Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discarded Palin contract sparks investigation

Associated Press Writer

A document fished out of a California state university trash bin last week has prompted a state investigation into the university's foundation arm and its refusal to disclose details related to Sarah Palin's upcoming speech at the school.

On Tuesday, California Attorney General Jerry Brown said his office would look into the finances of the California State University, Stanislaus Foundation, as well as allegations that the nonprofit organization violated public disclosure laws by keeping details of Palin's contract secret.

Palin is scheduled to speak at a June 25 gala hosted by the foundation to mark the university's 50th anniversary.

Brown's investigation was prompted, in part, by a group of CSU Stanislaus students who retrieved five pages of the contract from a campus trash bin last Friday after hearing administrators were engaged in shredding documents.

The contract detailed the former Alaska governor's requirements for her visit, including first-class flights from Anchorage to California - if she flies commercial. If not, "the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger ...," the contract specifies.

Palin also must be provided with a suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel near the campus in Turlock in the Central Valley. During her speech, her lectern must be stocked with two water bottles and bendable straws.

The document, dated March 16, does not include compensation details for Palin, who commands speaking fees as high as $100,000. Her appearance at the university gala is expected to draw a large crowd, with tickets selling for $500 each.

"This is not about Sarah Palin," Brown said in a prepared statement Tuesday. "The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities."

The foundation has previously denied requests by The Associated Press and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, to disclose Palin's compensation package under the California Public Records Act.

Foundation board president Matt Swanson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Brown's investigation. He previously told the AP that the contract's strict nondisclosure clause prevented him from sharing it, and that university foundations and other auxiliary organizations were not subject to the same public records requirements as the university itself.

Swanson has said Palin's fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds.

Jason Recher, a spokesman for Palin, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The students who found the contract document said they acted on a tip that documents were being shredded at the campus administration building on a day when staff members were supposed to be on furlough.

Alicia Lewis, 26, was one of the students who went to investigate. The building was locked and gated, but the students were able to retrieve piles of paperwork, including the contract document, from a nearby trash bin, Lewis said.

Russell Giambelluca, the university's vice president of business and finance, said Tuesday that no one at the university was advised to destroy specific foundation documents, and staff members routinely shred and dispose of paperwork that is no longer needed.

Regarding the excerpt of Palin's contract, he said: "I find it interesting that among shredded documents you find one that's completely intact related to the contract."

Lewis and another student, Ashli Briggs, traveled to Sacramento Tuesday to give Brown office material they said had been thrown out, including two boxes of documents and two trash bags filled with shredded files.

"This is our little Watergate in the state of California," Yee said Tuesday.

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Anonymous said...

Thank you for this site. I despise palin. She is a fraud. All the people at fox demand celebrity treatment like five star hotels and private g fives like vannity. Palin has made over twelve million in the last six months from her book and the so called grass roots tea parties. The tea parties are a cash cow for her and fox news. What a shame. I am a life long conservative but I will not stand for ignorant bimbos representing me and making a fortune while claiming to be a patriot. This article doesn't surprise me one bit but if I didn't come to this site I would have never known about it. Its funny how people on the right claim the media is out to get them but the mainstream press never reports any of the dirt on mainstream conservatives like vannity and beck. They all sleep in the same bed.

Montana said...

Almost daily we listen to her trash talk (she is in the Quayle and “W” league), all thanks to the man who now claims that he never called himself a maverick, McCain, right, tell us another. She spends her days trash talking it is only fitting that someone found a great place for her contract. I guess some dumpster diving found it, All’s Well That Ends Well.

Anonymous said...

come on America. Start a movement equally loud and counter Palin and the Tea party. You know she is just out for personal enrichment. So start a group already.

magx01 said...

It's amazing that stupid people can earn 12 million dollars in six months for spreading their stupidity, while people with real value, merit, and things of actual worth to share, get no attention.

It's so sad and puzzling.

Jennifer K said...

magx01, this is so true. Never has someone offered so little and been rewarded so much as Palin.

I graduated from a great college with the highest of honors. I was editor-in-chief of my college newspaper, a writing tutor, and on the board of prominent school organization. I've supported myself since I was a teenager. I'm starting to get noticed for my freelance writing. And I've given back to my community. One of my professors said the one thing she'll remember about me is that I'm a kind person; I truly want what's best for people.

Yet, I can't seem to get a break. I've been unemployed for several months now. I can't even get a decent temp job. I'm down to eating two meals a day. I never go out. I get only a few hours of sleep at night because I'm so worried about paying my bills, my rent and my student loans. My friends wonder if I'm suicidal.

Yet, this uneducated, ignorant, trashy, bigoted, lazy, petty bitch is actually successful.

I think I'm going to vomit.

Anonymous said...


Tyrone Harvey said...

I think Sarah Palin on top of being plain stupid is a hypocrite, she is a hired hand of the Republican Party to say what she is told to say! She's on a 15 day tour of spreading hate and attacking President Obama, she never was a hockey mom, you can't be at your kids hockey game when you're in Las Vegas. I always thought Palin was a idiot, but since she quit her job, and turned into a paid spokesman for the racist "Republican Tea Party" she prove it.She smelled money,and fame over the American people,she has lost self respect and that of a lot of people. It's too bad she let the almighty dollar ruin her life and now her kids life! I wonder who watches the kids while the mom and daughter are doing the Hollywood scene. Sarah Palin is a direct reflection of white Republicans......phoney! Un American and stupid is an understatement when talking about Sarah Palin. Today on the "View'' Levi Johnston was interview his claim to frame was impregnating Sarah Palin underage daughter. Now the 20 year old unemployed high school drop out Levi is running for Mayor! He is just as stupid as Sarah Palin! But the women on the View didn't asked any hard question. They made light of his ignorance and creating a child he does not see or take care of financially! Whoopie even stated that she didn't want people to see him as a joke! Sarah Palin came on the scene and attack and made false allegation about Senator Obama. Then did a interview and the world saw she was a idiot and should never be near the White House! After the interview Sarah Palin blame her lack of knowledge and stupidity on the interviewer! Levi didn't do that he just stated I DON'T KNOW!