Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Sarah Palin's upcoming speech at Cal State Stanislaus energizes supporters -- and critics. What do you think?

May 29, 2010 |  8:04 am
TalkBackLAFormer Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's upcoming speech at Cal State Stanislaus is drawing attention -- both welcome and unwelcome.

University officials say the June 25 event has been generating interest and ticket sales in the mostly conservative San Joaquin Valley community.

"It's very clear that Palin has a lot of interest in our community," said Matt Swanson, president of the Cal State Stanislaus Foundation, which is hosting the event. "We have our usual donors involved, but more than 50% of them are new donors. It's not our intent to alienate anybody, but in this day and age, new money is the most prized thing of all."

But critics say Palin should not make the speech and are criticizing the secrecy surrounding it. The Times revealed earlier this week that the 2008 vice presidential candidate would receive $75,000 for the talk.

Cal State Stanislaus officials said the $500-a-plate event, which will accommodate about 400 people, is expected to net $150,000 to $200,000 for the foundation. Sponsored tables are selling for $5,000 to $50,000. They have stressed that no public funds are being spent and that costs will be covered by money raised specifically for the gala.

State Sen. Leland Yee (D- San Francisco) has cited the dust-up in pushing legislation, SB 330, that would require university foundations like that at Stanislaus to adhere to the California Public Records Act.

In the video above, Times education writer Carla Rivera assesses the dust up. Read her coverage here.

Tell us what you think below.

-- Los Angeles Times

Photo: Sarah Palin. Credit: Associated Press