SarahPAC raised $733,000 in five months

That’s right, five months — not six —  bacause as Allah notes at Hot Air — SarahPAC wasn’t fully operational until the end of January:

“By comparison, Romney’s PAC raised $1.4 million through the end of May, but then fundraising is pretty much Mitt’s full-time gig these days and he already has a polished team around him left over from the primaries. Let’s see what happens in the second half when he and Palin go toe-to-toe.”

Not only that, but as Meg Stapleton told Politico:

SarahPAC was actually ‘dark,’ meaning it took in no money, from a period in mid-April until early June as Palin focused on raising money for her legal-defense fund instead.

Most of the money the Palin PAC raised came from small donors:

“SarahPAC, reported strong support from small donors in its mid-year report.

SarahPAC reported $733,000 in total receipts through June 30, of which $420,000 was ‘unitemized’ or from donors who contributed $200 or less.”

In true Politico snarky fashion, writer John Bresnahan sniffs that SarahPac only made two contributions — $5,000 each to the reelection campaigns of Sen. John McCain, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. That should at least put to rest the speculation about Gov. Palin challenging her state’s senior senator in 2010.

SarahPAC spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton seems pleased with the political action committee’s performance:

“It was a great first half. Just to put it in perspective, we did it with one event and one e-mail from the governor back in February.”

At The Fix, Chris Cillizza itemizes the operating expenses incurred by the governor’s PAC:

“Palin’s largest expenditure went to ‘Edonation.com/Campaign Solutions’, the fundraising company run by Becki Donatelli and based in Alexandria, Virginia. Sarah PAC doled out roughly $106,000 to the firm for fundraising during the first six months of the year. Donatelli and Palin parted ways in late April.”

“Palin also paid several Sarah PAC staffers monthly stipends including former Republican National Committee finance director Timothy Crawford ($6,000/month), personal/political spokesman Meg Stapleton ($4,000/month) and PAC spokeswoman Pam Pryor ($6,000/month). Palin also made a series of $8,000 payments to IzzyLene Consulting, an Anchorage-based consulting firm.”

Cillizza’s verdict:

“Palin’s showing is… a sign that she can raise cash at the national level and that she will be a player in the 2010 midterm elections if she, as expected, chooses to involve herself in downballot races.”

“It is all the more impressive given the chaos that surrounded her operation — and herself — over the first half of 2009. If Palin can spend her time out of office organizing a serious national effort, these numbers suggest the financial support is out there to help her.”

The Fix also has a late report that Gov. Palin’s PAC is off to a good start in its fundraising for the next reporting period:

“Palin has collected at least $200,000 more for Sarah PAC since the reporting period closed at the end of last month, according to a source familiar with the numbers. Palin’s resignation — announced on July 3 — triggered a flood of donations to the PAC, the source added.”

USA Today’s On Politics blog notes:

“Among the donors: prominent Republican adviser Fred Malek, who gave nearly $3,700.”

A PDF copy of the FEC disclosure form filed by SarahPAC is here.