City, Perriello spokesman collude to promote campaign “public relations”
The campaign of Democrat Congressman Tom Perriello owes Charlottesville city taxpayers at least $15,178.22 according to documents recently obtained by The Schilling Show Blog and News.
A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of the city reveals that the Charlottesville Police Department spent 459.5 overtime hours (at an average of $33.27/hr) in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s October 29 visit here in support of Perriello’s campaign.
Not referenced in documentation provided by the city are fire and rescue overtime costs, which previously had been cited as additional potential expense to Charlottesville taxpayers.
The $15k debt is 500% higher than the advance cost estimate provided by city spokesman Ric Barrick as reported in the October 28 Daily Progress:
Barrick said he expects the cost for the event to the city to be in the range of $3,000, principally for overtime.
The question of reimbursement appears to have been initiated not from within Charlottesville City Hall but rather through an inquiry from an NBC 29 reporter (Henry Graff):
From: Jessica Barba [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Thursday, October 28, 2010 01:10 PM
To: Barrick, Ric; Ann Kingston <email@example.com>
Cc: Kristie Greco <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Questions about taxpayer-funded resources
Hey Ric and Ann,
I have a question from NBC29 about how much taxpayer-funded resources are being used for the President’s visit and whether or not the campaign is reimbursing. I honestly don’t know how this works so hoping you can give me some guidance and also to make sure we’re all on the same page so we can give same message to reporters.
Ric, also need to ask you if we can rent lighting equipment for our election night party at Siips. Can you touch base with my colleague Kristie on that? (cc’ed and at 703-598-2349) [sic]
Perriello for Congress
Acquired documents also indicate Ric Barrick’s unwillingness to request reimbursement from the Perriello campaign on behalf of Charlottesville taxpayers, deferring instead to campaign goodwill:
From: “Barrick, Ric” <BARRICK@charlottesville.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Oct 2010 14:20:42 -0400
Subject: Re: Questions about taxpayer-funded resources
We will not be formally asking for reimbursement from the campaign. However, if the campagn wanted to reimburse us for normal Pavilion event costs, it may be a good pr effort and we would accept. I will call mr Graff. Thanks. [sic] [Emphasis added]
Notably, Barrick’s collusion with Perriello representative, Jessica Barba, is focused on obtaining good “pr” for the Congressman’s campaign rather than on expense recovery for Charlottesville taxpayers.
Written communications provided by the City in response to the original FOIA request did not indicate Charlottesville’s receipt of payment from the Perriello campaign, or issuance of a final invoice to the Perriello campaign, as of 5:50 PM on November 5.
Click image to view the full Charlottesville Police Department overtime worksheet (names redacted by the Charlottesville City Attorney):
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I understand how Rob feels. If Sarah Palin came to town and cost the city $15,000, it would turn my stomach too. Still, Charlottesville is an overwhelmingly Democratic city, and by Secret Service estimates there were 12,000 people in the Pavilion or wishing they were, and that figure only includes the people who actually came downtown, not the ones who stayed away because they knew they’d arrive too late to get in. So it’s a pretty good guess that most city residents are happy to foot the bill.
And of course Rob naturally makes no mention of what Bush’s visit to Monticello in 2008 cost the county. According to Channel 29 News, it was $23,000.
In regards to the objection that Obama merely came to campaign, unlike Bush, who came to . . . what?, most Democrats in the area – most of the people who came to the rally – had already decided to vote for Perriello. The rally was much more than just a campaign stop to them, and to others who couldn’t make it but were excited to watch on TV. It was what the Schilling Show claims to be, a community celebration.
More to the point, while Bush didn’t come to campaign, he didn’t come to carry out the duties of his office either. He invited himself, bumping Ken Burns, and far fewer people were able to see him than saw Obama. His visit had a ceremonial function befitting a president, but it wasn’t a necessary one. Obama’s too, had a befitting function, that of a supporting a legislator who could help him govern, something every president, Democrat or Republican does, and rightly so.
Many thanks to the Tea Party for bringing Obama to town, and kudos to the Perriello campaign for paying for it!
But Ken, Who is John Galt? (hint the Tea Party!)
These people need to pay for their own campaign parties.