Obama Stiffs Illinois Capital $55,000 for 2008 Campaign Event

By:  Michael Tennant
10/25/2012
       
Obama Stiffs Illinois Capital $55,000 for 2008 Campaign Event

As of September 30, President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign had raised over $560 million and had $99 million on hand. Yet the campaign still refuses to reimburse the city of Springfield, Illinois $55,457 for a 2008 campaign event held there. And after four years of trying to wring the cash out of Obama, the city is throwing in the towel.

As of September 30, President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign had raised over $560 million and had $99 million on hand. Yet the campaign still refuses to reimburse the city of Springfield, Illinois, $55,457 for a 2008 campaign event held there. And after four years of trying to wring the cash out of Obama, the city is throwing in the towel.

“Short of suing the campaign, which isn’t really going to do anything — it would drag on forever — there’s really nothing we can do,” Springfield budget director Bill McCarty told the State Journal-Register. “We’ve tried.”

In August 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama introduced his running mate, then-Sen. Joe Biden, at an appearance at the Old State Capitol in Springfield. The city provided nine civilians and 160 police officers to facilitate and secure the event, at a total cost of $68,139, for which it billed the Obama campaign. The campaign paid just $12,682 of that tab, leaving taxpayers in the Illinois capital to foot the rest of it.

Ever since, the city has tried unsuccessfully to collect the outstanding debt. Alderman Frank Edwards, who briefly served as mayor following the death of Mayor Timothy Davlin in late 2010, told Chicago’s WLS radio that “the Obama campaign has given him and other Springfield officials the runaround when they have asked to be paid what is owed.”

Indeed, part of the reason the bill remains unpaid is that no one seems willing to accept responsibility for it — a familiar refrain in Washington. When asked about the bill, an Obama campaign spokesman told WLS to talk to the Secret Service, which in turn denied responsibility for “pay[ing] for police overtime associated with protective visits.” It has also been suggested that the White House itself may be responsible for the bill.

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Photo: The Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois: AP Images via Wikipedia

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