ABC News broke a “news story” yesterday… News Flash! SarahPAC paid more than $60,000 to purchase copies of Governor Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue: An American Life to send to people who donated $100 or more. ABC News’ Matthew Mosk reported:
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.
Why is this news? Every politician who has a book and a PAC does the very same thing. It is a smart fundraising technique. Ministries and other organizations do this. It would be stupid not to do if you have such a tool at your disposal. It was obviously successful since SarahPAC raised $2.1 million in 2009 with $1.4 million in the last reporting period. As far as the cost, HarperCollins doesn’t give those books away; somebody has to pay for them. So I just find it curious that this was considered newsworthy.
Oh and WOW, I am impressed, “Going Rogue” got close to 5000 people to donate $100 to the RGA? that’s a whopping $500,000 for a book that is available for $13.50. Not bad for a two week gig.
Ed Morrissey makes a great point as well:
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…
…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.
A whole lot of nothing, now how about focusing on something more newsworthy like Florida students ditching P.E., oh… wait.