Snort: CCSD says it’s totally cool Obama didn’t pay his campaign bill for four years

Victor Joecks

Yesterday, the Las Vegas Sun ran a story on Presidential campaigns reimbursing (or not) the Clark County School District for events held in CCSD buildings.

There were three things I loved about this story. First, it contains much of the same information as this Nevada Journal story, written by reporter Karen Gray, that came out … two months ago.

Second, reporter Tovin Lapan buries this nugget in the middle of the story.

In 2008, Obama was in Las Vegas frequently for his campaign and racked up a bill of over $53,000 with the Clark County School District for seven events, two of which were large rallies with more than 15,000 attendees at Bonanza and Coronado high schools that occupied the schools for entire weekends, according to the School District.

The Obama campaign paid about half the bill at the time but left a significant portion unpaid, (CCSD spokeswoman Amanda) Fulkerson said. The campaign paid the balance this year.

Yes, you read that right. At the same time Obama wanted to spend more taxpayer dollars on education, the Obama campaign took four years to pay its bill to a school district that cries poverty at every opportunity.

Of course, if you read Nevada Journal, you knew about that two months ago.

Third, this quote from Fulkerson justifying the Obama campaign’s four-year delay in paying its bill is hilarious.

“During the 2008 campaign, the Obama campaign used quite a bit of our facilities, and the campaign team at the time incurred the charges as opposed to paying them upfront. With the dissolution of the campaign, there were outstanding fees. We were in contact with their people, and we are a government entity that is used to things happening slowly, so it was not extremely concerning. The new bill eventually got paid,” Fulkerson said. (Emphasis added.)

If being four years late on a bill is “not extremely concerning” to CCSD, let’s see what happens to an average citizen who is even 4 months late paying his property tax.

In her story, Karen digs through Fulkerson’s spin and shows how CCSD violated its own policies to benefit Obama.

However, CCSD’s official written policy, number 3613 R (see page 16 (C) and (D)), requires that after receiving the budget department’s notification of all direct and indirect costs, the accounting department will create a detailed estimate, which “… must be paid before the event can be scheduled.” (Emphasis added)

“All fees must be paid to the Accounting Department,” states another section, “before the event can be listed on the master schedule.”

However, in contradiction of this written policy, CCSD invoiced the Obama campaign after the events. Additionally, those invoices were not even created until weeks after the district had received payment from the campaign.

Why are CCSD officials protecting the Obama campaign? Does covering for Obama have anything to do with CCSD’s recent decision to apply for Race to the Top dollars after saying earlier this summer that Race to the Top wasn’t worth the federal strings?

I don’t know, but CCSD officials have violated their own policies in order to benefit the Obama campaign.