Tea Party Honcho Sued Over Palin Speech Fee

Fundraiser put up $50K and didn't get ticket, promised help
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 25, 2010 5:38 AM CDT
Tea Party Honcho Sued Over Palin Speech Fee
Activist Michael Shreeve, involved with early planning for the Tea Party Convention, says he was angered by organizer Judson Phillips' mercenary approach.   (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

The man who put up the $50,000 down payment for Sarah Palin's speaking fee at the National Tea Party Convention says the organizer cheated him, badmouthed him, and barred him from attending the for-profit convention. Conservative fundraiser (and Upper Deck baseball trading-card company founder) Bill Hemrick has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against Judson Phillips, claiming that Phillips reneged on a deal to assist his conservative political action committee in return for his help in getting Palin to headline the convention.

Phillips turned to Hemrick for help because he didn't have the funds to cover Palin's $100,000 fee and her representatives had never heard of him, according to activist Michael Shreeve, who also fell out with Phillips. Shreeve says Palin's contract included $18,000 for private jet travel on top of the fee, and even specified what kind of jet she required. "It was like, she had to have this or that size plane,” he tells New York. “It was like when a rock star comes to town, the contract was that detailed." (More Sarah Palin Tea Party Convention stories.)

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