Palin's $75K Minneapolis shopping spree OK, says FEC


Going on giant Republican shopping sprees at Neiman Marcus isn't something worth screaming about, says the Federal Election Commission. In a 5-0 vote last month, the FEC determined that Sarah Palin's $75,000 shopping spree in Minneapolis and other shopping trips totalling $150,000 were legit. The shopping trips didn't violate rules of campaign cash use because it was paid for by a political party and not a candidate's funding stream.

The complaint was presented by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).

The original Politico report made big news as Palin tried to brand herself just a regular old American trying to change things in Washington. Some began to question that after seeing the long receipts of expensive purchases by the RNC for the family's new wardrobe. Norm Coleman's buddy Jeff Larson became a centerpoint of the investigation as he purchased a large chunk of the family's clothes and was then reimbursed by the RNC. The Palins returned the clothes after the campaign.

Check out the original complaint here (PDF). CREW filed the complaint last year. And here is the FEC response (PDF).

A response from Palin's spokeswoman:

Palin spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton used the FEC decision to reiterate her boss' positions that she was the victim of media bias and that campaign handlers were behind the shopping spree.

"We are pleased to learn that all the purchases and decisions made by senior campaign staffers, and paid for by the RNC and returned to the RNC, were all done according to the law," Stapleton said in a statement. "It is difficult to reconcile the obsessive reference to clothing on the campaign trail with any legitimate political issue and that leaves the unsettling conclusion that Governor Palin is the single national political figure who is critiqued on policy, family and clothing. When people start asking details about the personal effects of other candidates, then maybe the double standard will be eliminated."