Campaign Costly for Secret Service

Department nees $9.5 million more than budgeted, leaders say
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2008 9:13 AM CDT
Secret Service agents stand guard outside a building while Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama attends a meeting inside in Washington, Wednesday, July 9, 2008.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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(Newser) – The Secret Service has asked for an additional $9.5 million to cover the costs of protecting candidates during this year's campaign—already the longest and costliest in agency history, AP reports. The department had budgeted $107 million, up from $73 million in 2004, but between the marathon primary season, candidates making trips abroad, and the huge crowds Barack Obama draws, it's just not enough.

"I thought we had a very, very good plan in place for the campaign," said the department's director. But "campaigns are different now," as candidates receive protection earlier and take more overseas trips. Extra funds are needed, among other things, to cover Obama's nomination acceptance speech, planned to be held in a 76,000-seat outdoor stadium in Denver.