FEC finds errors in Palin political-action committee's quarterly filing

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 12, 2010; 4:37 PM

According to the Federal Election Commission, Sarah Palin's numbers don't add up.

In a letter this week, the FEC outlines a long list of math errors and other mistakes in the latest quarterly filing for Sarah PAC, the former Alaska governor's Arlington-based political-action committee.

Allen Norfleet, an FEC senior campaign finance analyst, writes that many of the totals listed for contributions, expenditures, cash-on-hand and other categories "appear to be incorrect" because they do not balance with other entries.

For example, Sarah PAC reported having $1,277,433.87 in cash in the end-of-quarter column but $1,277,459.01 in cash in the year-to-date column - a difference of $25.14. As Norfleet notes: "Cash-on-hand at the close of the current reporting period should always equal the closing calendar year-to-date cash-on-hand amount."

Norfleet also highlighted items listed as expenditures that should be listed as in-kind contributions, and requested more information about expenditures made for "fund-raising consulting" and "Internet and credit card fund-raising." The latter items should be reported to the FEC in more detail if they were made in support of specific candidates, Norfleet wrote.

This is not the first time Sarah PAC has struggled with the accuracy of its FEC reports. The commission has sent at least a half-dozen letters to Sarah PAC since its formation in 2009 about errors or omissions in its reports, records show.

Neither Sarah PAC nor its treasurer, Timothy Crawford, could be reached for comment Friday afternoon. The political committee, formed by Palin last year, has reported about $5 million in receipts through Sept. 30.

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