City, Town Want No Part Of Footing Bill For All Extra Security Needed During Visit

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — There was more fallout Thursday from President Barack Obama’s fundraising visit to Connecticut this week. The debate revolves around whether taxpayers should foot the security bill when a candidate comes to raise money.

Officials in Stamford and Westport don’t think so, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

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At a $500-a-plate fund raiser in Stamford this week, Obama thought he got off a good line about Mitt Romney’s tax plan.

“It’s like Robin Hood in reverse. It’s Romney Hood,” the president said.

But while the president was trying to claim his Republican challenger would rob the poor to help the rich, the good denizens of Stamford and Westport, where the president mingled with the likes Anne Hathaway and Harvey Weinstein at a soiree that brought in nearly $40,000 a head, claim it’s the president who is robbing them.

“I don’t think the city of Stamford should pay for the expense. He came here. He should be the one or his management should be the one to take care of it. I don’t think it’s the responsibility to a pay out for his election campaign,” Stamford resident Martin Shapiro said.

Officials in Stamford said they want the president to reimbursement them for the $28,000 it cost for security, including extra police and an ambulance on stand by. Westport officials want $15,000.

Taxpayers CBS 2’s Kramer spoke to on Thursday were divided.

“Stamford has a lot of money that they can use,” one person said.

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“He should pay for his own campaign,” another said.

“I’m a big Obama fan, so it did bother me,” another said.

“Stamford is not responsible,” another resident said.

“That’s the price you pay for civilization. You know he has to be able to promote his agenda,” said Alex Kuzin of Stamford.

“I guess if it’s for campaigning it should come out of his campaign money,” another person said.

Although the Secret Service said it does not reimburse municipalities for security assistance, attempts to make candidates ante up for purely political events are not without precedent. Newport Beach, Calif., sent the president a bill for $35,000 for a February fundraiser, but so far the check is not in the mail.

Local residents were also upset because two beaches in Westport were closed for the day so the president’s helicopter could land, and parts of Interstate 95 in Fairfield County were closed twice.

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Do you think the president should be forced to pay up? Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …