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Donald Trump will visit Saint-Paul. What are the security expenses?

Donald Trump will visit Saint-Paul.  What are the security expenses?


When former U.S. President Donald Trump dines Friday evening in St. Paul with the state's Republican leaders, demonstrators from a variety of progressive organizations are expected to line up on downtown Kellogg Boulevard to greet his motorcade.

They in turn could well face rejection from counter-protesters.

So who pays for policing, road closures and public safety?

The answer, more than not, lies with local taxpayers. The city has no plans to bill the Trump campaign — or protesters — for costs related to the former president's appearance on the campaign trail.

“We welcome people from all over the world when concerts, festivals, professional sports, conventions and more decide to host an event in St. Paul,” Jennifer Lor, press secretary for the mayor of St. Paul, said Thursday. Paul, Melvin Carter. “We help provide public safety services, whether for a current vice president, a former president or the Dalai Lama, and these costs are part of normal business operations.”

Visiting Minneapolis in 2019

The last time Trump visited the Twin Cities for a campaign event in 2019, Minneapolis officials feared he would end up with an estimated $530,000 bill for security, road closures and more.

After lengthy wrangling with the Trump campaign and Target Center operator ASM Global, it turns out Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey's residents were largely right: Local taxpayers swallowed the majority of that spending .

ASM agreed in 2021, about two years after the fact, to reimburse Minneapolis $100,000, less than 20% of the city's costs and about half of what city officials thought they could ask for under the law.

St. Paul police spokesman Mike Ernster said he did not know what the cost of the former president's visit would be, but noted that “security requests … are part of this what police services do in the course of their normal activities.

When Vice President Kamala Harris came to St. Paul on March 14 to tour an abortion clinic and stop at Central High for softball practice, security costs involved officers on and off duty, as well that overtime, amounted to $7,717, according to Ernster.

In March, the Humphrey-Mondale dinner at RiverCentre, hosted by the state DFL and attended by U.S. senators, the governor and other politicians, cost taxpayers $11,301 to police outside the establishment. Officers working inside the RiverCentre were paid by organizers, Ernster said.

“It is also important to remember that headcount, which directly drives personnel costs, is always specific to the political and social climate,” he said.

Law enforcement officers struggle to hold a gate closed as protesters attempt to enter a secure area outside the Landmark Center during the Veterans' Solemn Memorial March on the RNC in St. Paul, Sunday August 31, 2008. (Pioneer Press: Richard Marshall)

When St. Paul hosted the Republican National Convention in 2008 – attracting nearly 2,400 party delegates and about 12,000 protesters – the city received a $50 million federal grant for its expenses, similar to that of other cities received for the conventions. About $34 million was for personnel costs while $16 million was for training, equipment and supplies. The advantage for local police was that the additional equipment stayed with the city.

Fundraising dinner in Saint-Paul

The former president is scheduled to attend the Minnesota Republican Party's annual Lincoln Reagan fundraising dinner Friday, which coincides with the party's state convention, which will be held at the St. Paul RiverCentre Friday and Saturday. St. Paul police and firefighters, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office and other local departments are prepared to assist the U.S. Secret Service with security, but it's unclear how extensive that will be. Invoice.

Trump has not announced a campaign rally per se. Yet, given the experience of at least 14 cities that unsuccessfully tried to obtain Trump campaign funds after a major appearance, some have little doubt that St. Paul taxpayers will not only absorb most of the of the cost of protecting the former president. this weekend, but the cost of standing between spectators, protesters and counter-protesters.

Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said Wednesday he doesn't know how his office will be reimbursed for his deputies' work. The county sheriff's office will provide traffic management for Trump's motorcade and will be available as backup for St. Paul officers if additional assistance is needed.

“Our first concern is the safety of everyone” participating in the event, protester or counter-protester, Fletcher said. “People can sort out their finances later.”

Costs of visits elsewhere

David Levinthal, editor-in-chief of the progressive publication Raw Story, said that over the years at least 14 cities — including Minneapolis, Mesa, Arizona and Lebanon, Ohio — have tried to collect money from the Trump campaign by security matters, without success. . El Paso, Texas, was left with a $470,000 bill after Trump's border rally in February 2019, so city officials hired a legal team to help them seek reimbursement. reported this week that Wildwood, New Jersey, asked the Trump campaign to pay $54,000 in April, well before the May 11 beach rally, four years after it had to foot the bill for keeping of order and cleaning after a Trump rally. at the Wildwood Convention Center.

In late 2020, when the city of Philadelphia complained that then-candidate Joe Biden's campaign rally had driven dozens of cars into a muddy public park after a rainstorm, causing at least $10,000 in damage, Biden's campaign produced a check for $15,000 within about a month. months to cover expenses.

Minnesota could prove to be a key battleground for Trump and President Biden in November, so public interest in a Trump appearance will be high.

“When a president comes to town, St. Paul will make international news,” said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs. “It’s a unique thing. There's nothing else that can attract this kind of attention in St. Paul.

Still, Jacobs said, “reimbursement is not going to be there.” … Even when the president comes, there’s not much reimbursement.”

Comments from Minnesota

In an interview with KSTP-TV broadcast Wednesday, Trump said his speech in St. Paul would focus on economic issues. He also repeated a false claim that he thought he won Minnesota in 2020, even though there is no evidence there were serious irregularities in the state.

“We think we have a very good chance in Minnesota,” Trump told KSTP. “We have great friendships there. We have done a lot for the industry. We've done a lot for everything in Minnesota. I worked hard on Minnesota. Tom Emmer is very involved.

Mara Gottfried and the Associated Press contributed to this report.




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