[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/12/art.palincu0712.gi.jpg caption="Sarah Palin's political action committee raised more than $865,000 over the last three months."]
Washington (CNN) - Sarah Palin's political action committee raised more than $865,000 over the last three months, according to a newly filed report with the Federal Election Commission – the former Alaska governor's biggest quarterly take since SarahPAC was launched in early 2009.
But the PAC's fundraising so far this year has been roughly on pace with its 2009 efforts. Palin raised more than $1.2 million since the beginning of this year, about $200,000 less than she raised in the second half of 2009.
She finished the quarter with roughly $1 million in the bank.
Palin's big haul between April and June – and the $742,000 spent by the PAC in the same period – reflects her stepped up political activity in recent months. As November's midterm election near, Palin's team spent more than $17,000 on charter jet travel to campaign for candidates and deliver speeches nationwide.
The committee's largest expenditure of the second quarter was the PAC's first direct mail fundraising effort, which cost more than $150,000 but has netted more than $600,000 so far, according to committee treasurer Tim Crawford. Palin has mostly relied on internet fundraising since launching the Virginia-based PAC in January 2009.
The PAC continued to pay a small clutch of consultants, including several who worked closely with Palin during her vice presidential campaign, for domestic and foreign policy advice, political consulting, logistics and speechwriting.
Befitting the PAC's mission to help conservative-minded candidates this fall, Palin doled out almost $90,000 to Republican candidates, including a handful in the key presidential nominating states of Iowa and South Carolina. Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, for instance, received $5,000 from Palin.
Palin gave $5,000 to Joe Miller, a Tea Party-backed challenger to Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski - but she also contributed to Virginia House candidate Robert Hurt, who drew several Tea Party opponents in his Republican primary earlier this year.
Though Palin's endorsement of South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley is credited with helping Haley secure the GOP nomination, SarahPAC did not contribute to Haley's campaign, according to the FEC filings. Meanwhile, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a potential 2012 rival of Palin's, steered $42,000 to the Haley campaign.
Romney's Free and Strong America, which submits its financial numbers monthly, has not filed its June report but raised more than $1 million during the months of April and May taken together.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has not posted his second quarter numbers, but a spokesman said his Freedom First PAC will report raising $700,000 in the last three months.