Demand for Palin even has Iowa groups reaching for their checkbooks

A conservative Iowa group’s effort to lure Sarah Palin to its banquet next month has had an unintended effect: Rather than exciting conservatives about the prospect of a visit from the former Alaska governor, the group’s plan to raise a six-figure sum to bring her to the state has GOP activists recoiling at the thought of paying to land a politician’s speaking appearance…

Longtime Iowa strategists say the attempt to publicly dangle money before her is yet another reminder of Palin’s sui generis status on the political scene.

“She is a phenomenon,” said David Kochel, an Iowa GOP consultant, recalling the thousands Palin drew in her appearances in the state for the party ticket last fall.

“If she can draw a big enough crowd, it would put a spotlight on the organization,” Kochel added, noting that they could recoup the speaker’s fee if, as is being considered, they drew Palin and had the event at Des Moines’s Wells Fargo Arena. “They want to trade on her star power.”

Gordon Fischer, a former Iowa Democratic Party chairman and Des Moines lawyer, called the gambit “incredibly unusual.”

“It shows the incredible star power of Gov. Palin, at least in certain circles,” Fischer said.