Candidate Campaign Stops — The Cost and Who Pays

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SCRANTON -- The presidential campaigns are over, but the bills aren't quite paid. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump held rallies in northeastern Pennsylvania during their runs for the White House.

The communities that hosted those rallies say they are still owed thousands of dollars to cover police overtime.

Between April and Election Day, Scranton alone saw nine stops from presidential candidates and their representatives.

Visits in April for Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz did not require police overtime, but rallies for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton did.

Five rallies for Hillary Clinton in Scranton and two in the city for Donald Trump cost taxpayers more than $45,000.

"The last couple of visits here involved the highest amounts of overtime that we've expended," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

Donald Trump's two campaign stops at Lackawanna College cost Scranton taxpayers more than $19,000 in police overtime.

As for Hillary Clinton, she made one appearance with Vice President Joe Biden. Her campaign also involved two more stops from Biden, one by her husband, and one by former rival Bernie Sanders.

Scranton's teachers' union picked up the bill for the Sanders rally.

But the other campaign stops for Clinton totaled more $26,000 in police overtime. Most of that was racked up during the two solo visits from Biden.

"No one has been billed to date, and symbolically in the past, we have done that on some occasions and have never been successful," said Chief Graziano.

Under U.S. law, campaigns don't have to pay, but that didn't stop Wilkes-Barre Township police from billing Trump's campaign for his two rallies at Mohegan Sun Arena in Luzerne County.

"When an event like this rolls into our town, small, little, tiny Wilkes-Barre Township," said Wilkes-Barre Township Police Captain Will Clark, "Why should the local taxpayer have to foot the bill for that?"

Clark says all but two of the township's 30 police officers worked to provide security for Trump's visits. The township billed the Trump campaign almost $5,000 for its April rally. The cost covered overtime for its department, for Hanover Township officers, and for Luzerne County Sheriff's deputies.

Four months later, the Trump campaign paid up.

"I wouldn't say we were surprised, but we were pleased that we received the bill because we sent the bill without any indication that we were going to receive payment," Clark said.

Wilkes-Barre Township has not been paid the $10,000 it billed the Trump campaign for its rally in October.

But Scranton's police chief said since its neighbor to the south got paid, he will bill the Trump and Clinton campaigns for their campaign events in the Electric City.

"It's taxpayer money that's paying this. We're certainly going to give it a shot and see if any of them do pay."

Chief Graziano says he will not send a bill to the Clinton campaign for Joe Biden's two solo visits because the vice president also had other business during his stops.

We've left phone messages with representatives of the Trump and Clinton campaigns to see if the organizations will pay the remaining overtime costs in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre Township. Our calls have not been returned.

4 comments

  • Scranton Is DOG PATCH!!

    How about this..take all the previous candidate invoices and do the same with these. OR, are we just complaining about this now because you Liberals don’t like Trump and you never thought to send a bill??

    Did Obama pay his bill??
    Did Bush??
    Did Clinton??
    Did Bush??

    Now, take those invoices and do the same with this years candidate stops..

  • Liam G

    The cities take 30-60 days to bill, and most bills are net 90, so 120-150 days out, they’ll get paid. Trump’s campaign has been paying their own, but there is a fund for this. You know that $3.00 on your income tax form? That’s what it’s used for.

  • Jack Irvin

    These towns do not allow ordinary citizens to run up bills, if candidates require extra services it would only be fair that they pay in advance like the rest of us

  • good trumpy

    Trumps been paying most of his. And I’m sure he will pay all when he gets billed. Hillary ain’t gonna pay sh#t! Especially now that she lost. And she’s surprised she lost?Blahhah!

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