Sarah Palin Gets Trashed En Route to Stanislaus

Shannon Hassett :: Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 5:00 pm

The former Alaska Governor is scheduled to make an appearance at California State University, Stanislaus, and the events preceding it are already proving more exciting than any possible hopes for her speech. The Cal State Stanislaus Foundation, a private nonprofit organization responsible for bringing Palin to the college, was previously under fire for refusing to release details about her June 25th appearance, namely the speaking fee. And it wasn’t just Californians Aware, state Senator Leland Yee and the Associated Press who were angry (the three were all repeatedly denied public record requests); two Cal State students were fed up with the so-called suspicious activity of their administration and took matters into their own hands.

Turns out those matters were freely available in a trash can outside an administration building, partially shredded but containing information the Foundation was legally obligated to disclose. Matt Swanson, the foundation’s President, claims that it is exempt from the California Public Records Act — a 2001 court case ruled university foundations and auxiliary organizations differed from actual universities in their disclosure obligations — but the same case mandates that a foundation’s documents must be made available to the public when they are in the possession of the university. The line between the Cal State Stanislaus Foundation and the university itself walks a particularly fine line, as all but one member of its staff is employed by the school and the office is housed in the administration building.

What documents did the students uncover? Portions of the contract between the Washington Speaker’s Bureau, which represents Palin, and the Cal State Stanislaus Foundation, of course. And despite missing the section that lists her actual compensation, the contract revealed a number of other notable details concerning the diva formerly known as Palin. She receives roundtrip, commercial airfare for two from Anchorage to the destination city, three hotel rooms (one one-bedroom suite and two single rooms in a “deluxe hotel”), a laptop with high speed internet and a fully stocked printer, and bottled water with bendable straws. Really rogue, huh?

The Stanislaus Foundation is a private nonprofit, which is not only why they claim they are not required to reveal Palin’s fee, but why they don’t have to be as concerned with the use of their funds as say, a college-backed speaker’s bureau, hypothetically speaking at least. State Senator Lee claims, however, that the foundation received $3 million in federal funding between 2006 and 2008 and that in 2009 alone, more than $1.5 million in tax payer money was used to pay the salaries of the foundation’s staff and board members.

In addition to whether the foundation is lying about its funding sources, the contract details that did surface should provide further backing for the California Legislature’s call for stricter adherence to the California Public Records Act in their own right. CSU Stanislaus President Hamid Shirvani issued a statement last Friday in which he detailed the mission of the foundation, which is raising private funds to provide student scholarships and programs. Palin would be attending the university as part of its 50th Anniversary Gala, which Shirvani expects “will raise between $100,000 and $200,000, which will go toward enhancing students’ education. That is money that would otherwise not be available to support our students.”

The problem with a contract that insists on three hotel rooms for a single guest, then, not to mention whatever Palin’s definition of “deluxe hotel” entails, is that according to Shirvani and the foundation, that is precisely the money “not available to support” students that he refers to in his statement. Palin and her appearance at the Gala may bring in $200,000, but without knowing how much it’s costing the foundation, and if Senator Yee’s claims prove correct, quite possibly the university to subsidize her visit, it’s impossible to figure out just how much more money could have been saved for those aforementioned scholarships, especially when you consider that the former Governor has been pulling in as much as $100,00 at similar events as of late.

5 Responses to “Sarah Palin Gets Trashed En Route to Stanislaus”
  1. Incredible!! Bottled water! And BENDY straws!!! And Sarah even expects transportation to be covered, on a commercial airline no less! Oh to be a diva! Let’s see, she could go to MacDonald’s for her internet connection, or possibly she could demand that it be at Starbucks where she could sit next to someone wasting daddy’s allowance or a gvt grant on $5 latte’s. And I guess that she could share a dorm room w/one of the protesters. But hey, she’s not someone really important like Michael Jackson or Lady Gaga.

    Posted by: recovering lefty April 21st, 2010 at 1:42 am
  2. Pathetic. Like the straws she asked for, the liberals in Cali are getting “bent” out of shape by Palin coming to speak at a college there. Amazing…they are so tolerant and defending of everyone’s right to speak their mind…except when a strong conservative comes along that people acutally listen too..then she must be silenced and blocked at ever turn…what hypocrisy.

    Posted by: JL April 21st, 2010 at 1:03 pm
  3. This is typical for the tilted left. I am amazed at how these people can do nothing but find fault with Sarah Palin when they have a President that is completely void of principles, that they just can’t seem to find fault with. You know things like refusing to show proof of where he was born, insisting that his government will be open for public scrutiny, and that there will be no greater taxes for the middle class, or the entourage of communists, terrorists and tax evaders that he has salted his administration with. And that’s just a few of the things that the tiled left can find no fault with.

    Posted by: Richard April 21st, 2010 at 1:51 pm
  4. Before I begin, I’d like to personally thank all of you for granting the left three prime examples of why we have nothing to worry about in the upcoming elections: Republican party supporters are perfectly adept at thwarting their own chances with thoughtless, borderline moronic responses to blog posts that neither attack their side or their fearless leader Ms. Palin.

    @Recovering Lefty:
    Let’s begin with your use of ‘gvt grants’ as a way to trivialize my complaints with Palin’s contract requests (not that it will do you any good, since clearly you either have reading comprehension difficulties or decided to pick-and-choose from my post what you felt would best fit your tryade, but wireless internet was never something I pointed to as excessive spending). If you had read the piece, you would have realized that part of the reason a suit is being brought against the Stanislaus Foundation is the accusation that they are using not only tax payer’s money to fund Palin’s visit, but government grants as well. The same government grants you accuse liberals of spending on $5 lattes. That would mean public money is being used by a private organization to pay for a speaker who happens to be republican. I would have a problem with this if the speaker was liberal, and there’s no doubt in my mind you would as well. The problem is not Palin, but lying about funding and the theft of public money, which is also being used to foot the bill for Palin’s THREE hotel rooms — the one part of her contract I did take issue with.

    Do any of you read what I write? No seriously, if I post an article and simply put “Palin” or “Tea Party” in the title, will your arsenal of conservative hot heads just start insulting the entire left wing for no reason whatsoever? Did you read anything I wrote in my post? Do you understand that not once did the protestors say they had an issue with Palin herself, but that the ‘Foundation’ is refusing to release her speaking fee and may very well be using public funding to bring her? Can you define “strong conservative” for me, and tell me what parts of that definition exactly apply to Palin?

    You and JL should go have coffee sometime; I think your mutual ability to generalize the entire left — not only weakening your own party but my respect for your opinion in the process — would be great conversation over a croissant. Aside from predicting Palin’s speech will be boring, a trait I don’t only hold to the Right, not once did I find fault with Palin in this post. Want to know why? Because it wasn’t about her, which is why I’m not going to bother addressing the myriad reasons your response is absurd.

    Posted by: Shannon Hassett April 21st, 2010 at 2:29 pm
  5. you go girl

    Posted by: Nick April 21st, 2010 at 3:00 pm