Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is Sandberg applying a double standard?

Councilman Gary Sandberg has been all over the City of Peoria demanding they account for every single nickle of expenses incurred for the Presidential visit by George W. Bush last July. The visit by the President was a fundraiser for the candidacy of Aaron Schock, who is running for the Congressional seat of the 92nd District. Mr. Sandberg feels the city of Peoria should present the Schock campaign a bill for over $32,000, representing expenses incurred by the city to protect the President.

Interestingly enough, in October of 2006, when Barack Obama endorsed Senator Koehler right here in Peoria, not a peep from Mr. Sandberg. Certainly that event required extra police protection and city services, was strictly for the benefit of the campaigns of Democratic candidates and from the looks of things, Sandbergs campaign could have been one them. In fact, I'm wondering if there is anything that would prevent the city from making any new policy retro-active.

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is that the blog father in the background of the picture below:

http://www.peoriamagazines.com/image/obama-endorses-koehler/council-members-van-auken-and-sandberg

Diane Vespa said...

OMG I think it is! Maybe he should get a bill too! Lol!

Jazzbass said...

So how much did it cost our city for the Obama visit? What kind of secret service escort was there? If the city paid money, then I think it was wrong just like I think the Schock thing is wrong.

JB

Diane Vespa said...

JB - the issue at stake here is the principle and precedent, not necessarily the dollar amount. Thanks for your comment!

Jazzbass said...

What if the Obama visit cost the City of Peoria nothing, would your tune change about the double standard? You know, senators do not get the same protection as presidents and since Obama didn't announce his run for president until Feb. 2007, he didn't have secret service detail in October of 2006. I am confused...can you prove this Obama trip costs the city anything?

JB

Cara said...

I'm going to make this point at CJ's blog too, Diane - when Obama came to stump for Koehler - that was an event that was totally free and open to the public. No money was raised - no one asked for any. IT was a public event.

I was there. It appeared that he brought his own security (and it didn't seem like there was much of it).

Main St got blocked off - but that seemed to be because of the huge crowd, more than any kind of security concern (the event was by the Lincoln Statue in front of the county courthouse).

Bush came here for a $500 a plate dinner, that was private and inaccessible to the general public. To raise money.

I think this makes a really HUGE difference.

When Bush was here last year and spoke at Cat, that was also a relatively public event. Nobody was charged anything to get in. Lots of the general public were there, though most of them were Cat employees. And the darn thing was shown on national television. Again, an entirely different situation.

IF not, why does the government demand separate and special accounting for people who are campaigning? They cannot use their congressional or senate monies to spend on re-election campaigns. And in this situation - Schock's campaign had to pay Bush's office for his Air Force one travel and other expenses. If the executive office of the federal government demands reimbursement for travel and security expenses - why shouldn't the City of Peoria?

Gary Sandberg said...

Mrs. Vespa,

If "all over town" is 419 Fulton Street, I'm surprised you are a productive realtor. Look, I received two calls from Peorian's the weekend after thee FUNDRAISER. Both persons were upset with the Public Works trucks. Perhaps you think that it is my responsibility to "blow off" those concerns like your state and federal representives blow off the concerns of people, but my philosophy is to be responsive to citizens. Perhaps that is why unlike you and your candidates for office, I don't have fundraisers and in the last 12 years have spent less than $300 on election ads and another $2500 total on signs. Mrs. Vespa, I am one who beleives it is the offensive money in politics that gets unresponsive,, do nothing but raise money for the next election candidates and feeds the special interest politics of Washington, Springfield and even to Peoria. Apparently, you and your beliefs are contrary to that philosophy.

Now to the Obama event that you have established as the double standard. If you were concerned, maybe you should have contacted your representative or even myself at the time. I have no idea if there was any "security protection", but certainly there probably was some crowd control. I was there as it was the desire that anytime a US Senator is at an event in Peoria, the Peoria City Council should be represented. I have attended three events in that capacity, the largest being that one you describe as my double standard. The other two were events along the riverfront and in both cases, Sen Obama did not even have a police escort, let alone a security detail from PPD and certainly I missed as I did for the Obama/Koehler event, the guantlet of 25-30 tandem trucks that were provided with your tax dollars for security. I also did not see, but apparently you did or your paparazzi did the Fire Department and equipment present. Again there was probably officers present for crowd control which if I would have had a citizen raise the issue I would have gladly pursued those costs, but I guess in my focusing on where were the "lurking tandem trucks" were hiding, I missed the crowd control. OOOOOOppppppppsss ( a realtor term ) it's only your president that needs the protection afforded by 25-30 tandem trucks to protect him from Central Illinois. An NO Mrs. Vespa, W is NOT my president as I am NOT on the US Supreme Court where W was selected. I prefer the more traditional process before money took over the election process, I want to elect my President.

