea in 2008. If you want to look at the kind of “consultants” Governor Palin hired, consider the following descriptions The speechwriter she hired, that Avalon snarkily blasted, is as grassroots as you can get, yet could run circles around Peggy “Thousand Points of Spite” Noonan. This speech writer is a from far outside the beltway and started as #justablogger who started a site you may have heard of with a $10 domain name purchase. Other “consultants” the Governor hired include advance people. You know the people who ensure that all the logistics are worked out when she stumps for candidates. Yes, those are the real entrenched guys who corrupt the political process that the Governor called out–the guys who make sure that she gets from the airport to the stump, make sure her notes are on the podium, and usher the Governor through rope lines, among a lot of other tasks. But wait, weren’t we told earlier this week that the Governor never talks to the grassroots? Additionally, there are those who do things like assist with clerical and administrative things like websites and mailing lists, and of course, a treasurer. But, no, Palin should not pay a treasurer to make sure she’s in compliance with the oh-so-simple FEC regulations! She should just use TurboTax, just like that smart guy who used to be a Cabinet secretary.
*Avlon also mentions that Governor Palin spent a chunk of change on postage for direct mailings. What’s that? A political figure sends out direct mailers. That never happens! It’s amazing that Governor Palin employed a government agency like the post office as a “consultant”! Shouldn’t the Left be praising the Governor for being so generous to an agency that is essentially bankrupt? Or are they saying that Governor Palin should hand deliver her mailings by snowmachine? This piece at RedState, written by a fellow Illinois conservative, goes into more details on specifics. Yes, I’m recommending a piece at RedState. They’re few and far between, but there are some good ones.
*Avlon also whines about the return on investment of Palin’s endorsements and the amount of overhead, but he fails to mention the limits that PACs have on giving. He’d rather take advantage of the fact that casual readers won’t know the FEC caps on giving. The maximum amount a PAC can give is $5,000 per election (general and primary are counted separately). Even if the Governor devoted one-third of her spending to candidates, she would have to give the maximum to both the primary and general elections to over 150 candidates, but even then I suppose she would be criticized for hiring any staff and not supporting 450 candidates. She should have endorsed every GOP Congressional candidate! However, Palin is a force multiplier (h/t RefudiateGOPe). When Governor Palin gives an endorsement, the phone rings off the hook for those candidates. Perhaps we should just ask Senator Dewhurst how effective Governor Palin’s endorsement? No?
* A final point. Social media is not the absolute barometer of what we loosely call the “conservative movement”, but it is a barometer. People who decried this news are the same ones who tongue lashed conservatives who were critical of Romney in 2012. They certainly didn’t have a problem when news came out weeks before the 2012 general election that Governor Romney’s campaign invested over a hundred million dollars in consulting firms owned by his senior staffers and he lost! No circular firing squads, they say! Unless they’re the ones who get to hold the gun. This is par for the course in the “conservative movement” though. When Governor Palin worked her butt off to try to get McCain elected generating more excitement in the GOP than had been there in over 25 years, she ultimately got blamed for the loss. When Governor Walker was getting hit with a recall, the GOP and “conservative movement” was eager to help, but when Governor Palin got inundated with dozens of frivolous ethics complaints, crickets. When Governor Palin was cast as accomplice to murder in Tucson, there were conservative bloggers and some media personality who defended her, yet again, overwhelming crickets from her own party machinery. However, when Ann Romney was told “she never worked a day in her life”, you couldn’t get Mr.overgrown college Republican and the RNC to calm down in demanding an apology. Today, you certainly didn’t hear outrage when Marco Golden Boy spent over 90K of his PAC donors’ money on political consultants in just the month of February alone, did you?
I’m tired of this. Tired of the lies. Tired of the finger pointing and intellectual dishonesty. Tired of the attacks. However, as the World War II saying goes, “if you’re taking flak, you’re over the target”, which is good if you’re loaded for bear: