Donald Trump Stiffed Local Cops Who Worked His MAGA Rallies. Now It’s Coming Back to Bite Him.

As details of Donald Trump’s Secret Service—and the size of his MAGA rallies—have fluctuated, a standard operating procedures to the former president remains unchanged: Whenever possible, be tough on contractors.

For all the “back the blue” merchandise one can buy at a Trump rally, finding an event where police actually work during their overtime due to the campaign Running for office is surprisingly difficult. But Trump also has to pay the price; The huge bills he tends to leave to local governments mean the former president may have to seek out smaller, lesser-known rallying locations for his 2024 campaign.

For example, in Sioux City, Iowa, the former president still owe more than $11,000 in unpaid refunds to the city police and fire department from a protest he organized there on November 3, 2022. While the total overtime paid to police and soldiers firefighting is over $10,000, Trump’s PAC Save America has also rented some parking from the city. They can’t cover those costs either.

In Warren, Michigan, a city official — who asked not to be named — told The Daily Beast that the city has yet to receive any refunds from Trump for overtime paid by police officers. a MAGA rally was held on October 1, 2022, at the Macomb Sports and Exhibition Center, a 2,800-seat convention center and arena.

In Lorain County, Ohio, Trump joined Representatives Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) at the county fairgrounds on a June 2021 rally. Three, local police told The Daily Beast they couldn’t help but find any reimbursement for any of the Trump rallies.

Of the 30 counties and cities The Daily Beast contacted to ask if they would be reimbursed for local police and firefighters who support a Trump rally, only one – the city of Wilkes– Barre, Pennsylvania – replied to confirm they received the money.

But an official at the city clerk’s office wasn’t even sure it was Trump’s money.

“I didn’t write my name, I just wrote the check number,” the official said, asking for her full name to remain anonymous. She said it’s unclear whether Event Strategies – the main supplier of Trump’s rallies along with Save America – paid for the refund or if it came from elsewhere.

The Trump campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment.

The evolution of MAGA events over the years is, in part, a story of the aftermath of Trump’s leave-tab model. His 2016 rebel bid was defined by the rowdy crowds that gathered in packed arenas and stadiums across cities big and small, even as he Report started burning bridge with law enforcement agencies about unpaid bills.

At the end of his presidency in 2021, Trump still owes more than $2 million in overtime and other expenses reimbursement, according to a report. CTV News analyzes.

The former president’s most recent locations were mostly at fairgrounds and airports far from the city centre. Officials have previously spoken of a link between Trump’s indifference to bill payments and the quality of his rally venues.

In 2019, Richard Myers, a Colorado police officer and executive director of the Major Cities Directors Association, explained why police departments wouldn’t be thrilled if a Trump rally took place. out at a large arena in the city center.

“When one considers the amount of money that campaigns raise and spend, it seems unreasonable to expect some degree of reimbursement for such service requests,” says Myers. Center for Public Integrity.

But when Trump’s 2024 bid drops listless and low energy startthere is a deeper problem for the former president and his team if they hope to replicate the magic of the MAGA rally in his 2016 and 2020 runs.

WWE-meet-megachurch’s expression of the former president’s political appeal isn’t dead yet, but demand isn’t what it used to be and likely won’t return for some time, said one of the top advisers. His former told The Daily Beast.

Alyssa Farah Griffin, Trump’s former White House communications director, said: “The reality is that if Donald Trump wants to hold a big rally, he might not get 20,000 participants. “Close to the main season, that’s very likely, but he’s the weakest he’s ever been.”

Indeed, it has been more than 100 days since the last official outdoor Trump rally, a cold weather. Habits that make you look like future Senator J.D. Vance on a runway outside Dayton, Ohio, where he soon teased his third presidential run.

Since then, Trump has embarked on a Unusual foray into retail politics. During a visit to the disaster-stricken town of East Palestine, Ohio, last week, Trump played the role of president again, accompanying Vance to tour the area and hand out McDonald’s to hard-hit residents.

A recent rally showing Trump’s changed dynamics took place on a rainy night in May 2022 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania.

Although Trump has previously held events at the Pittsburgh airport and downtown convention center, the Greensburg rally for the failed Senate candidate and recovering TV star Mehmet Oz—who was constantly booing by attendees — about an hour from downtown and heavily reliant on standing room-only areas. The two largest seating areas protected from the rain along the stands were covered with a pair of oversized American flags, an apparent attempt to prevent any empty crowd shots during the storm.

At the standard Trump post-presidential rally, about a dozen Secret Service officers ran the row where attendees and VIPs passed a set of metal detectors. Aside from the first line of security, the majority of first responders at certain locations are local police; County sheriffs and state police are also often on the scene, along with first responders with the fire department.

According to Farah Griffin, the first signs that Trump’s need to attend rallies was faltering came at the infamous debacle in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 2020. With the arena even going. Less than two-thirds of people were left at the time of the closing, Farah Griffin recalls first thinking the time Trump might lose re-election.

She noted that attendance rose again when he traveled later during the pandemic, but it was clear that the salad days were over.

She said: “We realized that some – let’s call it ‘magic’ – might be starting to die.

Another GOP strategist, who requested anonymity to speak candidly, said Trump’s distant events have underscored his core political issue. They say, “You have to attract other people, not your establishment, and people are tired of that.”

“It shows his limited range,” the strategist added. “I don’t think he has as many needs as he thinks.”

Farah Griffin said Trump’s 2020 campaign has always struggled to find a way to turn attending rallies into a real increase in turnout, Farah Griffin said, although she added that their political impact is “very difficult to quantify”.

Decline in demand for MAGA . rallies starting to reach the critical level during the home phase of the 2022 midterm season. As Trump crisscrossed the country to lobby GOP allies to run in congressional and statewide elections, he was met with smaller crowds and smaller crowds. unfamiliar destination.

Sites include a field on the side of I-95 an hour from Raleigh, to the Richard M. Borchard Regional Fairgrounds in Texas—about two hours south of San Antonio and more than three hours west of Houston—or any of the nine state, county fairgrounds or another area that Trump has visited in the past two years.

But Farah Griffin warned that it would be unwise to dismiss Trump based on his increasingly distant events and low attendance.

“I think Trump is the worst person he has ever been,” she said, “but I still tell people to never rest on Donald Trump.”


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