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The RNC’s Stimulus Package

By Matthew Yglesias on October 21, 2008 at 9:30 pm

"The RNC’s Stimulus Package"

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No more making fun of John McCain’s expensive shoes for me — $520 for a pair really does look down-home and working class compared to his everywoman running mate:

The Republican National Committee appears to have spent more than $150,000 to clothe and accessorize vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin and her family since her surprise pick by John McCain in late August.

According to financial disclosure records, the accessorizing began in early September and included bills from Saks Fifth Avenue in St. Louis and New York for a combined $49,425.74.

The records also document a couple of big-time shopping trips to Neiman Marcus in Minneapolis, including one $75,062.63 spree in early September.

The RNC also spent $4,716.49 on hair and makeup through September after reporting no such costs in August.

I’m a little bit surprised to learn that expenditures of that sort are legal. They appear on the disclosure forms, so apparently they are, but this seems to open the door to candidates using party committee money as a personal slush fund. Although now that I think about it, there was a story about John Edwards getting an expensive haircut that’s like a rounding error compared to Palin’s September hair and makeup expenses. The total bill is well over double the median household income in the United States.

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