Presidential candidate visits costing cities and counties money that is not reimbursed by campaigns

Only Arapahoe County has billed for visits


Colorado appears to be the final stretch of the election, with each campaign planning multiple stops every day leading up to Election Day.

Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan was in Montrose on Friday. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will be at Comfort Dental Amphitheatre in the Denver Tech Center on Saturday night. Ryan leaves Colorado, but returns to Johnstown on Saturday.

Vice President Joe Biden will be in Arvada on Saturday. President Obama will be in Aurora on Sunday night. Ryan again returns to Colorado for a stop in Castle Rock.

7NEWS checked the campaign history and over the last month, the campaigns have made two dozen stops in Colorado, including 15 in Denver.

  • Romney - 7
  • Obama - 5
  • Michelle Obama - 2
  • Ann Romney - 1

Since June, there have been four dozen visits.

7NEWS checked with law enforcement in the cities and counties that have seen campaign visits since May. None of the cities or counties has received reimbursement from any of the visits.

Boulder Police don't yet know the cost of the President's visit to the University of Colorado on Thursday. However, when he visited the campus on Sept. 2 it cost about $50,000. His official White House visit in April also cost about $50,000. Including the unknown costs of Thursday's visit, Boulder Police now expect to be $50,000 short in its budget.

"It's tax dollars, and it either has to be found in other areas of our budget, and if we can't cover it out of other categories then we would have to get some additional funding from the city," said Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner. "We've never cut anything, it's just -- you have to go and find the money in other areas."

"Why not ask the campaigns for reimbursement?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"We've inquired about that. The commander who has been working with Secret Service has been told that the campaign doesn't reimburse those expenses," said Beckner. "Now, if you find out something different and there's a way to get reimbursement, we're certainly interested in that. No one's been able to collect to our knowledge. Now, should that change, we would certainly seek reimbursement."

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson has tried to collect from previous campaigns, but has never been paid.

During the Republican primary, Mitt Romney's February stop cost the sheriff's office $25,000. A June stop by First Lady Michelle Obama cost less than $25,000.

Denver took in money for the parks that were rented as part of the recent campaign stops.

According to the mayor's spokeswoman Amber Miller, the parks and recreation department took in $10,000 in permit fee. Arts and Venues also received money for the rental of Red Rocks for the Romney/Ryan campaign stop on Oct. 23.

According to Denver Police, the staffing for patrol and motorcades is done by special operations and does not impact the police budget.

Colorado Springs Police plan to bill the campaigns for each visit, but the bills are still being finalized.


April 24: $109,237.19

Parking and Transportation Services: $39,402.62

Athletics Facilities and Services: $21,747.59

CU Police Staffing and Support: $21,542.34

Facilities Management Costs: $15,366.71

Student Affairs Costs (UMC and catering services): $5,941.00

Other Transportation (shuttle charges): $5,236.93

Total: $109,237.19


Oct. 23: Romney/Ryan Red Rocks visit - figures not compiled yet

Sept. 13: Obama visit - $9,975

Aug. 14: Ryan Lakewood visit - $921

Aug. 2: Romney visit - $2,802

Jefferson County spokesman Mark Techmeyer told 7NEWS, the campaigns are not charged because, in essence, it is assisting another agency, The Secret Service.

"No (budget) adjustments have been made or areas cut, however the Board of County Commissioners are aware of the expenditures. We will be addressing them before the end of the year with the board for consideration of reimbursement to our budget," said Techmeyer.


Oct 29: Jill Biden visit to Colorado College: cost not yet finalized

Sept 26: Ryan visit to America the Beautiful Park: $13,426.94

Sept 6: Ryan visit: $15,432.45

Aug 9: Obama visit to Colorado College: $27,473.18

June 29: Obama visit for Waldo Canyon Fire: Presidential visit - no bill submitted

"Bills are being prepared and will be sent out within the next several days. Bills are to the campaigns for campaign visits only. President Obama’s visit in June for the wildfire was a presidential visit and not a campaign visit, so no bill is sent for that visit," said Colorado Springs Police spokeswoman Barbara Miller.


Nov. 1: Ryan visit

Oct. 17: Biden visit

"We are not billing. The cost is minimal for us. We mainly used people that were already on duty," said Weld County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Tim Schwartz.

Greeley Police said there is no accounting of the visits.

"From previous experience, we’ve discovered campaigns do not pay these expenses, so we do not bill them," said Greeley Police Sgt. Susan West. "Ultimately, providing for the safety of the citizens of the community, as well as any and all visitors, is the ultimate responsibility of the police department, whether these people come to shop, live, visit, campaign, listen or whatever.  Public Safety is the day to day mission of the police department."


Sept. 26: Ryan visit

Aug. 28: Obama visit at CSU

"We do not charge the campaigns for our costs. The requests for our assistance do not come from the campaigns, but rather, come from the Secret Service directly. So, we have collected nothing from the campaigns or the Secret Service)," said Larimer County spokesman John Schultz. "Since those costs just come out of our regular budget we do not track them separately.  At the time of the Obama visit, Sheriff (Justin) Smith estimated our cost to be about $30,000, but that's just an estimate. He did not make an estimate for the Paul Ryan visit. It's difficult to determine the impact on the budget. Obviously, it has some effect, but at the present time, it has not impacted us too much."


Aug. 8: Obama visit - $5,050.96 overtime/$187.80 operating expenses

July 10: Romney visit - $4,411.95 overtime

"We aren't planning on asking for reimbursement," said Mesa County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Heather Benjamin.


Aug. 8: Obama visit - $13,259 overtime

"Other costs include: regular hourly wages of $15,204 (people who were working during their normal schedule) and use of equipment owned by the city (if we were to bill it) at $5,375, making the total $33,838," said Grand Junction Police spokeswoman Kate Porras.

July 10: Romney visit - $410 overtime

"Other costs include: regular hourly wages (people who were working during their normal schedule) plus use of equipment owned by the City (if we were to bill it) at $4,366, making the grand total $4,776," said Porras.

Print this article Back to Top