Missoula County seeks $13K for costs during Trump rally

Helena Independent Record

Missoula County is sending Matt Rosendale’s campaign a letter seeking reimbursement for $12,923 in costs incurred during President Donald Trump’s Oct. 18 rally.

The amount only includes $11,170 incurred in overtime and other costs by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office, and $1,753 from the Office of Emergency Management. The Missoula County Airport Authority had additional costs for preparing and cleaning the parking venue, and the Montana Highway Patrol sent 50 troopers to help with public safety. The MHP costs won't be available until next week.

Erin Chlopak, an attorney with the nonpartisan, nonprofit Campaign Legal Center in Washington, D.C., adds that federal regulators don’t require campaign stops like this to be reported as a contribution. Candidates also aren’t required to pay for security required when a president visits. “The Federal Election Commission addressed similar questions under advisory opinions and enforcement matters,” Chlopak said. “They’ve been consistent in concluding that presidential candidates with security, that those expenses are not contributions. … I think the rules are relatively clear and the commission has been pretty consistent.”

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