A sheriff in Colorado is mad that Mike Pence didn’t pay the $24,000 security bill for local law enforcement after a fundraiser.
Earlier this week, the Caribou Club in Aspen hosted a $35,000-per-couple fundraiser for the Trump campaign and the Republican National Convention, and the event featured a visit from Pence. The Caribou Club is owned by gay couple Billy Stolz and Richard Edwards.
“You raise $700,000 in an hour, you should be able to pitch in to support the community that made you feel welcome,” Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo told the Aspen Daily News.
DiSalvo estimates said that security cost $24,000 for the event, and he broke down the costs.
“We had a SWAT team from Garfield County here that I want to see get reimbursed. We had Carbondale officers here that I want to see get reimbursed. They don’t have this kind of money — I don’t have this kind of money,” he said.
“We had 64 total police officers on that assignment in the 20 or so hours that he was here, totaling 519 person hours,” DiSalvo said. “Out of those 64, 14 were state troopers, and we don’t have a responsibility to pay them. But the 50 other cops that were here are all on the county dime.”
“I guess the whole thing is generally just somewhat disappointing to me.”
County Commissioner Greg Poschman agreed with DiSalvo, saying that politicians “from both parties from both parties blow into town, collect a briefcase full of cash and then blow back out again without really ever doing any public outreach.”
He criticized Pence for his “way-oversized motorcade,” saying that Pence could have just worn a hat and sunglasses in a Jeep.
Poschman said that other campaigns have paid their security bills.
“The donors for Hillary [Clinton] paid. They understood; they paid it. When Trump’s people came in, it took a little more cajoling, but he paid it,” he said.
In the weeks leading up to the event, local Republicans attempted to hide the location of the fundraiser.
“This event is an intimate high dollar reception, and we would like you to participate if possible,” read the invitation the Pitkin County Republicans sent out. “Additionally, please quietly spread the word.”
“Additional details will be provided upon RSVP.”
No one would have known where it was if the chef of the Caribou Club didn’t get arrested on charges of strangling and punching a female friend just before the event. In court, the chef said that he was supposed to cook for Pence on Monday, so he needed to be out of jail.
“It’s awfully tight-lipped in an unusual way, but I’ve never dealt with this administration before,” DiSalvo said.
He said that he had some contact with a Pence advisor, but he doesn’t think that anyone working for Pence will contact him again.
“When I first talked to [the advisor] before the visit, he was all smiles and grins, but I know how this works. They put you on hold until they leave and then they don’t talk to you again. He has not returned a single phone call in two days,” DiSalvo said.
“We’re not done,” he said.