Cal State Stanislaus keeps Palin speaking fee secret
The university foundation at Cal State Stanislaus has hired Sarah Palin to speak at a black-tie fundraiser in June, and California Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) is demanding to know how much the school is paying her.
The former Alaska governor and current darling of conservative Republicans charges about $100,000 per speaking engagement, Yee's office says. On Monday, he released a statement demanding to know, "How much money is being diverted from students to pay Sarah Palin's exorbitant speaking fees?"
Yee is the author of a bill that would force legally independent university foundations to abide by the state's open-records law, which, he argues, would make a speaker's compensation a matter of public record.
Matt Swanson, president of the Cal State Stanislaus foundation board, would not disclose Palin's fee, saying her contract prevents him from discussing it.
Swanson said he expected the $500-per-ticket Palin gala to generate from $100,000 to $200,000 for the school, even after covering expenses.
"I've had people call and say, 'We don't like her, but we're still going to pay to come,' " Swanson said.
The evening with Palin definitely stands out as a big night on the Central Valley school's 2010 fundraising calendar, which also includes an alumni wine-and-cheese party, the Stanislaus County Fair and the Modesto Celebration of Lights Parade.
-- Jack Dolan
Photo: Sarah Palin greets "tea party" supporters at a rally outside Searchlight, Nev., on March 27, 2010. Credit: Sam Morris / Associated Press