The Campaign Spot

Who Pays When the President Campaigns in a Small Town?

Today President Obama holds a campaign event in Durham, New Hampshire. The cost to the town in police and fire overtime expenses are estimated to be $20,000 to $30,000. There are 10,345 residents in Durham, according to the last census, meaning the cost for this one event would be roughly $2-$3 per person.

Durham lawmakers, including town-council chairman Jay Gooze (a Democrat), asked the Obama campaign to cover some of those costs; the campaign declined, contending that as a private organization they do not participate in security or traffic-control planning. They referred the inquiry to the Secret Service.

An anonymous local resident has offered to pay those costs, but there’s a question of whether this would amount to an in-kind donation to the campaign.

Here’s how it’s playing on television in the region:


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