Went over to The Bean Walker (run by Tim Albrecht who is quoted in the article) and saw a column by Jonathan Martin at Politico who seems to be trying to stir up a controversy regarding the invitation Palin has received to come speak in Des Moines.

It’s titled, “Iowa Republicans wince at Sarah Palin’s $100K speaking fee.”

A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor, the group’s plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician’s speaking appearance.

The Iowa Family Policy Center’s effort to cobble together $100,000 for Palin would represent a striking departure from customary practice in the first-in-the-nation state, these Republicans say, noting that a generation of White House hopefuls has paid their own way to boost their party and presidential ambitions.

Yet reading the whole piece I see that IFPC asked Team Sarah to raise funds for the venue which was moved to Wells Fargo Arena and is significantly more expensive than where it was originally going to be held.

Reached on his cell phone, Iowa Family Policy Center president Chuck Hurley said he had been expecting another call from the “202” area code and declined to answer questions, saying alternately that he was signing checks and in a meeting.

He passed his phone to Bryan English, a spokesman for the group, who initially said their effort to raise money was only to secure a venue, pay for lighting and promote the event.

But then he said he was “not personally aware of a speaker’s fee.”

So again, where is this speaker’s fee amount coming from?  Who’s asking for it?  Martin admits:

There is no indication that the former governor has requested a fee or that her decision whether to attend is being influenced by whether she’ll be paid.

Formally speaking engagement requests go through the Washington Speakers Bureau who handles her speaking requests.  She was paid for her speech at CSLA, but as I understand it, SarahPAC handles charity and campaign requests.  She has done charity events (Evansville Right to Life) and has said she’ll do charity appearances.  But it looks like her schedule, not money will be the reason she’ll likely not attend.

“This is one of more than a thousand requests for the governor’s time,” said Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton. “This particular invitation arrived late last week. It is under consideration, as so many are, but will be incredibly difficult to attend with her tightly-scheduled book tour underway at that point.”

But hey, let’s not let the facts get in the way of a good controversy.  His story is misleading and pure speculation.

Update: Newsweek’s blog, The Gaggle, actually went to Sarah Palin’s spokesperson Meg Stapleton who confirmed there’s no fee:

Meg Stapleton, Palin’s spokeswoman, tells your Gaggler that Palin "has not requested anything" and that she "does not charge people to campaign for them." According to Stapleton, Palin would instead cover such travel costs through her political-action committee, SarahPAC. Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s going to Iowa.

Confirming what I said earlier.  Jonathan, nice piece of fiction though.  I’m embarrassed by how many Republican leaders, who weren’t even involved, told Jonathan what they thought before checking whether it was even true.

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