Here's how much financial trouble Barack Obama's presidential campaign appears to be in:
He's stiffing the California city of Newport Beach $35,000 for extra security costs incurred when the campaigner-in-chief held a fundraiser in the oceanfront community early this year.
The bill is already nearly two months overdue. The Democratic National Committee and Secret Service are giving the city the old "Talk to them, No, talk to them" routine that would immediately get any real business operation on the Better Business Bureau's "Do Not Hire Again" list.
The Democratic organization, which pulled in more than a million dollars at the February event, told City Manager Dave Kiff to talk to the Secret Service. The Secret Service told Kiff that it only handles security. never extra costs associated with added local police expenses such as motorcycle escorts, road closures, overpass guards and freeway ramp blocks.
"Had this been a 'business trip' — if the president came to Newport Beach to talk about one of his policies with our residents," Kiff explained to City Council members, "the city would not have sent an invoice."
Kiff says he'd just like the matter to go away, that Newport Beach is honored to have any president visit. However, this was a large private political fundraising event with local residents excluded.
According to standard city policy, if the Chicago Democrat's May bill remains unpaid after 120 days, it will be turned over to a collection agency. Which shouldn't have much trouble tracking the campaign down, given all the flashing lights and extra security surrounding Obama's fundraisers every other day. The Deficit King is down in Florida again today.