As the country continues to grapple with the fallout of the Trump era, the city of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has now referred a $200,000 Trump campaign bill to a collection agency as the former president’s team has yet to pay up. The $200,000 that the city is after is connected to a rally that the ex-commander-in-chief held in the city of Rio Rancho back in 2019. Around the time of that rally, Trump stayed in a nearby Albuquerque hotel for a night, and Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller explains that the charges, which cover security, originated in connection to that stay.
As summarized by local news outlet KOB 4, the costs “include blocking off parts of downtown, paying police officers overtime and covering the paid time off expenses of city workers who had to stay home” during the then-president’s stay in the city.
Apparently, Mayor Keller isn’t confident that the Trump campaign will ever pay up. He explained as follows:
‘We actually treated it like any other debt, and so it goes through a… process where you send a bunch of letters out. We got no response from those letters. And then automatically, it does go to an agency that helps try and collect debts, and so that’s those annoying phone calls you get that say, you know, you owe money to so-and-so… Now, Trump is getting those…. Given what else has happened… in terms of even his own campaign owing money to donors and lots of shady stuff there… unfortunately I don’t really expect us to get paid. But it’s important that we do, and we would do it for anyone else, so he’s no different.’
As Keller referenced, the Trump campaign has dished out tens of millions of dollars in refunds to donors across the country after some of Trump’s supporters got victimized by a scam-like element of the GOP fundraising operation surrounding Trump’s re-election bid. Throughout the campaign, Trump and his allies used pre-checked boxes on their fundraising forms that, if left checked, set up additional donations beyond what the supporter originally intended. By October 2020, the boxes had eight to nine lines of bold text before getting to the notice — which was not in bold — of what the boxes would actually do. Fraud claims associated with unexpected recurring charges from the Trump campaign skyrocketed.