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So how does this get excused?

Posted by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:24 AM
  • 35 Replies
Pay to Play, Mr. Trump?


THE NEW YORK TIMES
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

In light of the suspicions hanging over Donald Trump and Pam Bondi, the Florida attorney general, this opening quote from her Republican National Convention speech is particularly rich. “Nov. 8 is a day of reckoning for all those who have abused their power,” she said. “Winning this election means reclaiming something to which I’ve dedicated my entire career: the rule of law.”

While it hasn’t been proved that Mr. Trump or Ms. Bondi violated bribery law, there’s little doubt that they abused the public trust in 2013, when Ms. Bondi received a $25,000 campaign contribution from Mr. Trump four days after her office announced that Florida was “reviewing the allegations” in a lawsuit filed in New York against his Trump University. Attorneys general in New York and California are pursuing separate class-action suits alleging that Trump University bilked consumers of tens of thousands of dollars they each paid for a worthless real-estate investment course. In the end, Ms. Bondi’s office did not take any action against Trump University.

Mr. Trump’s contribution from his family foundation to Ms. Bondi violated federal tax law barring tax-exempt charities from engaging in political activity. The Washington Post reported last week that Mr. Trump paid a $2,500 penalty to the Internal Revenue Service for the violation.


News of the fine came as Mr. Trump has spent days accusing Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation of similar pay-to-play schemes. Confronted on Monday, Mr. Trump said oddly that he hadn’t spoken to Ms. Bondi. The Associated Press reported in June that an adviser to Ms. Bondi confirmed that Ms. Bondi had spoken to Mr. Trump and asked for the contribution.

Mr. Trump has made a point of saying that he’s in the habit of buying politicians. He said in July 2015, “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.” And during a Republican debate the next month, he said: “I was a businessman. I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them, and they are there for me.” In Iowa in January, he said: “When I call, they kiss my ass. O.K.?”


Ms. Bondi’s office did not respond when asked for an explanation of why she would accept a $25,000 donation from Mr. Trump just days after her office announced that it was reviewing New York’s allegations against him.

The Florida allegations are not the first of their kind. In 2013 and 2014, Mr. Trump gave a total of $35,000 to the campaign of Greg Abbott, Texas’ attorney general, now the state’s governor. In 2010, Mr. Abbott’s office had dropped its investigation of Trump University. A 2014 series in The Times recounted in detail how many attorneys general, including Ms. Bondi, accepted travel, luxury accommodations and other perks from corporations targeted by their offices. This behavior is practically built into a campaign finance system in which nearly limitless cash engulfs both parties.

If Ms. Bondi promised to back off the Trump University suit in exchange for campaign money during that 2013 phone conversation, it could be a crime. As for Mr. Trump, the $2,500 I.R.S. fine is a tiny penalty, unless voters impose consequences of their own.

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by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:24 AM
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Replies (1-10):
numbr1wmn
by Nikki on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:26 AM

This is an Opinion

tanyainmizzou
by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:27 AM
Who is excusing it?
pdxmum
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:28 AM
Donald Trump’s Donation Is His Latest Brush With Campaign Fund Rules

New York Times

By STEVE EDER and MEGAN TWOHEY
SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

Donald J. Trump, who has repeatedly denounced pay-to-play politics during his insurgent campaign, is now defending himself against claims that he donated $25,000 to a group supporting the Florida attorney general, Pam Bondi, to sway her office’s review of fraud allegations at Trump University.

Mr. Trump’s payment of a $2,500 penalty to the Internal Revenue Service over that 2013 campaign gift amounted to only the latest slap of his wrist in a decades-long record of shattering political donation limits and circumventing the rules governing contributions and lobbying.

In the 1980s, Mr. Trump was compelled to testify under oath before New York State officials after he directed tens of thousands of dollars to the president of the New York City Council through myriad subsidiary companies to evade contribution limits. In the 1990s, the Federal Election Commission fined Mr. Trump for exceeding the annual limit on campaign contributions by $47,050, the largest violation in a single year. And in 2000, the New York State lobbying commission imposed a $250,000 fine for Mr. Trump’s failing to disclose the full extent of his lobbying of state legislators.

For the most part, Mr. Trump has seemed unrepentant. Testifying in 1988 about a $50,000 bank loan he had first guaranteed, and then repaid, on behalf of Andrew J. Stein’s successful campaign for New York City Council president, Mr. Trump made no bones about the move.


“I was under the impression that I was getting my money back,” he told the New York State Commission on Government Integrity.

In the Florida case, Mr. Trump is accused of using a large and timely political donation in 2013 to ward off a potentially thorny investigation by Ms. Bondi’s office: Days before the donation was made, The Orlando Sentinel reported that the New York State attorney general’s office had sued Trump University and noted that Ms. Bondi’s office was weighing whether to join in that litigation.

A political aide to Ms. Bondi told The Associated Press earlier this year that the attorney general had solicited the donation in a conversation with Mr. Trump weeks before The Sentinel’s article. But Mr. Trump made the donation from his charitable foundation, in violation of tax regulations, and paid the penalty, as first reported by The Washington Post last week.

Mr. Trump and Ms. Bondi, who is supporting his campaign, have denied any connection between his donation and her office’s decision not to proceed with an investigation. Asked about the subject on Monday, he called Ms. Bondi “beyond reproach” and said that he “never spoke to her about that at all.”

