Monday, June 27, 2011

Conroy: Palin Not Reaching Out to Key Iowans Ahead of Visit

Keeping it "as low key as possible"
Contradicting an earlier Politico report that Team Palin was setting up meeting with Iowa activists, Scott Conroy says at RealClearPolitics that Gov. Palin is instead taking a low-key approach with her Tuesday visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state:
The former Alaska governor is slated to arrive in the small Iowa town of Pella on Tuesday to attend the premiere of "The Undefeated" -- a flattering documentary that highlights her accomplishments in office and bangs the drum for a potential insurgent campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Though she is never lacking for attention, Palin's trip figures to be scrutinized especially closely, since it will mark her first appearance this year in the nation's first voting state.

Politico reported on Monday that Palin aides were reaching out to Iowa operatives and activists to set up meetings during her visit, citing Chuck Laudner, a former Iowa GOP executive director. But Laudner told RCP that he did not have a private meeting scheduled with Palin and that no one who works for the former governor had made contact with him.

Laudner said that he received an invitation to attend the festivities surrounding the movie premiere from Peter Singleton, a California native who moved to Iowa several months ago to help organize in the state in advance of a possible Palin presidential run. Singleton is acting on his own and is not a Palin aide but has often been confused for one as he has made his presence known across the state.

"Putting me on this list doesn't really mean much to me," Laudner told RCP. "I'm on a list to go to this event, but I didn't expect there was going to be high drama... He just said be there, and I said OK."

For his part, Singleton confirmed to RCP that he has not been working with the Palin camp.

"If Governor Palin was setting up meetings, she wouldn't set them up with me," Singleton said. "Not a single activist I've talked with has said anything about that. . . . I'm not affiliated with the Palin organization. I invited Chuck because he's a really great friend and a really nice guy."

After Politico's erroneous story, Sarah Palin tweeted:
*sigh* media making things up again MT : Sarah Palin reaching out to IOWA operatives by@maghabepolitico
Several other key GOP operatives in Iowa -- including state GOP Chairman Matt Strawn, Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition President Steve Scheffler and aides to Gov. Terry Branstad -- informed RCP that they had not been contacted by Gov. Palin's team in advance of Tuesday's visit.

- JP

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