During the CNN-sponsored, second GOP debate held at the esteemed Reagan Museum, one exchange between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush stood out as an illustrative example of crony capitalism and the willingness of Donald Trump to bend the truth …
Governor Bush, in addition to the fact that he’s an outsider, one of the reasons Mr. Trump is a frontrunner, Republican voters say, is because they like the fact that he is not bought and paid for by wealthy donors. Mr. Trump has repeatedly said that the $100 million you’ve raised for your campaign makes you a puppet for your donors. Are you?
BUSH: No. Absolutely not. People are supporting me because I have a proven record of conservative leadership where I cut taxes $19 billion over eight years. We shrunk the state government workforce, we created a climate that led the nation in job growth seven out of eight years. We were one of two states to go to AAA bond rating. People know that we need principle-centered leadership, a disrupter to go to Washington, D.C. The one guy that had some special interests that I know of that tried to get me to change my views on something — that was generous and gave me money — was Donald Trump. He wanted casino gambling in Florida — TRUMP: I didn’t —
BUSH: Yes you did.
TRUMP: Totally false.
BUSH: You wanted it and you didn’t get it because I was opposed to —
TRUMP: I would have gotten it.
BUSH: — casino gambling before —
TRUMP: I promise I would have gotten it.
BUSH: during and after. And that’s not — I’m not going to be bought by anybody.
TRUMP: I promise if I wanted it, I would have gotten it.
BUSH: No way. Believe me.
TRUMP: I know my people.
BUSH: Not even possible.
TRUMP: I know my people.
TAPPER: Is there anything else you want to say about this?
TRUMP: No. I just will tell you that, you know, Jeb made the statement. I’m not only referring to him. I — a lot of money was raised by a lot of different people that are standing up here. And the donors, the special interests, the lobbyists have very strong power over these people.
I’m spending all of my money, I’m not spending — I’m not getting any — I turned down — I turn down so much, I could have right now from special interests and donors, I could have double and triple what he’s got. I’ve turned it down. I turned down last week $5 million from somebody.
So I will tell you I understand the game, I’ve been on the other side all of my life. And they have a lot of control over our politicians. And I don’t say that favorably, and I’m not sure if there’s another system, but I say this. I am not accepting any money from anybody. Nobody has control of me other than the people of this country. I’m going to do the right thing.
TAPPER: Governor — BUSH: You’ve got, according to your — to what you said on one of the talk shows, you got Hillary Clinton to go to your wedding —
TRUMP: That’s true. That’s true.
BUSH: — because you gave her money. Maybe it works for Hillary Clinton —
TRUMP: I was — excuse me, Jeb.
BUSH: — it doesn’t work for anybody on this — on stage.
TRUMP: I was a businessman, I got along with Clinton, I got along with everybody. That was my job, to get along with people.
BUSH: But the simple fact is —
TRUMP: I didn’t want to — excuse me. One second.
BUSH: No. The simple fact is, Donald, you could not take —
TRUMP: OK, more energy tonight. I like that.
BUSH: I was asked the question.
TRUMP: I didn’t want — it was my obligation as a businessman to my family, to my company, to my employees, to get along with all politicians. I get along with all of them, and I did a damn good job in doing it. Go ahead.
BUSH: So he supports Pelosi, he supports Schumer, he supports Clinton —
TRUMP: Got along with everybody.
BUSH: When he — and he — when he asked — when he asked Florida to have casino gambling, we said no.
BUSH: We said no. And that’s the simple fact. The simple fact is —
TRUMP: Don’t make things up. Jeb, don’t make things up. Come on.
BUSH: Don’t cut me off.
TRUMP: Don’t make things up.
Now consider what happened in Connecticut and if he really was that good, he would have gotten his casino …
Like most billionaire businessmen, Trump employs people specifically to lobby politicians to pursue his agenda. Simply put, he is on one end of the political corruption chain – and now he wants to be on the other side; where he can merchandise access and reap the benefits of the presidency.
Trump Pays Bridgeport a Visit To Promote Theme Park Plan -- Published: June 3, 1994
The developer Donald Trump came to this economically depressed city today to promote his proposal to build a $350 million amusement park and seaport village here. As outlined by Mr. Trump and his associates, the project would include a seasonal theme park featuring rides and amusements; a year-round seaport village with specialty shops, restaurants and entertainment and a waterfront terminal for cruise ships, high-speed ferries and trade show ships.
Mr. Trump told business and political leaders that Trump Park would create about 3,000 full- and part-time jobs and generate millions in tax revenues. "The magnificence of the park will make Bridgeport a world-class destination," Mr. Trump said.
The project is far from a certainty. Before construction can begin, Mr. Trump must win several approvals, including environmental permits and approval from the Bridgeport Port Authority.
The city currently owns Pleasure Beach, which makes up about 40 percent of the 100 acres. The remaining 60 percent is privately owned. Under the Trump proposal, the city would acquire the private land through eminent domain and then convey it to Mr. Trump. The Trump organization and the city's Parks Board would enter into a long-term lease for the Pleasure Beach area. <Source>
It’s all here. The confiscation of private property, not for pubic use, but for private development with the City benefiting from the increased tax revenues. The dealings with politicians and regulatory agencies. Subsidies and tax allowances. Just another day for a real estate developer and his cadre of “fixers.” The owners of the private property have no choice other than to sell their property at depressed prices and not be able to participate in the wealth created for Trump and the private parties that develop and operate the property.
