Texas newspaper rips Donald Trump for stiffing El Paso out of $570,000 rally reimbursement

Texas newspaper rips Donald Trump for stiffing El Paso out of $570,000 rally reimbursement
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.
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In February 2019, then-President Donald Trump held a MAGA rally at the El Paso County Coliseum. El Paso is one of the Democratic strongholds in Republican-leaning Texas — former Rep. Beto O’Rourke launched his political career in El Paso — and city officials have brought the $570,000 cost of that rally to the attention of Trump and his GOP allies. Yet in October 2022, the City of El Paso, according to the Houston Chronicle, has yet to be reimbursed for that money.

The Chronicle’s Edward McKinley, in an article published on October 22, explains, “Shortly after the Walmart mass shooting that left 22 dead in El Paso, Trump scheduled a large political rally in the city to coincide with an event hosted by then-presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke. But while O'Rourke paid back the city for the security it provided, Trump didn't pay his tab. The billionaire former president, whose political war chest boasts well over $100,000,000, owes the city $569,204 for transportation, security and a 21-percent late fee. In 2020, the city hired a law firm to try to collect, the city spokeswoman said, but so far, $0 has been collected.”

Journalist Mary Papenfuss, reporting on the debt for HuffPost on October 24, notes that Trump has continued to “stiff” the City of El Paso even though his “fundraising operations” are “awash in cash.”

READ MORE: Trump is facing new debt collectors — and they're coming from El Paso

“Local authorities provided police, transportation, emergency and traffic services” for the February 2019 rally,” Papenfuss notes. “The bill was due in April, two months after the rally. The Trump campaign racked up debts in nine other cities for rallies by mid-2019. Albuquerque sent a $211,000 long-overdue rally bill directly to Mar-a-Lago last year. As for El Paso, the campaign still owes the police department alone more than $381,000.”

Papenfuss adds, “A Trump campaign spokesperson told ABC last year, two years after the rally: ‘We are reviewing’ the bill. The city hired a collection firm to go after Trump in 2020, but so far, hasn’t recovered anything, the Chronicle reported (on October 22).”

READ MORE: Analysis explains how Trump manages to pay fewer taxes than Americans with a household income of $20K

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