The campaign that’s supposedly “for the people” is again ignoring its financial obligations to those people. On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence visited Aspen, Colorado, for a pair of events including a fundraiser for the GOP that couples had to pay $35,000 to get in at, but neither he nor anyone from his team or those behind the event have stepped up to pay the tens of thousands of dollars in bills that the city racked up to host them, according to local Sheriff Joe DiSalvo and County Commissioner Greg Poschman.
The bill sits at about $24,000 at present, and covers expenses like the spike in hours put in by local law enforcement. There were a full 50 cops who Pitkin County where Aspen is situated has a responsibility to pay, besides the 14 state troopers whose expenses the state will pick up. Pence was only in the area for around 20 hours, addressing a quarterly meeting of the Republican Governors Association in addition to his fundraiser, but his attendance still racked up that large cost. DiSalvo noted that the vice president raised utterly massive amounts of money at the dinner he attended — but he still hasn’t paid. He shared:
‘I guess the whole thing is generally just somewhat disappointing to me. You raise $700,000 in an hour, you should be able to pitch in to support the community that made you feel welcome.’
DiSalvo says that he was in contact with Pence adviser Marty Obst in the lead-up to the vice president’s visit, but he had not returned a single phone call in two days following the event, according to the sheriff. County Commissioner Poschman added:
‘It [is] disturbing to me that candidates from both parties blow into town, collect a briefcase full of cash and then blow back out again without really ever doing any public outreach. Mike Pence was just here… and cost us a lot of time and effort when everyone was stuck waiting for his way-oversized motorcade to go through. He could have driven through in a Jeep with a hat and sunglasses and nobody would’ve noticed.’
This is not the first time this kind of situation has unfolded involving the Trump team. In February, Trump held a rally in El Paso, Texas, where he challenged Democrats, stumped for his long-sought border wall blocking off Mexico, and pitched his re-election campaign, and he still owes local authorities hundreds of thousands of dollars. His campaign has just ignored the bill, which now sits at well over half a million dollars since the city added a nearly $100,000 late fee onto the original bill of $470,000.
On the same night Trump had his rally in the city, former Texas Congressman turned presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke held a competing rally in the city, and although his bill was significantly smaller at almost $30,000, he paid it on time.
These gaffes the opposite direction from the Trump administration don’t exactly reinforce the image they’re trying to portray of defending the forgotten people of the United States or whatever. Now two cities are facing a gap in their effort to make ends meet because the Trump team blazed into town with high ambitions and turned right back around and left.
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