Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended her involvement in the first-ever Tea Party Convention, saying in a column that she will not "benefit financially" from the $100,000 fee she's earning as the keynote speaker.
Two other scheduled speakers, Reps. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., have dropped out after a House ethics committee review urged them to do so, citing questions over how proceeds would be used. The event organizer is a for-profit company.
But Palin defended the Nashville event in a USA Today column which was posted to her Facebook page.
"I thought long and hard about my participation in this weekend's event," she wrote. "At the end of the day, my decision came down to this: It's important to keep faith with people who put a little bit of their faith in you. Everyone attending this event is a soldier in the cause."
She indicated she would donate her speaking fee toward other candidates and causes.
"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," she wrote."In that spirit, any compensation for my appearance will go right back to the cause."
Palin also wrote that she will head to Searchlight, Nev., in March for the kickoff rally of the third Tea Party Express tour -- an organized cross-country trip of tea party supporters.