Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says her new political action committee, SarahPAC, is not intended to enhance her profile as a major Republican player on the national stage or to signal that she is running for president in 2012, but rather so she can help raise money for other GOP candidates.
"No, not at all,” Palin told the Anchorage Daily News when asked about her presidential aspirations. “It's helpful to have a PAC so that, when I'm invited to things, like to speak at the Lincoln Day dinner in Fairbanks — to have a PAC pay for that instead of have the state pay for that because that could be considered quasi-political."
Palin, who was Sen. John McCain’s running mate when he ran for president in November, models her PAC after HillPAC, the committee Hillary Clinton formed during her presidential run in 2008, as did President Barack Obama and other candidates from both parties.
"Other governors in the past, they all had a fund to be able to travel for things like” a trip to Washington, D.C., this weekend to attend a dinner with Obama, Palin told The Daily News.
“How often will I have an opportunity to have dinner with the president? I will take up that offer to do so, yeah,” Palin said. During her visit, she also will meet with Mitch McConnell and other senators and congressional lawmakers who are making decisions for Alaska in the stimulus package.
“Now we'll have an available source of funds so that we're not coming close to any ethical line to be crossed in terms of travel or participation in events that will help Alaska but could be seen perhaps as not worthy of state funding," Palin said.
“Advocating tough, too, for an exemption that Alaska needs in terms of timelines for some of these shovel-ready projects,” Palin said. “Congress is saying the projects involved in the infrastructure aspect of the stimulus package have to be shovel-ready, have to get them out the door, whether it be 90 days or 120 days. Well, we're Alaska, and we need an exemption so that we're not left out in the cold in terms of some of the projects that will take a northern climate a longer period of time to make sure that we have our projects ready to go."
Palin’s PAC is registered in Virginia and will support her "plans to build a better, stronger, and safer America in the 21st century," according to the Web site (SarahPAC.com).
"It is pretty common for PACs to be registered in states different” from politicians’ home states, an official with the organization told the Huffington Post, adding that its proximity to D.C. will allow the organization easier communication with various federal agencies.
However, concerns among some Alaskans that her focus might be elsewhere, including the presidential election of 2012, still exist.
“I'm sure legislators know that I'm the governor of Alaska, and this is first and foremost on my mind and my agenda,” Palin said. “Any travel or meeting or participation in anything that I will have to do with anything outside of Alaska will only be if it's good for Alaska."
Palin also told The Daily News she is unaware of any book deal, and laughed off reports it could be worth $11 million.
"I heard that! I can't wait to see that! No, I haven't seen that. If there were an opportunity in the future to, again, do something to promote Alaska, I will do it. But I will only do it if it's in Alaska's best interest and it doesn't harm my family," she said.
"I don't have a publisher, but I will let you know if ever there is an offer,” Palin said. “But that $11 million figure that I read about is laughable. That's out of anybody's realm of possibility of consideration."
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