As The Stark County Political Report sees it, presidential campaigns—when they come to town—rip off Stark County political subdivision taxpayers (i.e. the county's cities where they appear) in making security/emergency-services-in-the-waiting demands that cost our financially strapped local governments in terms of footing the bill.
In effect, these campaigns—in doing so— exact contributions from many of us who are otherwise unwilling to do so.
So The Report is delighted with North Canton mayor David Held (a Republican) in his having made a stand with the Mitt Romney campaign in 2012 demanding (in the legal sense of he word) reimbursement to the tune of $10,478.76. Also included was a Stark Emergency Management Agency billing in the amount of $4,040.00.
And all the better that Held is making it publicly known that should any of the 2016 presidential campaigns be coming to the North Canton vicinity between today and March 15th (Ohio primary election day) or in the period leading up to the November general election, North Canton will not be providing an such services to political campaign events without UPFRONT payment; Republican or Democrat.
Held recognizes that getting campaign to voluntarily paying cities like North Canton after the fact is not an ideal situation to be in. Hence, he "upfront" factor.
Newport Beach, California was successful in getting the Romney campaign to pay it $10,441 for extra expenses incurred by the city. But not so in the case the Obama campaign to the tune of some $35,000. (LINK)
In 2012, all presidential campaigns together raised some $1.35 Billion.
Of that, the Romney campaign raised $449.9MM.
Nonetheless, Romney's political operatives have refused to reimburse North Canton.
Here are the documents of the back and forth between North Canton officials and Romney campaign officials:
First, a Romney campaign official's letter, which takes the cake for disingenuousness, in which the campaign hides behind the United States Secret Service:
The Romney response was triggered by a letter (2nd document down in the pdf file document insert below)from North Canton head administrator Michael Grimes to the Romney campaign, said letter having been sent out by Grimes on October 31st which was five days after the Romney presidential political event of October 25th using North Canton City School athletic facilities, to wit:
On August 31, 2012, North Canton officials sent a similar demand as a consequence of additional expense that city taxpayers incurred when Romney vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan appeared at Walsh University on August 16th:
In the VP appearance (LINK to SCPR blog on event) the extra footing the bill by North Canton taxpayers came to $606.31.
In 2012, the Romney campaign spent $150MM for campaign ads. (Source for the $150MM LINK)
Now do think that the campaign could have cut just a few of the ads and set aside money to hold the taxpayers of North Canton harmless on bearing the cost of some $11,000 which in some way or fashion meant that some North Canton citizens had to go without some local government services/repairs/capital improvements?
Apparently, presidential campaign stop—at least of the vice president variety—do not have to be a burden on local taxpayers.
The Report is told that Vice President Biden's October 22, 2012 stop at the J. Babe Stern Southwest Community Center cost Canton's taxpayers very little if anything additional in terms of day-in, day-out police, fire and emergency services.
Mayor David Held feels as if North Canton citizens are behind his tough stand on not providing special police, fire and emergency services for political events.
He cites to the SCPR survey feedback in which his administration was commended for trying to get reimbursement for the 2012 Romney events.
The mayor is thrilled to have presidential campaigns come to North Canton but not at taxpayer expense.
With the upcoming Republican National Convention being in Cleveland in July (18th/21st), The Report has reason to believe that the United States Secret Service has reached out to the Canton Regional Special Weapons and Tactic Cooperative Team (SWAT) unit that services Stark County to be in state of readiness should the need arise.
An area media report (LINK) lists the following Stark County policing units (in addition to two Carroll County units) as being part of the SWAT:
- Canal Fulton,
- Jackson Township,
- Lawrence Township,
- Perry Township,
- Stark County sheriff's office
Consequently, provision will have to be made to staff a back up unit to serve Stark County needs during the Republican Convention.
And so, who is going foot the bill for that?
The Report has it on reliable sources that either the United States Secret Service or the Republican National Committee is going to have to pay and that unless an "paid up front" agreement is reached a la the David Held position, it is likely that the Canton Regional SWAT will not accede to the request.
The SCPR applauds local leaders for standing their ground with political parties raising hundreds of millions of dollars in campaign contributions in not allowing these cash rich political juggernauts to use and abuse cash starved Stark County political subdivision communities.