Just days after officially stepping down as governor of Alaska, former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is dropping out of an advertised speaking engagement in Simi Valley.
Palin was slated to attend on Aug. 8 the 50th anniversary gala of the Simi Valley Republican Women, Federated, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum. It would have been her first public appearance since leaving office and had been widely reported by media outlets.
Pat Saraceno, the spokeswoman for the Simi Valley Republican Women, said they found out Thursday that Palin wasn’t coming.
“I had direct knowledge as of yesterday. I am not going to comment on how or from whom,” said Saraceno.
“There’s no harm, no foul. We always respected the (former) governor’s right to change course.”
Saraceno said the group would not be commenting further.
It was on Thursday that Palin’s spokeswoman Meghan Stapleton made public the news of the decision not to attend the event via Palin’s Facebook page. She wrote that Palin had never committed to coming to Simi Valley and had requested several weeks ago that her name be removed from the invitation.
“Neither the governor’s state staff nor SarahPAC has ever committed to attending this event or speaking at this event. The governor has other work and commitments to take care of at that time,” Stapleton wrote.
It is unclear what those other work and commitments are. Palin has said she might campaign for political candidates across the U.S. There are also unconfirmed reports that she may be considering hosting a conservative talk radio show.
Up to 900 people were expected to attend the event at $100 a ticket for members and $150 for non-members, but media had been barred from the occasion.
A message on the group’s Web site Friday said they “were honored by her consideration” and the gala, which will be hosted by talk show host John Ziegler, is still going ahead. They are offering refunds to those who had purchased tickets for the gala and who no longer wished to attend.
The Simi Valley Republican Women, Federated, is a nonprofit volunteer group of women from Simi Valley and Moorpark who work to support and elect Republican candidates to public office.
Ventura County Star