Iowa Patch Poll: Who Should Pay the Costs for Political Campaign Stops?
Frequent campaign stops can rack up bills for communities playing host to political candidates, such as President Barack Obama or GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Who should pay?
Campaign stops add up, and so do the bills for the cities and states playing host: security, traffic control, disruption of city services.
Some communities are trying to bill the campaigns. On Tuesday, the city council in Portsmouth, NH, voted 5-4 to bill the campaigns for President Barack Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney for any extra fees from campaign stops between now and the General Election. Selectmen in Windham, NH, debated sending the $5,000-plus bill for a stop last month to the Obama campaign, but decided against it.
Newport Beach, CA billed the Obama campaign $35,000 for security services rendered, and later $10,000 to the Romney camp for keeping the peace and closing streets. Meanwhile, last month, the DNC refused to reimburse $14,000 to Westport, CT, for expenses from an Obama stop.
Iowa communities have hosted Obama and Romney, and their surrogates, dozens of times this year. Just Friday, Obama was in Iowa City with VP Joe Biden and their spouses. The same day Romney descended on Orange City.
Is it worth the price for front-row seats to presidential politics, or should the campaigns dip into their multimillion-dollar war chests to pay their way?