IOWA (VFB) — When Presidential candidates come to town, local police departments spring into action to ensure not only that candidate’s safety, but the safety of the public and everyone involved. Substantial time and resources are spent planning and executing such events, which if not reimbursed by the campaigns, must be covered by local taxpayers.
“I think a lot of people just assume that those costs are being reimbursed, and they aren’t,” Marshalltown, IA Police Chief Mike Tupper, told me over the phone Tuesday afternoon.
“I am happy to report that Bernie Sanders paid.”
Not only did Sanders pay, “He actually asked up front how much, and he paid those costs, which makes him the first candidate to do so in my 23 years [of law enforcement in Iowa].”
For 10 years during the 1980s, Bernie Sanders served as the highly popular Mayor of Burlington, Vermont. It is no surprise then to see his campaign show an understanding and respect for the challenges faced by municipalities and local police departments.
— #Vets4Bernie (@vets4bernie) March 30, 2016
According to Tupper, Donald Trump’s campaign also recently paid the invoice sent them by the City of Marshalltown. That makes Hillary Clinton’s campaign the lone holdout.
Nearly two months ago, Chief Tupper sent a friendly notice, “I am sending this letter as a request for reimbursement from the Hilary Clinton campaign for these expenses.”
Tupper said after receiving no answer, he sent out another letter on March 11.
To date, “We’re still paitiently waiting on a response from the Clinton campaign.”
For a candidate who has raised over $200 million this election, $2,474.87 should be easy to cover.
When asked if he thought the Clinton camp would follow suit and pay the invoice like Sanders and Trump, Tupper replied, “I’m hopeful.”
— AOL.com (@AOL) March 15, 2016
Marshalltown isn’t alone. Other cities, like the capital of Des Moines, also incurred additional overtime expenses, which to date remain unpaid by the Clinton campaign.
Unfortunately for residents in these Iowa towns, Clinton has an awful record of paying her bills on time — despite being bankrolled by Wall Street.
During her 2008 Presidential bid, Clinton racked up an eye-popping $25 million of debt, which took her until 2013 to pay back. Clinton’s last debt was repaid over four years after it was accrued.
To pay off the debt, in 2012 Politico reported, “Bill Clinton is asking his wife’s supporters to help pay off lingering debt from her 2008 presidential campaign as speculation grows on whether she will run again in 2016.”
“In a message to Hillary Clinton’s email list, the former president offered donors the chance to spend a day with him in New York City if they gave to the fund before December 6.”
Bill Clinton asks for help with Hillary’s 2008 campaign debt: http://t.co/zDSGeQHo
— POLITICO (@politico) November 28, 2012
Though she’d prefer you forget, in 2014 Clinton claimed to have left the White House in 2001 “not only dead broke but in debt,” saying her and Bill “struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses.” (Here are the houses).
We dig into Hillary Clinton's "dead broke" claim and find it wanting. Mostly False. http://t.co/pLbSdjTQdP
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) June 10, 2014
It’s hard to take Clinton seriously when she talks about paying down the national debt, when she has such a poor history of paying her own debts.
For Chief Tupper and his officers, it’s a matter of principle.
“I don’t like to get too political,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if its Democrats or Republicans, I think it’s appropriate that they cover their own costs.”
As far as Bernie Sanders’ offer and up front payment is concerned, “He had a rather small request, but I still thought it was interesting.”
“Definitely a first.”