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. David, CA

    A fool and his money are soon parted.

    June 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Isn't giving money to a state university the redistribution of wealth to a Socialist entity?

    June 25, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  3. TM

    How much of that money is Palin allowing the school to keep?

    June 25, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  4. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Why isn't she in Louisiana showing Piyush Jindal how to stop the oil disaster? He doesn't seem to know what to do....

    June 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  5. ray

    just imagine this woman is speaking ate a university , hahah , haha,....... for a woman who can't name a news paper she reads, for a woman who quits her job, for a woman who dont know africa is a continent and for a woman who is just an idiot thatis says a lot about the republican party. i wonder what she will say to the students??? haha i know, i am a half idot governer who only goal in life is to get rich off the stupid american people.

    June 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  6. Donald

    I lvoe the effect Palin has on the liberals – they absolutely come unglued every time her name is mentioned. It's hilarious – I mean the mere mention of the woman and the libs go into convulsions – what's next? speaking in tongues???????

    June 25, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  7. Stephen in Bedford, TX

    Some of the lamest movies rake the most at the box offices and stupid reality shows have become the most popular shows on TV, this does not mean they are the best movies or shows around. It's a sad reflection of how stupid and shallow Americans have become.

    June 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  8. anotherGDlefty

    No ib, it's you idiots that drool over everything the disasta from Alaska that drive the left crazy.
    She is vapid but looks good in a wet t-shirt. A republicans dream...

    June 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  9. Let's Be Real

    Okay, let's clarify...it is a California State University Stanislaus. NOT a University of California. Big difference....one school is more practical arts, the other is a series of research institutions.

    June 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  10. 6kitties

    OK CNN Moderator – I haven't commented here in months because of the waiting for moderation thingy all of the time. Really CNN????

    Dave: The "shaking the car keys at her" was another gem. LOL

    Thanks again!

    June 25, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  11. PaulaAP

    Dave – You are hysterical – wanna have dinner with me?

    June 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  12. David, CA

    @ Four and The Door-

    Stay tuned... SP will say something totally asinine , hypocritical, uneducated, borderline racist, and her ignorant "fan base" will lap it up like drooling dogs.

    Then she'll blame "the media" for drawing attention to her stupidity and hypocrisy.

    June 25, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  13. Big George in Big D

    I love all the left wingnuts when it comes to Sarah! They just can't stand it! They'd better get used to the name as she will one day be POTUS!

    June 25, 2010 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  14. dannd

    Liberals are not afraid of Palin. They just think she's stupid. Keep telling yourself the opposite if it makes you feel better about yourself.

    What actually is scary is that people will pay that much money to hear her rehash the same talking points. I would never pay that amount to hear anyone speak.

    June 25, 2010 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  15. geecee

    Okay, she speaks? Is that what that gibberish sound is coming out of her mouth on a regular basis? Speech? You could have fooled me. I never understand a single word she says. It's all so jumbled up and incoherent and she cannot even string two sentences together that make any sense. I cannot imagine sitting through two minutes of that voice before I go into a seizure.

    June 25, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. Bassman

    Only Gov. Palin could go into California and set a record like this. The media are obsessed with how much she makes for each speech. Something the did not do with male politicians, like Clinton and Bush. This CNN Post finally gets the story right.. Palin's speeches have brought in large amounts. The fundraisers she has spoken to have helped the cause. It must be in the millions of dollars she has helped raise. The story is NOT how much she makes, but how much she helps the fundraisers make. Nice Job, CNN. You got the story right.

    June 25, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. MAhole

    Those thumbs up in the accompanying photo make her look like she is hitchhiking. I wish someone would give her a ride back to the hole in Alaska that she crawled out of...........

    June 25, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    Just shows that there's idiots in every state who are willing to pay to hear another idiot speak or in Half Gov. Palin's case try to string enough words together into some kind of a sentence structure also you betcha.

    Vote NO in NOvember to the party of NO.

    June 25, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Drew Bob

    California really is full of nuts - unless they had to bus them in.

    June 25, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Irma in North Carolina

    Why is she speaking a a university. Of course the speech will be written for her. I don't think she is even fit to speak to 8th graders. She probably cant even read at a 8th grade level.

    June 25, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Ben in Texas

    Conservoids believe that progressives hate and fear Palin, but the real situation is more complex than that. We think of Palin like a bad tasting medicine that will cure a horrible disease.

    We're disgusted by the "taste" of Palin appearing multiple times on CNN every day, but we know that in the end, she will cure the dreaded disease of hypocrisy and greed by killing the Repugnant Party. It's a trade-off.

    June 25, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  22. One Dollar Please!!!

    @ib June 25th, 2010 4:16 pm ET
    I see Palin is still driving the far left people into crazy fits. Priceless– love every minute of it.****Crazy Fits?? Excuse the ring Operator.... This guy is having a FIT and Sarah is laughing all the way to the BANK !!!!

    June 25, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Donna from Colorado Springs

    The University must really be hard up for intelligent speakers! This woman is an idiot and it's amazing to me just how many fools there are out there that follow her like she was someone important!

    June 25, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Wisconsinite - the GObP Loves Big Oil, But Hates Suffering Americans

    So . . . I'm sure Lady GaGa sells something out too . . . .they have about the same amount of class.

    June 25, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Obama supporter

    Excuse me, but, what could she possibly have to say that is worth the much money?

    June 25, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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