Vets Rally: Sarah Palin 'Not Invited'

Organizers decry Rolling Thunder appearance as 'big distraction;' event emcee says he invited her
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 28, 2011 8:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Sarah Palin is launching her East Coast bus tour tomorrow during a motorcycle rally to honor veterans, but some organizers aren't happy about it. "She wasn't invited," Rolling Thunder organizer Ted Shpak tells MSNBC. "She's not invited to speak. We're not endorsing her ... (but) we can't stop her from coming to ride, if she wants to ride." Palin's people counter that they were invited by former board member Mike DePaulo, who's emceeing the event.

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DePaulo admits he didn't tell Rolling Thunder's leaders, but tellingly says he coordinated the appearance with "the Palin campaign." And that is Shpak's problem: "We're not political. This is not a political event ... Maybe she's coming because she knows we have a half a million people in town and thinking she can start her [campaign]?" says Shpak, calling the whole issue "a big distraction." (Read more Sarah Palin stories.)

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