Yeah, there’s a track record of crossed signals when it comes to her appearances, but this one does smell like a set-up by the event organizers.

Palin spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said Wednesday, in response to inquiries from the Daily News about tonight’s event, that “this is the first we have ever heard of a speech.” She said Palin is out of state and won’t be there…

Alaska Family Council President Jim Minnery said it was news to him when a reporter told him that Stapleton was saying Palin had no knowledge of the speech, which his group has been promoting. He said organizers have been talking to Palin “contacts” for weeks about it.

“All we can do is take people at their word that we’ve worked with in the past,” Minnery said. “We’ve been working for several weeks on the event, promoting it very heavily. It would be a grave disappointment if she doesn’t show up but the show will still go on.”

He declined to say who the organizers had been speaking to. “I’d just prefer to keep it kind of anonymous right now, especially since you’re hearing something that’s opposite of what we’ve been hearing.”

A source tells CNN that Palin’s been “set up a few times before” by Minnery and C4P notes that he knocked her unfairly on two occasions as governor. But, per the ADN:

Stapleton said Palin had previously agreed to be the first signer of the petition for the ballot measure pushed by the family council. But, “obviously since the signature-gathering process started a couple of weeks ago there was less pressure to get home to be the first to sign,” she said Wednesday.

Minnery said organizers had already started collecting signatures but still planned for Palin’s signature to appear as the first “official” one on the first petition packet. That packet was set aside with space for her to sign at tonight’s event.

Here’s the pro-life group’s webpage; scroll down for their statement insisting that “We were assured that Governor Palin was personally aware of this evening’s event, and that she twice confirmed her intent to participate.” Sounds like maybe the group thought that her willingness to sign meant she’d be at the event whereas she thought they’d bring the petition to her home to sign. Whatever the answer, I wonder: Why does this stuff keep happening to her? Granted, there’s heavy demand for her right now as a speaker so she’s more of a target for “but she promised she’d come!” nonsense, but other pols have been in heavy demand before — Obama, for instance, or Giuliani after 9/11 — and haven’t seemed to run into this problem. If it’s all a matter of people lying about appearances she never promised to make, why didn’t Giuliani run into the same trouble?