After months of requests from reporters, a California university has agreed to allow members of the media to attend a fundraiser next week featuring Sarah Palin.
Officials with California State University, Stanislaus issued an e-mail advisory Friday announcing that the June 25 gala at its Turlock campus would be open to the press. The Associated Press has been requesting access to the event since mid-April.
Palin's appearance has generated widespread coverage and criticism since it was announced in March. University officials have refused to divulge the terms of the former Alaska governor's contract or her speaking fee for the event, where the least expensive tickets cost $500.
$arah Palin continues to feather her nest with wide-ranging speaking engagements as well as to demonstrate some pickiness with regard to which Republican candidates (and for which political office) she will actively support. This has not pleased some of her supporters.
In choosing Branstad, Palin skipped over businessman Bob Vander Plaats, a tea party favorite, in favor of a former governor with a strong chance of returning to office - and wielding political power when the Iowa presidential caucuses roll around.
"She's playing her cards, and trying to set herself up" for making a push, should she run, said Dante Scala, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire who is watching to see who, or whether, Palin endorses in his state.
Palin also backed former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina in the California Senate primary, and got a backlash on Facebook, a preferred way for Palin to communicate with supporters.
To critics who said Fiorina was a Republican in name only, Palin countered: "Most importantly, Carly is the only conservative in the race who can beat Barbara Boxer. That's no RINO. That's a winner."
For some conservatives, that's also a problem. Shelby Blakely, executive director of the Tea Party Patriots' online publication, New Patriot Journal, said Palin's endorsement has become "so undependable, it's marginalized itself." While she once thought highly of Palin, Blakely said that during the past two years the "Going Rogue" author has gone more establishment, and Palin's failure to criticize her own party is bothersome. [...]
Whatever the impact on her wider public, Palin's endorsement translates into crowds and valuable media attention for her preferred candidates, and her message - flowing via her social networks - reaches millions of people.