Posts Tagged ‘Stanislaus’

Sarah Palin’s Contract with CSU Stanislaus Revealed

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Well, at long last, here it is – the much-discussed document has just been released: 

Contract (.pdf)

Judge: CSU Violated State Law in Palin Case. University violated the California Public Records Act, Must Pay CalAware Attorney Fees
 
SACRAMENTO – Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge Roger Beauchesne has ruled that California State University Stanislaus violated the California Public Records Act when they refused to disclose the contract that brought Sarah Palin to the campus in June.  The judge ordered CSU Stanislaus to release the speaking contract and also awarded payment of attorney fees to the prevailing party – the non-partisan, non-profit, open government organization Californians Aware (CalAware).
 
Despite being fully staffed by taxpayer-funded employees, the foundation and the university refused to disclose her compensation for the gala, which was not open to students but only well-heeled donors. 
 
After Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) and CalAware were denied a public records request for the Palin contract and any correspondence regarding the visit, emails by administrators were uncovered and students found pages 4 through 9 of the Palin contract in the administration’s Dumpster.  The incomplete contract showed Palin would receive a hotel suite, first class airfare or a private Lear jet, pre-screened questions, and “bendable straws.”  It has since been reported that Palin received $75,000 plus expenses to speak.
 
“This is a great day for transparency and government accountability,” said Yee.  “However, it is also a sad day when a public institution so grossly violates state law and when their legal counsel is ignorant of the public records statute.  It is even worse, that university administrators attempted to blame students for their own negligence and misconduct.”
 
Judge Beauchesne issued the declaratory judgment sought by CalAware and concluded:
 
·        “the University failed to produce any public records called for by (CalAware’s) request until after the initiation and service of the instant lawsuit, which records established that the University did possess public records responsive to the request as of . . . April 6 . . .
 
·        “the University’s failures to follow the California Public Records Act, and to produce records when and as requested, whether deliberate, negligent or inadvertent, constitute violations of its obligations under the California Public Records Act, which contains no requirement that bad faith or a similar mens rea be proven in order to establish an actionable violation. . .
 
·        “the reasonable inference from the evidence produced is that the University, in its official capacity, has ‘used’ the contract between the Washington Speaker’s Bureau (with Ms. Palin and the CSU Foundation) in the conduct of the public’s business; therefore, said contract is also a public record and should have been produced to Petitioner.”
 
According to CalAware, the judge also issued a writ of mandate requiring the University to release the contract as well as any so far unreleased “documentation related to the use of University property, personnel, facilities or services provided in connection with the Gala for which the University sought or will seek reimbursement from the Foundation.” 
 
Finally, the judge ordered the university to pay CalAware the costs and attorney’s fees it incurred in bringing the lawsuit.
 
CalAware’s attorneys Kelly Aviles, Dennis Winston, and Terry Francke, issued the following joint statement:
 
“We are very pleased with the decision.  Judge Beauchesne, who had taken the matter under submission on August 2nd, carefully considered the arguments of all the parties.  Ultimately, he correctly sided with the public’s right to be informed about how its money is being spent. This ruling upholds California citizens’ right to maintain oversight and control of their government.  Public oversight is the only way that citizens are assured that public money is handled in an appropriate matter.  We are hopeful that this will prompt CSU to reevaluate the way in which it handles public records requests in the future.”
 
The judge correctly ruled that the Foundation itself is not currently subject to the California Public Records Act.  SB 330 authored by Senator Yee, which would subject campus auxiliary organizations and foundations to the public records law, is currently pending before the Governor.
 
“It is time for CSU to embrace commonsense transparency policies instead of spending taxpayer dollars fighting to keep the public in the dark,” said Yee.

Sarah Palin’s Fee for Upcoming CSU Stanislaus Revealed: $75,000, Plus Benefits

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Senator Leland Yee today draws attention to this bit from the Modesto Bee, which paid a visit to this anti-Palin site based in Europe.

The press release lays it out, the links have more detail.

(NB: “ca.” means “circa” – That’s how they roll in Euro-land.)

S.P. is broke no longer:

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Palin Fee to CSU Reported at Over $75,000 – More Than Double What She Charged Local GOP

As university violates state law, information continues to trickle out 

SACRAMENTO – The Modesto Bee is reporting that a Sarah Palin watchdog website has uncovered Palin’s fee to speak at California State University Stanislaus.  The Palingates blog reports that Palin will be paid up to $93,000 for her upcoming visit.  The amount would be more than double what Palin charged a local Republican Party in Lane County, Oregon, when she appeared at an event for $35,000, according to documents accessed on the Oregon Secretary of State website.

