s"I was in a position to make a campaign donation against my will," said third-generation owner Mike Cunningham II to theDes Moines Register.The owner of a famous beer stand at the Iowa State Fair says President Obama's visit last night cost him as much as $25,000.The Bud Tent, which has been serving fairgoers for 65 years, had to be shut down to the public during the presidential drop-in; patrons had to be screened and scanned before being allowed entry.
Cunningham, it should be noted, is a Republican.
"I wouldn't have voted for (Obama) before," Cunningham said. "I won't again."
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, stoked the flap with a Tweet today: "How does PresO justify havin secret service shut down the bud tent @ the state fair nd the owner told me he loses 50,000 n 1 nite."
Cunningham told the Register the loss was closer to $25,000.
From The Des Moines Register:On one hand, Cunningham, 39, appreciated the historical significance of Obama's visit: His great-grandfather, Lloyd Cunningham, was secretary of the fair board from 1942 to 1962 and was on hand to greet then-President Dwight Eisenhower when Ike visited the centennial fair in 1954 with Iowa's own President Herbert Hoover in tow. (That was the first of four visits by sitting presidents, followed by Gerald Ford in 1975, George W. Bush in 2002 and Obama on Monday.)
On the other hand, the small business owner side of Cunningham fumes that the president "put a damper on what I'm trying to do here." His Bud Tent was shut down at the most lucrative time of day, with a popular rock cover band, Hairball, about to perform at the Susan B. Knapp Amphitheater next door * with legions of thirsty fans. ...
Cunningham played the gracious host during the president's visit * smiled, posed for photos, raised a beer with Obama, gifted him a "Save Water; Drink Beer" T-shirt.