Neverending fundraising

Bill Ritter's daily take on the news.

June 14, 2012 1:45:06 PM PDT
Number 166 tonight. That's the number of fundraisers President Obama will have held for his re-election campaign after tonight's visit to his favorite cash register - New York City.

He doesn't stop to be interviewed by reporters - although tonight he is, unlike other fundraising stops in New York, doing some official business before he hears the sound of cha-ching and clinking white wine glasses: He's inspecting the progress of construction on One World Trade Center, the skyscraper that's going up at what was Ground Zero.

We'll have the typical gridlock when any President is in town - but it's especially bad because his appearance in Lower Manhattan coincides with the evening rush hour, and the PATH trains to New Jersey are closed during the President's visit. And you know that will make peeps happy.

By the way, that 166 number is more than twice the number of re-election fundraisers by Mr. Obama's predecessor at this stage in Pres. Bush's first term.

Tonight, Mr. Obama's fundraisers will raise about $4.5 million. The first is in the West Village at the home of the actress Sarah Jessica Parker (the Associated Press calls it "Checks in the City"); the second is at The Plaza hotel, and hosted by Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who made some news when he seemed to criticize the President last month when he said he thought blasting Mitt Romney's work in the world of private equity was the wrong tactic.

The President will leave New York just before midnight (would Air Force One turn into a pumpkin if he didn't?), and we'll have the latest on his visit, tonight after Game Two of the NBA Finals.

We'll also have the latest on the tensions surrounding the indictment of a New York cop for the fatal shooting of unarmed teenager Ramarley Graham. Cops are not usually convicted of crimes when they carry out their daily duties; mistakes and bad judgment are typically not viewed by judges or juries as crimes. Of course, the feds have stepped in with civil rights violations, and civil courts are filled with cases of officer liability in these kinds of cases.

Clearly the NYPD thinks something was fishy with the shoot, because Commissioner Ray Kelly ordered a review of whether training and tactics were sufficient in the unit where the officer, Richard Haste, worked - the street narcotics division. But all that is standard operating procedure in a case that is simply tragic for everyone involved.

Which is why so many people are scratching their heads - and shaking their heads as well - after yesterday's embarrassing display by some cops in court at Haste's arraignment.

They cheered him.


A young kid is dead for the crime of flushing some marijuana down the toilet, his family is grieving, and Officer Haste's brethren are cheering him?

I'm just sayin'.

We'll have reaction, including a march by supporters of the family, tonight after the game.

And two items of note:

San Francisco pitcher Matt Cain threw a perfect game last night - the second of this season. But what caught our attention was the umpire behind home plate: Ted Barrett. He was also the home plate ump for David Cone's perfect game for the Yankees back in 1999. What are the odds?

And with Father's Day this Sunday - and or all those with young kids - and for those thinking of having children - he federal government has a report out today that says a child born last year will cost his or her 'rents nearly a quarter of a million dollars over that kid's first 17 years.

Back in the day, meaning when I was a kid, that figure was $63,000 for the average American child.

Two things come to mind. First, that child isn't being raised in New York City. And, second, my own dad would have had a few choice words for me, calling children "kids." I can hear him saying it now: Children are not goats.

Man oh man, how I wish he were here to let me have it for writing about kids. I miss him every day. I'm consoled mostly by the love I feel for him, and by the love I have for his three grandchildren, who will wish me a Happy Father's Day this Sunday.

The circle goes 'round.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho (in for Sade) and me, tonight after the NBA Finals Game Two.

And one other note: I'll be off tomorrow (Friday); this column will resume on Monday, June 18.


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