POLITICS

Albuquerque Sends Trump Campaign Bill For $211,000 To 'Pay Our Taxpayers Back'

“Our resources for law enforcement are critical and limited,” the mayor said of the costs for Trump's campaign visit there last month.

The city of Albuquerque has sent Donald Trump’s campaign a bill for $211,000 for a two-day September campaign visit in the area. The mayor said he wants the campaign to “pay our taxpayers back.”

“Our resources for law enforcement are critical and limited,” Tim Keller, the Democratic mayor of the New Mexico city, said in a statement.

“The president’s campaign stop in the Albuquerque area cost the taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars, including over 1,500 hours of police overtime that was required by the campaign,” he said. “We are asking the Trump campaign to pay our taxpayers back for the costs from his campaign stop.”

Trump stayed overnight in Albuquerque for a campaign rally in nearby Rio Rancho. During the visit, Albuquerque police provided security and city employees were required to vacate certain buildings.

Costs included nearly $133,000 for paid time off for city employees who had to leave their jobs early, $71,242 for police services and $7,000 for barricades.

The Trump campaign has a reputation for sticking local taxpayers with costs for the president’s numerous rallies and political visits — even as his campaign raises record amounts of money.

Earlier this month, Trump slammed Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey as a “radical left mayor” because the Democrat demanded Trump’s campaign cover the city’s costs for a rally. Frey replied that Midwesterners “pay our bills” and that the president’s campaign could afford to pitch in.

“He doesn’t like paying his bills,” Frey wrote in an op-ed for The Washington Post. “Just ask the cities of El Paso, Tucson or Lebanon, Ohio, all of which are still waiting for the president to pick up his tab for costs their cities incurred hosting his campaign events.”

At least 10 cities have complained that the Trump campaign has not paid them for police and fire department costs, totaling more than $840,000, according to a study this summer by the Center for Public Integrity. 

The campaign still owes $569,000 to El Paso, Texas, for a rally there in February, local station CBS-4 TV reported earlier this month. The money represents 15% of the city’s total debt. Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who held a presidential campaign rally in March in El Paso, paid his bill in May when it was due. 

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from HuffPost. Michael Glassner, the chief operating officer of the Trump campaign organization, told The Hill that it’s the “Secret Service, not the campaign, which coordinates with local law enforcement.” He added that all bills should go to the Secret Service.

A city representative underscored to The Hill that the cost was “created by the president’s campaign,” not for a presidential visit.

The campaign may yet be charged other expenses by Bernalillo County, the Albuquerque Journal reported. “If it were an official presidential visit, you don’t bill for that kind of thing,” county spokesman Tom Thorpe told the newspaper. “It was campaign [related]. That makes it different.”

The Albuquerque bill is due Nov. 16.

HuffPost

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