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Sunny Christmas: First Family and Dog Bo to Leave Cold DC for $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation

BY MALIA ZIMMERMAN - KAILUA, Hawaii – The now familiar signs that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, daughters Sasha and Malia and First Dog Bo will be arriving in Hawaii for Christmas are appearing in the close knit beachside community on Oahu’s windward side.

Coast Guard officials have contacted boat owners in the area to remind them the canal and popular surf spot fronting the private beachfront homes where the President will vacation beginning Friday are off limits for 17 days. The Coast Guard also has released information on the temporary security zone that will be enforced from  6 a.m. on Friday to 10 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2014.

Black SUVs and government issued vans are parked along the street fronting homes now occupied by the U.S. Secret Service, Navy SEALs and Coast Guard.

By the time the President arrives, concrete blockades and security will bar direct entrance to Kailuana Place where the President stays. Coast Guard on armed boats will patrol the canal and ocean. All airlines will be barred from flying over the island.

The First Family has spent every Christmas since the President was first elected in 2008 in Kailua, a community built around stunning white sands and turquoise seas of Kailua beach that boasts fiery sunrises over the Mokulua Islands.

The First Family is a two-minute drive from Kaneohe Bay and the Marine Corps Base Hawaii, where they can access private beaches, a military gym and bowling alley, and five minutes from a variety of restaurants, stores and water sports rental shops in quaint Kailua town.

Obama is popular in Hawaii, however, there are people critical of the cost to taxpayers and the inconvenience the President's presence causes.

Sunrise over Kailua's Mokulua Islands

The President and his friends pay for the private home accommodations that rent for $25,000 per week, however taxpayers – both federal and county - pick up the majority of the bill for the rest of the trip.

Michael Tasselmyer of the National Taxpayers Union Foundation, estimates the 18-hour roundtrip aboard Air Force One, which he said costs $179,750 per hour for flight and operation, will total $3,235,500 for the roundtrip. A Congressional Research Service report released in May 2012 matches that figure.

There are reports the President might also stop on the island of Maui, a 30-minute flight from Oahu, which would add additional expense.

The cost for USAF C-17 cargo aircraft that transports the Presidential limos, helicopters and other support equipment to Hawaii has never been disclosed, but the roundtrip flight time between Andrews Air Force Base and Hawaii is 21.5 hours, with estimated operating cost of $12,000 per hour. (Source: GAO report, updated by C-17 crew member).

The U.S. Marine Corps provides a presidential helicopter, along with pilots and support crews for the test flights, which travel on another C-17 flightThat is $258,000, not including costs for the 4-to-6-member crew's per diem and hotel.

U.S. Secret Service, Navy Seals and Coast Guard rent homes along the canal and ocean for $250 per room per night, according to residents renting their homes. Real estate source said the delegation rents at least 7 homes in the area, and arrive ahead of the President, costing taxpayers more than $183,750 for the length of the visit.

Moana Surfrider

White House staff who do not stay in Kailua secure hotel rooms at the posh Moana Surfrider, A Westin Resort & Spa on Waikiki Beach. Hotel rooms typically rent for $670 a night, but the hotel offers discounted government rates for about $255 per night, according to hotel public relations manager Diana Su. The hotel does not disclose information about The White House visit. However, estimating prices for room, as well as Transient Accommodation Tax and General Excise Tax, for about two dozen staff, totals more than $100,000.

The President is accompanied by 22 vehicles, whether he goes golfing and to a basketball game with friends at his Punahou alma mater or to body surf at Sandy Beach and local favorite restaurants such as Nobu’s and Buzz’s Steakhouse.

Honolulu Police are on special duty, paid $250,000 by city taxpayers, and another $10,000 is spent on around-the-clock ambulance detail.

There are several costs the White House annually refuses to release, citing security.

  • For example, The White House rents an entire floor of an office building in Kailua on the canal during the President’s stay
  • Security upgrades, such as bulletproof glass, and additional phone lines, are added to private homes, while existing security systems are disabled.
  • Rental cars and fuel for staff and security, as well as additional travel costs Secret Service and White House staff traveling ahead of the President, are kept secret.

The White House has not released expenses, citing security concerns.  However, the most conservative estimate, based on what is known, for a 17-day vacation in Hawaii for the President and his family and staff and security is more than $4 million.

View of Waimanalo and Kailua, where the President stays, from Makapu'u Light House

Last year, because of emergency budget negotiations, the President made two roundtrips from Washington, D.C. to Hawaii, nearly doubling the cost of the vacation to more than $7.2 million.

Judicial Watch sued the U.S. Secret Service on May 6 to “obtain records concerning use of U.S. Government funds to provide security and any other services to President Obama and any companions on their January 1 and 2, 2013, trip to Honolulu, Hawaii.”

Judicial Watch Spokeswoman Jill Farrell said this week there has been no additional action on the case, Judicial Watch v. U.S. Secret Service.

The lawsuit was filed after the Secret Service did not provide information to Judicial Watch in response to a January 2, 2013, FOIA request.

“As of May 6, the Secret Service had yet to produce any record,” Judicial Watch said in a May 2013 statement.

Short URL: http://www.hawaiireporter.com/?p=477015

277 Comments for “Sunny Christmas: First Family and Dog Bo to Leave Cold DC for $4 Million Hawaiian Vacation”

  1. King Hussein Obama

    Please stay in Hawaii and don't come back to the mainland - WORST PRESIDENT EVER!!!

