Sunday, February 22, 2009

Deadbeats of the day: Obama and the DNC

“Shared sacrifice” apparently means shafting your hometown and letting your victory day celebration bills go unpaid. What happened to “We must all pay?”

The deadbeat fish rots from the head down. Via Sun-Times:

Chicago has yet to recoup the $1.74 million cost of President Obama’s victory celebration in Grant Park — despite a burgeoning $50.5 million budget shortfall that threatens more layoffs and union concessions.

“The Democratic National Committee has not yet paid us,” Peter Scales, a spokesman for the city’s Office of Budget and Management, said Thursday after questions from the Chicago Sun-Times. “We’re reaching out to them this week.”

Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the Obama-controlled DNC, explained the reimbursement delay by saying, “We are still looking at various costs and bills.” She would not say whether parts of the bill are disputed.

The city spent $1 million on police protection for the rally. The Office of Emergency Management and Communications racked up more than $120,000 in expenses, including $19,500 paid to police official Neil Sullivan to quarterback election night logistics.

In late October, Mayor Daley assured that the cash-flush Obama campaign would reimburse the city for every penny spent on the rally. “We have a financial crisis,” he said at the time. “The City of Chicago could not afford $2 million on this because we’re gonna be laying off people, cutting back. That [cost] would really be unfortunate. . . . It’s a huge cost to the City of Chicago.

“This is not a presidential visit. . . . This is a political event, and they’ve agreed to pay for all those services — all the expenses of that. … It’s costly, but they raised quite a bit of money. There’s no [shortage] of money in that campaign.”

Here’s how the S-T broke out the bill:

Police $1 million
Emergency Management and Communications Office $121,578
Fire Department $85,965
Streets and Sanitation $71,694
Transportation $49,659
Cultural Affairs $2,567
Environment $2,309
CTA $201,500
Chicago Park District $202,440
(Park District breakdown):
Giant video boards $68,900
Electrical $37,185
Sound $37,500
Stagehands $29,850
Portable toilets $12,500
Security $7,505
Stage rental $6,000
Bike racks, barricades $2,000
Heavy equipment $1,000
Total bill $1,737,712

Personal responsibility for thee, but not for He.

From Michelle Malkin


BARACK OBAMA spent a record $760 million getting himself elected president. But his campaign, Obama for America, still owes Philadelphia nearly $24,000 for several pre-election events, and the cash-strapped city hasn’t given up its collection efforts.

The most expensive event was an Oct. 4 rally on the Parkway, featuring Bruce Springsteen. The city’s expenses came to $9,050, including sound systems, lighting, platforms, bleachers and clean-up costs.

There were smaller charges for a series of Obama appearances on Oct. 11, at Progress Plaza, the Mayfair Diner and Vernon Park, and $3,666 for a Joe Biden rally at Marconi Plaza the day before the election.

Mechelle Sabb, special-event coordinator in the Managing Director’s Office, said the bills remain unpaid in spite of a December letter sent to Obama headquarters in Chicago, warning that non-payment could jeopardize his welcome at future events in Philadelphia or Fairmount Park.

Calls to the White House press office were referred to Democratic National Committee, which sent Clout back to the White House. No one would talk on the record, but one source said the campaign would quickly write a check to cover the charges.

Philadelphia Daily News