UNLV Students Demand Hillary Clinton Return 'Outrageous' Speaking Fee

Friday, 27 Jun 2014 04:23 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Two student leaders at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas called on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to return the "outrageous" $225,000 fee she will be paid for speaking at the school in October.

"We really appreciate anybody who would come to raise money for the university," Daniel Waqar, the UNLV student government's public relations director, told "Ralston Reports," a local political news program. "But anybody who's being paid $225,000 to come speak, we think that's a little bit outrageous.

"And we'd like Secretary Clinton, respectfully, to gracefully return the money to the university or the foundation," Waqar said.

Elias Benjelloun, the UNLV student body president, agreed.

"When we heard $225,000, we weren't so thrilled," he said. "We would hope that Hillary Clinton commits to higher education ... and returns part or whole of the amount she receives for speaking."

A video of the interview was circulated to news organizations by the Republican Party on Friday. "Ralston Reports" is hosted by Las Vegas political reporter John Ralston.

Story continues below video.

Clinton, who has been under fire recently over controversial statements about her personal wealth, will speak at an Oct. 13 fundraiser for the university's foundation, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

The foundation's board selected Clinton as the keynote speaker and paid $225,000 to the Harry Walker Agency to secure her appearance. She would be appearing on behalf of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a UNLV spokeswoman told the Review-Journal.

Clinton's fee is covered through private sponsorships the foundation obtains for the event.

Tickets to the dinner are $200 each, though tables can be sold to sponsors at higher rates. A $20,000 sponsorship brings a private reception where contributors can have their pictures taken with Clinton and receive autographed copies of her memoir, "Hard Choices."

The likely 2016 Democratic presidential nominee's fee is expected to go to the Clinton foundation, the Review-Journal reports.

University officials and UNLV foundations members declined to appear on Ralston's program to discuss the matter.

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