Beto O’Rourke Owes Thousands of Dollars for Use of El Paso Police Officers
The city of El Paso, Texas, is starting to get antsy that the presidential campaign of former Texas Democratic Rep. Beto O’Rourke has not paid its bill for police overtime accrued on the day O’Rourke held a rally there, according to a new report.
O’Rourke held what was billed as a campaign kickoff event in El Paso on March 30.
As of May 18, the bill was not paid, according to KTSM-TV.
“Both of these events already happened so the folks have already been paid,” Laura Cruz-Acosta, El Paso’s strategic communications director, said.
“The folks that worked that day because they obviously have to get paid since they are city employees so they go through that,” she said. “Now we have to get reimbursed, we the city.”
The campaign paid the $7,609.14 required in advance for a permit.
However, the much bigger bill of $21,021.36 for the overtime hours of 90 police officers remains unpaid.
So far, taxpayers have been footing the bill, and the city of El Paso warns that the O’Rourke campaign could owe more if it does not pay by the May 24 deadline. https://t.co/KnPFWJ6HyC
— Charles Watson (@cwatson34) May 20, 2019
“They have to come and pay the bill,” Cruz-Acosta said. “There is a fee assessed if they don’t pay it by a certain amount, but that’s regulated by the state. So we will make emails and phone calls to remind them that.”
KTSM reported the bill is due Friday.
“It’s really waiting to see when they will be able to pay us on their end and so we go back and forth in terms of communication,” Cruz-Acosta said.
If there is no communication and no payment, late fees will be added to the bill, she said.
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O’Rourke’s campaign took off in its early days. The New York Times reported that it raised $6.1 million within 24 hours of its March 17 official launch in Iowa. The Times later noted that in the first 18 days of his campaign, O’Rourke raised $9.4 million.
At the time of his visit to El Paso, the Real Clear Politics average of polls put O’Rourke at about 9.5 percent support, high in the pack of 2020 Democratic candidates at that time. Since then, however, his support has fallen to 3.8 percent as of Sunday, according to Real Clear Politics.
Former Rep. Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (D-TX) on Saturday formally kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign, declaring at a rally in El Paso, Texas, that immigrants and asylum seekers make the border town safe.
How can Beto make this claim?
— Mike Wonder (@mikebwonder) March 31, 2019
“For too long in this country, the powerful have maintained their privilege at the expense of the powerless,” O’Rourke said.
He said President Donald Trump campaigned on “fear and division” in order to make Americans “angry and afraid.”