A spokesman for the Florida attorney general’s office, Gerald Whitney Ray, said the office’s inquiry never came across Ms. Bondi’s desk: Lower-level staff members made the decision not to proceed with an investigation of their own. Mr. Ray also said the office never gave any thought to joining in the New York attorney general’s case.

But Democrats and liberal watchdogs seized the opportunity to accuse Mr. Trump of practicing exactly the sort of corrupt politics that he rails against on the campaign trail.

Campaigning in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday, Hillary Clinton demanded details of the conversation in which Ms. Bondi solicited Mr. Trump’s donation. “The American people deserve to know what was said, because clearly the attorney general did not proceed with the investigation,” she told reporters.

And Jordan Libowitz, a spokesman for the liberal-leaning Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, said Mr. Trump’s donation to Ms. Bondi gave new meaning to his more recent boasts about the efficacy of his political giving. “It sure looks like that is what is going on here,” said Mr. Libowitz, whose group filed a complaint about the donation with the I.R.S.

Though Mr. Trump denies it in the case of Ms. Bondi, he has been brazen in asserting that he has used political donations to buy influence — and routinely asks voters to trust that, because he possesses that insider’s knowledge, he can reform a system that he calls “rigged"

During a Republican debate last summer, Mr. Trump responded about his ability to curry favor with public officials when he was confronted with one of his own statements: “When you give, they do whatever the hell you want them to do.”

“You’d better believe it,” Mr. Trump responded. He added: “When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them two years later, three years later, I call them, they are there for me.”

Indeed, Mr. Trump’s history of political giving stretches back decades — and has repeatedly drawn regulatory scrutiny.

When a New York State commission investigated contributions to state and local officials in the 1980s, it subpoenaed Mr. Trump, who had contributed $150,000 to candidates in 1985. Under oath, he said he had circumvented the state’s $50,000 individual and $5,000 corporate contribution limits by disbursing his contributions to Mr. Stein, the city councilman, through 18 subsidiary companies.


“My attorneys basically said that this was a proper way of doing it,” Mr. Trump testified.

In an interview, Mr. Stein said he did not recall what Mr. Trump had sought in return for his contributions, or for a $50,000 campaign loan that Mr. Trump first guaranteed and then repaid. He denied ever agreeing to do Mr. Trump any favors.

Years later, Mr. Trump came under fire from the Federal Election Commission for violating a $25,000 annual limit on contributions in the late 1980s. Mr. Trump resisted paying a fine, insisting that he had been unaware of the federal limit and that, once informed of it, he sought refunds.

Only when the commission threatened to take him to court did Mr. Trump agree to a $15,000 civil penalty, records show.


“We were going to fight it, but it would have cost more money than the settlement,” Mr. Trump said at the time.

It was with similar reluctance that in 2000, Mr. Trump apologized for failing to disclose to New York State officials that he had spent $150,000 to finance ads opposing a proposed casino in the Catskills, which he saw as a threat to his Atlantic City properties. The ads were created and placed by a political consultant, Roger Stone, and appeared under the name of a front group, the Institute for Law and Society.

A settlement led to what, at the time, was the largest penalty imposed by the state lobbying commission: Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts paid $50,000, and Mr. Stone and the front group each paid $100,000, without admitting wrongdoing. In a statement, all three said they “apologize if anyone was misled.”

In recent years, Mr. Trump has made tens of thousands of dollars in contributions to at least four state attorneys general — Ms. Bondi of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, both Republicans, and the Democrats Eric Schneiderman of New York and Kamala Harris of California — whose offices have looked into complaints about Trump University.

Mr. Abbott, whose office considered a lawsuit against Trump University before the company left Texas in 2010, is now supporting Mr. Trump — who donated $35,000 to Mr. Abbott’s successful 2014 campaign for governor.

Ms. Harris’s office said it, too, was investigating the company, and an aide said that she donated the $6,000 from Mr. Trump to charity.

Mr. Schneiderman’s fraud lawsuit is still pending. But Mr. Trump, whose donation of $12,500 to Mr. Schneiderman preceded his election, filed a state ethics complaint alleging that Mr. Schneiderman continued to seek donations, calling the fraud case a “shakedown.”

The state ethics panel declined last year to pursue Mr. Trump’s complaint.

Kitty Bennett, Amy Chozick and Maggie Haberman contributed reporting.

pdxmum
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:29 AM
I just posted an article more fact based.

Quoting numbr1wmn:

This is an Opinion

msb64
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:31 AM
1 mom liked this

pdxmum
by Gold Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:35 AM
2 moms liked this
Silence about this from trump supporters is passive excuse making. I'm just curious how a trump supporter spins this.

Quoting tanyainmizzou: Who is excusing it?
tanyainmizzou
by on Sep. 7, 2016 at 10:36 AM
Why are you not making one about Clinton?

Quoting pdxmum: Silence about this from trump supporters is passive excuse making. I'm just curious how a trump supporter spins this.

Quoting tanyainmizzou: Who is excusing it?
trippyhippy
by Platinum Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 11:06 AM
7 moms liked this
Why don't you answer the question about this one and make one about Clinton yourself?

Quoting tanyainmizzou: Why are you not making one about Clinton?

Quoting pdxmum: Silence about this from trump supporters is passive excuse making. I'm just curious how a trump supporter spins this.

Quoting tanyainmizzou: Who is excusing it?
KaleaLani
by Silver Member on Sep. 7, 2016 at 11:10 AM
9 moms liked this

;-)
couture-mommy
by 8.21.1831 on Sep. 7, 2016 at 11:34 AM
3 moms liked this
Love this

Quoting KaleaLani:

;-)
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