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The Prez Campaigning In Washington State On Taypayer Dollars?

President Obama Departs White House
(Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The recent three day swing through California, Colorado and Washington State by President Obama included town halls at a high school in Denver, and one in Silicon Valley.  Two official visits.  However, it included SEVEN fundraising campaign stops that netted about 8 million for his re-election campaign.

According to CNN’s Bianna Keilar, who followed the trip on a Cable News Network blog, the ENTIRE trip was paid for by taxpayer dollars.  When you consider Presidential travel, it came to several million dollars.  Here’s the catch:  it is completely legal.   If the President is on ‘official’ business, then what he does in addition is prohibited by law.  According to Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union, the Democratic National Committee (or GOP if it’s a Republican) only reimburses a few hundred thousand dollars of the trip to the ‘taxpayers.’  A White House spokesman declined to say how the DNC and Obama’s administration devided the cost, due to what they called “security reasons”…huh?  However, other administrations have also refused such disclosure for the same reason.  This is NOT something new, but critics have noted that the percentage of fund raisers Obama attends is far greater than previous presidents when it comes to mixing them with official business on Presidential trips.  The National Taxpayers Union has done previous research on Obama presidential trips.

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