Opposition researcher’s wet dream- Donald J Trump.

To borrow a phrase from the younger texting generation “OMG!”

Let me start off with a premise.  The office of the Presidency belongs to us, all Americans.  It is our seat to give to a person we feel will serve the nation and its citizens well.  I know we forget that. I know we sometimes let the wrong guy in for the wrong reasons (and re-elect him!) BUT it is our seat.  And we should be very selective on picking the person who sits in it.

Here is one of Trump’s problems, he has ties to the mob.  Now in his defense, if you build or use unions, or haul trash away, you are touched by the mobs in New York, but there is touched, and then there is a freaking bear hug of some Trump loving!

Trump was building his eponymous empire of hotels, casinos, and high rises in the early 1980s in New York City and Atlantic City. In both places, the construction industry was firmly under the thumb of the mafia. And in both places there are literally concrete connections between La Cosa Nostra and Trump’s lavish projects. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, who has covered Trump for decades, has written a very useful list of questions for Trump. Many focus on his ties to the mob. In addition in his 1992 book, “Trump, The Deals and the Downfall,” author Wayne Barrett lays out a slew of suspicious dealings and associations.

The Atlantic City story starts with Trump’s purchase of a bar, at twice its market value, from Salvatore Testa, a made man in the Philadelphia mafia and son of Philip “Chicken Man” Testa, who was briefly head of the Philly mob after Angelo Bruno’s 1980 killing. Harrah’s casino, half owned by Trump, would be built on that land, and Trump would quickly buy out his partner, Harrah’s Entertainment, and rename the casino Trump Plaza.

Trump Plaza’s connection to the mob didn’t end with the land purchase from Testa. Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo (who became boss after the elder Testa was blown up) and his nephew Phillip “crazy Phil” Leonetti controlled two of the major construction and concrete companies in Atlantic City. Both companies, Scarf, Inc. and Nat Nat, did work on the construction of Harrah’s, according the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation’s 1986 report on organized crime. In addition, Scarfo, whose reign as head of the Philly mob was one of the bloodiest in history, controlled the bartenders union, which represented Trump’s workers in Atlantic City, according to George Anastasia’s book, “Blood and Honor.”

One more link to organized crime lurks in Trump’s past Atlantic City dealings. He had a close association with Kenny Shapiro, an investment banker for Scarfo. According to secret recordings of then Scarfo attorney Robert F. Simone, Shapiro was intimately involved with bribing Atlantic City Mayor Michael J. Matthews, whose term would end in 1984 with a conviction on extortion charges. On the tapes, in 1983, Simone, talking about Leonetti, states: “He’s a nice-looking boy…Nicky’s nephew, he can sit with the…mayor. Ah, and Kenny’s (Shapiro) got the mayor through this kid Phillip.”

The Connections Don’t End in Atlantic City

Trump’s association and business dealings with known mafia figures was not limited to his Atlantic City projects. In New York City, several of his buildings were built by S&A Concrete Co., a concern partly owned by Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, the boss of the Genovese crime family. In addition to this business relationship, Trump and Salerno were both represented by high-power attorney Roy Cohn. In his book, Barrett cites an anonymous source who confirms that on at least one occasion Trump and Salerno had a sit-down in Cohn’s apartment. Trump has denied this claim in the past.

Now I remind you, I don’t care what Trump does in Trumpland.  But he’s running for MY seat, the one I share with 320 million other Americans.  I keep thinking, is this the best we have to offer?

And if you think this is fun. Wait till the civil trial concerning what can be put in the best light as a misguided scam and in the worst- a crime.  Trump University.

The article linked by Charles C.W. Cooke in the above thread has to be read to be believed. The New York Attorney General once said of Trump University: ““We started looking at Trump University and discovered that it was a classic bait-and-switch scheme. It was a scam, starting with the fact that it was not a university.” The piece quotes one lawsuit against Trump as saying:

The free seminars were the first step in a bait and switch to induce prospective students to enroll in increasingly expensive seminars starting with the three-day $1495 seminar and ultimately one of respondents’ advanced seminars such as the “Gold Elite” program costing $35,000.

At the “free” 90-minute introductory seminars to which Trump University advertisements and solicitations invited prospective students, Trump University instructors engaged in a methodical, systematic series of misrepresentations designed to convince students to sign up for the Trump University three-day seminar at a cost of $1495.

Well, but a lawsuit can allege anything, right? Except that The Atlantic got hold of the “university” playbook and wrote a piece about it in March 2014. That piece, to me, shows that the allegations of the lawsuit had merit:

The playbook makes Trump’s school seem like not so much a school of higher learning as a meticulously choreographed sales event. Perhaps not surprisingly, Trump University turns out to be more “Trump” than “University.”

The playbook, prepared for Trump University seminars in Texas in 2009, might be summed up in one word: sell. Or as the playbook puts it on page 23, “Sell, Sell, Sell!” The playbook posits a “Minimum Sales Goal” of $72,500 per seminar, meaning that the seminars leaders needed to convince at least 20 percent of attendees to sign up for three-day seminars costing $1,495.

Under the heading “Registration Goal & Procedure,” Trump U. staffers are instructed to “Welcome attendees and build a Trump-esque atmosphere,” “Disarm any uncertainty,” and “Set the hook.” The hook in this case consists of selling seminar attendees on increasingly costly additional courses, culminating in the “Trump Gold Elite” package, for a cool $34,995. Pricey, yes, but the playbook notes that the list price of the Trump Gold Elite package is $49,415, a savings to students of 29 percent. Even before Trump University students had made their first real-estate transaction, they had managed to get themselves a deal, of sorts.

. . . .

The playbook says almost nothing about the guest speaker presentations, the ostensible reason why people showed up to the seminar in the first place. Instead, the playbook focuses on the seminars’ real purpose: to browbeat attendees into purchasing expensive Trump University course packages.

Understand my problem with this. If you are a known celebrity, not at the end of your career hawking some kind of silly this or that machine on some small cable channel, and find yourself involved in what is arguably a scam, you step aside and denounce it. You don’t dig your heels in and fight with your billions to keep a few hundred thousand your people bilked from unsuspecting citizens who BELIEVED in you!

You make it right. You patch it up, fix it, move on. But Trump can’t admit he screwed over someone, can’t admit he may have been taken advantage of. (Who put this together? Who is behind it?) So his natural tendency is to just kick back at whatever is biting at his ankles.

Read the whole thing. It’s pretty damning.

Unfortunately, this means while HRC is ducking felony charges for treason and mishandling of classified and secret data, Trump will be testifying in federal court as to why he thought is was a good idea to screw over desperate people for a thirty grand a pop!

I remind you again. This is OUR seat.  Not theirs to take from us.

There is much more on both candidates. My issue is that Trump and the GOP establishment have so successfully tainted Cruz as a liar and hated by all that a good guy can’t get traction.  I’m not sure if it the anger that is driving this, or that our society has simply degraded to a point where nothing matters and there is no morality any longer.  Which may explain Rap!

Regardless, as we speak the two people trying to wrest from us our seat is a paranoid, lying felon and a reckless, blowhard narcissist.

Seriously?

Out of 320 million people, this is it? What does that say about us?

 

 

 

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