Lane County GOP drops a big chunk to draw Sarah Palin

Carla Axtman

Update: 4:30PM: I spoke about an hour ago with Bill Young, Lane Co. Party Chairman. Young said that the expenditure is correct but that he believes the "accounts receivable" entry to be a mistake--perhaps on the party's part. The $17,500 to Washington Speaker's Bureau is the amount they've paid.

Yesterday, the Lane County GOP announced that they're bringing quitter-Alaska-Governor Sarah Palin to Eugene in April for their annual Lincoln Day fundraiser:

Bill Young, the party’s Lane County chairman, confirmed Tuesday that the former vice-presidential candidate/former Alaska governor/current best-selling author will be the keynote speaker at the party’s annual Lincoln Day fundraiser at the Hilton Eugene on April 23.

The fundraiser is typically held in February near Lincoln’s birthday, “but we made a special dispensation for her schedule,” Young said. “For some reason, we figured her schedule was more important than that date.”

Young said local Republican Party leaders have been working with Palin’s handlers for nearly a year in an effort to bring her here. He would not say how much Palin’s visit will cost — in fact, the contract with her speakers’ bureau prohibits disclosing the amount.

A check of Oregon's campaign contribution and expenditure database may reveal more about this little junket than Palin's speaker's bureau would like.

There are two January 12, 2010 transactions for the Lane County Republican Central Committee involving Washington Speaker's Bureau (WSB). Sarah Palin is exclusively represented by WSB, according to her page at the site. The two transactions are for $17,500 each.

One of the transactions is listed as a "cash expenditure". This means that the Lane County GOP Central Committee cut a check to the WSB. The other is listed as a "Miscellaneous Account Receivable". I put in a call to the Secretary of State's Office, Election Division to ask about why the "accounts receivable" transaction would be listed that way. The helpful woman at the SOS office said that they couldn't be sure, but it's likely that it's listed that way in case Palin is a no show. The listing would allow them to get their money back, she said.

However to be sure, I placed a call to Dr. Bill Young, the party's Lane County Chairman. I have yet to hear back. I also left a message for party Treasurer Steve Moe. I'll report back when (if) I hear from them.

Comments

  • Darth Spadea (unverified)
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    Who cares if Sarah Palin is speaking at their event (and they paid her for it). Report some real political news - like Air America filing for bankruptcy:

    Air America declaring bankruptcy

  • LT (unverified)
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    Darth, Are you aware that Ed Schultz is not part of Air America?

    Or maybe you don't think we should be discussing campaign finances of the GOP in Lane County due to a national story?

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Don't ever confuse fiscal conservatism with fiscal sanity. What you have here is a great example of insanity.

  • Darth Spadea (unverified)
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    I am. Frankly, I thought Air America went under years ago - so this makes me happy twice.

    I am not clear on what the problem is with Palin. They are paying her and might have worked it to get their money back if she doesn't show. Seriously, why does this matter?

  • Deep Throat (unverified)
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    EXPOSED -Lane GOP Palin Dinner

    Eugene, Oregon -- LaneWatchdog has recently received reports of dismay in the rank and file members of the local GOP. It appears that the financial details of the Sarah Palin visit have been leaked to the press and other media outlets (like [email protected]) as a protest of the high fees charged for the upcoming Lincoln Day Dinner. LaneWatchdog has been forwarded what looks like a summary of an administration email stating that the speaker's fee for Palin is a whopping $75,000 -- not the $34,000 plus "security deposit" uncovered by BlueOregon's Carla Axtman -- and that the local GOP plans to triple that amount through plate fees at the event to fill their depleted coffers. It also states that the Oregon GOP has to lend Lane funds to secure the speaker. Rank and file members are up in arms over the reported $250 per person fee charged to each member. While the annual Lincoln Day dinner celebrates the founding principles of the party, many working class members may not be able to attend due to economic cuts, job losses, and poor market conditions. Since breaking this story on Craigslist earlier today, LaneWatchdog has received several emails stating that the reservation lists at the GOP office for the event are being filled by out of town and even out of state attendees, leaving many local Republican members without a seat at the table even if they could afford to go. Allegedly a special segregated area for lower income conservatives will be available at the event, for those who prefer to only pay $100 and watch Palin's speech on a video feed. "I love Sarah Palin," one emailer to [email protected] stated, "but if she knew what these creeps were up to I'd bet she wouldn't show up." Another wrote, "It's no longer the back of the bus... it's more like the back of the ballroom, down the hall, and crammed in the video feed room like second-class Republicans." In a party that has recently been criticized on its aloof attitude and "country club" vs. "NASCAR" Republican infighting, it seems to be another bump in the road on the journey to reinvent the Republican Party. Repeated emails to confirm these details have been sent to GOP leaders but have not been returned.

