Remember when critics blasted CSU Stanislaus for paying Sarah Palin $75,000 for a keynote speech for their fundraiser? Attorney General Jerry Brown, now running for Governor, opened an investigation of the school. A state lawmaker pushed for a new law requiring that such contracts be made public. But the people who made the decision look more like geniuses after she broke school records for fundraising:
Sarah Palin spent only a few hours in Turlock. But the repercussions of her visit will last a long time, from the big money she drew to the debate over her appearance to a legal investigation into the nonprofit foundation that signed her.
Officials of California State University, Stanislaus, said they couldn’t be happier with her appearance at the 50th anniversary gala, bringing in the most money of any event in campus history. …
Stanislaus County Supervisor Vito Chiesa, who attended the gala, said the university achieved its goal.
“I think they hit a home run for raising money,” he said. Officials estimated net income at $200,000. “I didn’t know what all the rancor was about before; she’s there for a school and she turned it into an educational speech.”
Maybe CSU-S’ school of business should hold a seminar for public officials unclear on the concept of profit. Fundraisers take in more money when they attract more people with more money to give. The best way to do that is to have high-profile speakers who can pull in that kind of audience. Those top-drawer speakers cost more money, but as CSU-S discovered, they also generate more donations, too.
None of this is exactly rocket science. Universities and colleges pay speakers to give addresses all the time, both for fundraisers and for activism. The state of California and its Democratic leadership act as though they’ve never heard of anything like this before in their lives, but that is ludicrous on its face. They appear to want to punish Stanislaus for giving Palin a platform (and for profiting from it), which is an attack on their academic freedom and independence. It’s also a measure of the level of Palin Derangement Syndrome suffered by California politicians.
Palin certainly delivered an educating experience with this speech. Hopefully, the voters of California learned something from the hysteria coming out of Sacramento at the prospect of a working mom giving a speech at a fundraiser.