Patterico's Pontifications


Trump To Visit El Paso

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:35 am

[guest post by Dana]

Over objections by Democrats, President Trump will be paying a visit to El Paso on Wednesday:

El Paso, Texas, Mayor Dee Margo told reporters on Monday that President Trump will visit the city on Wednesday, even as several prominent Democrats indirectly blamed the president for Saturday’s mass shooting there — with some warning him, in frank terms, to stay away.

News of Trump’s planned appearance teed up a potentially bitter national political moment just four days after suspected gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly opened fire at a Walmart and killed 22 people while injuring more than two dozen others.

“He is president of the United States,” Margo, a Republican, told reporters. “So in that capacity, I will fulfill my obligations as mayor of El Paso, and hope that if we are expressing specifics that we can get him to come through for us.”

The mayor said he anticipated “political spin” and was “already getting the emails and the phone calls” from individuals “with lots of time on their hands,” but that his focus remains on his community, not politics. He added that Trump had called and was “very gracious” and offered any support necessary.

And speaking of El Paso and Trump… It looks like the president’s campaign still owes the city of El Paso payment for city services provided at a rally held in the city in February:

President Trump’s reelection campaign still owes El Paso more than $500,000 for police and public safety services that corresponded with a February rally in the city, an official said.

Laura Cruz-Acosta, communications manager for the city manager’s office, told The Texas Tribune that the Trump campaign now owes the city $569,204.63 for services El Paso provided during a rally during which the president focused on building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The city staff have followed the process and procedures as it relates to any invoicing that we provide, and we will continue to do so accordingly as per city and state policies,” Cruz-Acosta told the news outlet.

The El Paso Times reported in June that the Trump campaign had owed the city about $470,000 for services it provided to him during his campaign rally. The invoice included assistance from six city departments, including the fire, health, aviation and police departments.

“It shows a lack of concern for the community and the tax paying voters of El Paso,” city Rep. Alexsandra Annello told the newspaper at the time. “President Trump has in many ways, over the last year, put a financial burden on this community and has yet to show us the respect we deserve. It is clear that our borderland is not a priority of the president.”

It’s a shame that the Trump campaign didn’t pay what was owed before the president’s visit to El Paso tomorrow. While the city is certainly focused on far more grievous matters, this could have at least been one less thing at which his critics could hold against him.

(Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.)


40 Responses to “Trump To Visit El Paso”

  1. Is it in El Paso’s best interest that the president make the trip?

    Dana (fdf131)

  2. Yes, of course it is. If only as a palliative.

    Remember Vicks VapoRub? It was just petroleum jelly with a strong medicine smell. But when mommy rubbed it on your chest, it showed that she loved you and that she cared. Like that.

    nk (dbc370)

  3. Heh. I don’t know that I agree but I like your analogy. The dif being, we loved mommy, first and foremost.

    Dana (fdf131)

  4. I took nk’s excellent analogy to mean that Trump is the vapo-rub, while big government is mommy.

    felipe (023cc9)

  5. The other thing, the $569,204.63 that the Trump campaign owes the city, it’s one thing to say that the rally took place in February, but the real question is when did the city present its invoice for payment? Had they even done it as of June or were “The city staff [still following] the process and procedures as it relates to any invoicing that [they] provide, and [continuing] to do so accordingly as per city and state policies”?

    nk (dbc370)

  6. And I do understand what a pain in the podex a Presidential visit is for a community, even “incognito”, having been on the receiving end of dozens as a Chicago resident when Obama was President.

    nk (dbc370)

  7. An invoice for $470,417.05 was billed on March 27, 2019 to Donald J Trump for President, Inc. El Paso was sending past due collection notices by May 2019, and it has been charging late fees since then.

    DRJ (15874d)

  8. Thank you, DRJ. That’s not nice. It is how Trump has always done business, though.

    nk (dbc370)

  9. This appears to be an ongoing issue with the Trump campaign, and not just in El Paso:

    Trump’s re-election committee owes El Paso municipal government $569,204, according to an invoice to the Trump campaign dated July 18. Of that amount, $470,417 comes from an initial bill El Paso sent Trump in March, with the rest attributable to late fees the city tacked on in June.

    The amount could fund the annual salaries of several El Paso police officers, whom Trump on Monday praised along with other law enforcement officials for responding with “extraordinary grace and courage of American heroes.”

