President Trump’s campaign rally in Phoenix last month is expected to cost taxpayers $450,000 in expenses to cover law enforcement officials, the Fire Department, and other city employees working overtime to ensure the president’s safety, control protest crowds, and oversee street transportation, water services, and other public works, AZCentral.com reported Tuesday.
“We do what it takes to protect the president of the United States when he visits Phoenix,” Mayor Greg Stanton (D) told the news outlet.
The Hill added:
While Trump’s campaign paid about $50,000 for the venue and indoor security, he was not charged for the additional costs associated with his visit, City Manager Ed Zuercher reportedly told another local news outlet last month, adding that this would be the case too for other visiting candidates.
Zuercher said he felt it wouldn’t be right to charge him more for the costs of police splitting up the Trump supporters and protest groups.
“You can’t dampen free speech by telling people they have to pay for free speech,” Zuercher told the news outlet.
Arizona Republican Party spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair defended Trump’s $450k campaign rally.
“The safety and security of everyone involved should be priority No. 1. There are costs associated with that — whether it be an event for the President of the United States, former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Phoenix rally last October or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Tempe rally last November,” Sinclair said in a statement.
However, Arizona Democratic Party spokesman Enrique Gutierrez and others felt differently.
“It’s 2017. He just won in 2016. This shouldn’t be something that the city of Phoenix should pay for,” Gutierrez told AZCentral, adding that Trump’s campaign should have reimbursed the city for the extra costs.