Sen. Barack Obama arrives in the Red Bank area Friday evening in the hunt for campaign cash.
He’s sure to find a boatload. A cocktail party at one Middletown location followed by a 7p dinner at the home of popstar Bon Jovi will cost Obama supporters up to $30,800 a head.
Meanwhile, the township is expected to rack up some $14,000 in police overtime to provide security to the Democratic presidential nominee and his backers as they move from the Blossom Cove Road home of Democratic national finance chairman Phil Murphy to chez Bovi two miles east on Navesink River Road, today’s Asbury Park Press reports.
So far, the campaign hasn’t offered to pay those costs, the Press says.
Middletown Police Chief Robert Oches said he estimates the township will spend about $14,000 in police overtime costs to help provide security for Obama. So far, no one from Obama’s camp has offered to pick up the tab, the chief said.
“We’re going to have to shift a considerable amount of personnel,” said Oches, who believes the visit’s security is complicated by the fact that Obama will be in two locations.
Once the bill is tallied, township officials expect to contact the Obama campaign to see if they are willing to pay, Middletown Mayor Gerard Scharfenberger said.
“They’re going to be raising a lot of money,” said Scharfenberger, a Republican. “It’s only fair to not have the taxpayers bear the cost of this.”
Andrew Poag, communications director for Obama’s New Jersey campaign, said he could not comment on whether Middletown would be reimbursed.
As for the impact on traffic:
While Oches does not anticipate that he will shut down Navesink River Road, he expects police will prevent motorists on cross streets from entering the path of Obama’s motorcade in the moments before it passes.
Press reporter Kevin Penton notes that Bojo’s manse has become an obligatory stop kind of like an ATM? for Democratic presidential candidates. Al Gore was there in 2000, and John Kerry stopped by in 2004, Penton says.
Meanwhile. the Republicans have scheduled a a rally in support of GOP nominee Sen. John McCain at Middletown’s Lincroft Inn tonight at 7p, the Press says.