Kent Conrad Will Earn $20,000 – $50,000 On Public Speaking Tour


The headline says Conrad will earn something in that price range for public speaking gigs now that his Senate career is (thankfully) over, but it seems unlikely to this observer that anyone would pay that much to Conrad say dry, obvious things about the nation’s finances.

Conrad was a regular guest on the cable talk shows about fiscal matters, and most recently the “fiscal cliff,” but let’s be honest. In reality Conrad was an outsider to those negotiations. At the end of his career, he was irrelevant.

Anyway, according to his booking page on the Leading Authorities website (LA apparently has an exclusive contract to book Conrad’s services) Conrad will earn the following rates for speaking appearances:

Local Fee Range
$20,001.00 to $30,000.00

West Coast Fee Range
$25,001.00 to $50,000.00

East Coast Fee Range
$25,001.00 to $50,000.00

So what area is defined by the “local fee range?” It’s not the upper midwest region, that’s for sure. According to the website, Conrad travels from Washington DC. Meaning that if anyone was holding out hope that Senator Conrad would be returning to live in North Dakota now that his time in Washington is up, they can disabuse themselves of that notion now.

I mean, nobody really thought Conrad was going to move into that apartment in a 4-plex in Bismarck he was claiming as his official residence, did they?

Which is an interesting contrast with other leaders who have served North Dakota. Former Governor Ed Schafer went to Washington DC to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush administration. When his service was up, he came back to live and work in North Dakota. Former Senator Mark Andrews also returned to North Dakota to live and work after he left the Senate. Former Congressman Rick Berg, who lost his bid to serve in the Senate, has returned to North Dakota after serving a term in the House where, he told me, he plans on getting involved in investment opportunities in the state.

By contrast, Senators Dorgan and Conrad, as well as Rep. Earl Pomeroy, all now live outside of North Dakota now that their terms are up.

That speaks volumes, I think.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

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  • kevindf

    Gaylord will now ring up the cash register for all those political favors he has done over the years.

  • kent

    The reality is “his people” did not come and listen to him when it was free. Last spring at the Dem convention in Grand Forks, Bill Clinton who gets six figures to speak, drew maybe a thousand people (delegates included). This I don’t believe was a paid event for Bill. For what its worth, Bill is worth taking the time to go hear speak. I believe Kent Spoke the same day as Bill. To be fair, Ed does charge a fee to speak outside of ND, but its a minimal amount compared to these amounts.

    • Rob

      To be clear, I don’t begrudge anyone their speaking fees. Willing sellers and willing buyers.

      I just can’t imagine Conrad truly commanding these sort of prices.

      • kent

        Nor do I, I am all for him making money, my point, we “his ND people” could have heard him all the time for free in ND, and the turn out was not good. So I don’t know who would pay him $50k for a speech. For what? What did he do? It’s not like he came up with a change the world approach to government spending, he was a part of the problem.,

  • Dakotacyr

    So are you saying that his wife should quit her job and give uonher career because Conrad is no longer a senator and move back to North Dakota? Yiu’re not being sexist are you?

    • kevindf

      Is being a lobbyist and collecting a pension considered a “career?”

    • JJ

      Let’s see just how long Lucy’s lobbying job will last now that Conrad is no longer a Senator. Bet she will be retiring soon.

    • Hal736

      I thought Conman Conrad was from North Dakota? Why would he have to move back? The Senate is not in session that often throughout the year. Where did he really reside?

  • Yogibare

    Hey folks, let us count our blessings: Kent Comrade is now on his own dime as he fleeces another segment of the populace. Well, he will draw a handsome retirment check from us the taxpayers for his years of “sacrifice” in his public service.

    Jeez, it hurts to even say that.

  • Randy G

    Typo? Looks like too many zero’s on those fees for a dull, worn out liar.

  • somebodysomewhere

    Unbelievable! The guy’s not worth his weight in gold. What a waste of money!

  • borborygmi

    “Former Governor Ed Schafer went to Washington DC to serve as Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush administration. When his service was up, he came back to live and work in North Dakota.” you forgot and became a shill for the oil companies, oops too strong , spokesman for the oil companies and as compensation a seat on the board, stock, salary from Continental Resources. After he championed a tax cut or simplification and saving the state from the Oil Companies abandoning ND oil (a roll of the eyes is in order ).
    As far as Conrad why would you pay good money to hear him speak? A fool and his money is indeed so parted.