Mike Pence stirred some controversy when he held a fundraiser at a Colorado club owned by two openly gay men, and now the vice president has drawn even more after reportedly skipping out on a $24,000 security bill for the event.
Pence appeared at a fundraiser for the Republican Governors Association held at the Caribou Club in Aspen, which The Aspen Times noted was owned by two homosexual men. Pence has been accused of opposing gay rights efforts, including blocking efforts to legalize gay marriage while he was the governor of Indiana and being part of a Trump administration that has pulled back on rights for the LGBT community.
As the report noted, the people of Aspen have protested Pence’s stances before, including in December 2017 when neighbors around the home he stayed displayed a rainbow banner that read “Make America Gay Again.”
But money was the motivation for Pence’s most recent visit. As the report noted, each attendee to the event made a $35,000 donation, with the maximum allowed donation of $2,700 going to the Trump campaign and the rest to the Republican National Committee.
Despite the massive haul for Republicans, The Advocate reported that Pence and his team skipped out on the security bill. Pitkin County, Colorado, Sheriff Joe DiSalvo called out Pence this week for failing to pay.
DiSalvo noted that the event required staffing of 64 police officers for the roughly 20 hours the vice president was there, for a total of 519 person-hours.
“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,” DiSalvo told The Aspen Daily News.
JUST IN: Aspen taxpayers may have to foot $24k security bill for Mike Pence’s appearance at private fundraiser for Trump campaign https://t.co/27v9sQodUb— The Denver Post (@denverpost) July 25, 2019
“I guess the whole thing is generally just somewhat disappointing to me,” DiSalvo said. “You raise $700,000 in an hour, you should be able to pitch in to support the community that made you feel welcome.”
DiSalvo said that he was in touch with Mike Pence’s political adviser, but when he brought up the $24,000 that that campaign owed, they broke off all contact. County Commissioner Greg Poschman told the Aspen Daily News that politicians in the past have all paid up for the security costs, including Hillary Clinton’s donors and even Donald Trump’s campaign in a previous visit, though he admitted that it took “a little more cajoling” to get Trump to pay.