    Have a juicy political tip? Email to [email protected] Guaranteed confidentiality through our glorious Consitution and, well, because we promised.

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    LaneWatchdog have a lot of rand-and-file GOP members, do they?

    I remember the old days, when the rank-and-file members ran the Lane County Republican Party. Their last Lincoln Day dinner was in a church cafeteria, dinner was served on paper plates, and I was their speaker. They didn't have another one for 10 years.

    I'm guessing they have some large donors guaranteeing this and, speaking as a Republican, I think it's great. Whether it makes Democrats apoplectic or gives you guys a laughing fit, either way that just adds to the fun.

    I'm trying to think of a Democratic Party leader--other than the President--who could command that kind of money or attention. John Edwards? No, I'll have to keep thinking . . .

  • Deep Throat (unverified)
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    Hey Jack... Maybe it's that same kind of elitist attitude that the "rank and file" members like me despise. The last Lincoln Dinner I went to we paid about $70 apiece to listen to Hal Reed talk in a drunken stupor and almost fall off the stage. I love being a conservative, and a Republican, but that doesn't mean I have to cut my tongue out and swallow the "old guard" BS anymore. Maybe that's why we haven't had a Republican governor in my lifetime. But you just sit there and think, and I'll keep paying my taxes, and cleaning up after your dinners, manning your phone banks and staffing the booth at the fair... Do you remember when $70 used to be a lot of money? I didn't think so. Sounds like the same logic that thought McCain was a viable conservative candidate. How'd that work out?

    Deep Throat... a rational voice on the inside of the Lane Republican Party... I could be anyone... don't leave your emails sitting around...

    [email protected], a Republican revolution one "rank and file" member at a time.

  • vent (unverified)
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    So this is basically business as usual, no? Isn't it normal for political parties to invite people who are important within the party and pay them a load of money for it?

    Also, hasn't Palin effectively quit politics by bbeing hired at Fox?

  • Scott Jorgensen (unverified)
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    Fox News contributor Fred Barnes was the keynote speaker for the 2006 Lane County Lincoln Day Dinner. The cost must have been reasonable that year, because I was actually able to go.

  • Jake Leander (unverified)
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    Ironic you should reference apoplexy, Jack. If we are going to speak about impaired neurological function in politics, the popularity of Mrs. Palin among conservative Republicans is the obvious starting point. Though Shrub Bush and Rep. Bachmann are contenders, she is clearly the Queen of Vapidity.

  • Deep Throat (unverified)
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    It's not about how much. It's about how the elitist members of the local Republican party treat the rest of us in the Republican party... shoved in a video watching room during OUR Lincoln Dinner? It should have been a separate event. Maybe they should get off the golf course and help in the community, or spend less time wagging their fingers at everyone and roll up their sleeves and actually change this broken system. Take Brown's victory as an example of how to do it right and, well, DO IT RIGHT! I'm sick of being on the losing team, year after year.

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    But you know, Jake, if Palin were as bad as Democrats seem to think, why do you guys waste so much energy in hating her? Shouldn't you be hoping that Republicans all get behind her?

  • Greg (unverified)
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    So, you really have no idea what, if anything, Palin is receiving for attending their fundraising event. The $17,500 "cash expenditure" may be something, but the $17,500 "msc account receivable" may, for all you know, Palin returning their money. Seldom does anyone in the party charge for a fundraising event. Palin is attending the Arkansas GOP fundraiser for free, and has spoken for free at several Right to Life fundraisers.

    Instead of spreading gossip like a school girl, why don't you try doing some research, get ALL the facts, and then write something.