  2. If Romney had won the elections, we would have good jobs.
    Obama won, welfare

  3. Obama won only by MASSIVE VOTING FRAUD

    No wonder the Democrats and Obama do not want VOTER ID LAWS
    It would get in the way of their VOTER FRAUD

  4. I don't know why Obama and his family have to stay home when all of the previous presidents have vacationed in all sort of settings. Oh I forgot, he's black and he needs to know his place.

  5. The biggest phony ever to live in the WH. The worst president in the history of the USA.

  6. We had drones buzzing over Lanikai the last few nights

  7. Come on, give the guy a break. "Fundamentally transforming" America into a a third world, "socialist-lite", banana republic is tiring work.

  8. Day livin large like a couple uptown pimps.

  9. Obama has gone to Martha's Vineyard too... too a place that isnt his either... And it cost us a ton of money and denied the local economy the freedom for visitors to visit the establishments under normal conditions. If Obama was around YOU WERENT ALLOWED to be around. Period. How did THAT go over for the local businesses? Do you think his racist wife and kids bought more and spent more than a throng of tourists would? NOT! Dig deeper and you discover to your utter amazement (as if) that the supposed 'boost' to the local economy is MORE than offset by this presidential imposter's usurpation of the privelige for anyone else to be in those locales where "dear Leader" is. I said it before, but this man is the most supremely UNQUALIFIED man to ever hold the office of President. He was elected twice ... But in the second election, something evil was afoot... In Pennsylvania, 59 precincts reported ZERO Romney votes... A statistical impossibility. In Ohio, another battleground state, 9 large precincts there reported ZERO Romney votes... Another impossibility.
    So what is it? How did he do it? Well, my nephew witnessed first hand how some of it was done.. He is an EMT and was transporting a mentally disabled man to the hospital from an institution. The man said and I QUOTE DIRECTLY: "I voted! I voted for Obama!". My nephew asked how he was able to vote. He said "People came in a van and told us to go vote for obama!". My nephew said the guy told him that they handed them papers and showed them how to check off Obama's name while on the bus/van to the polls.
    So in part that is how it was done... A zillion little non profits were opened that catered to this crowd of people who dont have the anything but a right to vote but no ability to really do so mentally or intellectually... Some of you, the LIBERALS will say "well I think its GREAT that they got to vote.. Its their right..."... Indeed it is their right... But was it a vote based on the roll of a die? Tossing of a coin? NO, it was a manipulation of those less fortunate than the rest of us! Now how is THAT 'righteous' and 'ok' eh Libs? Yeah as expected... I hear crickets in the otherwise deafening silence...
    And what about his publishers website Acton and Dystel which had his biographical information on their site for FIFTEEN LONG years that said "Kenyan Born Barack Obama..."? This is fact, and I know I know, facts bounce off of liberal's foreheads since they are proudly impervious to facts but that is what was on the site. Obama by the way was the ONLY PERSON who could write his biographical information. You DO realize that right? ... Well its true. The publisher simply put it up. Now when he decided to run for office of the President we have this little nagging item that states that a candidate MUST be Natural Born.. Oh oh... What now Barack?! No problem! He was a master of manipulating his public persona so he blatantly ordered it changed to say "born in Hawaii" on April 1 2007. Yes it was April 1 by coincidence and no not an April Fools joke. But the publisher said "oh it was OUR mistake sorry!"... Uh huh... a FIFTEEN YEAR MISTAKE... Obama saw that website often since his publications are listed there and the data was UPDATED FREQUENTLY!!! Oh you missed that? This Liar In Chief was using the ambiguity of his birthplace to curry favor and opportunity in my view. WHY do you think we cannot SEE his college transcripts? WHY do you find that people initially said "Never heard of him, never saw him, didnt even know he existed on campus"? PROFESSORS said he was never in their classes yet the Obama administration says "oh yes he was, the professor is wrong...". WHoops far be it from me Mr President to suggest that in MY classes I didnt actually EVER see you but somehow you were there hiding in a seat. And how he got into Columbia when he clearly was a pothead and has admitted to both heavy pot use and some cocaine use... Sound Presidential? Nope! Now on the birth thing... I DO think he was born in Hawaii... I just think he was using that ambiguity to his benefit as I said.

    So by now the Liberals are really frothing at the mouth over my comments and will likely spew that am I racist now for what I said. Too bad. Facts are not racist although you Libs DO OFTEN TRY to make them so. Never a racist have I been and I am not starting now! I have reason to be if I so chose. My mother is a Native American... If anyone knows about racism its my family... My ancestors and current members of my tribal heritage lived then as now, in legal concentration camps in America called reservations. Black Americans have NOTHING on Native Peoples when it comes to racism...
    So before you Liberals fall over each other to be the first ones to breathlessly and furiously peck out "RACIST!!!" on your keyboards in your mother's basements, sadly I have ruined your punchline ahead of time.

    And my name, partHaole is meant in a respectful manner, one native person to those of you on the Hawaiian Islands..

  10. The N-word spewing Obama Derangement Syndrome teanutter drudge-clickers are in full bloom this evening. Of course, the facts are that Obama has spent much, much less time on vacation than George W. Bush did. However, the numbers involved exceed the teanutter complement of fingers so they can't be expected to know that. Bush was not an uppity N-word so he was allowed to spend 4 months a year lounging on vacay ignoring reports of bin Laden's impending attack, Katrina's impending landfall, etc.

    • Cohen....typical name for a liberal stooge! Anyway, Clinton was the classless sex offender who let bin laden slip right thru his fat intern stained fingers you jackass!

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