Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Edwards Charged $55k to Talk About Poverty

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, who as a Democratic presidential candidate recently proposed an educational policy that urged "every financial barrier" be removed for American kids who want to go to college, has been going to college himself -- as a high paid speaker, his financial records show.

The candidate charged a whopping $55,000 to speak at to a crowd of 1,787 the taxpayer-funded University of California at Davis on Jan. 9, 2006 last year, Joe Martin, the public relations officer for the campus' Mondavi Center confirmed Monday.

That amount -- which comes to about $31 a person in the audience -- included Edwards' travel and airfare, and was the highest speaking fee in the nine appearances he made before colleges and universities last year, according to his financial records.

The earnings -- though made before Edwards was a declared Democratic presidential candidate -- could hand ammunition to his competition for the Democratic presidential nomination. The candidate -- who was then the head of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina -- chose to speak on "Poverty, the great moral issue facing America," as his $55,000 topic at UC Davis.

That could cause both parents and students to note some irony here: UC Davis -- like the rest of the public University of California system -- will get hit this year by a 7 percent tuition increase that likely hits many of the kids his speeches are aimed at helping.


In 2006, records show Edwards made more than $285,000 speaking to nine colleges and universities, charging between $16,000 and Davis' $55,000 for his talks...

Not only is this a great demonstration of Edwards' well-known hypocrisy, it also is a reminder of the waste that drives up college costs. UC Davis could never have raised the $55,000 by asking for donations from attendees, so they taxed the rest of the student body to pay for it.

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