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Dumpster Diving CSU Students Find Discarded Documents About Palin Speech; AG Brown Launches Investigation

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Palin in a Feb. 2010 appearance (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
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Attorney General Jerry Brown has announced he will conduct a "broad investigation" following the revelation that CSU Stanislaus students discovered discarded documents in a campus dumpster that included part of former GOP VP candidate Sarah Palin's contract for an upcoming speaking engagement.But Palin is not the subject of the investigation--rather, it is the California State University Stanislaus Foundation who may be in violation of the California Public Records Act for dumping the documents that pertain to Palin's June 25th $500-a-plate appearance as part of CSU Stanislaus' 50th anniversary gala. Brown's office explains the action:

The expanded inquiry will seek to determine whether the foundation, which has assets of more than $20 million, is spending its money to benefit the campus, as it promises donors, the university and the public. The CSU Stanislaus Foundation spends more than $3 million each year on university endeavors. The Attorney General is asking university officials to preserve foundation documents.

Brown is concerned that the campus is spending money irresponsibly, particularly in light of recent tuition increases and decreased state funding. Although Palin's fee for her speech hasn't been disclosed, the retrieved documents indicate she is to receive 2 first-class airline tickets and 3 luxury hotel suites for her visit, and must have her podium stocked with water bottles and bendable straws, according to the AP. Students were tipped off that the campus was conducting document shredding on a day when the campus was meant to be closed for a furlough day, and retrieved the items from the dumpster. Do we have a potential "Bendy Straw-gate" on our hands here in California?