[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.)