Oct 24, 2012 5:58 PM GMT
Springfield’s budget director says the city is out of options to be reimbursed for expenses associated with hosting then-Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign stop in the fall of 2008.
“Short of suing the campaign, which isn’t really going to do anything — it would drag on forever — there’s really nothing we can do,” said Bill McCarty. “We’ve tried.”
Obama introduced his running mate, Joe Biden, at the Old State 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.
Obama’s presidential campaign was sent a bill for $68,139, but still owes $55,457.
The city has tried for years to collect.
There’s been debate over who is responsible for the bill — the White House, the Secret Service or the campaign.
When Ward 1 Ald. Frank Edwards was mayor, he wrote the president asking for his help.
“As you know, sometimes only the executive himself can cut through such inter-departmental differences of opinion,” Edwards wrote in March 2011.
The letter didn’t help, either.
“At some point, you have to dedicate your time and resources to something that’s going to get you somewhere,” McCarty said. “Spending our time and resources on the campaign have gotten us nowhere.”