Wednesday, April 14, 2010

this about babylon, not babble-on....,

LATimes | California Atty. Gen. Jerry Brown said Tuesday that he was launching an expanded investigation into the finances and actions of a Cal State Stanislaus foundation that has invited former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin to give a speech, after allegations that it may have illegally discarded documents related to the event.

Brown already was investigating whether the Cal State Stanislaus Foundation violated the California Public Records Act when it refused the request of state Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) to hand over documents related to Palin's speaking fee and other aspects of her scheduled June 25 appearance.

The broader investigation will look into whether funds raised by the foundation -- which has assets of more than $20 million, according to Brown -- are being used for educational purposes.

Brown said his office also will examine documents, apparently part of a contract with Palin, that several Cal State Stanislaus students say they discovered late last week in a campus trash bin. Brown said he wanted to determine if the documents were authentic and how they ended up in a bin next to an administrative building.

None of the documents, which carried the letterhead of a company that represents Palin in her speaking engagements, refer directly to the former governor or say how much she is being paid. Brown said the fee could be as high as $100,000 based on her fee for an appearance in Nashville.

The contract specifies "round-trip, first-class commercial air travel for two between Anchorage, Alaska, and event city," accommodations, including a one-bedroom suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel, and plenty of bottled water and "bendable straws."

Brown's office has recently sought records of several other university foundations after allegations of financial improprieties.

"This is not about Sarah Palin," the attorney general said in a statement Tuesday. "She has every right to speak at a university event, and schools should strive to bring to campus a broad range of speakers. The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability in organizations embedded in state-run universities."

Palin could not be reached for comment. Officials with the Cal State campus and the Cal State Stanislaus foundation denied any wrongdoing.

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