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    Greg:

    I asked the SOS office about that, and they didn't think that was the case. Apparently that kind of thing is noted when it happens. There wasn't a notation on this line item. And after speaking with Bill Young, apparently it may be a mistake on the Lane Co GOP's part in terms of reporting.

    As for the rest, lighten up dude.

  • Deep Throat (unverified)
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    Keep looking. It's $75,000 total, and the Lane GOP is borrowing some money from the State GOP to be able to pull it off. 750 tickets will be sold, from what I hear about 600 at $250 and 150 or so at $100 in the back room watching the video feed.

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    But you know, Jake, if Palin were as bad as Democrats seem to think, why do you guys waste so much energy in hating her? Shouldn't you be hoping that Republicans all get behind her?

    Jack--personally, I love that the GOP is willing to throw good money after bad on Sarah Palin. If you guys want her to be the person that represents what you're all about--more power to you.

  • Jake Leander (unverified)
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    Jack Roberts wrote:

    But you know, Jake, if Palin were as bad as Democrats seem to think, why do you guys waste so much energy in hating her? Shouldn't you be hoping that Republicans all get behind her?

    I will not speak for all Democrats, but I do not hate her, though I find her politics inhumane, anti-democratic, and ignorant of reality. In my more partisan moments, I do wish that Republicans all get behind her.

  • Brian C. (unverified)
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    What's more puzzling? The fact that this woman seems to be beloved by the family values crowd or the knee-jerk loathing she conjures up within those on the leftist side? I remain unable to take either faction too seriously when it comes to Sarah Palin. The whole thing just seems so...surreal.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jack, a neighbor of mine (a civic volunteer for decades) once compared Sarah Palin to a school supt. we once had.

    The woman may have meant well, but she came from a small district in another state to a large district in Oregon and the charitable thing to say was she was in over her head. Among the reasons she left:

    *abusive teacher the district management failed to deal with (there had been complaints from parents) until a legislative investigation ended up with the teacher going to jail

    *misjudging how angry parents would be when she decided to end elementary music--and even angrier when they discovered there really had been plenty of money, but it had been in a secret reserve fund the public did not know about.

    By telling that story, does that mean I "hate" either the Supt. or Palin?

    There are those of us who wish for the intelligent Republicans once on the Oregon and national scene: McCall, Clay Myers, Vic Atiyeh, Mark Hatfield, Tony Van Vliet, Mary Alice Ford, all the way back to Charles McNary.

    That recent Republicans seem more interested in snubbing anyone who doesn't agree with them, yelling RINO, being more detailed in attacks than in specific affirmative proposals is their problem.

    Just because some Republicans may hate some Democrats (what was the "purple heart bandage" stunt at the 2004 GOP convention if not hatred that any veteran would become a Democratic nominee?) does not mean Democrats hate back.

    But just as there are those of us who will never darken the door of a business where we got poor quality merchandise or customer service, we are allowed to look into the campaign finances of any Republican group or individual without being told that is "hatred".

  • In Plato's Cave (unverified)
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    “But you know, Jake, if Palin were as bad as Democrats seem to think, why do you guys waste so much energy in hating her?”

    Oh, that’s easy, Mr. Roberts. You see, I’m an evil public employee who lives in inner SE Portland and I'm highly educated (college and grad school and all that). And I’m also a liberal/progressive.

    So, I’m not a real American and have no place in Ms. Palin’s (or evidently your) America -- and neither do most of my friends.

    She said so.

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    I realize I can't look into anyone's heart and judge their real feelings nor is it fair to over-generalize. I do have Democrat friends who react to the mention of Sarah Palin as if a switch was suddenly turned on releasing some hidden store of venom and adrenalin.

    But whatever the actual emotion, I will just offer this comparison: When Republicans work themselves up like this against a Democrat, it's a Ted Kennedy or Hilary Clinton or (now) Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi--serious and influential leaders of the Democratic Party who pose a serious threat to gain or control power.

    I've never heard a Republican express similar hostility toward Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel.

  • Kurt Chapman (unverified)
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    I agree, the Palin thing from devotees to haters is surreal. She really cold only exist here and now in a country like ours. I would have the same "so what" response were carla to exert her consideraqble investigatory skills into the speaking engagements of the state democrt party or the Portland Downtown Club.