Bridgeport Mayor's Associate Testifies to Passing On Bribes -- Published: January 10, 2003
The second day in the federal corruption trial of Joseph P. Ganim, the mayor of Bridgeport, ended today with testimony from a former Ganim associate who said he had passed bribes to the mayor on behalf of large developers and contractors.
The associate, Leonard J. Grimaldi, 44, once among Mr. Ganim's closest friends and his campaign manager for a decade, told jurors that he had paid Mr. Ganim hundreds of thousands of dollars collected as ''consulting fees'' from local businessmen.
In June 2001, Mr. Grimaldi pleaded guilty to federal racketeering and tax fraud charges for his role in a scheme that prosecutors said was orchestrated by Mr. Ganim to defraud Bridgeport and shake down companies eager to do business with it.
Questioned by Michael R. Sklaire, an assistant United States attorney, Mr. Grimaldi, a public relations consultant and former journalist, described how he met Mr. Ganim in 1989, when the five-term mayor was first campaigning for office.
''We developed a good friendship, a close friendship,'' Mr. Grimaldi said. He said Mr. Ganim introduced him to Donald Trump in 1994 after Mr. Trump invited the mayor to New York City to discuss building a casino in Bridgeport.
Toward the end of 1994, Mr. Trump offered Mr. Grimaldi a job keeping close tabs on the casino issue in Bridgeport, offering him $3,000 to $4,000 a month to ''gain access for him with Joe Ganim,'' Mr. Grimaldi testified.
When Mr. Grimaldi told Mr. Ganim that Mr. Trump was paying him that monthly sum, ''Joe laughed and said, 'Donald Trump is not paying you because you're a good public relations guy, he's paying you because of your relationship with me,' '' Mr. Grimaldi told jurors. <Source>
Trump’s $1 Land Deal With a Corrupt Mayor
Donald Trump once promised an amusement park to Bridgeport, Connecticut. When it fell through, he owed hundreds of thousands per year in back taxes—until its mayor bailed him out.
In search of something to reverse its declining fortunes in the early ’90s, the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, looked 80 miles east. There, the Foxwoods casino was, even in its infancy, proving to be a boon for the tiny town of Mashantucket and the Native American tribe that ran it. Bridgeport hoped that another giant casino, this one on its own waterfront, could anchor a revitalized downtown and drive the city’s economic comeback.
But the city didn’t expect a bitter land dispute between two real-estate magnates that would end with the town’s mayor—a man who would later spend seven years in prison on corruption charges—making a deal with one of the magnates to forgive him $300,000 per year in back property taxes.
That magnate was Donald Trump.
In the summer of 1994, Trump had joined with Bridgeport’s then-mayor Joe Ganim to announce the Trump Park City Plaza. The waterfront project was to contain an amusement park, retail and residential space, and a shipping terminal.
But Trump was still on the hook for $300,000 a year in property taxes, according to journalist Rob Sullivan’s 2014 book Political Corruption in Bridgeport: Scandal in the Park City. “The assessment on this property is crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he said, according to Grimaldi’s book.
Trump complained loudly to Ganim, who hit on a solution. With the casino dead, the mayor wanted the land in order to build a minor-league baseball park.
He made a deal with Trump: The mogul would sell the land to the city for $1, plus forgiveness of all the back taxes he owed. <Source>
What was really in play was a large casino that may have been built if a dispute between Donald Trump and fellow billionaire casino owner and Steve Wynn had not erupted. Everything else appeared to be window-dressing.
After the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation scored with its massive Foxwoods Resort Casino in the early 1990s, Trump started lobbying the state to authorize a non-Indian casino in Bridgeport. According to The New York Times, the real estate mogul spent several months in 1993 trying to break into the market.
The effort didn't succeed but Trump did not give up on Bridgeport. In June 1994, he announced plans for a huge resort in the city that didn't include gaming. "If casinos should happen in Connecticut, we'd be involved, but not here," Trump said in Bridgeport, The New York Times reported.
The situation changed after residents of the impoverished city voted to support a casino on the waterfront in March 1995, The Daily Beast reported. By that time, however, rival gaming mogul Steve Wynn entered the picture and there was even talk of the Pequots operating the facility.
That's when Trump apparently decided that if he couldn't have the casino no one else could. One of his former associates said he was hired to make sure nothing ever happened in Bridgeport. “Trump’s attitude was, ‘If they give me the casino I’ll take it. If it’s not mine I wanna kill it,'" Lennie Grimaldi, who was the campaign manager for the city's then-mayor, told The Daily Beast.
Nothing ever happened in Bridgeport and the Pequots eventually agreed to share 25 percent of their slot machine revenues with the state in exchange for exclusive rights to Class III gaming. The Mohegan Tribe made the same deal when it opened Mohegan Sun in 1996.
As for Bridgeport, Trump ended up making his own deal -- he sold his land to the city for $1 in exchange for forgiveness on the $300,000 in annual property taxes he owed on the potential resort site. The mayor who agreed to the arrangement eventually served seven years in federal prison on racketeering, conspiracy and bribery charges, The Daily Beast reported. <Source>
Bottom line …
The problem with Donald Trump is simply that he cannot be trusted. His word is worthless. Everything Trump is smart, rich, great, fabulous, and the best. If you are not with Trump you are a fat, broke, loser who should be ashamed of your existence.
Trump has neither the ability nor the demeanor to serve as the President of the United States and as soon as we get this fool off the stage, the closer the GOP will be to finding a candidate that can get the job done.
At the present time, the only candidate with the intellectual capability, demeanor, and raw energy to put forth a solution is Senator Ted Cruz – a man who will buck his own party to do the right thing.
Trump is a celebrity huckster and that’s the bottom line.
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius