In the midst of the media hysteria, driven by the left's jealous outrage over Sarah Pain's speaker's fee, Anna Tinsley at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram provides a Texas perspective:
Organizers for the future Uptown Women's Center in Dallas wanted a big draw for their one and only fundraiser for a new health and wellness resource center for North Texas women.The organizers of the Dallas event, like their counterparts at the CSU Stanislaus Foundation, are prohibited by the terms of her Washington Speakers Bureau contract from disclosing the exact amount they will be paying Gov. Palin to speak.
They were able to land one of the hottest speakers on the circuit: former Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin, whose calendar is already booked for the whole year.
"She's a very popular draw," said Carolyn Cline, executive director of the Downtown Pregnancy Center in Dallas, which is working to develop the uptown center. "Our phones are ringing off the walls.
"There's a huge buzz about her coming. We believe we'll have standing room only."
Tickets for the April 30 dinner with Palin, believed to be the former Alaska governor's only Dallas appearance this year, are selling for $1,000. Two tickets to a VIP reception with Palin and the dinner are selling for $25,000.
That the former vice presidential candidate commands the reported six-figure fees reserved, some claim, for former presidents and vice presidents drives leftists and their media mouthpieces up the wall. How dare that woman not just demand -- but actually get -- the same kind of money that Bill Clinton and Al Gore routinely get paid (without controversy) for making public appearances? Why, there should be a law against such a thing! Never mind that some athletes and actors, whose contributions to society are at best debatable, get the same kind of money for showing up somewhere and sometimes even saying a few words.
Is Sarah Palin worth that kind of money? Even a casual glance at our unofficial Sarah Palin events calendar says "You betcha!" If an event organizer provides her with a large enough venue, Sarah Palin has proven that she can easily sell upwards of 10,000 tickets. Do the math. Even selling the cheap seats can raise some serious cash. Even at a modest $25 a ticket, selling 10,000 of them yields a gross of a quarter of a million dollars. If the Dallas event is a sellout, which is all but guaranteed, it could raise nearly $2 million:
"Of course $100,000 is outrageous, but it's not out of line with what other people are getting," said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor at Texas Christian University. "When you are in the promotion business, you've got to spend the money for the headliner to draw people to your function. When you think of the cost of things these days, $100,000 is not a huge investment."Consider this: Sarah Palin drew 16,000 people, mostly women, to a Friday event in Louisville which last year drew only 5,000. But even in a smaller venue, she helps to stuff the coffers with cash. Saturday in small-town Washington, Illinois she drew 1,100. The Peoria Journal Star reported:
Some speakers at TCU may be paid $60,000 to $80,000.
Palin... has proven to have a broad appeal.
Reports show since she resigned her job as Alaska's governor last year, she has earned $12 million through TV and book deals and speaking fees, including $100,000 for some speeches.
"Very few others get individual paydays at that rate," said Cal Jillson, a political science professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. "No other governor in the country, except maybe Arnold Schwarzenegger, could command a speaker's fee like that now.
Some 420 banquet/speech tickets sold for $200. The 560 speech-only tickets were $75 for balcony and $100 for main floor. Private reception tickets cost $2,500. Three balcony tickets (Row AA, seats 206 to 208) for the speech were being offered Wednesday on eBay for $600. A speech ticket was offered for $100 through an ad in the Journal Star classifieds.That's somewhere in the neighborhood of $125,000 to $140,000 just from the sale of the speech-only tickers. It's enough to pay Gov. Palin's speakers fee with a substantial wad of cash left over for other expenses. Five Points hasn't disclosed how many private reception tickets were sold at $2,500 each, but if they managed to sell only a hundred of them, that would have brought in a quarter of a million dollars for the scholarship fund and community center capital fund. Not bad for a town with a population of 13,000.
No matter what amount event organizers are paying Sarah Palin to speak, she's worth every dollar -- and then some.