Washington Times chief political writer Ralph Z. Hallow reports that the Republican National Committee is paying some of Sarah Palin's legal fees in exchange for her help raising money for the RNC.
A check for $128,518.85 has been sent to Gov. Palin's attorneys. RNC Treasurer Randy Pullen said Chief Administrative Officer Boyd Rutherford told him the check was in exchange for Gov. Palin's assistance with RNC Chairman Michael S. Steele to raise money for midterm election campaigns.
"The initial payment was for Palin to do several different fundraising events and sign fundraising letters for the RNC," Mr. Pullen said. He said the RNC has committed to sending the Anchorage law firm a second check of an equal amount, which would bring the total to $257,037.70.The RNC can use Gov. Palin's help. The Democratic National Committee reportedly out raised the RNC last month $10.9 million to $7.9 million. The Democrats have $13.4 million in the bank compared to the RNC's $4.7 million. The only financial advantage for the RNC over its Democrat counterpart is that the RNC is carrying a lower debt load: less than $1.2 million, compared with the DNC's $8.4 million.
Asked about Mrs. Palin's role with the RNC this fall, spokesman Doug Heye declined to say whether her fundraising help was the purpose of the check. He said only that "the disbursement relates to legal fees incurred during the summer and fall of 2008, when Democrats engaged in a partisan witch hunt against Gov. Palin. Based on conversations in 2008, the RNC decided to step in to help."
Other Republican officials have worried about the state of the national party's finances under Mr. Steele, in a midterm election season in which Republicans see huge numbers of Democratic seats in play.
Mrs. Palin reportedly amassed more than $600,000 in legal bills.
"As far as I am concerned, if they want to pay her or someone else, there is nothing wrong with it," said Mr. Pullen, who is also the elected chairman of the Arizona GOP.
"That was payment for services she was providing, including a couple speeches, a couple fundraising letters and a telephone call," Mr. Pullen said. "There was not a contract so far as I know. It was verbal."