Portland concerned about GOP debate costs

Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:54 PM
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PORTLAND, Ore., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The mayor of Portland, Ore., says he's concerned about the security costs the city will incur as part of a planned Republican presidential debate set for March.

Mayor Sam Adams said he's trying to persuade the Oregon Republican Party and Oregon Public Broadcasting -- which plans to televise the debate from its downtown studios -- to move the debate to a venue close to the airport to reduce the number of police needed for security, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Wednesday.

"The costs are real," said Adams, noting police overtime costs have already gone $1.5 million over budget chiefly because of the Occupied Portland encampment and protests.

"I don't know what else to say. We just don't have the budget for this."

Oregon Republican Chairman Allen Alley said he was disappointed Adams wasn't supporting an event that could bring national attention to Portland.

"We thought we were doing something good for the city, good for Oregon," Alley said. "We actually thought the mayor would welcome something like this."

Alley and Steve Bass, president of Oregon Public Broadcasting, both said they would to go ahead with the debate in spite of the mayor's concerns.

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