Organizers for an anti-abortion group in Dallas wanted a big draw for their one and only fundraiser for a new pregnancy resource center for North Texas women.
They were able to land one of the hottest speakers on the circuit: former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, whose calendar is already booked for the whole year.
"She's a very popular draw," said Carolyn Cline, executive director of the Downtown Pregnancy Center in Dallas, which is working to develop the uptown center. "Our phones are ringing off the walls.
"There's a huge buzz about her coming. We believe we'll have standing room only."
Tickets for the April 30 dinner with Palin, believed to be the former Alaska governor's only Dallas appearance this year, are selling for $1,000. Two tickets to a VIP reception with Palin and the dinner are selling for $25,000.
Organizers say they aren't "allowed to disclose the amount" the organization is paying Palin for the event, but reports show that she commands six-figure fees, the kind that some political observers say are usually reserved for former presidents or vice presidents.
Her fees have created controversy in other areas, most recently in California, where questions have been raised about how much she is earning for a speech for California State University Stanislaus Foundation and whether the nonprofit group violated public disclosure laws by not revealing details of the contract.
Students there found a copy of a Palin contract in the trash that outlines requirements for Palin's speech, including that her air travel must be first-class or on a Lear jet, that her hotel stay must include two to three rooms booked under an alias and that any lectern for her must have two unopened bottles of water and bendable straws.
No details have been released regarding Palin's Dallas contract. But if the Dallas event is a sellout, it could raise nearly $2 million.
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