When Donald Trump
to tour the state's border with Republican
Gov. Greg Abbott
, he should bring a check to pay off his campaign's nearly $570,000 debt to the city of El Paso
, according to a local judge
El Paso County Judge Ricardo Samaniego told local NBC
affiliate KTSM-9 TV earlier this week, "We've been trying to reach out to get the $570,000 from when he had his campaign rally two years ago."
If Abbott "assists us in collecting" the money
Trump owes, "that would be real nice," Samaniego added (watch
his remarks in the video above).
Trump racked up the hefty bill for his “Make America
Great Again” rally at El Paso County Coliseum on Feb. 11, 2019, with local authorities providing security
, transportation, emergency and traffic services, and the bill was due in April
of that year.
The Trump campaign has yet to pay a dime, owing the El Paso police
department alone more than $381,000, according to Michael Glassner, the campaign's CEO
, who told ABC
two years ago, "We are reviewing" the bill.
“It shows a lack of concern for the community and the tax-paying voters
of El Paso,” city Rep. Alexsandra Annello told the El Paso Times as Trump let the debt dangle in the wind, claiming that Trump had “put a financial burden on this community.”
Former Texas Representative Beto O'Rourke launched his own presidential campaign in El Paso on the same day as Trump's 2019 rally, and the Democrat settled his bill with the city three months later.
El Paso initially charged the Trump campaign $470,417, but late fees to cover lawyers and a private collection firm to recoup the loss have raised the current bill to nearly $570,000.
Trump announced earlier this week that he would tour the Texas border wall
on June 30 at the governor
's request, calling the border an "unmitigated disaster zone" under the Biden administration
. Trump also failed to fulfill his promise to build a wall along the entire Texas border that he claimed Mexico would pay for.
Abbott wants to finish the wall and has offered $250 million in state taxpayer funds as a "down payment" to help finish it, igniting a firestorm of controversy.
According to Samaniego, the money would be better spent on health care
and COVID-19 vaccinations
The Trump campaign still owes money to a number of cities for expenses incurred during Trump's campaign. Albuquerque, New Mexico
, which has yet to receive a penny of the $211,000 owed by the Trump campaign, sent yet another invoice in April directly to Trump's Mar-a-Lago golf
resort in a last-ditch effort to recoup expenses.
Tim Keller explains why Trump still owes money to the city of Albuquerque, adding to Trump's long list of debts. Watch @jordanklepper Fingers the Pulse - Into the MAGAverse special in full: https://t.co/ljguWU4vlU
pic.twitter.com/dwkGWiwP55 — The Daily Show
(@TheDailyShow) April 22, 2021
According to the nonprofit Center for Public Integrity, the Trump campaign owed at least $1.82 million in campaign costs to 14 communities in October of last year.
Trump and the Trump Organization
have a history
of not paying bills and have been the subject of several lawsuits in an attempt to collect money, with Trump Organization properties declaring bankruptcy six times.