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Tea Party Palin.JPGHas Sarah Palin's California visit caused a stir in the Golden State?

You betcha!

The 2008 GOP vice presidential nominee will take the stage tonight at a fundraiser at California State University, Stanislaus.

The university was dogged with questions over how much former Alaska governor is being paid to speak at the gala. Officials said that because the event is being put on by a nonprofit foundation associated with the university, the speaking contract is not subject to disclosure under the state public records laws.

The push to release the payment details (and the push-back from the university) involved Dumpster diving and allegations about good, old document shredding.

The visit by Palin, a darling of conservatives and the tea party crowd, was highly criticized by Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco, who is pushing a bill to include foundations connected to public universities under the Public Records Act. The bill, SB 330, passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee this week.

Expect to hear noise about the visit from the state Democratic Party, which has already pounced on Palin's primary endorsement of GOP Senate hopeful Carly Fiorina, casting it as a liability in the general election.

But, as the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday, Fiorina is still "very honored and pleased" to have the endorsement.

Apparently not honored enough to host a joint campaign event. Fiorina's campaign said this week that the candidate will not be appearing with Palin at the speech or on the campaign trail.

BIRTHDAY: Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, R-San Luis Obispo, turns 55 today. We have a feeling he'll use his birthday candles to wish that he squeaks out a win in the 15th Senate District special primary.

PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Palin addresses attendees at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., Saturday, Feb. 6, 2010. (AP Photo/ Ed Reinke)


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