For Immediate Release
Naomi Seligman 202.408.5565
FEC Dismisses CREW Complaint Against Palin and RNC for Clothing Purchases
WASHINGTON - Today, the FEC dismissed CREW's complaint against Governor Sarah
Palin and the Republican National Committee for spending approximately
$150,000 on clothing for the governor and her family. The FEC held that
the clothing purchases were permitted as "coordinated party
expenditures." Although CREW had argued that the purchases violated the
prohibition on the personal use of campaign funds, the FEC found that
because this prohibition does not apply to party funds, the ban did not
apply. In effect, the FEC is claiming its hands were tied and it could
not penalize the RNC or Governor Palin.
This means that the FEC will allow political parties to buy
candidates whatever they want at whatever cost, and that the candidates
and their families may keep these purchases. Despite the fact that
Governor Palin and the RNC claimed the clothing would be donated to
charity, it is not clear this ever happened, and in any event,
according to the FEC, the law does not require it. Notably, this past
March the FEC asked Congress to enact legislation to extend the
personal use prohibition to all political committees, including party
committees and leadership PACs. Unsurprisingly, Congress has yet to act.
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Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to promoting ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials -- regardless of party affiliation -- who sacrifice the common good to special interests. CREW advances its mission using a combination of research, litigation and media outreach.