Monday, July 30, 2012

Flashback: Obama campaign refused to pay city of Springfield for 2008 campaign event

The city of Newport Beach, California says it may seek out the assistance of a collection agency to retrieve $35,000 the Obama campaign owes the city for providing police protection during a February, 2012 fund-raising event:
The bill was sent in May and was due in June. The city recently emailed the campaign a reminder.

The Democratic National Committee told the city about three weeks ago to deal with the Secret Service. However, [Secret Service] agency spokesman Max Milien [said] that it won't pay.

Councilwoman Leslie Daigle says the city intends to apply its usual policies and send the bill to collections.

Officials also note that Mitt Romney's campaign promptly paid a bill of $10,441 for his June fundraiser.
Earlier this year, NBC Chicago reported that the Obama campaign refused to pay the city of Springfield, Illinois $55,000 for the cost of providing police protection during a 2008 campaign event.
On August 23, 2008 the Obama campaign rolled through central Illinois to announce Joe Biden as its Vice Presidential running mate...

Before the event could begin, the city of Springfield had work to do, said Alderman Frank Edwards.

“There are a lot of things that they asked for,” Edwards said. “Extra police, move things. You’ve got to have this A to Z and we provided that.”

The event went off without a hitch. Obama moved on to Denver [and] got his party’s nomination...

But back in Springfield there remains one piece of unfinished business: an unpaid bill for $55,480.

“What they refused to pay was the $55,000 associated with police overtime for extra security,” said city Budget Director William McCarty...

On March 10, 2011 Alderman Edwards wrote the White House and the president “…to request your help.”

This latest round of appeals began, Edwards says, when he was going through a list of unpaid bills...

"I got to looking thru the list and here’s a bill that pops up, its $55,000,” Edwards said in an interview. “And we go why isn’t this paid.”

“They contacted the DNC. They contacted the Obama campaign,” he said but no one wanted to pay. “That’s when the finger pointing began because the Obama campaign said we are a private organization, we are not responsible for the security.”

To try and cut through the clutter Edwards asked the President to intercede: “…sometimes only the executive himself can cut through such inter-departmental differences of opinion,” he wrote in last year’s letter. There was no immediate response.

On November 15, 2011, Teal Baker, the Deputy COO of Obama for America, replied the Obama team wasn’t responsible for security or other costs.

This week a campaign officials said: “Presidential campaigns are not responsible for security costs.”

If a question persists Teal Baker wrote: “…we assume it should be directed to the U.S. Secret Service.”

Springfield officials contacted a local representative of the Secret Service but McCarty says they didn’t get too far, telling them: “We don’t pay bills out of here, you’ll need to contact Washington.

Springfield officials say there is a serious side to the debate about the bill. Like many American cities Springfield is in a terrible budget crunch and last week there were 13 laying offs.

“Fact is $55,000 is enough to cover the salary and benefits of one of those employees for a year,” McCarty said.

The Obama 2012 campaign declined to be interviewed but a official reiterated on background without attribution that the campaign does not pay for police overtime...

“I mean it all comes back to common sense,” said Edwards. “If you are asking for something to be done and you know it cost money then you ought to be prepared to pay for it. It’s that simple.”
Sadly, Mr. Edwards fails to comprehend the truth:

Whether it's the $800 billion dollar "porkulus" package or a $55,000 campaign event, ultimately it is the taxpayers who must foot the bill for Obama's reckless spending sprees.

P.S. It is unclear whether the NBC report had the desired effect, and whether the Obama campaign eventually reimbursed the city of Springfield for the $55,000 in expenditures.


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