In at least one town, it costs up to $30k to add extra police, fire, and so on for a Presidential visit. Those hosting towns generally suck up and pay those costs when the President comes a-calling on official business, but who pays when it’s a purely campaign visit?
Durham, NH, says the President’s campaign team should pony up. The city government’s press release said
Community leaders do not believe that costs associated with the campaign should be borne by local taxpayers.
And Town Manager Todd Selig added
Community leaders have taken the position that the campaign, regardless of party affiliation, should absorb the added local public safety costs rather than local taxpayers.
A carefully anonymous Obama campaign official told CBSBoston,
The campaign will follow all rules and pay for the portion of travel that relates to political events, as has been true for previous incumbent presidential candidates.
Frankly, this just sounds like more Obama weasel words to put another fund-raiser on the taxpayer’s nickel. Entirely.
It’s moot for now, though: Selig said on Sunday that an anonymous donor—who Selig says insists that the town is doing the right thing by declining to pay for a campaign stop—has donated $20k to the town for the incremental costs related to the President’s campaign stop.