Cal State Won’t Reveal How Much They’re Paying Palin, As Student Fees Go Up
California State University says a confidentiality agreement signed with Sarah Palin prevents them from revealing how much they’re paying the one-time governor to appear on campus. A professor has started a Facebook page, students have organized a protest group, and a state senator is pressing the university to get answers.
Sen. Leland Yee (D) of San Francisco, who chairs of the committee on public records and open meeting laws, says the public – including students – have a legal right to the information.
“We are demanding that the CSU Foundation disclose the full amount paid for Mrs. Palin’s speaking fee and all other expenses associated with the contract that both parties have entered,” said Alicia Lewis, CSU Stanislaus student leader, in a statement.
Zoology professor Patrick Kelly, who started the anti-Palin Facebook page, says, “The Foundation’s board of directors are not only dismissive of the need to involve faculty, staff and students in the selection of the keynote speaker for the 50th anniversary gala, they apparently are also tone deaf to the mission and purpose of our university.”
State universities are taxpayer-supported, and Senator Yee has written a transparency law.
“CSU Stanislaus officials sought out Sarah Palin, negotiated her contract behind closed doors, and are now welcoming her to our public university, yet they think they are above the law in disclosing to the public the cost of her appearance,” said Senator Yee, in a statement. A law authored by Yee in 2008 states that regardless of any contract term to the contrary, a contract between a private entity and a state or local agency is subject to the same disclosure requirements as other public records.
The school has yet to comment, but I wonder how those tax-hating tea partiers who support Sarah Palin would feel if the same dollars were going to, let’s say, Michael Moore, or George Soros for a speech.
“Our students are being slammed by enormous fee hikes while cuts mean they can’t get the classes they need,” says Lillian Taiz, president of the California Faculty Association. “This resistance to transparency is another slap in the face. CSU executives are at the top of these so-called auxiliaries, and they need to show more respect for the people they supposedly serve.”Click here for reuse options!
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