June 26th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
4 years ago

Palin event sets records

 A spokeswoman for University of California Stanislaus said the Palin event 'sold out in record time.'
A spokeswoman for University of California Stanislaus said the Palin event 'sold out in record time.'

(Updated with fundraising totals)

Washington (CNN) – After months of controversy, Sarah Palin's speech Friday night at a California state university brought in record amounts of money for the school. Palin spoke at a black-tie fundraising gala sponsored by a foundation of the California State University Stanislaus.

"The gala is on track to be the most successful fundraiser in the university's history," University of California Stanislaus spokeswoman Eve Hightower told CNN, adding the foundation will exceed its fundraising goal.

According Hightower, the event netted $200,000 plus there were $58,000 in donations of "in kind services."

Tickets for the dinner were $500 apiece with sponsorships for tables ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. The spokeswoman said the event "sold out in record time."

The decision to invite Palin to the northern California institution earlier this year prompted protests especially after documents were found in April that seemingly detailed some of the demands she gives organizers of her events. In a dumpster near a university administration building students found pages of what was believed to be a contract by the foundation for Palin's appearance, including general requirements for her speaking engagements. Sponsors must provider either first-class flights if she flies commercially or a specific type of Lear jet, for example.

The papers did not detail the fee she would receive for the speech. She's believed to fetch about $100,000 per appearance.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown began an investigation in April examining the finances of the foundation and whether officials were trying to avoid public disclosure laws by discarding documents. A state senator asked for the probe after he said the foundation refused to turn over some requested records concerning the event.

"We are taking this action to make sure that the money raised goes toward the intended educational purposes and not a dollar is wasted or misspent," Brown said in a statement at the time. "This is not about Sarah Palin ... She has every right to speak at a university event, and schools should strive to bring to campus a broad range of speakers. The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities. We're not saying any allegation is true, but we owe it to the taxpayers to thoroughly check out every serious allegation," Brown said.

That investigation is continuing, the Attorney General's office told CNN Friday.

A university spokeswoman did not respond to a message concerning the probe. The chairman of the foundation had earlier told reporters her speaking fee and accommodations would not be be paid for with state funds but would be covered by private donations. The foundation has refused to release some records arguing as a private group it did not fall under the state's public records act's requirements.

A spokesman for Palin did not return a message seeking comment on the event.

–Follow Kevin Bohn on Twitter @kevinbohncnn


Filed under: Jerry Brown • Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (99 Responses)
  1. Lynn

    With her puny education why would they even invite her to speak? She's an insult to women that have achieved so much more than she has, but are basically ignored because they wear pant suits and aren't flashy.

    June 25, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  2. anagram_kid

    I really wish Palin would find something positive to do with her life. Her constant criticism and failure to offer any concrete solutions is making her look more bitter and pathetic every day. Wouldn’t it be great if she used her notoriety for raising money for Down’s syndrome research?

    June 25, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  3. lolo

    And talking about speaking in tougues, she is the one that says that is how she talks in church. Go figure. You conservatives only want to remember what benefits you, never the bad stuff about Ms. Palin. Everything that you accuse the liberals of doing she has already been there and done that. Just too funny. Only in America.

    June 25, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  4. walleye

    I believe they are paying to see how soon into her speech she shows how ignorant she is.

    June 25, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  5. once upon a horse

    500 bucks to see Sarah Palin, yet there are folks on the gulf losing their jobs, some homes and other have lost family members and now thanks to the GOP and one. DINO many will lose the only income they have. And you can bet she won't contribute to the Americans that could use 500bucks yet were in a recession. The dumbing down of America indeed continues.

    June 25, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Patsy, Texas

    So, the investigation as to Pain's speaking fee, travel demands, etc
    is still ongoing. The University refuses to reveal the cost for this
    woman's nonsense. Add the cost of the cafeteria rennovation into
    a "Gala Hall", the chain link fencing which now surrounds it, and
    the extra security guards.
    All this, and a profitable fund raiser too? These had better be VERY
    "well-heeled" people.
    She's coming to Tyler, TX,. Hope they can afford it, because I'm
    not payin', not goin', don't care. I can probably hear her screeching
    from my house!!

