Tag Archives: los angeles times

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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Does the young vote matter?

It’s no secret that the young generation of voters rallied around Barack Obama and helped push him into the presidential spotlight in the 2008 election. Can he count on that vote to carry him through 2012?

The Harvard Institute of Politics conducted a survey of voters ages 18 to 29 to see who they preferred. Obama had 43% of the vote, whereas Romney has 26%. In December, Obama was at 37% and Romney was at 26%.

Obama may still have the young vote in his favor, but he should not consider the presidency in the bag. The LA Times writes about how although young voters favor him, they are also less likely to vote or volunteer for campaigns.

John Della Volpe, polling director for the Harvard Institute of Politics, gives some reasons why the interest in voting may be tapering off. “There were some factors that led people to increase engagement in ’02, ’06, ’08 — Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, not agreeing with Bush, 9/11, and obviously Obama and the use of new tools to mobilize,” explained Della Volpe. Della Volpe went on to say as students focus on getting an education, paying loans and staying afloat, political involvement is not at the forefront of concern anymore.

That is part of the push behind Obama’s current trip. Obama is visiting the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Iowa this week. His main topic? How to keep the costs of college loans down. It’s a popular topic among the young voters, and if Obama’s message is loud and convincing enough, he might motivate some more voters to participate.

The problem Obama is running into? Romney voiced that he agreed with Obama’s focus. This could mean Romney could snatch some voters Obama was counting on. Overall, however, Romney has been focused middle class families.

What do you think? Do Obama and Romney need to fight to gain the young vote? Or will it be a different crowd of people who carry the election this fall?

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