JUST BILL IT TO THE PUB­LIC

The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

Yes, there are num­bers to jus­tify why Repub­li­cans get cranky about Pres­i­dent OBama’s fre­quent fundrais­ing for the Demo­cratic Party when tax payer funds help fa­cil­i­tate the glit­ter­ing events. We know that Mr Obama has hosted almost 400 po­lit­i­cal fundrais­ers since tak­ing of­fi­cer. We also know that Air Force One costs $228,288 an hour to op­er­ate, par­tic­u­larly for those West Coast events — just like the up­com­ing Oc­to­ber 9 gala in the Hol­ly­wood home of Gwyneth Pal­trow - which marks the 19th time the pres­i­dent has jour­neyed to Los An­ge­les for some cam­paign cash. Now comes another ex­am­ple.

The cost to stage Mr. Oba­mas re­cent 18-minute speech be­fore cam­ou­flage-clad troops at McDill Air Force Bases — drap­ing, sound sys­tem and so forth - was $94,360, ac­cord­ing to Air Force records. Per­haps a bull­horn would have had more im­pact, but no mat­ter. The fee went to a group called Elite Pro­duc­tions — this ac­cord­ing to ea­gle-eyed El­iz­a­beth Har­ring­ton, a re­porter for the Wash­ing­ton Bea­con, who fig­ures the brief event cost $5,242.22 per minute.

“The Air Force jus­ti­fied the cost for the stag­ing for Obama’s speech in the MacDill gym­na­sium due to ‘un­usual and com­pelling ur­gency.’ ac­cord­ing to the con­tract, Ms Har­ring­ton says, adding that the pro­duc­tion company is a White House fa­vorite.

Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­ter for Re­spon­sive Pol­i­tics, Mr. Obama’s 2012 re­elec­tion cam­paign paid the company $2,221,713, she adds.

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