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SLUSH FUND?….Politico reports that the Republican National Committee has apparently spent $150,000 (so far!) to outfit Sarah Palin for the rigors of vice presidential campaigning. Her expenses included $5,000 on hair and makeup, $5,000 at Atelier for men’s clothing (for Todd? Track? Levi?), and $140,000 on a series of shopping trips to Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Barney’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Macy’s. Matt Yglesias comments:

I’m a little bit surprised to learn that expenditures of that sort are legal. They appear on the disclosure forms, so apparently they are, but this seems to open the door to candidates using party committee money as a personal slush fund.

This just goes to show how cynical our younger generation has become. I’m sure that after the campaign is over the RNC plans to donate the clothing to homeless shelters in small towns around the country where they don’t have stores like Saks or Barney’s. That’s no slush fund. It’s just people helping people.

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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