Next time give me a call instead of your republican cronies who are muscle bound because they don't want to piss off anyone or offend a possible contribution in their next $40,000 to $60,000 election for City Council while I reuse my yard signs and as last time spend $0.00.

Anonymous said...

At least the Obama visit was open to the public. It wasn't a private affair.

Diane Vespa said...

Mr. Sandberg, the term "all over the city" was used figuratively as in "all over the city's ass".

I expected many "yeah, but that was different..." posts, so thanks everyone for not letting me down.

The only difference I see is where the decimal point is. I'm sure I wouldn't have wanted my tax dollars going to pay for Mr. Obama to stump for Dems either - wether I could have attended or not.

Someone mentioned the Cat visit by President Bush last year, and said it "didn't count" because that was "open to the public". I would have given my right index finger to go but alas, I didn't know the "right" people. So what IS the difference?

Secondly, you give me WAY too much credit for having rich Republican cronies. Thanks for the accolades, but I beat to my own drum. Although I do tend to think conservatively most of the time some of my views may surprise you. No political party tells me how to think, and that's the way it should be doncha think?

I just happen to disagree with you on this issue. It doesn't make me a despicable bad person or you either. We just disagree, and as you can see from this post, there are two sides to every coin aren't there?

What does surprise me is the level of anger you express to anyone who questions you. Frankly, with that level of beligerance, I'm surprised you have achieved the level of influence you have but whatever. Anyhoo, I think that as a citizen of Peoria, you should also be willing to give my opinion weight as well, without the belittling.

I just happen to feel that you are really walking down a slippery slope here, and if you establish a precedent where anyone who benefits from a visit of someone of extreme importance must pay all the bills related to same, Peoria will see the day when people of extreme importance will no longer come to Peoria...as there are very few entities prepared to deal with the unknown costs of such an event.

Cara, of course I would post your comment, and I thank you for it. Just because a commenter doesn't agree with me does not mean I won't publish that comment. That would be totally no fun!

Only twice have I blocked a comment and that was a result of one being racially charged, and the other was a bully.

Please comment anytime. ;)

Anonymous said...

Diane said: "if you establish a precedent where anyone who benefits from a visit of someone of extreme importance must pay all the bills related to same, Peoria will see the day when people of extreme importance will no longer come to Peoria...as there are very few entities prepared to deal with the unknown costs of such an event."

Particularly when those expenses can be cooked up on a whim from an obviously partisan council person who applies different standards to different political parties.

Anonymous said...

Sanberg is such a seething hypocrite.

He grandstanded at the city council, grilling the police chief like Perry Mason grilling a guilty murderer.

Sandberg sanctimoniously read city code that prohibits all city workers from doing political work on city time. His point was that Peoria police officers and Peoria city workers who helped with security for the Bush event were somehow doing political work which is illegal.

If that is a valid point, then the EXACT same point applies to the police and city crews who closed a PUBLIC street in Peoria and provided protection for Obama and the crowd at his political event.

If it is illegal for Peoria police to provide protection for political events and spend money on protecting political events, then it is illegal no matter what the details of the event are. The only criteria is that both events were political. Both events had a large crowd.

The city code cited by the great demagogue Sandberg doesn't differentiate political rallies vs. fundraisers. City code also doesn't differentiate political events Sandberg attends vs. ones he does not.

Sandberg attended the Obama event on a public street that by design required city workers time and police protection. Now he cops out by saying no one asked him to do an accounting of how much that rally cost the city. HE IS A PUBLIC OFFICIAL WHO OBVIOUSLY BELEIVES CITY CODE PROHIBTS POLICE WORK ON POLITICAL EVENTS AND HE WAS THERE. DID HE NOT SEE THAT A PUBLIC STREET WAS CLOSED? IF HE WANTS TO BE SUCH A STICKER FOR PRINCIPLE AND ABIDING BY HIS INTERPRETATION OF CITY CODE, THEN HE SHOULD HAVE GONE RIGHT BACK TO CITY HALL AND INSISTED THE CITY BILL THE KOEHLER CAMPAIGN FOR THE WORK CITY CREWS DID TO CLOSE THE STREET AND THE POLICING TO PROTECT THE EVENT. ANYTHING LESS IS A DOUBLE STANDARD, SELECTIVE ENFORCEMENT OF CITY CODE AND HYPOSRISY.

Whatever the city spent on closing the street and providing police protection for that political event was not added up. It was a political event to benefit Dave Koehler for Senate. Did the city contribute a comparable sum to Koehler's opponent Ernie Russell??? NOPE.

