CSU Chancellor Took Agent's Bad Advice

Emails reveal foundation's request to reveal Sarah Palin's speaking fee

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Love her or hate her, in two short years Sarah Palin has taken center stage in the nation's politics.

    California State University Chancellor Charles Reed was facing a torrent of bad publicity over the non-disclosure clause that kept the speaking fee for former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin's appearance at a fundraiser secret, so he wrote to Palin's agency asking to reveal the price tag.

    But the president of the Washington Speakers Bureau agency that represents Palin, Bernie Swain, thought such transparency would only stoke the flames, according to e-mails released by CSU in the wake of a lawsuit.

    The release of the fee, while well-intentioned to share all details, will likely only serve as the financial headline for a new round of stories rather than the intended purpose of clearing the air and making the stories go away. Your event needs fewer story lines, less oxygen for the fuel, not more.

    Boy was he wrong.

    Instead, the story has simmered along through spring, with State Sen. Leland Yee using it to pile up political capital at the expense of Palin and the CSU Stanislaus Foundation.

    Yee wants to hold these foundations accountable to the California Public Records Act, which currently shields such private organization from document disclosure requests.

    The event, still scheduled for June 25th, is expected to raise up to $200,000 for the foundation, and the foundation says that no public money would be spent on the appearance fee.

    Jackson West is just glad Yee found something other than his beloved violent video games to attack.