Palin's Political Action Committee Shells Out $87G to Candidates

JUNEAU, Alaska -- Sarah Palin's political action committee contributed at least $87,500 to candidates she's endorsed in the last few months, according to a report filed Sunday with the Federal Elections Commission.

But SarahPAC's financial disclosure also shows Palin spending more than $210,000 on consulting.

Candidates receiving money from Palin for the period covering April 1 to June 30 include former Gov. Terry Branstad, who won last month's Republican gubernatorial primary in Iowa, and Joe Miller, who's challenging Alaska U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the August GOP primary. Each received $5,000.

Among Palin's other high-profile endorsements, Republican Carly Fiorina, who's running for the U.S. Senate from California, received $2,500.

Sharron Angle, who's challenging U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, also got $2,500. Nikki Haley, who's running for governor in South Carolina and for whom Palin personally campaigned, got no money, according to the filings.

Palin entered the reporting period with more than $916,000 on hand. She received more than $865,800 in contributions, and ended the period with more than $1 million on hand, according to the filings.

That leaves her with more than $1 million to help campaigns this year, PAC treasurer Tim Crawford said.

"We're going to really help a lot of Republican candidates get a chance to win," he said. "And I'm glad we have the resources there for the governor to use."

Palin, the 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee, has been mentioned as a possible contender for the 2012 presidential nomination. She hasn't ruled out a bid but aides have maintained her focus is on this year's elections and on getting conservative candidates elected.

While Palin has supported tea party favorites like Angle across the country, her endorsement of the more mainstream Branstad was seen as a pragmatic pick.

If Branstad wins this fall, he'll be a highly sought-after political ally among 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls, given Iowa's historical role in hosting the leadoff caucuses in the nomination process.

It's been a whirlwind year for Palin. Last July, she resigned midway through her first term as Alaska governor amid a barrage of ethics complaints and media scrutiny that followed her home after the 2008 election. Most of the complaints ultimately were dismissed.

In announcing her resignation, she said she'd take the unconventional route in advocating for less government, individual rights and energy independence. Palin also said she'd support like-minded candidates, and she's become a political phenomenon whose support -- and celebrity -- are actively sought by candidates.

Sunday's FEC report included consulting fees for grassroots and communication, media, national and foreign affairs, and coalitions consulting.

Additional spending went toward air travel, car rentals and lodging, postage and mailings, and cell phones.