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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Palin's Elite, RNC Type California/ Stanislaus Contract Highlights

Here are the goods found in pages 4 through 9 of the Palin's contract with California State University, sponsored by the Slanislaus Foundation.:

* Round-trip, first class commercial air travel for two between Anchorage, Alaska and event city.

* Presumably for Palin’s guests, “full, unrestricted round-trip coach airfare for two between event city and lower 48 US States."

* If the university chooses to use a private jet, “the Speaker, their traveling party and the plane crew will be the only passengers."

* Ground transportation in both the originating city and the event city “will be by SUV(s) from a professionally licensed and insured car service."
* Security arrangements as deemed necessary by Washington Speakers Bureau and the speaker.

* Accommodations are to include "a one-bedroom suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel" as well as a "laptop computer and printer (fully stocked with paper) and high speed internet" and "all meals and incidentals".

* For Q&A, the questions are to be collected from the audience in advance, pre-screened and a designated representative shall ask questions directly of the Speaker.

* The contract also includes other stipulations regarding autographs, photographs, press releases, advertising, recording, lighting, bottled water and “bendable straws.”

Palin's Elite Contract Found In Trash By Calif. Students

Sarah Palin will get first-class airfare for two and three rooms at a luxury hotel when she gives a speech in June for a university foundation.

And organizers better not forget to stock her lectern with two water bottles and bendable straws.

The details of Palin's Contract with the California State University, Stanislaus Foundation were contained in five pages of the document retrieved from a campus trash bin by students who heard administrators might be shredding documents related to the speech.

State Attorney General Jerry Brown said he would investigate whether the foundation violated public disclosure laws. He said the investigation was not about Palin but about the alleged shredding of contract documents.

State Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who has been seeking details of Palin's compensation package for several weeks, provided copies of the paperwork Tuesday.

Among other perks, the former Alaska governor will fly first class from Anchorage to California — if she flies commercial. If not, "the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger ...," the contract specifies.

And a suite, too

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.

Both Sacramento and San Francisco are within a two-hour drive, but the high-profile politician could also opt for Turlock's year-old Comfort Suites, which offers some of the most expensive rooms in town at $139 a night.

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's 50th anniversary gala is expected to draw a large crowd, with tickets selling for $500 each.

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

Palin's fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds, said Matt Swanson, president of the nonprofit foundation's board.

Students: We got a Tip

The students who found the document said they acted on a tip that documents were being shredded last Friday, when campus staff members were supposed to be on furlough.

"I was informed that there was suspicious activity taking place at the administration building, which I found very alarming," said 23-year-old Ashli Briggs, a junior at the school.

Briggs contacted senior Alicia Lewis, 26, who went with several other students 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.

The contract pages have Washington Speakers Bureau printed at the top and a contract number. The speakers bureau did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Yee called the incident "a dark day for the CSU."

"This is our little Watergate in the state of California," he said Tuesday at a news conference where he was joined by Briggs and Lewis.

University: Shredding is routine

Russell Giambelluca, the university's vice president of business and finance, said 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."

The CSU Stanislaus Foundation previously denied the AP's request to release details of Palin's contract under the California Public Records Act.

Last week, the university responded to a similar public records request by Yee by saying it did not have any documents related to Palin's appearance and had referred the matter to Swanson.

The next day, Swanson sent letters to both Yee and the AP stating that Palin's contract includes a strict nondisclosure clause. University foundations and other auxiliary organizations were not subject to the same public records requirements as the university itself, he said.

"At this point, we believe it's within our legal right to keep that information to ourselves," Swanson said Tuesday, calling the latest dust-up "a little bit ridiculous."

Overlap with foundation?

Yee disputes the claim, pointing to significant overlap between the university and its foundation arm. For example, he noted, all but one member of the foundation staff and several officers from its board are university employees, and the foundation headquarters is located in the administration building where the students said the document shredding was taking place.

To eliminate any legal loopholes, Yee is sponsoring a bill that would require campus foundations and auxiliary organizations to adhere to public records requirements. The measure passed the Senate in January and awaits an Assembly hearing.

On Tuesday, Briggs and Lewis gave the state attorney general's office material they said came from the trash bins, including two boxes of documents and two trash bags filled with shredded files.

The office is reviewing Yee's request for an investigation into allegations that the university violated the California Public Records Act.

The attorney general's office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Sarah Palin Tells RNC: "Take Me Off Fundraiser List

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has asked the Republican National Committee to remove her name from a fundraiser the committee is planning, piggybacking off the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, POLITICO has learned.

Palin’s staff has twice told the RNC to remove her name from an invitation sent to donors, obtained by POLITICO on Wednesday, showing her as an “invited” speaker at the four-day fundraiser in New Orleans, timed to coincide with the SRLC event in Louisiana.

Palin, who will appear at the SRLC, “will not take part in any RNC fundraiser in New Orleans,” an aide said.

The RNC invitation touts Palin along with other SRLC speakers, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Fox News host Sean Hannity, Rep. Mike Pence and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), as “invited speakers” for the event.

Santorum is the only speaker advertised on the invitation who is confirmed to attend the fundraiser.

Palin previously asked to be removed from a Conservative Political Action Conference invitation, which twice listed her as an invited speaker, though she hadn’t agreed to attend the event.

The only Republicans confirmed to be attending the RNC event are Santorum, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, Louisiana Reps. Rodney Alexander and Bill Cassidy and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

The invitation promises that “other Republican superstars” will attend the fundraiser but does not say who those might be.

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Sources: Fox News, KSBW, MSNBC, Politico, Stanislaus Foundation, Youtube, Google Maps

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