Follow us:

Politics Northwest

The Seattle Times political team explores national, state and local politics.

July 22, 2014 at 4:32 PM

Medina says it will send former Costco CEO bill for Obama visit

Big checks have been written to attend a Democratic fundraiser Tuesday headlined by President Obama at the Hunts Point home of former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal.

For the privilege, Sinegal may end up writing a big check himself to the City of Medina.

The city has decided to charge Sinegal for the full cost of any city resources used while the president is escorted to and from the area. Hunts Point contracts with the Medina Police Department’s seven-person team for law enforcement.

Medina City Manager Mike Sauerwein said the cost of such a visit varies, but has been as high as $35,000 in the past. Last week, the Medina City Council unanimously reaffirmed an ordinance already on the books that requires the cost of city resources used for private events to be paid by their private sponsors.

“The City Council doesn’t believe the taxpayers should have to pay for something like that,” Sauerwein said Tuesday afternoon, about the same time the president was arrive at Boeing Field to attend two fundraisers, including the one in Hunts Point.

Attendees at the Sinegal event paid $25,000-per-person to benefit the Senate Majority PAC, a super PAC trying to keep Democrats in power in the U.S. Senate

The city manager, who’s been on the job for about six months, said he did not know of any previous cases in which the city billed for such security.

The most recent event similar to this occurred a few weeks ago when former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited the same home for a charity fundraiser, he said. In that case, only about $1,000 worth of city resources were spent.

The costs can go up drastically depending on what the Secret Service requires of their police force, though, Sauerwein said. He did not know how many officers would be used for Obama’s visit.

“Understand that we love hosting events and we think we are one of the most beautiful places in the Puget Sound region — we love to share that with people,” Sauerwein said. “We just don’t think it’s the type of thing taxpayers should have to spend money on.”

Comments | More in Politics Northwest | Topics: fundraiser, Jim Sinegal, Medina


Advertising
The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►