MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — From extra security to police overtime, campaign rallies are not cheap.
Despite the cost, the FEC doesn’t require congressional or presidential campaigns committees to pay states or cities back for rally-related expenses.
They can use campaign funds to reimburse security costs, but they aren’t required to.
“Mainly it was just in place because campaigns generally did give back the money, or reimburse, for the most part, not always, so it wasn’t a big deal and it was expected,” said Tim Lindberg, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris.
Lindberg says candidates pay for the rally venue rental. Cities and local taxpayers are shelling out for security. Police, fire and emergency service agencies can expect overtime costs.
“Police in general do a really good job of making sure that they have enough coverage at a lot of these events. Whether people critique it or criticize it afterwards is a different thing. But they generally know, or have a pretty good expectation of who’s gonna be there for both sides,” Lindberg said.
Taking a look back at previous political rallies in Minnesota, the city of Chanhassen paid the $14,000 bill after a 2004 visit by President George W. Bush.
At the time, Former Minneapolis Police Chief Tim Dolan estimated a 2009 Health Care Rally at Target Center by then-President Barack Obama cost his department about $20,000.
President Trump’s 2018 rally in Duluth cost the city $69,000. His campaign paid $112,000 for use of the Mayo Civic Center for his Rochester rally later that year. The city was still left on the hook for $93,000.
The estimated cost of Thursday’s visit is significantly higher. The city came up with the number using the same security cost formula they used for the Super Bowl and Final Four.
The $400,000 of the $530,000 the city wanted the Trump campaign to pay was public safety costs.
The police department and the city estimated another $130,000 to be incurred for third-party barriers, lane closure fees and traffic control.