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Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Hospital, in his office in Baltimore, Md., in a 2013 NYT photograph.
We know that getting a few words out of Hillary Clinton, a likely 2016 presidential candidate, can cost a group somewhere in the range of $300,000.
Dr. Ben Carson isn’t that expensive, but $43,000 for a night’s work is still a chunk of change. Even for a neurosurgeon.
That’s what Valdosta State University is paying Carson for a Sept. 11 appearance – billed as a non-partisan fundraiser, but attracting quite a lot of attention from GOP types.
We know all of this because Mark George, a former sociology lecturer at VSU, sent us the documents. He was concerned that Carson’s political inclinations – statements regarding gay marriage, the Affordable Care Act, etc. – might harm VSU’s reputation. George obtained a copy of the Carson contract through an Open Records Act request.
But university officialdom doesn’t seem concerned. VSU President William McKinney himself signed the contract.
Hosts are being required to put up $5,000. Tables at the dinner are going for $2,500, and a ticket to Carson’s speech – “America the Beautiful: Rediscovering what made this nation great” – will cost you $20.
Two seats have been reserved for Gov. Nathan Deal – complimentary, we presume. And the head of minority recruitment for the Georgia GOP has reserved 20 seats.
As for the contract, Carson doesn’t appear to have any aversion to brown M&Ms. But the contract did require Carson to avoid performances within a 50-mile radius of Valdosta for the two months leading up to the event.