    June 25, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Kelby from Houston, Texas

    WE have created a monster simply by paying attention to her.
    WE should be ashamed of ourselves.
    WE unleashed this woman upon the world
    WE perpetuate her fame
    WE have nothing better to do than post comments on articles about Palin
    WE have suckers in our midst who support this woman

    June 25, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. OhioRon

    Kimberly, Why do you call an ex-fighter – champ? Why do you call an ex-president- president? Why do you call an ex-general – General? What is your point about Governor Palin? You are just arguing to argue.

    June 25, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  9. Karene Nagel

    If this is really true? – (I would question anything connected to her as being truthful?) – then I would say that scammers must run amuck in California & – that many people in CA. are being OVERPAID!!! Why else would this many throw this MUCH $$$ away to hear the SCREECH Mistress talk!?!

    June 25, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  10. carlos

    a retard speaking to all the retards.........the circus keeps getting more comical and pathetic...

    June 25, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  11. AndyBlue

    500.00 a plate? Aww the GOP leaves out the Teabag protesters yet again. I think this is how they keep the screaming loons at bay. Just charge more than they can afford.

    For those who did pay to listen to the rantings of yet another hate filled christian nutcase all I can say is; Everyone likes a freak show. : )

    Are people really fooled by the republicans who destroyed so much in 8 short years? maybe, Maybe not. I dont find the extremists tactics the GOP is using attractive at all.

    And take back America? What a dumb thing to keep repeating. Take it back from who? The majority of voters that fired the republicans in the Congress, the Senate and the Presidency? Its just dumb.

    She also keeps repeating "Hows that hopey Changy thing working out for ya"

    To that I say I'll take HOPE and Change over "Death Panels and Purity Contracts" anyday.

    What a pessimistic and hatefilled worls she must live in. Unless maybe this is all just to make money. Hmmm

    June 25, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  12. Voice of Reason

    For an extra $500, you can stuff the cash directly into her bra...

    June 25, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Rick

    A record has been set here. The most people in one room with the fewest amount of brain cells...

    June 25, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    Dr. Maatrix,
    Right on!!!! These comments about Palin are hilarious!!! Better than watching tv. How can you people think we are afraid of someone like Palin. I agree with the one who posted those silly comments are Junior HIgh! hahahahaha

    June 25, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  15. Big Al

    Black tie event? I'll bet she's going to look too hot.

    June 25, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. OhioRon

    AndyBlue, Sounds like you have the hate thing going pretty well. I love it when someone beats up on someone in these blogs and then calls them "haters".

    June 25, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  17. L.A.D.

    People always love to see a train wreck live.

    June 25, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Alex in Wisconsin

    Hey, she's the biggest comedy show in the country right now. I'm sure many will be there because they believe everything she says. But i'm also sure that there will be many there who are there just to laugh at her and her minions on the far right.

    June 25, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  19. Keith in Austin

    @ Jim: First of all I assure you that Palin's flight to this engagement is NOT funded by the American taxpayers however, Pelosi's private jet to and from liberal fantasyland (San Francisco) is out of our wallets. Secondly, I honestly believe that I pay more in Federal Income Tax than you make in a decade! That is of course if you have a job which is highly suspect!

    June 25, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Peter

    Four and The Door June 25th, 2010 4:13 pm ET

    Stay tuned. Sarah Palin has a huge and growing support base. I'm looking forward to her breaking the record for first women occupying the White House and I'm not talking about as a First Lady either, Hillary.

    obama victim June 25th, 2010 4:12 pm ET

    great for this university......always good to have the next President of the United States support your cause

    >>>>>Two dumbed down losers!!!

    June 25, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. American Patriot - a "real" tea partier

    People actually pay good money to hear this idiot? Why? If they wanted to hear stupidity, they could watch FOX News. Goodness knows the IQ level on that station is in the pits, and they're already paying for FOX on their cable and satellite bill.

    June 25, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  22. OhioRon

    Alex, Show up to laugh at her for $500 a plate? Are you serious? Stop the hate.

    June 25, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  23. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    For a woman all you Lefties insist is so universally reviled, Palin sure seems popular...

    June 25, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  24. anagram_kid

    Keith in Austin wrote: “I love how Sarah Palin incites elitist liberals into a state of frenzy.” But Keith, this is nothing compared to what you will see when her current supporters turn on her. Eventually they will realize she has no interest in doing anything that will benefit them, other than making them feel good about themselves for hating Obama. After a while people are going to expect some measurable results. Do you really expect her to run for anything or hold any decision making position

    June 25, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
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