How much did Obama's visit to Seattle cost taxpayers?

By: John Knicely


KIRO 7 found that while President Barack Obama was raising thousands of dollars for fellow Democrats, Seattle taxpayers were on the hook for more than $150,000 in security costs.

On Nov. 24, Obama made a stop in Seattle to raise money for the Democratic Party. The president attended a dinner at the north Seattle home of Tom Campion, who founded the clothing chain Zumiez. Then, the president visited the Medina home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley. Supporters paid more than $16,000 to be there.

In the fewer than 20 hours Obama was in town, Seattle police officers worked to provide security. Officers worked 2,174 hours, which was mostly overtime. That cost the SPD $144,497.45 in overtime and $153,452.46 total.

KIRO 7 requested the numbers the day the president left town and received them nearly three weeks later. Seattle police told KIRO 7 it will not be reimbursed for any of the expenses.

KIRO 7 found a variety of reactions from Seattle taxpayers.

"You're saying he wasn't here on state business, it was a fundraiser, and it cost the city $150,000?" said Al Rockliffe. "I don't have an answer for that. I don't know if it's right or it's wrong."

"So it's not that big of a deal," said Andy Chow. "If you look at it relatively it's not that big."

"Spending a huge chunk of money without getting anything back specifically for Seattle sounds kind of strange," said Krists Auders.

This presidential visit wasn't the first and won't be the last, and KIRO 7 will continue to track your tax dollars.

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