WASILLA — It wasn't the largest event ever held at the Wasilla Sports Complex, or the most lucrative.
But city recreation and cultural services manager James Hastings said the Dec. 22 book-signing publishing company HarperCollins held for former Gov. Sarah Palin at the facility in December has been the most controversial by far.
"The event was easy. The whole thing over being told these folks (on a not-welcome list) can't be here, that was nightmarish," Hastings said.
Reporters wanted to see the contract between HarperCollins and the city. There was none, Hastings said. The publisher arranged the rental verbally and paid the city electronically. Instructions were handled by e-mail and in a walk-through with Todd Palin before the event. The only written document was instructions he handed out to his staff and three volunteers: A list of names provided by Todd Palin of four people not welcome at the event.
On the banned list were Dennis Zaki, a photographer who formerly ran the Web site Alaska Report, blogger Jesse Griffin, Anchorage radio host Shannyn Moore and Andree McLeod, an Anchorage activist who filed state ethics complaints against then-Gov. Palin.
While neither Moore nor McLeod attended, both Zaki and Griffin were there. After they signed in at the media table that morning, they were told they were banned from attending and escorted out of the building, even though HarperCollins paid $475 to rent only the turf court and mezzanine sections of the sports center.
Suddenly, with news of a "banned" list, the signing became big news.
To read the complete article, visit www.adn.com.