President Barack Obama is coming under fire for not paying municipal expenses during past campaign events in the all-important swing state. Fiscal officers in both Copley Township and Fairlawn have still not been repaid approximately $50,000 the municipalities spent on police overtime and other related expenses. Akron’s Democratic mayor decided not to bill the president for a recent re-election visit, so the taxpayers footed the $21,304 bill for the 25-minute speech at the John S. Knight Center.
During the stop Joe Biden made in Copley Township when he was a vice presidential hopeful, the municipality incurred $10,549 in expenses. Fiscal officer Janice Marshall sent a bill to Obama for America, but never received a dime in payment, according to Ohio.com
Barack Obama spent the night at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn during a re-election visit this past summer. Fairlawn Assistant Finance Director, Patricia Bertsch, sent a $34,146 bill after the rally, but stated she wasn’t going to hold her breath waiting for repayment.
Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Robart had this to say about candidates paying their Ohio campaign bills:
“I think it’s self-evident. It tells you who is accountable for their deeds and who isn’t, who’s accountable for their actions and who keeps blaming everybody else.”
As a Republican, Mayor Robart likely would never offer much praise for the president, but his review of bill paying practices does give independent Ohio voters something new to consider while watching the upcoming debates.
Prior to hosting a rally at the Falls’ Natatorium, Mitt Romney’s campaign staff contacted local officials, and promised to reimburse the town for any extra expenses they incurred because of the event. Romney’s staff reportedly requested an invoice in advance and noted the bill could be increased if estimated expenses surpassed the stated amount. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie introduced the GOP candidate at the event, according to the Falls News Press.
The final cost of Romney’s rally last week was $7,050, most of the cost was for the venue rental and police officer overtime. The Republican candidate opted not for a luxurious hotel room at the nearby Sheraton Suites, but a bed at the moderately priced Fairfield Inn a little further away. Before departing from the hotel, the presidential hopeful (who carried his own luggage) spent 15 minutes chatting with the mayor and local police and fire chiefs.