Middletown residents disappointed to learn they must pay for Biden campaign visit

A Biden campaign fundraising event held at Gov. Phil Murphy’s home in Middletown will cost taxpayers $24,000 for the increased local security needed for the event.

Matt Trapani and Amanda Eustice

Jul 2, 2024, 12:38 AM

Updated 20 days ago

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Some Middletown residents say they are frustrated to learn that their taxes will have to pay for President Joe Biden’s most recent trip to New Jersey.
A Biden campaign fundraising event held at Gov. Phil Murphy’s home in Middletown will cost taxpayers $24,000 for the increased local security needed for the event.
"We've had nothing but, you know, trouble with the trouble with getting down roads, roads being closed. They should've flown him in Naval Weapons Station Earl, and it would've been a lot safer and less burden on all the residents from multiple towns,” says Middletown resident Steve Schweizer.
"It's disgusting, it's terrible. I don't understand why we would have to pay for him to come campaign here to try to gain voters,” says resident Danny Scarbaggio. “I mean that should be budgeted into his campaign. Why would it be costing us money?”
Republican Mayor Tony Perry says that more than 50 police officers worked to close roads and protect the president during his visit. Perry said he wouldn’t mind paying the $24,000 if it was for a governmental visit. He says his residents should not have to pay for a campaign fundraiser.
"I think that anytime a campaign comes through and isn't on official government business there is some responsibility to those for the inconvenience that occurs in terms of traffic,” Perry says. “However I think for a $3.7 million fundraiser, a $23,1855.75 is an easy check to be written."
With the township's budget already set for this year, there is a worry they'll run out of money budgeted for overtime.
"Our police overtime is already well on its way to being spent to protect the residents of Middletown,” says Perry.
Perry points out that when former President Donald Trump held his campaign rally in Wildwood in May, he reimbursed the township. But notes that when Biden was in Middletown in 2022, they never received money, even after requesting it.
The mayor says it remains to be seen if they will get anything.


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