Those wishing to see how much President Barack Obama’s recent fundraising trip to SF cost our city are going to have to live in wonder, it seems. Despite an initiative passed last year requiring an itemized list of expenses for dignitary protection, SFPD refuses to reveal any information on their latest work protecting and serving Obama.
The Ex’s public records request for the cost of SFPD’s presidential security work was rebuffed by the police department, which said that disclosing that information “could reveal too much information about the number of officers who provide security for dignitaries.”
The Secret Service appears less worried about keeping those numbers under wraps, with a spokesperson telling the Ex that if local police wants to comment on costs, well, “that’s up to them.”
Proposition E, which “would amend the San Francisco Administrative Code to require the Police Department to include a line item for its expenditures on security for City officials and for dignitaries visiting San Francisco,” was passed by SF voters in 2010. Next fiscal year will be the first one to feature that line item.
Obama’s campaign team reportedly reimburses security costs for trips that are for fundraising purposes. Obama attended two San Francisco fundraisers, a high-priced dinner at the residence of Salesforce.com owner Marc Benioff and a breakfast fundraiser at the St. Regis Hotel. Given the fact that from that less-than-24-hour trip Obama stands to make around $3 million for his reelection campaign, it may be money well spent.
He also held two public events in which the security would be paid for with taxpayer dollars, a meeting at the Palo Alto headquarters of Facebook and a public event at the Nob Hill Masonic Theater. It’s unclear how much was paid publicly and how much was paid for by the campaign, though a single Obama event in Wisconsin reportedly cost Madison police and fire departments $185,543, and a 2009 Madison event cost the city $117,000.