CAMPAIGN NOTEBOOK Candidates' visits to Rochester costly
From staff reports
Candidates' visits to Rochester in the 2004 presidential campaign have cost the city government nearly $90,000, none of which will be reimbursed.
The cost report, issued Thursday by city administration, outlines in broad terms the costs the city has incurred for each of the five visits.
President George Bush visited Rochester twice, as did his opponent, John Kerry. Vice President Dick Cheney visited one time.
For each visit, the city provided police and fire protection and used trucks and barricades from the Public Works Department to secure the campaign sites.
The costs are assessed against each department's budget. If, by year's end, those unforeseen costs leave a department unable to meet its budgeted obligations, the difference will be taken from the city's contingency fund, said City Administrator Steve Kvenvold.
"I hope no more (candidates) are coming," he said.
Bush's visits accounted for more than half of the city costs, or $51,609. Cheney's visit cost the city $9,083.
Kerry's two visits cost the city $28,844. Police-related costs for Kerry's visit Wednesday have not been fully tabulated, so the city is using a $15,000 estimate.
In all, the visits cost the city $89,536.
By department, the police department incurred costs totaling $53,999. The fire department's costs have been $9,508. Public works' costs have been $26,029.
The doctor is in
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist was in Rochester on Thursday as part of the political courtship of voters from southeastern Minnesota. Frist heard Mayo Clinic doctors urge various reforms to make health care more affordable. Frist was also at Mayo to highlight what he considered the shortcomings of Sen. John Kerry's health care proposals, calling it a plan that would increase the role of government and interfere with the doctor-patient relationship.
Nader makes a push
Supporters of presidential candidate Ralph Nader were in the area Thursday distributing literature.