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North Bay Town Feeling 'Berned' After Sanders Rally Leaves $23,000 In Unpaid Bills

CLOVEDALE (CBS SF) -- The mayor of Cloverdale hopes it's just a misunderstanding, but the Bernie Sanders campaign appears to have left her small town with $23,000 in unpaid bills after it hosted their 'A Future To Believe In' rally last June.

According to The Press Democrat, the Sanders campaign paid Cloverdale a $2,500 deposit toward expenses. Despite assurances they'd pay the balance, their response to the city's attempts to collect on an invoice is starting to sound like 'the runaround.'

Cloverdale officials were given given only 48 hours notice before the June 3 rally, and say they had no time to put together a formal contract. Still, the city was happy, even honored to oblige. Ultimately, the event was a huge success, drawing more than 6,000 supporters.

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Cloverdale City Manager Paul Cayler says he submitted an invoice on June 23 that included overtime for four law enforcement agencies, and the four fire departments that worked the event. The Sanders campaign response referred them to the U.S. Secret Service for payment. When Cayler contacted the Secret Service, they told him they never pay "local public safety expenses related to a presidential candidate's events."

Efforts to get someone in the Sanders campaign to deal with it have, so far, been unsuccessful.

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"I'm hoping as soon as it gets to the right people they will repay us," says Mayor Mary Ann Brigham, a self-described progressive. "We were told we would be reimbursed. I never would have done it, or given a nod to it as a council person, if there had been any doubts in my mind."

Thirty days is pretty standard before a bill is considered 'past due.' When billing a campaign in its final throes, it could be 60, or more days before a payment is made.

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Cayler remains optimistic given how Sanders championed the little guy on the campaign trail. He doesn't believe the Senator from Vermont will leave Cloverdale hanging.

After all, the event was "A Future To Believe In" rally.

"Sanders' rhetoric during the speech was, he is from small town America and he values small town America," says Cayler.

Adds Brighan, "Surely I'm thinking, Bernie Sanders doesn't know this is happening."

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