February 5, 2011; Source: Denver Post | Just a day after announcing that Sarah Palin would be its keynote speaker at a May fundraiser in Glendale, Colo., the nonprofit that invited her canceled the event because of concerns for her safety. According to The Denver Post, on Friday the Sharon K. Pacheco Foundation, a group that supports military families and at risk youth, said that the former Alaskan governor would speak at its May 2 Patriots & Warriors Gala. On Saturday, the group issued a news release saying the event had been canceled following "an onslaught of negative feedback received by the organization."
The sudden cancellation of Palin's speech is just one of many strange pieces to this story. Although the event was formally announced to the news media on Friday, the group actually had first posted information about the gala on its Facebook page on Jan. 10 and then began selling $185 tickets on Jan. 16. Two weeks later, the group cut $15 off ticket prices. Then on Wednesday – two days before the formal media announcement – ticket prices were cut in half.
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In its statement on Saturday, the group said no "direct threats have been made against anyone, but the recent increase in negative rhetoric against the former Alaska governor raises concern for her safety and the safety of others." The Denver Post also notes that May 2, when Palin was supposed to speak in Colorado, is the same date as the NBC/Politico 2012 Republican presidential candidates debate, set for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California. Although none of the presumptive candidates have committed to attend, the big question now is whether Palin will take advantage of this sudden opening on her calendar.—Bruce Trachtenberg