Bendy straws, private jets top Palin's demands for speeches
IF YOU want to keep Sarah Palin in the style to which she's become accustomed, her private jet "must be a Lear 60 or larger", she'll need a whole fleet of SUVs to ferry her around town, and at least three luxury hotel rooms will be required to accommodate all those suitcases full of designer clobber.
The former governor of Alaska will also want an endless supply of bottled water with "bendable" straws, a security detail to prevent the great unwashed bothering her for autographs, and a cast-iron guarantee that she will not get asked any complicated questions that have not been shown to her in advance.
Once you've gone to those lengths, and found tens of thousands of dollars to cover her considerable speaking fee, you may then find that your role in organising Mrs Palin's appearance becomes the subject of a criminal investigation.
California's attorney general yesterday announced an inquiry into one of the state's public universities, amid allegations that its staff attempted to illegally destroy documents related to a $500-a-head fundraising dinner at which Mrs Palin was scheduled to appear.
California State University, Stanislaus, is accused of covering up the circumstances under which the former Republican vice-presidential candidate agreed to travel south from Alaska to headline its 50th anniversary celebration at the end of June.
Last month, Leland Yee, a Democratic senator from San Francisco, used public disclosure laws to demand that the government-funded college publish documents revealing what Mrs Palin will be paid for the gig. Her usual fee is believed to be some $100,000. The university initially refused his request, on a variety of grounds; then, just as an appeal against that decision was about to be heard, the documents were discovered by a group of left-leaning students.
They had allegedly been left in a pile of paperwork due for disposal. Some of the crucial documents were already shredded, possibly illegally. But Mrs Palin's five-page "contract addendum" was still in one piece. That document, written by her agents at the Washington Speakers Bureau, was unveiled by the students at a press conference on Tuesday afternoon. (© Independent News Service)