Ready for Edwards?

By: Justin Ware
By: Justin Ware

Last week at this time, the Portage County Democratic Party was trying hard to land a visit from either John Kerry or John Edwards, not knowing if or when that visit would come.

Now, they're hurrying to prepare for Edwards in a visit that's coming with very little advanced notice.

"We had our picnic last Sunday and we thought we could rest until we get the phone call that Senator Edwards is coming and we've been working 14 hours a day now," said Gary Hawley, Portage County Democratic Party Chairman.

That phone call came on Monday, and since then Hawley says people have been chipping in and they are ready for Edwards' visit.

The candidate will also be stumping in Wausau where police only found out about his location one day before he arrived, but Chief Bill Brandimore says they are prepared to keep Edwards safe.

"Our job is to coordinate with the Secret Service and make sure that they get adequate protection and get a chance to talk to people in town," said Brandimore.

Another issue that Brandimore says comes up with campaign visits is who ends up paying for them. After President Bush stopped in La Crosse earlier this year, the city billed him for costs such as the overtime pay for their police officers.