Should Obama foot the bill?

If a politician makes a visit that that ensues extra costs for the town or city where the function was held, should that politician pay the bill for the extra costs? That is the current debate on the table in sunny southern California.

 President Barack Obama visited Newport Beach in Orange County, California back in February. The visit drew a need for extra police officers and reserve officers in the city and the cost rang up a bill of $35,043.04. That bill has been forwarded to the Obama for America Campaign to be paid off.

According to the Huffington Post, City Manager Dave Kiff released this written statement:

“I think it is appropriate to treat it like a private event — if another private event that large and which required that much police presence occurred, we would bill the event sponsor … If the president was here on presidential business, we likely would not have billed for that.”

Kiff also included in his statement, however, that having Obama visit the city was an honor. Some residents agreed that Obama needed to foot the bill. In that same article, resident Scott Mason said “I don’t care what the political party is … I am not in the President’s party. If you are using the public sector to support fund-raising … you have to pay for that.” Mason lives on the same street the fundraiser was held on.

According to the NY Daily Times, during the event Obama held a breakfast with wealthy donors. It was one of several stops made in a California on a fundraising trip. The Los Angeles Times reported that the breakfast was held at the home of Jeff and Nancy Stack. To gain entrance the ticket was $2,500 a person. Additional opportunities included a $10,000 photo reception and a $35,800 “greet and breakfast” option.

The bill dated May 10 and due June 9, was sent to Obama’s office in Chicago. There has been no response yet to the bill.

Some argue that Obama is being sent this bill due to the fact that he is a Democrat. Registered Republicans outweigh Democrats in the city three to one, making the right wing influence in the area very strong. Other complaints include that no other politician has been given a similar bill when their visits drew costs for the city.

How do you weigh in? Do you think Obama should pay the costs he racked up in his visit? Or do you think Obama is being targeted due to his political affiliation?

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6 thoughts on “Should Obama foot the bill?

  1. Kelly says:

    I think that in this case Obama was probably targeted due to his political afflliation. Either way it will set a precedent if that bill is acknowledged and paid. If it is, all candidates should be billed by all local jurisdictions for any costs their visits incur while campaigning. It would probably alter the campaigning calendar of all political candidates.

    • Thank you for your comment. I will be very interested to see if this changes anything in future campaigns. Whichever way it is going to be (the candidate paying the bill or the jurisdiction), I agree it would be best when a precedent is set and followed.

  2. Corey says:

    If I recall correctly, the same was made of Virginia State Police having to be on hand for an Obama event somewhere in the Commonwealth not that long ago. Who was supposed to foot the bill? The taxpayers said no and so did the VSP for the extra security that was needed. I think that political candidates should have to foot the bill, whether they are governors or presidents or campaigning. That is unless private PAC’s can foot that bill instead. Taxpayers and the community should not hold the burden of paying for their security details. I believe that’s the most fair way to do that.

    • Thank you for your comment. I wonder, do you think anything changes about the fact that this was held at a private home? Does the couple who agreed to host the event and thus invite Obama and others into that community take any responsibility?

  3. Juls says:

    Definitely should be paid by Obama’s PAC. This is Obama as Candidate, not as President. How about other expense to GET him and his entourage to California? Air Force I?To have his entourage stay and eat and have its shoes shined in California? I would rather he was at the White House doing his job, than in California stumping at taxpayer expense.

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