Iowa State Balked at Pawlenty's $25K Speaking Fee

In this Saturday, Aug, 13, 2001, file photo Republican presidential candidate and former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty waves to supporters after he spoke at the Republican Party's Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa. In Iowa on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2011, in a private conference call with supporters Pawlenty disclosed his plans to drop out of the race. Shortly after on On ABC's "This Week" he said, "I wish it would have been different. But obviously the pathway forward for me doesn't really exist so we are going to end the campaign." (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

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By Rachel Begle

AMES, Iowa (AP) - It would've cost big bucks to get Tim Pawlenty to return to Ames, where his presidential campaign ended in 2011 after a poor finish at the Iowa Straw Poll.

Emails released by Iowa State University show its Harkin Institute of Public Policy wanted Pawlenty to come speak this year about Iowa's leadoff role in the presidential nominating process.

Pawlenty's agent told school officials his speaking fee was $25,000 plus expenses. Institute director Dave Peterson wrote that fee was "well beyond" what the institute could afford, but started asking others whether they could "cobble together enough" university funds from elsewhere.

The idea was dropped after lectures program director Pat Miller objected to the payment. Miller argued the university has long claimed "Iowans don't pay for politicians," given the state's first-in-the-nation caucuses.

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