By John Lauritsen

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thousands of people filled Amsoil Arena in Duluth Wednesday night to hear President Donald Trump talk about jobs, immigration and the upcoming election.

Barb from Burnsville wanted to know: Who pays for rallies like these? Good Question.

“So the taxpayers are on the hook for part of it no matter what. But guess what? That’s not just with Trump. That was true with Obama, that was true with any other president out there,” said Hamline University political science professor David Schultz. “Even for pure, political events, taxpayers are still on the hook for some, some of what’s going on.”

(credit: CBS)

Taxpayers are mainly paying for security. Federal tax dollars pay for Secret Service. And local agencies — such as police, fire and emergency services — can expect overtime costs.

A Trump rally in Lynden, Washington — population 14,000 — cost taxpayers $155,000 for added security. A rally in Phoenix cost more than $450,000.

Officials in Duluth say it will be a week before they know how much they are paying, but a port security grant will offset some of the costs.

“If it’s partisan, political activity, then it has to come from non-governmental, non-taxpayer sources,” Schultz said.

And that is where it can get tricky. Rallies are one thing, but round tables like the one President Trump held in Duluth could be considered official business.

“How much does the taxpayer pay for as legitimate business for the president, versus how much gets carved out in terms of a partisan event, paid for by the president’s campaign team or others? It makes it difficult to calculate the numbers,” Schultz said.

He said that the Government Accountability Office can help break down what cities owe versus what political parties owe after a president visits.

John Lauritsen

Comments (8)
  1. So we have to pay for him to spread his lies…what a joke

    1. We paid for the Benghazi bowl of lies in 2012 and there were American dead patriots involved. And, you said ____________

      1. leejcaroll says:

        There were 9 Benghazi investigations, by the GOP{ who wanted to find something, anything they could pin on SecT^ Clinton and found nothing. You need to find a new lie to try and defend trump by deflecting to an irrelevency (and lie)

  2. Brandon Hargrave says:

    The economic boost provided by any major event like this more than covers the cost to taxpayers. It’s the same with sporting events and concerts. Many people will be eating at local restaurants, staying in local hotels, buying gas at the local gas stations, etc. This all adds up to hundreds of thousands of dollars being poured into the community

    1. Kym Jones says:

      Brandon: Then why are the cities yelling about paying for it. This is no football or hockey game. His staff signed off on paying the extra security and got shafted. Phoenix alone was 450,000 dollars. I don’t know if I should be happy he’s not in Washington making more of a mess or angry because he’s wasting taxpayer money. Name one other president in history who did this same thing.

  3. Wendi Stranieri says:

    How can the public find out if the GOP paid for all the stump-rallies he is doing this month; he has done a dozen and is slated to do almost a dozen more. As a registered Democrat I object to paying for any part of this, and this guy is spending weeks not doing his elected duties (although his entire term seems like it is all just one big photo op; no work required).