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“Paying the Cost to be the Boss”

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On B.B. King’s CD of his greatest hits he sings a song entitled “Paying the Cost to be the Boss.”

It refers to him going to work and paying the bills and that gives him the right to be the boss in his house.

Now George Bush is the president of the United States and when he functions in that capacity we pay him to be the boss.

However, when he acts in the capacity of a candidate we should not pay the cost for him to campaign. The taxpayers should not have to contribute to any candidate’s fundraising efforts even if he is the current president of the United States. Political parties aside.

I’m referring to President Bush and Governor Schwarzenegger’s visit to the Inland Empire where Bush raised over $1 million dollars for his upcoming election. He conducted no official business while here.

He met with the Governor elect and not the current Governor Gray Davis at the time. He did not sit and talk with Ron Loveridge, mayor of Riverside, nor Judith Valles, mayor of San Bernardino nor the Board of Supervisors of either county. He did not visit our national forest to see the beetle infested trees which he had been asked to send help for before they burned.

He did not come to ask educators how he might be able to assist with the overcrowding in our schools. He did not come to see how he might be able to help with our overcrowded highways due to an increase in population.

He did not come to inform local elected officials how we might obtain funding to help reduce the number of our teenage population abusing drugs. He did not come to help Black-owned media obtain advertising from the National Drug Abuse Agency which misused over $100 million dollars with no positive results.

He did not come to discuss with local elected officials how the Small Business Administration might be able to help the 3000 Black businesses in Riverside County and over 5000 Black business owners in San Bernardino County obtain access to capital so they can expand their businesses to employ people and reduce our high unemployment rate.

Blacks are the only group in America with rising unemployment figures while every other group is decreasing. Out of over 8000 businesses only 974 list employing employees. This is information given to us by the U. S. Commerce Department. He did not come and talk with health care providers and ask them the status of health care for our seniors and young people in the Inland Empire. He did not come to discuss how the federal government might be able to increase the college going rates of Blacks and Latinos from Riverside and San Bernardino.

He did not come to discuss the status of families with loved-ones in Iraq fighting for freedom. He did not come to inform the religious establishment of how they might participate in his Faith-Based Initiative program. He came for one reason and one reason only and that was to raise money for his re-election. There is nothing wrong with that, I just believe he should pay for all the associated costs that are related to his visit.

If you want to campaign then “pay the bills to be the candidate”. No other elected official from U. S. Senators to local school board members can infringe on their elected position and neither should the president.

Why should the city of Riverside pay out $145,000.00 to assist the President in raising money for his campaign? It is his party that is pushing Union members to not contribute to their unions if they don’t have a say on how their money is spent; now they want the cities to spend taxpayers money to help him raise money to campaign.

The city should send the bill to his campaign office and let them decide if they are going to pay or not. I’m sure the city is not going to ask democrats, independents and others if they mind spending their money on partisan political campaigns. Other cities have billed Presidential candidates for their campaign related expenses.

This president has over $100 million dollars in his campaign fund, why shouldn’t he cover the cost to campaign. He has so much money that he is not going to request matching funds from the federal political fund this year.

From a Black business point of view, we also want to know how much will he spend with the Black community during his campaign? How many staff members will be Black? How many ads will he buy in Black-owned newspapers and magazines? How many ad spots will he buy from Black owned radio stations?

Now I know BB King was talking to his wife in the song, but his point was that he was paying his way, so he has the right to say and do certain things. Now in your case, Mr. President as President we pay you to be the Boss but as a candidate you pay to play.

Like BB King said, “You have to pay the cost to be the Boss”. “ Bush you have to pay the bill to stay on the hill.”

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