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Friday, November 21, 2003 - Page updated at 12:00 A.M.

Hunts Point hopes McCaw can help with tab for Bush visit

By Warren Cornwall
Seattle Times Eastside bureau

ELLEN M. BANNER / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Nearly 100 police officers and several hundred protesters were on hand when President Bush attended a fund-raiser at Craig McCaw's Hunts Point home in August.
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Craig McCaw, by all accounts, put on a lavish welcome for President Bush in August, complete with gourmet food and a lakefront setting at the wireless mogul's mansion.

Now he is getting another bill for the fund-raising luncheon at his Hunts Point home.

The town of Hunts Point has sent $21,634 in bills to a McCaw representative, in hopes of getting paid for the added cost of security surrounding the president's visit and accompanying protests.

"The bills came in finally, and we have forwarded them to McCaw interests to see if they can help us collect," said town administrator Jack McKenzie.

The town doesn't expect the McCaw family to pay the bills, McKenzie said. But a McCaw representative in the days leading up to the Bush visit promised to help look for someone who could help pay the tab, which amounts to more than 3 percent of the town's annual operating budget.

"They never pledged to give us money. He said they would help us get the money," McKenzie said. "They've been very cooperative."

A McCaw representative could not be reached for comment yesterday. McKenzie said he sent the bills a week ago to a person connected with the McCaws.

The luncheon raised as much as $1.7 million for the Bush re-election campaign.

It also required a lot of off-duty police officers fueled by sandwiches and coffee. The Redmond, Kirkland, Mercer Island and Medina police departments, which assisted with security, have sent bills totaling $19,293.06 to Hunts Point.

The city of Medina paid $870.11 for sandwiches at a QFC grocery store and $57.66 at a Tully's coffee shop. A tow truck and portable toilets are also on the bill.

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McKenzie previously estimated security could cost the city as much as $50,000. But the city wasn't billed for on-duty officers, only those who worked overtime or weren't usually on duty at that time, he said. The event drew nearly 100 officers and several hundred protesters near the entrance to the town.

Questions about security are a matter for the Secret Service, said Bush campaign spokeswoman Jennifer Millerwise. The Secret Service, which oversees security for the president, has turned down other requests for reimbursement of local jurisdictions during presidential visits.

Warren Cornwall: 206-464-2311 or wcornwall@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2003 The Seattle Times Company

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