[See UPDATE below]
By JOHN T. WARD
A campaign fundraiser at which pop star Jon Bon Jovi “serenaded” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was held in Red Bank Monday night because Middletown balked at providing police protection for the event at the pop star’s mansion, according to a report.
The conservative Washington Free Beacon claimed Wednesday that the township refused to staff the event at Bon Jovi’s Navesink River Road home because he hasn’t ponied up for $14,000 in police overtime expenses still owed for security provided for a 2008 fundraiser held there for then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama.
From the report, whose headline calls Bon Jovi a “deadbeat rock star:”
“These campaigns are leaving Middletown with hundred of thousands in campaign donations,” Middletown Committeeman Tony Fiore said. “Traffic control and security is part of the cost of the event. Middletown taxpayers will not subsidize candidates of either Party.”
When asked about the security situation, an official at the Middletown Police Department told the Washington Free Beacon to contact the town of Red Bank. An employee at the Molly Pitcher Inn told Free Beacon there was indeed security at the event, but Red Bank’s Police Chief was not available to comment whether RBPD provided officers for the fundraiser.
Red Bank Chief Darren McConnell told redbankgreen Wednesday afternoon that he was referring inquiries on the matter to the Secret Service.
Bon Jovi “serenely serenaded” Clinton at the $1,000-a-head event, which grossed about $500,000, according to PolitickerNJ.[UPDATE, July 2, 2015: Two readers have challenged an aspect of the Beacon report: that the Clinton event was held in Red Bank “because” of the flap over unpaid police overtime. Art Gallagher, publisher of MoreMonmouthMusings.com, tells redbankgreen that the Beacon article “twisted” his June 29 report, in which he wrote that “there has been no request from Bon Jovi for police presence and no confirmation that the Clinton fundraiser will take place in” Middletown, and cited Mayor Stephanie Murray as his source. Additionally, Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal tells redbankgreen that the June 29 Clinton fundraiser “was scheduled in Red Bank since day 1.” Gallagher adds, however, that “no one has disputed that Middletown was stuck with a $14,000 police overtime bill from the 2008 Obama event on the Bon Jovi estate.” Gallagher wrote on June 29 that the township “requested reimbursement from the rocker, but didn’t have a prayer to collect.”]