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'Pony up,' Green Bay Mayor asks politicians to pay more than $57,700 for public services

Eric Genrich says if these alleged debts aren't settled they will fall on the taxpayer
Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 02, 2024

GREEN BAY (NBC26) — Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich says several political candidates have not paid the city for first response, public works, and parking for campaign rallies dating back to 2016.

  • See file footage of visits from President Donald Trump, First Lady Jill Biden, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich's news release listed debts owed by the Biden campaign, however he confirmed Tuesday the campaign has sent the money
  • Kaukauna's Finance Director William Van Rossum says Bernie Sanders' staff wanted to pay the cost of the two police officers they had on standby during his latest visit upfront, but the city chose to send an invoice instead
  • NBC26 requested the invoices Genrich cites in his news release be sent to us by the Green Bay finance department, as of the publication of this article we have not yet heard back

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story with additional details for the web.)

Green Bay's mayor is asking politicians to pay up for public services given to presidential candidates for campaign visits. I'm Pari Apostolakos at city hall, where the mayor tells me why he decided to bring the matter to the people's attention.

"Keep America great," former President Donald Trump said to a cheering crowd at a previous campaign rally.

In a news release sent Tuesday, Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich writes that several political candidates have not paid the city for first response, public works, and parking for campaign rallies dating back to 2016.

Costs now total more than $57,700.

"We're expecting folks who come here for political purposes to pay their bills," Mayor Genrich said.

Mayor Genrich says the Biden campaign owed the city nearly $7,000 for the First Lady's most recent visit.

However, the Biden campaign tells us they paid the bill at the beginning of this month. Mayor Genrich confirmed the payment has been sent.

We received a statement from the Biden campaign which reads in part "We paid our bills and will continue to engage voters across Green Bay in the lead up to November."

Genrich says President Trump owes more than $33,000 for his visit in April and more than $9,000 for a visit in 2016.

He says Hilary Clinton's campaign owes more than $12,500 for her 2016 visit and Bernie Sanders' campaign owes nearly $2,000 for his rally in 2016.

"Were there any contracts actually negotiated with the campaigns regarding, you know, payment for these services prior to or during their visits?" I asked Genrich at City Hall on Tuesday.

"No contractual negotiations that I'm familiar with," he said. "But that stuff isn't free, you know it falls to the taxpayer if campaigns aren't paying the full freight of those visits and so that's why we're asking folks to pony up."

I asked the mayor if he believes the city might use contracts, or require upfront payments from visiting politicians in the future.

He said it's a possibility.

"I think the best way to hold elected officials accountable or folks that are running for office accountable is to go to the public," Genrich said.

We reached out to the offices of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump and attempted to contact Hilary Clinton.

As of the airing of this story, we have not yet heard back.

Kaukauna's finance director tells me he expects payment for police services from Bernie Sanders' latest visit to be paid in a timely manner. In Green Bay Pari Apostolakos NBC 26.