Obama, Please Pay Your $1.74M Party Bill

DNC says its still "looking at" Grant Park rally bill

Friday, Feb 20, 2009  |  Updated 6:51 PM CDT
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Grant Park Crowd Celebrates Historic Election Night


Only 65,000 tickets were made available for the rally in Grant Park, but the city provided Jumbotron screens for thousands of others.

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Forget Something, Mr. President?

The bills have been tabulated for Obama's Election Night part at Grant Park, and so far the city hasn't receive a single dime.
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It was Chicago's proudest moment.

Officials estimated that about 240,000 people gathered for President Barack Obama's victory celebration in Grant Park on Nov. 4, but the costs surrounding the historic event have remained a bone of contention.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday thatthe $1.74 million tab for the party has yet to be paid.

"The Democratic National Committee has net yet paid us," the paper quotes a spokesman for the city's Office of Budget and Management as saying.

In response, Stacie Paxton, a spokeswoman for the DNC, said, "We are sill looking at vairious costs and bills." 

Chicago can't wait, really.  The city is facing a budget crisis, as Mayor Richard Daley said in response to media concerns about the rally's price tag even before the event.

"What is this? He just won for president, and you say, 'He's not gonna pay his bills?'" Daley said last fall. 

"We have a financial crisis," he said in October. "The city of Chicago could not afford $2 million on this because we're gonna be laying off people, cutting back." 

And yet, as the Sun-Times reports, Chicago has yet to recoup the funds. So far, the DNC admits that the cost is theirs, but says it is in discussions with the city about the itemized bill.

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