Dumpster diving students get the 411 on Palin speaking deal

The latest in the endless stream of Sarah Palin news rocketing around the web is that California state dumpster diving college kids did what Open Records requests couldn’t do: they found the speaking contract Palin signed with the university detailing the costs and comforts the public university would extend to the infotainment politics personality for her brief visit. The contract, complete with demands for SUV-only transport and articulated straws for center-stage drink sipping, has become the object of an investigation launched by California Attorney General Jerry Brown into whether the University– UC Stanislaus– broke the law in failing to disclose the details of the contract.

From the AP report:

The contract detailed the former Alaska governor’s requirements for her visit, including first-class flights from Anchorage to California — if she flies commercial. If not, “the private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger,” the contract specifies.

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. During her speech, her lectern must be stocked with two water bottles and bendable straws.

“This is not about Sarah Palin,” Brown said in a prepared statement Tuesday. “The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities.”

The foundation has previously denied requests by The Associated Press and state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, to disclose Palin’s compensation package under the California Public Records Act.

Foundation board president Matt Swanson did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Brown’s investigation. He previously told the AP that the contract’s strict nondisclosure clause prevented him from sharing it, and that university foundations and other auxiliary organizations were not subject to the same public records requirements as the university itself.

Swanson has said Palin’s fee and accommodations will be covered entirely by private donations, not state funds.

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