Letter to the Observer: City shouldn’t have paid extra for Trump rally

Editor:

The City of Rio Rancho elected public officials have set a dangerous precedent in allowing the Trump campaign to shirk responsibility for payment of almost $240,000 in costs associated with hosting the Sept. 16 Trump Campaign rally.

The March for Our Lives event sponsored by Moms Demand Action was held in the city-owned Haynes Park in March 2018.

The city levied several charges. In addition to paying for rental of the pavilion, permits, insurance requirements and other fees, the organization had to pay for 10 off-duty police officers to provide for public safety.

Failure to bill the Trump organization financially contributes to that political organization.

The Rio Rancho city council and mayor are an elected nonpartisan governing body. To financially support the Trump political organization raises questions about the proper use of city funds and may breach state campaign laws.

As a resident, taxpayer and Democrat living in Rio Rancho, I urge the city to follow Albuquerque’s example and seek compensation from the Trump campaign.

Should the City of Rio Rancho fail to bill the Trump Campaign, then for future fairness, all candidates and political issue organizations would be exempt from public charges for public safety.

Rio Rancho elected officials must take appropriate action, or they will find taxpayers holding long memories of their improper expenditure of almost a quarter-million dollars when they next come up for re-election. I know I will.

Sincerely,

Delbert Frank Schafer

Rio Rancho

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