Monday, 24 May 2010

Sarah Palin's secret speaking fee revealed: CSU Stanislaus foundation pays Sarah Palin a fee of $ 75,000 plus ca. $ 18,000 of expenses! - UPDATE

CSU Stanislaus - Entrance
Photo: chdwckvnstrsslhm on flickr - Creative Commons License

Sarah Palin's carefully constructed "web of mystery and secrets" slowly unravels piece by piece.

Wednesday this week we reported that Sarah Palin received in total "only" $ 35,000 from the Lane County Republican Party for her appearance in Eugene, Oregon. This information wasn't too difficult to get hold of, as the Lane County Republicans were forced to diligently report their expenses to the Oregon Secretary of State, who then made the data available for public access.

Therefore it seems that the extremely strict confidentiality clause which the Washington Speakers Bureau apparently uses in their contracts for Sarah Palin...

Sarah Palin Stanislaus contract - Confidentiality Clause

...sometimes isn't worth the piece of paper it's written on.

If Sarah Palin ever needed more proof of this fact, here it is:

Palingates today learned from a reliable source at CSU Stanislaus that the CSU Stanislaus foundation transferred two payments of $ 37,500 each to the Washington Speakers Bureau. In total, Sarah Palin's top secret speaking fee for her planned appearance at the 50th Anniversary Gala of CSU Stanislaus on June 25, 2010 amounts to $ 75,000.

But that's not everything: Palingates also learned that the expenses which CSU Stanislaus foundation has to pay for Sarah Palin's appearance amount to an additional ca. $ 18,000. These expenses are mainly payments for Palin's "deluxe" hotel, for 4 first-class flight tickets and for the SUV's - "perks" that Sarah Palin is famously entitled to receive due to her contract.

In total, Sarah Palin's appearance at CSU Stanislaus will come to a total of approximately $ 93,000!

How can the CSUS foundation justify these horrid payments - especially in light of the fact that the recently published internal CSUS correspondence revealed that the profits from the appearance of Sarah Palin will NOT be used for scholarships?

How will State Senator Leland Yee react to this news? Senator Yee is engaged in a heated battle with CSUS and their foundation regarding the transparency in this case and he doesn't seem to be willing to "let it go". It has also not helped CSU Stanislaus in this respect that Senator Yee received horrible abuse from Palin's fans via fax and phone back in April (read the details HERE).

What will Senator Yee and the students at CSUS say about the fact that Sarah Palin charged the Republicans in Eugene, Oregon only $ 35,000 in two payments of $ 17,500 for her appearance on April 23 (while the exact amount for additonal expenses in Oregon cannot yet be determined), but that Sarah Palin had no hesitation to charge the much higher amount of $ 75,000 plus ca. $ 18,000 of additional expenses to CSU Stanislaus foundation?

Not to forget the costs of the high-calibre PR-firms that CSUS instructed to act for them in order to "spread good PR" regarding Sarah Palin's visit - famously also through "shill comments" on news websites, as the internal CSUS emails revealed.

Sarah, now that the secret is out: Just admit the real facts and acknowledge that this whole mess was caused by your insatiable greed. You had the opportunity to do something for good and donate your services in this instance for free in honor of the University's 50th birthday. It's not as if you haven't donated your speaking fees before!

So, I have a suggestion for you, Sarah: Professor Patrick Kelly of CSU Stanislaus recently announced that the CSUS faculty started their own scholarship fund - because the CSUS foundation just revealed that they have no longer funds to pay for scholarships! This would be a truly worthy cause to donate to, Sarah, and get this fund off to a good start.


You can read all the posts by Palingates about the CSU Stanislaus scandal HERE.



The "Modesto Bee" (also printed in Sacramento Bee and Fresno Bee) published a longer story on May 25, 2010 about the revelation of the speaking fee by Palingates. Matt Swanson, President of the CSU Stanislaus foundation, doesn't dispute the figure of $ 75,000 we published. He just says that exact amount of the expenses hasn't been finalized yet.

However, we never claimed to know the final amount of the expenses, we said "ca." and "approximately". In any case, $ 1,000 more or less wouldn't make a real difference here, given the outrageous sum in total that the CSU Stanislaus foundation pays Sarah Palin for delivering her worn out talking points for the 100x time.



Senator Leland Yee just published a terrific press release - this man has guts and is not afraid of the Quitter Queen and refers to Palingates:

Palin Fee to CSU Reported at Over $75,000 – More Than Double What She Charged Local GOP
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As university violates state law, information continues to trickle out

SACRAMENTO – The Modesto Bee is reporting that a Sarah Palin watchdog website has uncovered Palin’s fee to speak at California State University Stanislaus. The Palingates blog reports that Palin will be paid up to $93,000 for her upcoming visit. The amount would be more than double what Palin charged a local Republican Party in Lane County, Oregon, when she appeared at an event for $35,000, according to documents accessed on the Oregon Secretary of State website.

“If these figures are accurate, clearly CSU got a bad deal and Sarah Palin gouged California students,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco). “Celebrities should not be trying to line their own pockets at the expense of students, especially at a time when our public higher education system is in such dire straits.”

According to sources, the university transferred two payments of $37,500 each to the Washington Speakers Bureau – the entity in which the university contracted for the Palin event. In addition to the $75,000 speaking fee, the university is paying $18,000 for Palin to receive a hotel suite, first class airfare or a private Lear jet, and “bendable straws,” among other expenses.

“If Ms. Palin truly cared about our students, she should have waved her speaker’s fee or at least not overcharged,” said Yee. “Every dollar that goes to Palin is another dollar not going to the students at Stanislaus, who have already seen their scholarships lost this year. This is just the latest in a long series of bad decisions by CSU foundations and auxiliaries which demonstrate why we need greater transparency and accountability.”

Last week, CSU Stanislaus released hundreds of documents that further show that university officials violated the California Public Records Act by not disclosing documents requested March 31 from Californians Aware and Senator Yee.

Among the documents uncovered is an email correspondence between CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and Bernie Swain, chairman of the Washington Speakers Bureau, that reveal documents were withheld simply to avoid “another round of newspaper stories.”

The documents disclosed also show hundreds of correspondence between university officials and a partisan public relations firm on how to handle the public scrutiny.

The scandal has spurred Attorney General Jerry Brown to launch a formal investigation and Californians Aware to file a lawsuit in Superior Court.

On April 9, CSU student Ashli Briggs was informed that suspicious activity (specifically, document purging) was taking place within the administration building. After seeing several administrators’ cars in the parking lot on the university’s scheduled furlough day, Alicia Lewis and other students found several public documents in a campus dumpster.

Many of the public documents were shredded, presumably by university personnel. Among the intact documents were financial statements, university spreadsheets, and staff assignments, as well as pages 4 through 9 of the Palin contract.


UPDATE 3 (May 27):

The LA Times today confirmed the report by Palingates regarding the speaking fee for the CSU Stanislaus appearance with their own sources.


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