    At least 10 local governments — from Mesa, Arizona, to Erie, Pennsylvania — are still waiting for Trump to pay public safety-related invoices they’ve sent his presidential campaign committee in connection with his political rallies, according to a Center for Public Integrity investigation in June. In all, the bills total $841,219.

    Now this is interesting:

    Presidential campaign committees are not generally obligated by federal law to pay public safety-related bills sent to them by municipalities that host presidential candidates’ campaign rallies. President Barack Obama, for example, often did not pay such bills during his 2012 re-election campaign.

    The report goes on to note however, that many politicians choose to pay the bills because “it’s the right thing to do to not burden city governments, which often struggle to balance their budgets, with additional expenses that could negatively affect police services.”

    Optics are everything. If anyone should make the gesture and pay the bill, it’s the Trump campaign.

    Dana (fdf131)

  10. Apparently both the Whitehouse and the Government Accountability Office have formulas in place for cost sharing when a President visits a city. The formulas have been around for many previous administrations as well. The formula changes depending on whether the visit was strictly campaigning or strictly official or some mix of both.

    My guess is that the city manager has been billing this incorrectly and hasn’t been getting paid as a result. I think it is shameful to make this a headline at this point in time. Maybe someone will dig into the actual numbers, but I doubt it. The effect of embarrassing Trump was the only motivation.

    BuDuh (5c1aef)

  11. Which is less desirable? To be in Trump’s debt or he in yours?

    felipe (023cc9)

  12. Dana @9. In short, this is not a legal obligation.

    And just about nobody who wasn’t looking for votes would pay it.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  13. Dana (fdf131) — 8/6/2019 @ 6:44 am

    I completely agree, Dana. The winners should always demonstrate class with gratitude.

    felipe (023cc9)

  14. Thank you, too, Dana and BuDuh. I’m learning.

    nk (dbc370)

  15. Here is every politician who has ever left taxpayers stuck with a bill.

    felipe (023cc9)

  16. The formula would only deal with what portion the federal government pays = what os attribitable to government business. El Paso may be trying to recoup the rest from the campaign. But, for first amendment reasons, they probably can’t make it a condition of holding the rally. Maybe they could for assemblages held for commercial purposes.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  17. Remember Vicks VapoRub? It was just petroleum jelly with a strong medicine smell.

    The strong medicine smell comes from menthol. Which helps break up mucus and get your sinuses/nose to get rid of it. IOW, the vapors are a decongestant. So, unlike Presidential visits, it’s not a placebo.

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  18. It seems to me that Trump needs to make concerted efforts to be in the good graces of Texans these days. Not just because of the El Paso shootings but also because Texas is now in play, given that a fourth Republican congressman has announced their retirement.

    Paying the bill asap is a no-brainer.

    Dana (fdf131)

  19. I asked above if the visit was in El Paso’s best interest. Is it a given that the presence of a president who is resented and feared by a large swath of the community will be the necessary salve to the wound? I don’t think it is a given. Not with this president. There is the possibility that he might makes things worse with his visit. I certainly hope not.

    Dana (fdf131)

  20. Dana, I would appreciate a post with your analysis of what denominators are common to each of these four congressmen in their decision to retire.

    felipe (023cc9)

  21. Nope. I’m right and you’re wrong, kishnevi. Because assuming that everything you say is correct — that the medicine smell is from the menthol and not the camphor (which I assert) and that menthol is more than a mild topical anesthetic (which I believe that’s all it is) — the directions would call for mommies to place a couple of dabs in their children’s nostrils.

    nk (dbc370)

  22. The visit is to show people (mostly outside of El Paso) that he is paying attention to this tragedy, and to emphasize that he does not support it for people who might think that he does.

    He will also visit Dayton, Ohio.

    He won’t make things worse, but some people want to maintain their hatred of Trump at it’s high level, and they can’t stomach it. It’s hard to accept a sympathy call from someone you hate.(

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  23. Now, Gabby Giffords, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren would ask their kids to break their piggybanks and give mommy the money so mommy can go out and yell at those cold and flu cooties.

    nk (dbc370)

  24. Mexico will pay for Trump’s big, beautiful expenses. One hundred percent, believe me.

    Dave (1bb933)

  25. nk, I am going in part on what my MD told me. The point of putting it on the chest is to make sure it keeps working, instead of being lost the first time you blow your nose.

    kishnevi (9ce8ca)

  26. Alert! Are we sure he’s not going to El Segundo and Toledo?

    OTOH Biden sent condolences to… Houston and Michigan.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  27. God, Dana, what a pig you are. Clean up your act. Get effing serious.

