OK, so Governor Palin spent $150,000 in two months on clothes and accessories. Big deal. It wasn’t illegal. And it wasn’t taxpayer money. It was campaign money. Money donated to the Republican Party by people who trusted Republican officials to be good stewards of their (possibly) honestly earned dollars. Yes, there are people who are grossed out by the profligacy. My own Mrs. R., upon viewing slide #5 in this slideshow of Palin wardrobe and shoes was aghast at the Louis Vuiton bag being weilded by 7 year old Piper. But there will always be curmudgeons. Or this guy:
Mr. McCAIN. Madam President, the amendment before the Senate is a very simple one. It restricts the use of campaign funds for inherently personal purposes. The amendment would restrict individuals from using campaign funds for such things as home mortgage payments, clothing purchases, noncampaign automobile expenses, country club memberships, and vacations or other trips that are noncampaign in nature.
Madam President, I want to emphasize I will be citing some examples of how campaign funds have been used which are extremely egregious, but I want to point out they are not illegal, and the purpose of this amendment is to restrict the use of those campaign funds because, if we are truly going to have campaign finance reform, I do not believe that campaign funds should be used for such things as country club dues, tuxedos, vacations, and other purposes for which they are now almost routinely used by certain Members of both bodies.
According to the U.S. census, in 1990 the median family income in America was $30,056. With that $30,056, the average American family was expected to put a roof over their head, feed their children, and send them to school. It seems to me that we should be able to survive as well at a salary level of $139,000 per year. [ed. note: Sarah Palin’s salary as Governor of Alaska is $125,000 per year]
The use of campaign funds for items which most Americans would consider to be strictly personal reasons, in my view, erodes public confidence and erodes it significantly.
I point out these abuses, in my view what are abuses, because they are certainly not what the average contributor intends for their funds to go to. (From the debate on CONGRESSIONAL SPENDING LIMIT AND ELECTION REFORM ACT OF 1993 [Senate – May 25, 1993] via georgia10, DailyKos)
I say again: Big Deal. So this sum is equivalent to 80 years of the typical clothes budget of Joe Sixpack’s family. Governor Palin isn’t claiming to be a typical small town American. She’s a Governor and possibly a future President.