To hear Sarah Palin tell it, she and her mama grizzlies are people-powered, grassroots examples of how Americans can get involved in politics. But a close look at SarahPAC's campaign finance report shows she spends her donations on the same old, standard consultants as every other politician. And like many others, she still finds ways to keep her inner circle in the money.
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She pulled in just shy of $866,000 in donations from people hailing from Kissimmee, Florida to Rancho Palos Verdes, California. But Marylander Laurie Beitman's $35 and the bulk of Palin's small-dollar donations is going to more than Republican candidates the former Alaska governor wants to see win this fall. By our count, Palin spent nearly $400,000 on consultants, lobbying firms and the standard direct mail and fundraising firms politicians frequently use. (The AP had a stricter consulting tally, $210,000.) Just about the only maverick-style item she purchased was $4,000 worth of sausage.