Press Release

Presidential Candidates Must Pay Their Bills

Statement from Sen. Smith & Rep. Stuck regarding the Introduction of The Recovery of Unsettled Municipal Payments Act

By - Jan 13th, 2020 02:44 pm

MADISON – Today, Senator Jeff Smith (D – Brunswick) and Representative Amanda Stuck (D – Appleton) introduced The Recovery of Unsettled Municipal Payments Act.

Wisconsin is already shaping up to become another battleground for the 2020 Presidential Race. Campaign events draw large crowds and require significant resources from local government to ensure participants can attend safely.

LRB-5294/1 will prohibit a presidential or vice-presidential campaign with outstanding bills from receiving a permit for another event until all debts are paid. LRB-5294/1 will also allow municipalities to charge in advance of the events for costs related to police and sanitation services.

The Cities of Eau Claire and Green Bay still have outstanding bills for presidential campaign visits from the 2016 election, with the biggest offender being the Trump campaign. As of January 12th, the Trump campaign still owes the City of Eau Claire $47,398 and $9,380 to the City of Green Bay. This pattern of unpaid bills is not unique to Wisconsin – the Trump campaign still owes $841,219 to municipalities throughout the United States, as of June 2019.

Senator Jeff Smith released the following statement for LRB-5294/1:

“It’s one thing to ask for our vote, it’s another to ask us to pick up your tab. Charging campaigns in advance of events protects our municipal budgets and sends a clear message that Wisconsin voters value someone who pays their way. Pay up, or don’t come back!”

Representative Amanda Stuck released the following statement for LRB-5294/1:

“While it is great to see presidential candidates visiting Wisconsin, property tax payers should not be left on the hook for the increased costs to local law enforcement agencies. This legislation makes sure that candidates visiting Wisconsin pay their bills beforehand, so that local communities aren’t left footing the bill.”

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