By Robin Hindery, ASSOCIATED PRESS
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) â€” 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. The Associated Press has been requesting access to the event since mid-April.
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.
A spokesman for one of CSU’s most vocal critics in the matter, state Sen. Leland Yee, said Friday the decision to allow media access should have been a “no-brainer.”
“It’s somewhat mind-boggling this took so long,” said the spokesman, Adam Keigwin.
Keigwin said Yee, a San Francisco Democrat, would encourage the university to extend the same invitation to its students.
CSU Stanislaus officials said it was never their intention to keep reporters out of the June 25 event.
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