Dear President Barack Obama: Please pay up.
Springfield Mayor Frank Edwards this week sent a letter asking the president to help see that the city is reimbursed for the expense associated with hosting Obama’s presidential campaign stop in Springfield in the fall of 2008.
“The confusion seems to lie with whether the White House itself or the Secret Service is responsible for the $55,458 payment,” Edwards wrote. “As you know, sometimes only the executive himself can cut through such inter-departmental differences of opinion.”
Obama introduced his running mate, Joe Biden, at the Old Capitol in August 2008. About 160 police officers and nine civilians helped provide protection for Obama’s visit, according to an invoice from the city.
The city usually charges for providing police and fire protection at political events.
“Like you, I understand the importance of keeping police officers on our streets and firefighters in their role as first responders,” Edwards wrote, “and like you, I understand what is involved in being an administrator during tough budget times. I hope you will assist us.”
Obama’s presidential campaign was sent a bill for $68,139. It still owes the city $55,457.
Edwards said given the tough financial times the city is facing, the city is trying to collect all outstanding debts — even one from the president.
“Are we trying to embarrass anybody? Absolutely not,” Edwards said.
By: Deana Poole
Source: State Journal-Register