Can we afford a visit from the President?
Portland should decline the presidential visit on August 21 because we cannot afford to provide security. We need to save our taxpayer-funded security dollars for emergencies or official state business. Bush Regional Chairwoman, Molly Bordonaro, states the purpose of the visit to be "there will be a fund-raising component. Beyond that, it hasn't been determined."
When President Bush came to Portland to fundraise for Republican Senator Gordon Smith and raised over $1,000,000 for a lunch, the security costs to our city and county exceeded $200,000 - at a time when we were discussing which schools to close.
It is unconscionable for the republican re-elect campaign to insist that our bankrupted city foot the bill for the president or any other candidate to raise money for their campaigns and party.
It should not be overlooked that the leader of the free world scheduled a fundraising visit to Portland without having an official purpose under the color of his office for which to justify the trip. Is it reasonable to believe that an official purpose will materialize for this trip? Or will Ms. Bardonaro to come up with one eventually? The Republican Party should pay for this strictly campaign-related visit or our bankrupted city should decline the visit. (Campaign contributors can simply mail their checks to Mr. Bush).
Is this what my 2003 property tax increase is going to be used for? When I voted YES for the increase, I believed it was to help make up for federal funding that was slashed because of federal tax cuts to the top 1% (who will no doubt be contributing to Mr. Bush's campaign). The journey of taxpayer money is becoming more circular all the time.
***NOTE: this is my LTE to the Oregonian; I hope they print it!