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Sarah Palin's $150,000 Wardrobe - Is it Legal?

gal_palinfashion-7.jpg

ABC News:

When news broke that Gov. Sarah Palin and her family managed to spend $150,000 of other people's money on clothes after joining the McCain ticket, many scratched their heads. Is that legal?

Thanks to a loophole in federal law the answer, experts say, is yes.

Handily, the loophole was codified into law by the landmark campaign finance law passed by her ticketmate, Sen. John McCain.

It would be illegal for the McCain-Palin campaign to buy a new wardrobe for Palin and her husband, say campaign finance lawyers contacted by ABCNews.com. But the law is silent on whether such purchases can be made by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

"The party committee has much greater latitude," said Kenneth Gross, a federal election lawyer. "I think it is permissible for the party committee to make that judgment."

A loophole engineered by McCain's own legislation - color me "surprised"...

Keeping up with the Palin's is an expensive proposition... those Hockey Mom's are somethin' dontchaknowit!


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Comments (15)

engineer:

The clothes are not owned by Governor Palin. They are the property of the RNC and after the election they will be sold and the proceeds given to charity.

http://www.twincities.com/politics/ci_10779740

And if you were really honest Lee, if she wore her normal clothes you would complain that she has no class.

All that money spent, yet she still reminds me of the Bride Of Frankenstein. Where did all the money go? That almost deserves an investigation.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Thank you for stopping by, engineer, but there's nothing at the link you provided that supports your claim that the clothes are still owned by the RNC.

In fact, As I posted elsewhere, tax experts are saying that Palin is on the hook for income tax on the wardrobe costs.

But at least the crap you made up was "on topic" - that's an improvement for you trolls...

Re: Paul and the money spent...

I"m sure Palin has a blast spending $150,000 of the hard-earned donations on clothes - it's such a "Mavericky" thing to do...

engineer:

Amazingly the blurb in the article had been removed, yet the title of the article still states it. Interesting, huh? Next time I'll clip the quote for you before it disappears down the rabbit hole.

Try this article with the the supporting paragraph still intact.

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gN2UuEbyF64GtuHQfJzWDqDg7PqgD93VQJE00

"The episode naturally raised questions about the propriety of using party money for such expenses. The Republican National Committee said the clothes belong to the committee, while John McCain's campaign said the clothing would go to a "charitable purpose" after the campaign. It also sought to deflect the issue by criticizing the media attention."


"But at least the crap you made up was "on topic" - that's an improvement for you trolls..." apology accepted in advance.

Herman:

That's the Christian thing to do, spend $150,000 on clothes, while people in the world go hungry. Jesus Christ would heartily approve, right, conservatives?

Lee Ward:

engineer -- since I didn't see any *winks or lols I'l pretend you gragging serious when you suggest that anything that the RNC says has any resemblance to "the facts" or "the truth." They lie nearly as much as Sarah does.

The RNC's bullshit has already been debunked.

I just got off the phone with a well-respected and well-known tax attorney who doesn't want to be identified.

I asked him earlier in the day whether Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin can avoid paying taxes on the $150,000 worth of clothes the RNC bought her, as she and the RNC maintain. (They said the RNC now owns the clothes; she's just borrowing them.)

He said that, after consulting with a number of experts at his prominent firm, he thinks the RNC and Gov. Palin are wrong.

"It's probably not a 'gift,'" he said. "The issue is whether it counts as 'income.'"

Palin's claim that the pricey duds belong to the RNC and she's just "borrowing" them and will return them later, reminds him, he says, of some of the issues going on in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska. (Some of the issues, he specified, not the allegations of criminality.)

"This is exactly the issue with the Stevens case," he said. "When you loan something to someone can you call it a 'loan' if, upon its return, it has no practical value?

"The consensus view is she would have to count the wardrobe as income at least in the amount of the fair value of the rental of the wardrobe," he said.

He added that the law is clear that uniforms -- "big brown suits with your name on them" -- don't qualify as income, but it would be hard to make the argument that fancy dress suits from Saks Fifth Avenue and Nieman Marcus are a uniform.

