Given the Trump campaign's history of failing to pay its bills, Minneapolis tried to get him to pay for increased police costs upfront.
Trump is furious at Minneapolis. The city's Democratic mayor, Jacob Frey, has committed the unpardonable sin of demanding that the Trump campaign pay security costs in advance for one of Trump's rallies.
It's no secret that the Trump campaign regularly stiffs cities out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. That's because municipalities are generally obliged to provide security for his events. Normal campaigns reimburse the cities for those costs, but the Trump campaign consistently refuses to do so.
As of June of this year, the campaign owed at least ten cities a total of over $800,000 for local police who had no choice but to provide security at his rallies. In fact, El Paso alone is owed $470,000 for a Trump rally in February of this year.
With Trump's habit of bilking cities out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Minneapolis was only savvy in telling the campaign upfront that it would need to pay $530,000 for security costs to the Target Center, the venue for the rally later this week.
Predictably, Trump took to Twitter to complain about it and personally attack Frey, calling him a "Radical Left Mayor" and saying he was "pric[ing] out Free Speech." Of course, Frey was doing nothing of the sort. Asking a notorious bully, who always fails to pay his bills, to pay money upfront has nothing to do with free speech. Trump is free to come to Minneapolis and to say whatever he wants. He's just not able to do it without paying for all the extra costs that come with securing one of his vicious, hate-fueled rallies.
Trump also bragged that he "[stood] strongly & proudly with the great Police Officers and Law Enforcement of Minneapolis and the Great State of Minnesota!" You'd think someone that loved police officers so much wouldn't balk at paying for their services.
In the end, sadly, the bully won. After a threat of litigation — a favorite tactic of Trump's — the Target Center backed down and agreed to let Trump's rally go on even though the campaign won't pay ahead of time. Campaign manager Brad Parscale went so far as to say, "Consistent with our original agreement with the venue, the Trump campaign has not agreed to pay any additional funds." It's unclear how the venue can make that call, given that the city is the entity that has to absorb hundreds of thousands of dollars in security costs.
Minneapolis is part of Hennepin County, so deeply blue that in 2016 Hillary Clinton beat Trump by 35 percentage points. The people of the city don't want him there, and while they can't stop that, they can certainly try to get him to pay his bills.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.