Trump claims to support law enforcement, but his campaign has stiffed at least 10 cities for providing security at his rallies, according to the Center for Public Integrity.
So much for supporting law enforcement.
Despite Trump's claims of being a big supporter of police, his campaign has failed to pay at least 10 local police forces that helped provide public safety at his rallies, according to a report out Thursday from the Center for Public Integrity.
The unpaid bills go back as far as three years — before Trump was even president — and total at least $841,219, according to CPI's report.
More than half of that total — $470,417 — is owed to El Paso, Texas, where Trump held a rally to try and build support for his racist border wall, which even Trump's biggest supporters admit won't do anything to change immigration patterns to the U.S.
Trump's rallies have often turned violent as Trump supporters have attacked or threatened protesters and even reporters covering the events. With many cities and towns hurting for cash to provide basic services for their residents, the Trump campaign's use of extra police resources without compensating the local governments for those costs can put those areas into even more financial peril.
"The fiscal impact on local governments, especially during campaign seasons in critical vote states or communities, can be significant," Richard Myers, a former police chief and executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, told the CPI. "When one considers how much money campaigns raise and spend, it does not seem unreasonable to expect some degree of reimbursement for such demands for service."
Some of the cities are asking Trump to pay up.
"It is our hope that [Trump’s campaign] will do right by the taxpayers of Mesa and provide payment," Mesa Deputy City Manager Scott Butler told the CPI. Trump held a rally in Mesa, Arizona, in October 2018, nearly eight months ago, which cost the city $64,467 in extra police costs, according to the CPI.
But others, such as Spokane, Washington — which is out $65,124 thanks to a Trump rally all the way back in May 2016, according to the CPI — don't expect Trump to pay given his record of stiffing those who work for him.
"Let's be honest, when does Trump ever pay his bills?” Spokane City Council member Kate Burke told the CPI.
Trump's promise to "protect" law enforcement is simply empty rhetoric, given that he clearly has no qualms leaving those same police officers in the lurch when it comes to paying for their overtime to protect his rallies.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.