NEWPORT BEACH . (AP) — Newport Beach may call the bill collectors on President Obama's re-election campaign.
Chicago-based Obama for America hasn't coughed up $35,000 for the cost of providing police protection during the president's February fundraiser in Corona del Mar, leaving Newport Beach stuck with the bill, the Orange County Register reported Monday.
According to city policy, parties holding major events in the city are billed for municipal services unless there is a grant or sponsorship to cover the cost. City policy also directs bills unpaid after 120 days to collection agencies.
City spokeswoman Tara Finnigan noted that Mitt Romney's campaign promptly paid a bill of $10,441 for his June fundraiser at the Balboa Bay Club.
The president's visit was costlier because it entailed a higher level of security, she said.
The bill was sent in May and was due in June. City officials also contacted the Democratic National Committee about payment, but the DNC said the Secret Service is responsible for presidential security.
Agency spokesman Max Milien told the Los Angeles Times that it does not have the budget to pay for those expenses.
"We cannot reimburse any agencies," Milien said. "We make that clear from Day 1."
If a city cannot afford to pay for additional police or overtime, the city should inform the Secret Service in advance so assistance from other law enforcement agencies can be requested free of charge, Milien said.
City Manager Doug Kiff said the Police Department did inform the Secret Service ahead of time.
"At that time, our staff was told that the Secret Service would not reimburse the city," Kiff wrote in an email, "and that we should check with the president's campaign or the DNC."