Politico's Jonathan Martin has a good story today about an Iowa conservative group's efforts to lure Sarah Palin to a fundraising dinner in Des Moines next month. The Iowa Family Policy Center, according to J-Mart, is trying to come up with Palin's reported $100,000 speaker's fee in hopes of getting the former governor to headline its Nov. 21 banquet—which just so happens to be the same night Vice President Joe Biden will be in town to headline the Iowa Democratic Party's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner. But wait a minute: Paying a White House hopeful to come to Iowa? Seriously? Has anyone ever had to do that? Needless to say, the very prospect has other Iowa Republicans up in arms. "If somebody tells me they want me to pay an appearance fee, it tells me they're not very serious about running for president," Ed Failor Jr., president of Iowans for Tax Relief and an influential GOP insider, tells Politico. "I found it really, really odd."
But hang on: did Palin actually ask the group to pay $100K for her appearance? An IFPC spokesman tells Martin he's "not personally aware" of a speaker's fee. "There may or may not be, I don't know," he tells Politico. For their part, the Palin camp tells NEWSWEEK 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. Palin's book, Going Rogue, is due out Nov. 17, and she's got a major publicity tour planned around that, including a Nov. 16 appearance on "We don't believe she will be able to attend with her tightly scheduled book tour, and the group has been told that through formal and informal channels," Stapleton says in an e-mail this morning. "However, it appears that some enthusiastic members are willing to try anything to entice the governor as we look at her schedule."