SACRAMENTO, Calif. – After months of requests from reporters, a California university on Friday agreed to allow members of the media to attend a fundraiser next week featuring Sarah Palin.
Officials with California State University, Stanislaus issued an e-mail advisory announcing that the June 25 gala at its Turlock campus would be open to the press.
Palin’s appearance has generated widespread coverage and criticism since it was announced in March. University officials have refused to divulge the terms of the former Alaska governor’s contract or her speaking fee for the event, where the least expensive tickets cost $500.
CSU Stanislaus says its foundation handled the negotiations and is legally exempt from public records requirements. Palin has commanded fees as high as $100,000.
CSU Stanislaus officials said it was never their intention to keep reporters out of the June 25 event.
The state attorney general’s office is conducting an investigation into the CSU Stanislaus Foundation’s finances as well as allegations by several students that university officials threw away Palin-related documents in a campus trash bin in April.
One of the documents recovered at the time appeared to be a portion of Palin’s contract, detailing perks such as first-class airfare for two, deluxe hotel accommodations and bottles of water complete with bendable straws.