DECEMBER 30, 2014
Including transportation and security, total cost for the July fundraiser totaled $896,277.80 in taxpayer expenses
(Washington, DC) – Judicial Watch announced today it has obtained records from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security revealing that expenditures for security provided to President Obama on his fundraising visit to Denver, Colorado, on July 8 and 9, 2014, cost taxpayers a total of $200,383.70. The documents came in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed on October 16, 2014 (Judicial Watch v. United States Secret Service (No. 1:14-cv-01732)).
Previous documents released by Judicial Watch from the United States Air Force revealed Obama’s transportation for the trip cost taxpayers $695,894.10. The current total for taxpayers for Obama’s fundraising trip to Denver, Colorado, including security and transportation, is $896,277.80.
According to the newly released documents:
• Transportation for Obama’s security in Denver, Colorado fundraisers cost taxpayers $17,124.10.
• Hotel rooms for Obama’s security detail in Denver, Colorado fundraisers cost taxpayers $183,259.60.
Obama arrived in Denver, Colorado, on July 8 and spent his first night “letting loose” by playing pool and drinking beer, while “face-to-face with a man wearing a horse-head mask,” according to the Associated Press. Obama’s night was spent relaxing in Colorado, during which he was even offered a hit of weed. Obama was sharply criticized by Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) in light of that summer’s border crisis.
Cuellar questioned why Obama would refuse to visit the southwest border of the United States, despite the massive flood of illegal alien children who were swarming into Texas at the time. Cuellar commented, “So, he’s so close to the border. And let me say this. When I saw — and I hate to use the word ‘bizarre,’ but under the circumstances — when he is shown playing pool in Colorado, drinking a beer, and he can’t even go 242 miles to the Texas border?”
The next day Obama spoke at a rally in Denver’s Cheesman Park, where he criticized Republicans and touted a strong economy. The White House billed the event as a policy speech in order to give it the official veneer necessary to bill taxpayers for even a greater portion of Denver fundraising trip. Obama then attended a fundraiser for Senator Mark Udall (D-CO), who opted not attend the event himself. Political candidates, campaigns, and parties reimburse the federal government for only a small portion of the costs of presidential political travel. The Obama White House keeps the formula for such cost-sharing secret.
A recent report by a special panel for the Department of Homeland Security found that the Secret Service “is stretched to and, in many cases, beyond its limits.”
“No one objects to the president having effective security in place when he travels, but the Secret Service is stretched beyond its limits and Obama’s abusive travel practices must be curtailed,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Taxpayers should be informed of the true costs of presidential political fundraising, and it is shameful that we had to sue to get this basic information. This president has become a master at playing politics at taxpayer expense. Judicial Watch intends to continue exposing this abuse – even if it means filing more lawsuits in federal court to get the information.”