Mayor Daley says the city cannot pay the enormous cost of security and other city services for the giant Obama rally in Grant Park on Election Night, and fully expects the senator's campaign to pick up the tab, which he says they have agreed to do.
The mayor estimated the cost to be at least $2 million, which will include cleanup and the enormous process of securing not only the park, but also guaranteeing the security of buildings along Michigan Avenue and the CTA lines coming into downtown.
The Obama campaign said it is working to minimize the impact on the city.
"The campaign is working closely with the City of Chicago to secure necessary permits to hold an Election Night event in Grant Park. In addition to the normal permit fees paid for park rentals, the campaign is already making arrangements to assure that City resources are not used to clean-up the park following the event. The campaign is also paying for substantial private security and EMS services to limit the need for City services surrounding the event. We look forward to a successful event," Spokesman Justin DeJong said in a statement.
But the mayor made clear that the city will expect the Obama forces to pick up every cent, noting the city faces a financial crisis, which is already forcing him to lay off workers. Asked if he was against having the Obama rally in Grant Park, he laughed. "Could you see me saying 'No' to Sen. Obama? Give me a break. I'm not that dumb."