Town remains to be chasing the debt of the Trump marketing campaign, Albuquerque Journal

City buses were used to barricade access to the DoubleTree hotel in downtown Albuquerque, where President Donald Trump stayed in the subway area during his September 2019 campaign appearance. The city is still trying to cover the costs incurred during his visit. (Roberto E. Rosales / Albuquerque Journal)

ALBUQUERQUE, NM – It’s been 18 months since the City of Albuquerque billed Donald Trump’s campaign for the cost of his 2019 New Mexico campaign event.

That $ 211,175.94 bill remains unpaid despite the help of professional debt collection agencies, prompting the city to try a new tactic: sending it to one of Trump’s resorts.

Earlier this month, the city rejected the Bill originally addressed to Donald J. Trump of New York for President Inc. to move to a new address in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, a city spokeswoman said. That comes on top of a debt collection agency’s ongoing efforts, she said.

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“They’re following it later this month,” spokeswoman Lorena Sanchez said in an email.

The city’s search for Trump recently brought Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller to be interviewed on a special Trump episode of The Daily Show. Keller described how the city had to escalate matters to collections if the bill went unpaid and calls were not returned.

“He (Trump) should be getting those annoying voicemails we normally get from scam companies that say you owe a debt,” Keller told Jordan Klepper, a correspondent for the Comedy Central television show. “I think Mar-a-Lago is getting these calls now.”

Adding to the running list of Trump’s debts …

Mayor Tim Keller explains why Trump still owes the city of Albuquerque money. Check out @jordanklepper Fingers the Pulse – In the MAGAverse special in full:

– The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) April 22, 2021

Sending invoices to collections is not uncommon for the city. This is the standard process for invoices that are 61 to 90 days old. There are currently 2,517 city bills in collections, Sanchez said. The city does not pay any fees to the agency unless it is successful. In those cases, 12% of the amount recovered is retained, she said.

The city’s reckoning battle with Trump dates back to 2019.

Trump stayed in Albuquerque while on the subway for a campaign event in Rio Rancho on September 16, 2019. Keller said his visit forced the city hall and parts of the city center to close.

The city eventually billed Trump’s campaign for the extra police cover, road block, and paid vacation for city workers whose working days were cut by a few hours on both September 16 and 17, 2019.

“In my eyes he owes us a lot more because there were about a day and a half when we couldn’t even function as a city,” said Keller in the special “The Daily Show”.

Several local governments in the US have tried unsuccessfully for years to cover the costs associated with Trump rallies. The Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit news organization, reported last year that the Trump campaign had unpaid bills worth at least $ 1.82 million in 14 communities.

The balance sheet did not appear to include Bernalillo County, which Trump also billed for the 2019 visit. A county spokesman said Thursday the bill – for $ 139,183.52 – was never paid. The district eventually wrote it off as “bad debt,” the spokesman said.

Trump’s campaign told Public Integrity in 2020 that U.S. intelligence – not the campaign – should receive the bills for public safety costs related to Trump rallies, even though the intelligence agency said it had no funds for such expenses receives.

Other politicians – including Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts – paid public safety bills that local governments sent to their presidential campaigns when Hillary Clinton and former President Barack Obama only paid, according to Public Integrity something.

The city of Rio Rancho, where Trump’s 2019 rally actually took place, chose not to bill Trump’s campaign for the $ 239,475 labor and time associated with his visit. A spokeswoman said at the time that Trump’s campaign had already “made it clear that they would not reimburse the city for incidental expenses incurred outside the event.”

Keller told Klepper the city would put any money Trump might repay into the general fund, which Keller said is paid for running the city, including police and fire departments.

While Trump has said he is against efforts to disappoint the police, Klepper joked with Keller that he could do just that.

“Is it fair to say that Donald Trump effectively defused the police? I knew it was happening somewhere in America; Apparently something is happening in Albuquerque, ”Klepper asked.

“You could say that according to this definition,” replied Keller.

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