Sen. Leland Yee, who has picked a fight with California State Stanislaus
over its refusal to disclose the fee for a Sarah Palin speaking engagement
, is trumpeting a blog that does just that.
According to the Palingates
website, the former Alaska governor and Republican vice-presidential candidate is slated to earn $75,000 for a scheduled June 25 speech at the university's 50th anniversary celebration. Additionally, $18,000 will be spent on hotels, transport, and, of course, the "bendable straws" demanded in Palin's contract
The blog -- run by anonymous anti-Palin writers living in Europe -- quotes a "reliable source" at CSU Stanislaus -- also anonymous. That source claims the Turlock University has made two payments of $37,500 to the Washington Speakers Bureau, which represents Palin. An additional $18,000 would pay for Palin and her traveling group's deluxe accommodations, SUV transport, and other side expenses. Matt Swanson, the president of the CSU Stanislaus Foundation, dismissed the revelation as "political grandstanding" to the Sacramento Bee
-- but didn't out-and-out deny it
"If these figures are accurate, clearly CSU got a bad deal and Sarah Palin gouged California students," said Yee in a press statement. "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."
After the open-government organization CalAware requested to review documents relating to Palin's forthcoming appearance, university officials claimed no such documents existed. In April, however, Stanislaus students found what appeared to be a contract between the university and the Washington Speakers Bureau -- for a speaker demanding bendable straws and flying in from Alaska -- among shredded documents in a dumpster. CalAware filed suit, unearthing a trove of documents revealing a concerted effort by the university to bury the story.
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