    LT, I can tell you all about the purple hearts from 2004. anyone who was either in Nam or had a family member in Nam when Kerry made a fool of himself wanted the country to know that the remembered. Not 'hate' per se, just a reminder of the same man making wild, unsubstantiated accusations after spending an extremely truncated tour in country.

  • CanYouSpellDumbAss (unverified)
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    Does anyone else find humor in the fact that this Lincoln Day fundraiser featuring Sarah Palin will be held on April 23rd? It's like...so Sarah. You betcha! (wink, wink)

  • Jake Leander (unverified)
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    When Republicans work themselves up like this against a Democrat, it's a Ted Kennedy or Hilary Clinton or (now) Barack Obama or Nancy Pelosi-- serious and influential leaders of the Democratic Party who pose a serious threat to gain or control power.

    Perhaps it is because Palin was one election and one heart attack away from controlling the most powerful military the world has ever known.

  • Admiral Naismith (unverified)
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    So they're going to bring in Palin from afar, and bring in an audience from out of town to listen to her, while pissing off the local Republican voting base? That's their plan?

    Maybe now some of you see why Lane County has Democrats holding 4 out of our 4 State Senate seats and 7 out of 8 House seats (we have to share that other one with rural Douglas County), while regualrly delivering large majorities to The Faz and all statewide Democratic candidates.

    Seems to me they could have saved expenses by having the whole event out of town so everyone involved wouldn't have so far to travel, and the locals might not have found out.

    I'm trying to think of a Democratic Party leader--other than the President--who could command that kind of money or attention. John Edwards? No, I'll have to keep thinking . . .

    See, unlike the GOP, we Democrats actually have some locals who could draw a decent following, like Kitzhaber, Blumenauer or DeFazio...but if you're looking for a star attraction from afar, I for one would plunk down the big bucks for a live speech from Al Franken, Ed Schultz, Alan Grayson, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders or Jon Stewart. I doubt I'd be alone...Dennis Kucinich or Michael Moore would have to fill the venue without me, but I bet they could do it in The Yooj.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Jeff, I was arguing politics with one of my Republic friends tonight by email (what you get for talking about "Democrat friends" as if that hasn't been used as a brainless insult for roughly 3 decades).

    Kurt, one of my friends lost a leg in Vietnam and my grandfather was a member of DAV from WWI.

    The Shannons thought the bandages were "funny".

    Not even all the GOP convention organizers were amused.

    And exactly why was Bush a better candidate because that juvenile activity went on at his convention?

    We can refight Vietnam until we are senile, but the truth is that among Vietnam vets the line about "4 factions and a moderator whenever 5 are gathered together " is often true. I did volunteer work with vets in the 1980s and to say they all agreed on everything is a stretch.

    And, do you know of your own personal knowledge that Al French served with John Kerry?

    Swifties deserves to be a slang term, and "swiftboating" deserves to be a verb because of that 2004 campaign.

    There is a famous poll question ranking candidates on a scale of 0-5 by the phrase "cares about people like me, understands my problems".

    The Swifties did not convince everyone who had a friend serving in Vietnam that Bush (who was not a combat vet) was the better candidate, any more than the Bush/Quayle team had the support of every VVA chapter in the country.

    When Sarah Palin says something intelligent, I will say so. But my impression (apologies to Lloyd Bentsen) was that I closely followed Geraldine Ferraro as a VP candidate and Sarah was no Geraldine.

  • LT (unverified)
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    Woops! Jack, not Jeff!

  • steve (unverified)
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    Funny, the Republicans I know readily concede that Ms. Palin is a nitwit. Will she sell out the $250 tickets in Eugene? Or even the $100 seats for the success-impaired set?

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    Yes, April 23 is a strange date. A dinner named in honor of Lincoln taking place on the birth date of Lincoln's predecessor who helped push the country into Civil War. Very good planning.

  • Pedro (unverified)
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    I've never heard a Republican express similar hostility toward Dennis Kucinich or Mike Gravel.

    Thats because republicans are too busy expressing their hostility towards President Obama, anyone named Clinton, Reid, and Pelosi.