    ROBERT SYKES (696a35)

  28. Clever, though maybe he goes to El Paso (El Pay-so) Illinois instead.

    And while Trump is fair game for leaving unpaid bills for visits, I remember learning bnb it was none other than…….WAL-MART that normalized the practice of waiting until day 59 of a past due billing cycle to pay its vendors (hold out as long as they could before late fees and collection).

    urbanleftbehind (2db30e)

  29. If its Trump and Biden and there are debate drinking games (per gaffe), those nights will be the nation’s most massive instance of group alcohol poisoning in recorded history.

    urbanleftbehind (24ebe3)

  30. El Paso should be transferred to New Mexico. Or West texas should be its own state. Its absurd that Texas is so big. El Paso is actually closer to San Diego than Houston!

    rcocean (1a839e)

  31. Karnak answer to rcocean:
    DC statehood scenario with an additional congressman.

    urbanleftbehind (24ebe3)

  32. God, Dana, what a pig you are. Clean up your act. Get effing serious.

    ROBERT SYKES (696a35) — 8/6/2019 @ 7:50 am 

    No personal comments.

    Your comments will be moderated from now on.

    DRJ (15874d)

  33. I apologize for replying, DRJ. you can remove my response if you think that’s appropriate.

    Dustin (6d7686)

  34. It’s perfectly fine to reply, Dustin, and as the writer of the post, I appreciate your comments. I am going to put the commenter in moderation.

    Dana (fdf131)

  35. Good grief, that’s never happened before.

    Obama campaign hasn’t paid bill, Newport Beach city officials say …
    Jul 31, 2012 – Chicago-based Obama for America still owes Newport Beach $35,000 … According to the Los Angeles Times, a Secret Service spokesman said the agency does not have the budget to pay for those expenses and that the city …

    Harcourt Fenton Mudd (6b1442)

  36. Dustin, good for you for responding. It is the right thing to do.

    DRJ (15874d)

  37. You need more voodoo pins,

    Narciso (72d34b)

  38. 26. DCSCA (797bc0) — 8/6/2019 @ 7:50 am

    OTOH Biden sent condolences to… Houston and Michigan.

    He also got the massacres out of order.

    That means he first heard of them Sunday morning, when the Dayton shooting would have been mentioned first on the news.

    I, too, thought at first the Ohio shooting came first. Someone came to me and mentioned shootings in Texas and Ohio. I hadn’t heard anything. I didn’t listen to the news on Saturday night and I hadn’t listened to anything that morning. I had only read the Saturday papers. I turned ona radip I usually carry with me and WCBS-88 mentioned Dayton first. (The El Paso massacre was actually old news then. It happened at about 12:45 pm New York time Saturday. The daton massacre at about 1 am Eastern Daylight time.

    Back to when I frst was told about it by someone. He also asked me why it doesn’t it happen in New York. I said few people own guns and the people who do are criminals, and criminals don’t do things like this.

    I now think there’s another reason, too, at least for there are no 8chan linked killers here. . he Northeast is not a fertile field for someone planning terrorism to recruit people, because too few people have legal access to guns, so that’s why we don’t get any of these right wing extremists doing this. This answer pre-supposes a conspiracy, or trolls trying to motivate people to commit mass murder, but I think that’s right.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  39. Truly self motivated people could do this in the Northeast, but, again fewer people are familiar with guns. So fewer incidents.

    I said criminals don’t do things like this. There were 7 people killed in Chicago over the weekend, and some 52 wounded, but they were in 32 separate incidents. So, as a result of course, they were not in the news.

    This happens in Chicago because Chicago has weak gun control – tight restrictions on legal ownership, but no real consequences for violating the law, even for people with criminal records.

    That’s the anti-policing movement in Chicago at work.

    Sammy Finkelman (d542b2)

  40. Great post at #39 – and again, another manifestation of the anti-policing movement in Chicago is the lack of dispersal of late-night/pre-dawn gatherings which present opportunities for increased collateral damage in targeted shootings between known combatants/long-time recidivist criminals.

    urbanleftbehind (5eecdb)

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