Pelosi Opponent Wants Speaker to Reimburse Taxpayers for Fundraiser Security

Nancy Pelosi's potential Republican challenger is calling on the House speaker to pay back taxpayers after she lugged a massive security detail to a fundraiser in Palm Beach over the weekend. 

The Palm Beach Post reported that there were more law officers than guests at the soiree -- the detail included Capitol Police, Palm Beach officers, sheriff's deputies and two police boats parked across the street in the Atlantic Ocean. 

Dana Walsh, the long-shot Republican candidate looking to challenge Pelosi in the fall, said in a statement Wednesday that Pelosi's campaign or the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee should reimburse taxpayers for the security expense. 

"This Palm Beach party is an outrageous abuse and another prime example of Pelosi's arrogance," Walsh said. 

Pelosi, as second in line to the presidency, gets a beefed-up security detail by virtue of her position. Threats to top lawmakers also are on the rise in the wake of the health care bill passing. A California man was arrested this month after allegedly making threatening phone calls to Pelosi. 

Walsh acknowledged that Pelosi "needs security" and that it should be taxpayer-funded whenever she's in her district, in Washington, D.C., or at an official event elsewhere. But she said those funds should not be used to pay for security at party functions. 

"This is just another slap in the face to taxpayers," she said. 

Walsh ran unsuccessfully against Pelosi in 2008, garnering 9.7 percent of the vote -- compared with Pelosi's 71.9 percent. Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, running as an independent, earned 18,500 more votes than Walsh.