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ALASKA

Palin’s PAC has $1.3M

ANCHORAGE | Sarah Palin’s political action committee ended 2010 with at least $1.3 million in cash on hand, according to financial forms filed Wednesday with the federal government.

The disclosures filed with the Federal Election Commission show Sarah PAC raised more than $275,000 in the last six weeks of 2010. Those donations, mostly smaller amounts, came from 607 donors scattered across the country.

The PAC raised at least $3.5 million in 2010, and handed out $463,500 to candidates and political causes.

Tim Crawford, the PAC’s treasurer, told the Associated Press in e-mail he was “very happy with cash on hand and very happy with our results this cycle.”

The PAC report noted two checks were never cashed, one for $2,500 to the campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann, Minnesota Republican, and another for $5,000 to Rep. Mike Coffman, Colorado Republican.

Mr. Crawford surmised the checks might have been lost in the mail, and he stopped payment on them.

The PAC’s more than $200,000 operating disbursements in the past six weeks of the year were for such things as media and issue consulting, speechwriting, travel expenses and legal fees.

Mrs. Palin, a former Alaska governor and the 2008 Republican vice-presidential candidate, has said she is considering running for president in 2012.

PENTAGON

Gates defends future cuts

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates warned that Congress was causing a “crisis on my doorstep” by failing to approve a key spending bill, inaction that could create a funding shortfall hurting the military.

U.S. lawmakers have not passed the fiscal 2011 Pentagon appropriations bill and the Pentagon, like the rest of the federal government, is operating under a stopgap measure that keeps funding at 2010 levels.

Mr. Gates, in comments made public by the Pentagon on Thursday, appeared to take aim at lawmakers who have voiced opposition to the Obama administration’s plans to trim defense spending from 2012 through 2016.

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