Kari Lake made $75,000 in speaking fees her campaign claimed she doesn’t charge

kari lake

Kari Lake speaking with supporters at a campaign rally at Dillon Precision in Scottsdale, Arizona. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

By Camaron Stevenson

February 2, 2024

Arizona US Senate Candidate Kari Lake reported $75,000 in speaking fees last year, directly contradicting claims by her campaign that she isn’t paid for public speaking.

According to Lake’s Jan. 30 financial disclosure, she received payment for the following speaking arrangements in 2023:

  • $15,000 from Revive California in Lodi, California, on Sept. 19
  • $15,000 from the NE Tarrant Tea Party in Farmers Branch, Texas, on April 13
  • $15,000 from America Upheld California in Pasadena, California, on Sept. 16
  • $10,000 from McKinney Values PAC in McKinney, Texas, on March 16
  • $10,000 from Turning Point Action in Phoenix, Arizona, on March 31
  • $5,000 from the Israel Heritage Foundation in New York, New York, on April 27
  • $5,000 from the Idaho GOP in Meridian, Idaho, on July 28

All of these payments were made before November 2023, when Nebraska State Sen. Julia Slama questioned why her party would hire Lake to speak at their annual fundraiser. In response, the Lake campaign rejected the notion that she was getting paid.

“Kari Lake doesn’t charge a speaking fee,” the Kari Lake War Room posted on Twitter. “She’s donating her time to support your state party, and motivate Nebraskans for 2024.”

Lake’s financial disclosure has proven this declaration to be false. The Copper Courier reached out to Lake for comment but did not receive a response prior to publication.

It’s not uncommon for prominent politicians to receive compensation for speaking at events. In 2023, it was reported that former President Donald Trump had received more than $12 million in speaking fees since leaving office, and Hillary Clinton was frequently criticized for the speaking fees she received.

Politicians like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders have railed against elected officials taking speaking fees, and many—including Lake—make their rejection of speaker fees a point of pride. Her opponents in the US Senate race, Rep. Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix, and Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, I-Ariz., have never reported collecting speaking fees as direct compensation. Arizona’s other Sen. Mark Kelly received roughly $1.8 million in speaking fees before he was elected but has not reported any such compensation since taking office.

Lake also received over $100,000 in wages, $101,237 in book royalties, and a little over $4,000 in revenue from the online video platform Rumble in 2023.

Author

  • Camaron Stevenson

    Camaron is the Founding Editor and Chief Political Correspondent for The Copper Courier, and has worked as a journalist in Phoenix for over a decade. He also teaches multimedia journalism at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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