An editorial by Heather Warburton
Trump is coming to Wildwood!!! Depending on which side of the aisle you are on, that phrase either fills you with joy or anger. After the unsurprising party defection of CD-2 Representative Jeff Van Drew, Trump is throwing his support behind the pocket squared congressman. That includes an Air Force One trip to NJ to visit the Wildwood Convention center on January 28th. Event goers also have the possibility of joining something called the “Trump Victory Leadership Training Day” as part of the package.
The rally is expected to be well attended by supporters and protestors. The convention center can hold up to 7000 people. A Facebook group organizing protestors in CD2 had 170 responders at the time of writing while another group has over 600 responders. Plus, there is a possible appearance by the always popular “Baby Trump Balloon”. No matter which way you look at it, the circus is coming to town. Like all circuses is going to be expensive, chaotic, and generally smell bad to people in the immediate area.
All of this begs the question, “Who is going to pay for it?”. The Trump campaign is wracking up unpaid bills across the country. In an article from The Center for Public Integrity, Trump has an unpaid $16,000 bill in Lebanon Ohio and an astounding $841,219 with 9 other cities. In South Jersey, Trump stiffing those who he does business with is the stuff of legends. In Atlantic City, it seems like everyone you talk to knows someone who is still owed money by one of Trump’s casinos. Are Wildwood taxpayers going to be the next ones left holding the bag in a bad gamble?
Events like this involve things like road closures, police presence, and hours of manpower and organizing with city employees. All those people need to be paid for their labor, often to the sum of tens of thousands of dollars. Who is going to be writing that check? Trump? Van Drew? Or the residents of Wildwood. The tax rate in Wildwood is lower than many other regional municipalities, but I doubt residents want to see an increase for one day circus, especially since Trump has an almost 60% disapproval rate in NJ.