For years, local governments rarely questioned paying for police and public works services when a president came to raise money. But some wealthier locales, such as Atherton, get more visits than most.
Town leaders, struggling with shrinking budgets, said they are fed up paying the penalty for being an ATM for politicians.
“When people are paying $32,400 to have a luncheon with the president,” Widmer said, “part of that money could go to pay for police protection that’s required to keep everybody safe.”
Other Bay Area cities have paid even more for presidential fundraising trips: San Francisco police racked up more than $60,000 in overtime in April and Oakland reportedly ended up with a $300,000 bill last year.
The city of Palo Alto, where Obama will attend a private fundraiser Thursday without making any public appearances, has no plans to ask for reimbursement.
“This is something we routinely plan for and our local law enforcement budgets it as part of our normal operating procedures,” Claudia Keith, a spokeswoman for the city of Palo Alto, told KPIX 5 last week.
Neither the Democratic National Committee, the Secret Service, nor the homeowners responded to KPIX 5’s requests for comment.
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