    It is my hope that Republicans nominate Stupid Sarah in 2012. She has no appeal except for right wing wackos.

  • The Unrepentant Liberal (unverified)
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    Ah, Sarah Palin. She's all about the money. You know it's God's plan fer her to be getting around to those places in America there and seeing all those wonderful American kind of freedom things and collecting those gigantic large American checks for spreading the words of freedom that Jesus spoke to Adam and Eve and the dinosaurs.

    God bless America.

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    For several year's now, the Lane County Lincoln Day Dinner has been the biggest, most successful in the state. We won't have to ship in out-of-town guests to make this successful--although we often get people from out-of-town and I'm sure we will again.

    We've also changed the date before in order to get speakers that will draw a good crowd. People like Michael Medved, Dick Morris and Fred Barnes. And, yes, we've often had to hit up major donors to help underwrite the costs of these events but most of think it is worth it.

    Back when we held events that every campaign volunteer could afford to attend, they usually didn't and neither did anyone else. There are always people who complain when any organization tries to step up to the next level but the Lane County GOP has come a long way from the days when the only event anyone attended was the annual organizational meeting where the conservatives and moderates fought over who was in control.

  • 72ih (unverified)
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    Let me know what Bill Clinton chareges for a speach,

    [Offensive name-calling removed. -editor.]

  • andy (unverified)
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    Hyperventilate much Carla? That is a large sum, I think I have more than that in my checking account at the moment.

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    Hyperventilate much Carla?

    I'm just tickled to see that you're not getting it.

    Oregon Republican establishment efforts to round up the Tea Party Doggies, becomes exponentially tougher when the most prominent state event features a Tea Party Hero at prices that look pretty "Eiltist" to the fan base.

    So, please, continue to focus your anger on Carla.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Yeah, Andy and co aren't getting it. It's a sign of real rot among the Rep braintrust. That doesn't mean it's good for Dems. It's like if everyone that listens to right wing shout radio got the plague. Nice, convenient, but definitely not good news for progressives.

  • 72IH (unverified)
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    Funny you should remove the name of Nutty Pelosi as I had referred to here as a National Socialist of Party name rather than her first name, but you let anyone and everyone call GW Bush and any conservative what they want. Mostly Sarah Palin. The name calling directed at her and many others is out of hand for the most part, but no edit. Sounds like the offensiveness is more of an opinion same as "fair" being applied to the tax issues. Also terms like "rich" seem to be judgmental. Please be fair in charging something as offensive.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Posted by: 72IH | Jan 22, 2010 7:34:55 PM

    Funny you should remove the name of Nutty Pelosi as I had referred to here as a National Socialist of Party name rather than her first name, but you let anyone and everyone call GW Bush and any conservative what they want.

    I have to admit I'm having trouble parsing that first sentence, but if you're saying that you weren't allowed to say, "Nutty Pelosi", I would agree you have a bone to pick. Since it's in your comments, you either said more, or typepad ate it. Agree?

    I think all politicos get equal name calling here. If I've forgotten to parody someone, please mention it. True, Uncle Earl and Chuck De Man have been excepted, but I think they've earned it.

    Mostly Sarah Palin. The name calling directed at her and many others is out of hand for the most part, but no edit.

    Out of hand? Out of hand?!? I find it inconceivable that you could point me to one attribution of her that is less true than what the far right say about Obama every day. I like your points about hypocrisy. So apply them in the mirror. Think about the jibes that get you your jollies about "Barry Care" or whatever, and think about what is said about Palin, objectively, and tell me that it even begins to approach what you do for fun. (Rereading that, I have definitely watched too much 6th Dr. Who).

    And that's the second point. It ain't fun for us. This is deadly serious. I haven't seen where Shrub's most odious executive orders have been rescinded. This country is separated from totalitarian fascist martial law only by the whim of the President. You need to think long and hard that you would give that power to someone that takes out vendettas on their in-laws using their powers of office.

    Also terms like "rich" seem to be judgmental. Please be fair in charging something as offensive.

    "The rich" are a symptom, not, as you point out, a reality. It means that resources are inequitably distributed. If you are ready to talk about the equitable distribution of wealth, then I think we're quite ready to do so.

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