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Presidential hit and run: Time to cut off the ATM


President Obama’s latest fundraising foray to the Seattle area is drawing plenty of criticism, especially the timing.

Between the shooting down of a Malaysian jetliner in Ukraine and the ongoing crisis in Israel that saw the grounding of U.S. flight to the country Tuesday because of rocket fire, many including KIRO Radio’s Ron Upshaw think the president should be focusing on the work at hand.

And Ron says if he’s going to come to Washington, the least he could do is make some brief public comments, especially with the state battling the largest wildfire in its history. Instead, he blew in for two separate fundraisers and was gone five hours later.

“To me, it’s sort of like flipping the bird out of the window,” Ron says. “I don’t care what’s going on in your state, I’m just going to go get some money.”

Obama did meet with Governor Inslee on the way to the first fundraiser, where they reportedly discussed the wildfires raging across the state.

But KIRO Radio’s Don O’Neill says enough is enough.

“I get sick and tired of politicians treating us like ATM Machine,” Don says. “I think the people over on the Eastside that propagate this should be ashamed of themselves when you’re giving a man $32,400 for a plate of garbage so he can turn around and just fill the campaign coffers.”

While wealthy donors weren’t hesitating to cut checks to the Democratic party, the host of President Obama’s Hunts Point fundraiser will be paying even more for the visit.

The City of Medina, which contracts to provide police services to Hunts Point, says it will now charge for costs associated with high profile visits.

“The City Council doesn’t believe the taxpayers should have to pay for something like that,” says Medina City Manager Mike Sauerwein.

That means former Costco CEO Jim Sinegal will be getting a bill, which has been as high as $35,000 in past presidential visits, Sauerwein says.

“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 tells KIRO Radio. “We just don’t think it’s the type of thing taxpayers should have to spend money on.”

As for Ron and Don, they’d just as soon see all presidential fundraising junkets come to an end.
Don argues the president should be limited to just one six-year term and not be allowed to take part in any fundraisers (good luck with that.)

“Your job is to steer the United States in the right direction,” Don says. “It doesn’t even seem like he’s paying attention.”

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