I-Team: How much do presidential campaign visits cost you?

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CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team is investigating how much it can cost each one of us when a presidential candidate comes to town. We’re asking if the campaigns ever pay back cities, like Cleveland, for tens of thousands of dollars in tax money spent on security.

This comes as President Donald Trump landed at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland on Thursday, before going to Clyde and Bratenahl.

When candidates for president come to town, some of you might go to see them, but we all share in the cost of security for police escorts, closed roads and law enforcement presence at events.

The I-Team obtained records from the city of Cleveland for the last race for president.

One document shows the cost of security at a Trump rally in 2016 at the I-X Center. That rally attracted a crowd inside, as well as protesters and supporters outside.

Security for that included dozens of police officers and police bosses with some working up to 10 hours. Plus, a police helicopter and horses.The total expense came to $68,620.

We also reviewed the cost for a 2016 Hillary Clinton rally. Again, security for that included dozens of officers, a police helicopter, command bus and more.

That rally didn’t last as long as the one at the I-X Center and it was smaller. Records show the security cost for the Clinton visit was $26, 112.

We also found the Trump campaign and the Clinton campaign each later sent a check to the city covering the costs for their rallies.

The I-Team filed a request with Cleveland City Hall for all bills and letters sent to presidential campaigns for the cost of security going back to 2016, before the last election. The city finally sent us records, but just for two campaign stops.

So, we followed up asking the Mayor Frank Jackson’s office, does the city only bill campaigns some of the time? And, how often do they pay?

Meantime, an official with the current Trump campaign referred us to the Secret Service.

Certainly, this campaign season will be very different because of the coronavirus outbreak.

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