The U.S. Secret Service has purchased two heavily armored buses for Obama to use in a three day, three state tour. Taxpayers fund the Secret Service. How do these purchases get authorized? Was it authorized? One of the articles linked below says the funds came from “money set aside for transportation and armored vehicles.”
In the past, the Secret Service would lease buses as needed and outfit them with the security and communications equipment.
“We have not been satisfied with the level of protection offered by leased buses,” said a Secret Service official.
Last year, the Secret Service placed an order for two buses with the Hemphill Brothers Coach Company of Whites Creek, Tennessee at a combined cost of $2,191,960.
The buses have lavish interiors and are usually leased to transport stars of the entertainment industry.
The company’s website says its clients have included Beyonce, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Jennifer Lopez, Stevie Wonder, Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Madonna, Jack Nicholson, and Pope Benedict.
Mr. Obama will travel through Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois on the tour. He has four town hall meetings planned, as well as a forum on rural economic issues.
Although the bus trip has the feel of a campaign swing, the White House is billing it as “official.” That means taxpayers pick up all the related costs. When Mr. Obama ventures out on political trips, his campaign or the Democratic National Committee pay a small portion of the cost of presidential travel, as required by the Federal Elections Commission. Source CBS
The Secret Service says these buses will be used for visiting dignitaries as well as the president. Oh…it will also be used by “other officeholders and candidates.” Apparently the Republican presidential nominee WILL get to use one of the buses as we head to November 2012:
One of the buses will be available for use by the Republican presidential candidate as well. And they wouldn’t only be used on the campaign trail — the Secret Service said the multipurpose vehicles be useful whenever a protectee travels into rural areas.
“The reality is that we’re overdue for having this type of protective asset in our fleet,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan told TPM. “We’ve had protectees in buses since at least 1980, Ronald Reagan, Gov. Reagan, was in a bus during the campaign. It’s overdue because designing our own vehicle really gave us a level of security which we don’t get when we lease a bus.”
In the past, the Secret Service has enhanced the security features of buses leased by presidential campaigns, and they say having their own secure buses that can be used during campaign trips just makes more sense.
This gives Democrats a several-months lead time, since Republican primaries and caucus’ cannot commence until February 1, 2012 in a few designated states, with all others prohibited until March 6, 2012. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for August 27, 2012.
Maybe the Republican bus can be painted White. This one does indeed look like a huge beast. It has flashing red and blue lights and sports the latest in security and technology. I wouldn’t want this beast bearing down on me. It looks like a Democrat – demanding and threatening, willing to run over you, dominate and defeat at any cost.
The USleader swept onto the campaign trail Monday with a sleek and even sinister looking set of wheels with blacked out windows worth $1.1 million….