Report: Clinton Fleeced Foothill-De Anza Community College for 2002 Speech, Softball Interview

Bill Clinton made some diva demands as a six-figure speaker when he left the White House for the lecture circuit, according to newly unearthed records.

For a speaking engagement with Cupertino’s Foothill-De Anza Community College District in 2002, the ex-president refused the going rate of $60,000 per event for world leaders such as Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter. After some back-and-forth, he agreed to at least $100,000 a speech for six events, the Los Angeles Times' Evan Halper reported.

Clinton insisted that same year on taking the 70-mile trek from San Francisco to the Mondavi Center at UC Davis by private jet, forcing the college to find a last-minute donor to cover the expense. He also racked up a $1,400 hotel phone bill and a $700 dinner tab, which his handlers at the Harry Walker Agency called “reasonable expenses.”

Another proviso involved screening questions to avoid mention of political and personal scandals. An organizer of one Bay Area speaker series called the suggested queries “terrible, and terribly general.” Here’s a look at some:

Source: Los Angeles Times

Source: Los Angeles Times

The Republican National Committee obtained the records through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests to gear up for a general election fight against Hillary Clinton.

By their own count, the Clintons have raked in more than $150 million from private speaking engagements since they left the White House in 2001. Bill has made up to $750,000 for a corporate event. Their exorbitant fees and inordinate demands changed the political speech-for-cash game, Times columnist Christina Bellantoni noted in a Sunday political roundup.

In the decade since, the Clintons’ six-figure demands have become standard. Hillary’s honorarium has topped $200,000. And her refusal to release transcripts from corporate events—including three speeches Goldman Sachs paid $675,000 to hear—has become a matter of political contention.

Jennifer Wadsworth is the former news editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley. Follow her on Twitter at @jennwadsworth.


  1. Unless you believe that those who do business with con artists are deserving of sympathy, the Foothill-DeAnza district got the fleecing it had coming.

  2. Could someone interpret the following for me?

    > “It is not who you attend school with, but who controls the school you attend.”
    — Nikki Giovanni, poet and writer

    It’s from the De Anza College, Office of Equity, Social Justice and Multicultural Education web page. (bottom).

    I suspect they’re trying to say something deep and probound, but frankly it just sounds authoritarian to me.

  3. I’m really surprised that SJI would write a negative article about the ‘most evil couple on earth.’ Is it any surprise that Pediphile Billy and Lying Hillary would have it any other way. They use, lie, cheat, and take at every opportunity. She will probably be president, because by and large the American people are stupid (as declared by Jonathan Gruber), and as a result will put us deeper into the fall of the American Empire.

  4. There is a simple solution, don’t pay it. Clearly the Clintons are in demand and are charging based on that demand. No one is forcing you to hire them so if it costs more than you want to pay then don’t.

  5. This article is about nothing. No corruption, no lying, nothing. They got paid by asking and getting money for services they provided. Pretty weak journalism. The framing would have been better stated the other way around. Junior College wastes tax payer dollars on speakers that provide little educational value. Then do a complete analysis of how much money has been spent on speaker engagement fees for the last ten years and an independent analysis of what value that has brought the students vs spending similar amounts on scholarships. Also check to see if Admin staff, Board, etc. received special access to meet the speakers in private VIP rooms, lunches, etc. Now that would be an article worth reading.

    • Actually I was surprised to read an article critical of the Clintons. This is California, where Democrats have ruled for nearly 50 years. It’s kind of refreshing, in a “man bites dog” sort of way.

    • Nothing weak about the journalism here. There may not be corruption or lying, but there is unbridled greed and lack of integrity or caring for the everyday people and the institutions that try to educate them. The Clintons are rich beyond most of their supporters’ dreams, yet they demand blood from a small educational institution turnip. I agree that DeAnza/Foothill should have said “No, thank you” when presented with the monetary expectations and the ridiculously truncated list of scripted questions. Shame on both the Clintons, whose greed seems limitless.

    • This article is not about nothing. There may be no corruption or lying, but there certainly is something to report in the Clintons’ unbridled greed, lack of integrity and dearth of caring for everyday people and the institutions which educate them. I agree that DeAnza/Foothill should have said “No, thank you” when presented with the exorbitant monetary demands and the ridiculously truncated list of PR-approved questions that could be asked. The Clintons’ greed is Brobdingnagian in its scope.

  6. > Another proviso involved screening questions to avoid mention of political and personal scandals.

    What a coincidence!

    I have my staff include the exact same proviso in my speaking contracts.

    It really does help in keeping a squeaky clean public image. No one ever asks me about bimbo eruptions or my personal e-mail server.

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