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University balks at Pawlenty's $25,000 speaking fee

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Stung by a disappointing finish in the Iowa Straw Poll in Ames in 2011, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty became one of the first contenders to drop out of the presidential race.

Well over a year later, he wasn't eager to return to Ames – unless Iowa State University's Harkin Institute of Public Policy could pay him a $25,000 speaking fee, plus expenses, the Associated Press reported.

The institute had hoped that Pawlenty, now president and CEO of Financial Services Roundtable, a Washington, D.C.-based lobby group, would speak at an event about Iowa's leadoff role in the presidential nominating process.

But the school declined to pay the fee. Lectures program director Pat Miller said the university believes "Iowans don't pay for politicians."

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