“If these figures are accurate, clearly CSU got a bad deal and Sarah Palin gouged California students,” said Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco).  “Celebrities should not be trying to line their own pockets at the expense of students, especially at a time when our public higher education system is in such dire straits.” 

According to sources, the university transferred two payments of $37,500 each to the Washington Speakers Bureau – the entity in which the university contracted for the Palin event.  In addition to the $75,000 speaking fee, the university is paying $18,000 for Palin to receive a hotel suite, first class airfare or a private Lear jet, and “bendable straws,” among other expenses.

“If Ms. Palin truly cared about our students, she should have waved her speaker’s fee or at least not overcharged,” said Yee.  “Every dollar that goes to Palin is another dollar not going to the students at Stanislaus, who have already seen their scholarships lost this year.  This is just the latest in a long series of bad decisions by CSU foundations and auxiliaries which demonstrate why we need greater transparency and accountability.”

via chdwckvnstrsslhm

“Last week, CSU Stanislaus released hundreds of documents that further show that university officials violated the California Public Records Act by not disclosing documents requested March 31 from Californians Aware and Senator Yee.

Among the documents uncovered is an email correspondence between CSU Chancellor Charles Reed and Bernie Swain, chairman of the Washington Speakers Bureau, that reveal documents were withheld simply to avoid “another round of newspaper stories.” 

The documents disclosed also show hundreds of correspondence between university officials and a partisan public relations firm on how to handle the public scrutiny.

The scandal has spurred Attorney General Jerry Brown to launch a formal investigation and Californians Aware to file a lawsuit in Superior Court.

On April 9, CSU student Ashli Briggs was informed that suspicious activity (specifically, document purging) was taking place within the administration building.  After seeing several administrators’ cars in the parking lot on the university’s scheduled furlough day, Alicia Lewis and other students found several public documents in a campus dumpster. 

Many of the public documents were shredded, presumably by university personnel.  Among the intact documents were financial statements, university spreadsheets, and staff assignments, as well as pages 4 through 9 of the Palin contract.

Jerry Brown Throws Down: Criminal Music Companies to Pay for Music Fests Statewide in 2010

Monday, May 17th, 2010

California Attorney General Jerry Brown can’t abide goddamn record companies that fix prices. (Feel free to read that as record companies, straight up.) Anyway, when you bought all those Rico Suave CDs back in the day, you paid too much. 

Can I tell you how this all relates to the big scheme of things? No, I get my record co. antitrust lawsuits mixed up. But this whole deal probably had something to do with bad behavior by execs from Universal Music Group, Sony Music EntertainmentWarner Music Group, and/or EMI Group.

But that doesn’t matter now. What matters that these melon-farmers are going to own up for past misdeeds by paying for statewide music festivals.

El Protector De La Gente, Jerry Brown:

via Thomas Hawk

Check it:

Alameda Los Angeles San Bernardino Solano
Butte Marin San Diego Sonoma
Calaveras Mendocino San Francisco Stanislaus
Contra Costa Mono San Joaquin Tehama
Del Norte Monterey San Luis Obispo Ventura
El Dorado Napa Santa Barbara Yolo
Fresno Nevada Santa Clara Yuba
Humboldt Orange Santa Cruz  
Inyo Plumas Shasta
Kern Riverside Sierra
Lassen Sacramento Siskiyou

 

January April July October
February May August November
March June September December

Enjoy.

Brown and Arts Council Host Statewide Music Festivals Funded by a Price-Fixing Settlement
SACRAMENTO -Yodeling, operas, musicals, Japanese drumming and symphonies are among the summer events around the state sponsored by more than a half million dollars from a Department of Justice settlement with music companies in a case of fixing advertised prices.

Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. and the California Arts Council today announced dozens of musical presentations during this summer’s festival season and throughout 2010. Visit the California Arts Council’s website for a full listing of concerts and events benefiting from the grants:
http://www.cac.ca.gov/programs/doj/.

“The Attorney General’s office is proud to be part of providing these cultural events that bring people together to experience all types of music. It’s affordable because of our ability to provide discounted tickets,” Brown said, “and these performances are a testament to the incredible richness and diversity of the state’s music.”

The grants support performances and events in 43 of the state’s 58 counties, reaching an estimated audience of 200,000.

All the deets, after the jump

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