HYPOCRITE, HYPOCRITE, HYPOCRITE

Raising my kids RIGHT said...

Did someone hack Sandberg's account? What kind of politician actually admits that the President is not HIS President. Are your constituents from a different political party than yours written off with as much alacrity as you write off the President? Although I don't live in Peoria, I do have some democratic representatives in the county I reside in, we have two democratic state senators, and quite possibly we will have a democratic President soon. Although I may disagree with their policies, as an American they will STILL be my elected reps, and if Obama wins he will be MY President, too. To claim otherwise is ludicrously childish at best.

rachal usie said...

Councilman Sandberg is such a divisive ogre and oaf at times.

Anonymous said...

Least we forget the money that President Bush's visit brought to Peoria? Who erected the tents? I am sure local vendors. How about all the caterers who cooked and served the food? Their wallets are definitely thicker as a result of his visit. I am sure there were out of town guests that came and stayed in hotels. Not to mention the wide publicity this event brought the City of Peoria. If you are going to set a precedence, make sure it works both ways.
As for you, Mr. Sandberg, if you spent as much time drumming up business and positive publicity for Peoria as you do throwing tantrums online when someone disagrees with you, we would all be in a much better place! You are an embarrasment to Americans- Democrats and Republicans alike.

An Independent

Renal said...

I used to be a big Sandberg fan...right up until he invoked that whole sour-grapes, moonbat "selected" thing.

Gary Sandberg said...

Check out results of phone call regarding the Koehler event in 2006that I made today. And from what others have seemingly documented, Barack Obama's campaign paid the expenses for the Obama/Biden rally last month to Springfield. And by the way, I wasn't there.

Wait til the pros start linking up campaign disclosure forms with known attendance and photographs taken and you will and can blame that on me also. it's always easiler to shoot the messenger rather than deal with the message.

I've never said they is a difference in the two events because the City and State laws draw no distinction. Call your elected representative if you feel that the Taxpayers should not support extra-ordinary support services, but there are 11 just not me. Don't fault me because a republican previous pro Schock supporter called me the day after the FUNDRAISER upset at what appeared to be the City of Peoria "donating 30 tandem trucks" to the cause and that I followed up after receiving second call on Sunday.

Is your less government candidate ready to poney up?

My email box is filled with people that agree with those first two calls everytime I check and a significant describe themselves as voters that had been leaning toward the republican candidate. Another phone call 4:29 and the callers position was that of the emailers. NO support for ANY POLITICAL events PERIOD.

Diane Vespa said...

I still find it simply amazing that you only experienced this sudden attack of consciousness after the Schock event. You had plenty of opportunity to raise the same objections over the Koehler event as well as several others that you participated in and undoubtedly benefited from, but I guess they were the "right" people as far as you were concerned. Spare me the "I'm doing this for the taxpaying citizens of Peoria". Your transparency is so obvious its getting downright embarrassing.

Theresa McKeown said...

Ditto....Mrs. Vespa! Mr. Sandberg has already embarrassed himself enough on this blog (publically).
Maybe, Fox Network would be interested in reading his liberal ranting and garbage live from New York City. After all, TMZ has featured some of your interesting polls. Fox network might find this story to be very compelling and questionable to say the least!

Mazr said...

"right up until he invoked that whole sour-grapes, moonbat "selected" thing."

Translation: Right up until he accused my side of something wrong.

Mazr said...

"Okay Folks, I called Sen Koehler about his event 2 years ago. The event was requested and coordinated through Peoria County, NOT the City of Peoria because the event was on Peoria County Courthouse grounds. NO police security was provided by City of Peoria, No police escort by City of Peoria, No 25-30 tandem trucks provided by anyone, No Fire Department personnel and equiptment standing in reserve. The only expense that eventually would have been inccurred by the City of Peoria was the eventual closing of Main Street for approximately one hour do to the size of the crowd that developed for the open free event. The closing of the street was a contingency based on the size of the crowd and was coordinated thru Peoria County." Councilman Sandberg on the Peoria Chronicle site.

I guess that answers some questions. But then again, Sandberg must be playing favorites with this info.

Carry on Boy Wonder!!! On to D.C.!!!!

David P. Jordan said...

Keep in mind folks, the levels of security were provided because POTUS was here. A senator or governor wouldn't have rated such.

It's a big event when a sitting POTUS, regardless of party affiliation visits Peoria. keep in mind that some of the extra $$ were expended to provide security will likely return to city coffers in the form of sales taxes. I think it should be left there.

If President Obama visited Peoria in 2010 to help Gary Sandberg raise funds for his race against Rep. Schock, I for one wouldn't complain about what it cost the city.