Palin Defends Her Involvement In Tea Party Convention, Announces She'll Do It Again

Sarah Palin penned a USA Today op-ed on Tuesday to defend her participation in the upcoming for-profit National Tea Party Convention -- and apparently future Tea Party events.

"Participation won't be limited to those in Nashville who have a ticket. It's much bigger than that," Palin wrote in USA Today. "I will not benefit financially from speaking at this event. My only goal is to support the grassroots activists who are fighting for responsible, limited government -- and our Constitution. In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."

And Sarah Palin isn't done with what critics have called "scammy" events that have led to accusations of "Tea Party profiteering."

"In March, I'll head to Searchlight, Nev., for the kickoff rally at the Tea Party Express III," Palin said in her Op-Ed.

The third installment of the Tea Party Express tour, which will take place in the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, also appears controversial. Think Progress reports that the event's organizer, Tea Party Express manager and Republican public relations firm Russo, Marsh and Rogers (RMR), has padded its pockets with $1,025,559 in money raised by the tea party group.

According to HuffPost's Alex Brant-Zawadzki, RMR also planned to raise $200,000 for a tea party Caribbean cruise, then "pocket the [remaining] $150,000 in profit."

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