“Sarah Palin leveled criticism at California’s attorney general and others raising questions about her visit to a cash-strapped university, telling supporters that students had better things to do than dive through Dumpsters to find out how much she earns speaking.” “The former Alaska governor’s headline address Friday night at the 50th anniversary celebration at California State University, Stanislaus has drawn criticism and scrutiny since it was first announced.” “It also attracted sizable donations for the public school.” “Officials have refused to divulge the terms of her contract or her speaking fee, and some details only came to light after students fished part of what appeared to be Palin’s contract from a rubbish bin.” The material recovered by the students, which detailed perks such as first-class airfare for two and deluxe hotel accommodations, prompted California Attorney General Jerry Brown to launch an investigation into the finances of the university’s foundation arm and allegations that the nonprofit violated public disclosure laws.” (Burke, Garance; 6/26/2010, Associated Press, Palin decries ‘Dumpster divers’ at Calif. Campus, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org).
“Officials say the university foundation that organized the fundraiser is legally exempt from public records requirements.” “Friday’s sold-out dinner will bring in more than $200,000, making the gala the most successful fundraiser in the university history, said university foundation board president Matt Swanson.” “We’re not here to make a political statement, we’re here to make money,” Swanson said.” (Burke, Garance; 6/26/2010, Associated Press, Palin decries ‘Dumpster divers’ at Calif. Campus, Retrieved from email@example.com). Well there it is people in its entire splendor. The cash-strapped university does not care about what their speaker says or who they are as long as they make money. Mr. Swanson says that they are not there to make a political statement so I assume that when Ms. Palin made this comment “A suggestion for those Dumpster divers: Instead of trying to tell people to sit down and shut up … spend some time telling people like our president to finally stand up,” she said.” (Burke, Garance; 6/26/2010, Associated Press, Palin decries ‘Dumpster divers’ at Calif. Campus, Retrieved from firstname.lastname@example.org). caught Mr. Swanson and those who approved her visit completely off guard.
Bottom line, people are free to invite whomever they wish to speak and they are entitled to make money but please let’s not question the public’s intelligence with “we’re not here to make a political statement.” Even Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles and Ronnie Millsap could see through that. The event supposedly brought in $200,000.00 but I am curious to know what the net was after expenses and if it was worth all the fuss?