From hockey mom to diva: contract reveals Sarah Palin's taste for luxury

Inquiry reveals that hiring former governor of Alaska to speak is not so much high-maintenance as high-risk

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 won't get asked any complicated questions that haven't 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, if you are really unlucky, 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 (£65,000).

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 relevant 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.

It provides a priceless window into life on planet Palin, revealing, among other things, that the intellectually wobbly Republican refuses to take unscripted questions. "For Q&A, the questions are to be collected from in advance [and] pre-screened. A designated representative... shall ask questions directly of the Speaker."

She also requires at least two bottles of mineral water on stage with her, and "bendable straws placed near the wooden lectern". Autograph hunters are banned, and she reserves the right to blackball journalists from unsympathetic news outlets from every event.

But it is Mrs Palin's lofty travel demands which have caused most mirth. The once-humble woman-of-the-people now requires all the trappings of a globe-trotting member of the celebrity elite: a fleet of SUVs, rooms in a "deluxe" hotel, and transport on a private jet.

"The private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger." When Ms Palin "changes her mind and opts to fly via commercial flights" she will travel first class while staff put up with economy.

The university says the event was exempt from public disclosure laws because it was financed by the Stanislaus Foundation, a fundraising arm of the university. That argument cuts little ice with California's attorney general, Jerry Brown. With an eye to his attempt to become Democratic governor, he's launched an investigation into the affair. "This is not about Sarah Palin," Mr Brown said. "She has every right to speak at a university, and schools should strive to bring to campus a broad range of speakers. The issues are public disclosure and financial accountability."

Must-haves: The list

* The private aircraft MUST BE a Lear 60 or larger... if the speaker changes her mind and opts to fly via commercial flights for US events, the customer must be prepared to cover the cost of first class round trip airfare for two.

* Customer agrees to provide the speaker and travelling party with ground transportation ... Transportation will be by SUV(s)... if SUV(s) are not available, black town cars may be substituted.

* Customer agrees to provide the speaker and party with accommodations of a pre-registered one bedroom suite and two single rooms in a deluxe hotel. In addition to room and tax charges, customer agrees to pay for all meals and incidentals (incidentals include but not limited to phone, fax and computer equipment/services at the hotel).

* Unless agreed to at the firm invitation stage, customer shall not permit or assist in the request for autographs while the speaker is on-site.

* A spotlight directly on the speaker should be avoided. Unopened bottled still water (2 bottles) and bendable straws are to be placed in or near the wooden lectern. A representative... will open the water at an appropriate time.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Developer - Sheffield - £35,000 ~ £40,000 DOE

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

Employment Solicitor

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride