Former Vice President Mike Pence’s 2020 holiday trip to Vail and Beaver Creek got here with a excessive price ticket, totally on lodging for his security element.
Documents supplied by the United States Secret Service and shared by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington shows bills incurred between December 17, 2020, and January 3, 2021 embrace 77 expenses from rental automobile firms at Eagle County Regional Airport and Denver International Airport, and lodging bills at a number of space motels together with over $270,000 spent on the Marriott Vail Mountain and greater than $80,000 on the Ritz Carlton Bachelor Gulch.
“The journey got here with a large invoice to taxpayers, with Secret Service safety alone costing $757,527.85,” CREW reports. Mike and Karen Pence have been the one two listed protectees on the paperwork.
A short historical past of VP visits
The Vail space has an extended historical past of visits from vice presidents — and the prices tied to security element are the most important bills from these journeys. Members of the Secret Service have additionally, greater than as soon as, been within the highlight for issues apart from operational prices.
In 1991, Dan Quayle spent his Christmas holiday studying to snowboard in Vail. While he was right here, a member of his Secret Service element was caught strolling out of a Gart Brothers retailer in West Vail with a ski jacket hidden in a shopping bag, and was later charged with misdemeanor theft.
In 2006, Dick Cheney attended the World Economic Forum classes in Beaver Creek, the place a person approached the then-VP, touched him on the shoulder and criticized his insurance policies on Iraq. The man was detained by Secret Service, questioned and launched. The man then introduced allegations that his proper to freedom of speech and his proper from illegal search and seizure have been violated. What adopted was years of trial that made it all the way to the Supreme Court in 2012, with an 8-0 ruling within the favor of the Secret Service.
Former VPs Al Gore, Walter Mondale and President Joe Biden additionally vacationed within the valley whereas in workplace, although there have been no reported controversies tied to these visits. The most up-to-date VP visit wouldn’t be tied to 1 both, had it not been for the invoice. But costly veep-cations are evidently par for the course, and a few constituents are calling for extra fiscal duty.
“All politicians don’t spend our (taxpayer) cash in the identical method as they spend their very own cash,” stated Kaye Ferry, chair of Eagle County Republicans. Ferry talked about Michelle Obama’s lavish taxpayer-supported vacations, together with a ski trip to Vail with daughters Sasha and Malia throughout President’s Day Weekend in 2011, the place they stayed at The Sebastian in Vail.
The former first girl and daughters additionally visited Aspen twice in the course of the Obama presidency: Once in 2012 the place the cost to taxpayers totaled $83,000 and once more in 2015 the place the cost to taxpayers was at least $57,000 for the airfare alone.
Local legislation enforcement principally hands-off
When the Vail Daily asked local law enforcement officials in December what number of native assets have been used for the visit, the reply was the identical throughout the board: Very few.
Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek stated that Pence’s visit didn’t require a lot assist from his individuals, besides for some assist with the motorcade that drove Pence from the Eagle County Regional Airport upvalley.
Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger additionally stated there was not a lot further pressure to his division, and added that almost all dignitaries who deliver their very own security are “fairly self-sufficient.”
“He’s simply having fun with household time,” Henninger stated.