"Especially since Palin is employed by the state of Alaska and not the RNC," he said.

Not to worry - 3 weeks after the election the RNC will admit to their error - meanwhile they'll lie their asses off to try to get Grandpa John and Caribou Barbie elected.

Not surprising thought that the RNC would borrow a tactic from a crook like Ted Stevens.

Mike:

On the other hand, I seem to recall that Al Gore paid Naomi Wolf up to $15,000 a month so she could teach him how to be an "alpha male." Her sage advice included, among other things, convincing Gore to wear "earth tones."

I would imagine that we would all be embarrassed if we knew all the ways political campaigns spent their money.

Mike:

Maybe someone could tell us how much Michelle Obama's designer outfits are worth, and who paid for them?

engineer:

http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Vote2008/story?id=6089060&page=1

I'll match your 'doesn't want to be identified source' from ABC and raise you a source who is identified from ABC.

"When news broke that Gov. Sarah Palin and her family managed to spend $150,000 of other people's money on clothes after joining the McCain ticket, many scratched their heads. Is that legal?

Thanks to a loophole in federal law the answer, experts say, is yes.

Handily, the loophole was codified into law by the landmark campaign finance law passed by her ticketmate, Sen. John McCain.

It would be illegal for the McCain-Palin campaign to buy a new wardrobe for Palin and her husband, say campaign finance lawyers contacted by ABCNews.com. But the law is silent on whether such purchases can be made by the Republican National Committee (RNC).

"The party committee has much greater latitude," said Kenneth Gross, a federal election lawyer. "I think it is permissible for the party committee to make that judgment." "


Also noted in your article, "...he thinks the RNC and Gov. Palin are wrong."

So I guess the 'expert' isn't so sure. In fact I'm sure we could come up with 'experts' on both sides questioning whether it is legal or not. But, you have decided to be judge, jury and executioner already.


From your previous comment: "In fact, As I posted elsewhere, tax experts are saying that Palin is on the hook for income tax on the wardrobe costs."

Noe add in Jake Tapper update to you previous link: "UPDATE: Someone familiar with this situation writes that, "Because these accessories belong to the RNC and they will be returned to the national committee, it does not trigger any gift tax liability." So these clothes were purchased for Palin but she will return them to the RNC and they won't count as gifts? Perhaps some tax lawyers/accountants out there can shed some light on this." - I guess Jake and his 'experts' aren't that certain.


"

In all of your investigative reporting did you find out
A) How much Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama spent on their clothes?
B) If they were donated, does the value exceed the legal amount of a gift?

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

The Obamas and Bidens buy their own clothes, so there's nothing to donate there - and I haven't come across anything indicating that Hillary Clinton is any different from the Obama's and Bidens

The McCains buy their own clothes, it's just Palin who spends obscenely ridiculous amounts of money on frivolous extravagances - all the while pretending she's "Mavericky"... she's a reformer you know - not at all like those Washington politicians... lol.

And all the while defending her padding her expense accounts and including her children on luxury trips to New York, etc.

She charged Alaskans per diem while staying in her own home 300+ times!

Herman,

Is it more or less Christian to spend $140,000 on scenery used once for a televised speech?

Don't dislocate your shoulder patting yourself on the back for non-sequitor comments.

Lee Ward[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Both campaigns spent a fortune on the conventions.

Only Palin spent a fortune on herself.

Howard:

Obama supporters who trashed Palin from day one are ranting about her wardrobe and other petty matters, while an anti-American Socialist / Marxist racist is about to highjack our government, with the help of voter fraud, and a corrupt biased media. You'd better wake up America ... or, this country is about to experience an ugly 4 year long nightmare under Obama/Biden !!!

Lee Ward:

I've written extensively about how unqualified Sarah Palin is, Howard - so your characterization that I'm focusing on petty matters is just plain wrong, as this link shows - so feel free to join the "fact-based reality" discussion here on Wizbang Blue.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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