Obama Campaign Still Paying the Bills From 2008

Helen Whalen Cohen

7/14/2012 7:43:00 PM - Helen Whalen Cohen

In 2008, Obama For America made use of plenty of campaign spots. This week the Nevada Journal reports that several local governments are having trouble getting the campaign to pick up the tab for campaign stops-in 2008. Taxpayers have been on the hook for thousands of dollars in campaign expenses for four years.

 

As the President crisscrosses the country in his bid for re-election, holding campaign rallies and fundraisers in towns and cities across America, local governments keep attempting — andfailing — to get his campaign to pay its event-related expenses.

In Las Vegas, however, taxpayers — who for nearly four years had been on the hook for about $25,000 — finally received some reimbursement late last month.

It was — coincidentally enough — on the very day that the Clark County School District finally released to Nevada Journal district invoices and other public records for the Obama campaign’s 2008 use of district facilities.

When now-President Obama was merely candidate Obama, Nevada was a swing-vote state and a political battleground. Candidate Obama flew in and out of Las Vegas often, holding political rallies at local high schools — and leaving unpaid expenses behind.

Now, all around the country, something quite similar is going on.

This is a long article, but definitely worth a read in full. The campaign has ignored several requests for reimbursement in different cities, and even flat out refused requests. When officials in Durham, NH asked the campaign to $20,000-$30,000 in safety expenses, they received the following reply:

As a private organization, OFA does not participate in security or traffic control planning. All such decisions, including their impact on costs incurred by federal, state or local governments, are exclusively within the control of the appropriate government officials.  Should there be a question about the allocation of expenses among the cooperating authorities, we assume that it should be directed to the U.S. Secret Service.

Interestingly, it wasn't until newspapers started reporting on this that the campaign began to repay its expenses.