Orlando, where Trump kicked off his 2020 election bid, made sure they were paid in advance before Trump came to town.
Trump launched his 2020 bid Tuesday night, but it cost him.
Trump has stiffed at least 10 cities by refusing to pay local police forces for their time spent providing security and safety at his rallies. Because of that, Orlando, the site of his official 2020 campaign kickoff, demanded that he pay them up front.
They're no fools. It's standard policy in Orlando that venues get paid before events. To their meager credit, the Trump campaign did make the first installment payment of $72,000 on time in early June. They were slated to make another payment on June 10, but it isn't clear yet if they did so.
The cost of the venue is only a small part of the cost to municipalities when Trump brings his hate-filled rhetoric to town. The Orlando Sentinel reported that the campaign was required to pay $145,771.34 to use the Amway Center the day of the rally. However, as an Orlando city spokesperson pointed out, there are "Additional impacts to the area outside of the event venue," and because this is a presidential visit, "these costs for police will be absorbed by the local agency."
In other words, Trump may have to pay a paltry amount to cities for the use of actual event spaces, but he doesn't have to pay for the massive police presence required when Trump's right-wing supporters come to town and try to wreak havoc.
On Tuesday, the Proud Boys, a white supremacist group that has violently attacked people in the past, arrived before the Trump rally. They wanted a confrontation with anti-Trump protesters but thankfully were stopped by a line of police before they could do so.
And it isn't as if the campaign can't afford to pay. Trump raised $30 million for his reelection bid in the first quarter of 2019 alone. Combine that with the money the GOP has raised to keep Trump in office, and the amount jumps to $82 million.
While Trump stacks up cash, El Paso is waiting for its $470,417, Erie, Pennsylvania, is waiting for its $35,129.27, and at least 8 other cities are waiting too. But given Trump's long history of refusing to pay his bills — a practice that well pre-dates his 2016 presidential run — they may have to wait forever.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.