Saturday, June 05, 2010

Palin Eugene Fund Raiser Skewers Assumptions

David Steves of the Eugene Register-Guard reports that Sarah Palin's fund raiser in Eugene was a big hit even in a small, very liberal market like Eugene. About 850 people attended the Palin event.

Her appearance in the University of Oregon liberal bastion has helped the Lane County Republicans raise over $250,000 this year. That compares to last year's $60,000 contribution total.

It also means that Lane County Democrats with a balance of about $36,000 are a bit behind. (Maybe that should invite President Obama to do a fundraiser for them.)

One media assumption skewered is that Palin charges $100,000 per speech. The fee Lane County Republicans sent to Palin's booking agency was $35,000, which obviously included the speaker's agency cut of the fees.

Palin received about a third of what national journalists are reporting as Palin's standard speaking fee. It's also less than half of what Politico alleges is her West Coast "discount" fee of $75,000. Repeated factual inaccuracies like this are symptomatic of why the public doesn't trust journalists.

Even reporter David Steves has a hard time shedding his belief in Politico's and the LA Times' guesses though he knows that Lane County Republicans only paid Palin's speakers agency $35,000. Steves thinks Lane County Republicans must have gotten a "bargain".
"One of the biggest apparent boons to that financial position is the relative bargain the party seems to have gotten from Palin’s booking agency, the Washington Speakers Bureau. The campaign-finance reports indicate two payments of $17,500 by the party to the bureau, one in January and another in March.

"Politico has reported Palin charges $100,000, with a discount to $75,000 for West Coast appearances. In California, where Palin is to speak this month for a state university foundation’s fundraiser, she will be paid $75,000, the Los Angeles Times reported last week."
Just to double check, Steves had to be assured that $35,000 was the real, bottom line total paid to Palin.
"[Lane County Republican Chairman Bill] Young said he was barred from publicly discussing the terms of the contract to bring Palin to Eugene. However, he said no additional payments were owed to her booking agency and that no third parties were helping make payments to the Washington Speakers Bureau on the Lane County Republicans’ behalf."
Since Palin mostly speaks to groups who share her values, it’s more likely that the Lane County Republican “bargain” price is her usual fee, and $75,000 or $100,000 is the exception. But, journalistic credulity dies hard.

H/T Conservatives4Palin

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