ATLANTA — Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, keeps dipping her toe into state political races across the country. The state of Georgia is no exception. Are all these little endorsements in state elections across the country a way for her to create a web of support for a future presidential run in 2012? Is it crazy or is it ‘crazy like a fox?’
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on Oct. 8 that Karen Handel paid Sarah Palin over $100,000 to have Palin arrive in Georgia in style at the Intercontinental Buckhead a day before the Georgia Primary Runoff. In this last push, Handel narrowly-very narrowly lost the Republican nod to go against Democrat Roy Barnes in the November 2 General Election. Handel lost by only around 2,500 votes to Nathan Deal and could have asked for a recount, but simply bowed out, endorsing Deal and has been silent for two months.
According to Aaron Gould Sheinin, writer for the AJC, “Handel’s campaign paid an Ohio jet charter service nearly $92,000 and her latest campaign finance report shows it was for the Palin event. Handel also paid an additional $13,000 in expenses to the InterContinental Hotel in Buckhead for the event.”
Apparently, the Handel campaign still has debts from that runoff run, which failed after superstar Palin’s pricey adventure into Georgia politics. Sheinin further reports that “Handel’s quarterly report shows her campaign committee to be $28,000 in debt, with another $55,000 in deferred expenses still outstanding.”
Holly Bailey of Yahoo! News also reported on Oct. 8 that “while it does not appear that Palin charged a speaker’s fee for the event, Handel’s payout is unusual in that Palin’s camp had previously said she wouldn’t ask candidates to cover the costs of her campaigning for them. In an interview last year, then-Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton told me that Palin instead planned to cover travel costs through her political action committee, SarahPAC.”
Then four days later on Oct. 12, Palin endorsed Ray McKinney and eight other candidates across the nation on Facebook, writing, “We can count on Ray McKinney to be a strong, independent voice for Georgia’s 12th Congressional District,” Palin writes. ” Ray’s opponent has skipped over 75 votes in Congress since 2005, and he’s ducking debates when Georgians want answers.”
Her reference is to John Barrow, the Democratic Incumbent who did not show up for a debate at the Atlanta Press Club, citing personal family commitments.
There is no word yet if she will be flying in via a chartered plane for Ray McKinney. I have to suppose it depends on how much the McKinney camp has in its coffers.
Sources: AJC Blogs, October 8, 2010, Holly Bailey, Yahoo News, Ray McKinney Campaign