Politics & Government

Palin billed as event speaker but she won't be there

Organizers of an Anchorage event that has been billing Sarah Palin for weeks as a star speaker were left scrambling Wednesday after learning that the former governor won't be there for tonight's event and claims to have never been asked.

It would be at least the fourth time in recent months that an anticipated Palin speech has fallen through after Palin and her camp disputed they had ever confirmed it. That includes the brouhaha over whether she'd speak at the annual congressional Republican fundraising dinner in Washington, D.C., this summer.

This time it's an event promoting an Alaska ballot measure aimed at making it illegal for teens to get an abortion without telling their parents. The Alaska Family Council has been advertising that Palin would give a speech and become the first official signer of the ballot petition tonight at ChangePoint, the Anchorage megachurch.

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said Wednesday, in response to inquiries from the Daily News about tonight's event, that "this is the first we have ever heard of a speech." She said Palin is out of state and won't be there.

Stapleton declined to provide details on where Palin is and what she is doing.

Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery said it was news to him when a reporter told him that Stapleton was saying Palin had no knowledge of the speech, which his group has been promoting. He said organizers have been talking to Palin "contacts" for weeks about it.

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