Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Trump runs his campaign like he runs his casinos

by digby

I wrote about Trump's alleged business acumen for Salon today:

Yesterday’s bombshell that Trump had finally fired his incompetent campaign manager Corey Lewandowski hit the news networks like a lightning bolt. It had been clear for months the man was in over his head but Trump was loyal to him apparently under the assumption that he’d ushered him through the primaries and therefore knew what he was doing. According to news reports it took the Trump heirs gathering Lewandowski and The Donald in a room together to confront the campaign manager with the campaign’s lack of organization.

Trump apparently didn’t have a clue about any of it, and quickly dispatched his loyal servant when he was informed, which suggests that his only reading these days is old clippings of his once promising poll numbers. (Either that or he signed off on Lewandowski’s plans and pretended otherwise in front of the offspring which is more likely.) Whatever the case, he’s decided to make a change, presumably to put his dark despot wrangler Paul Manafort fully in charge.

And that’s not the even the biggest Trump news. Last night it was revealed that the Trump campaign only has $1.3 million on hand. That is less than many incumbent congressional campaigns. This comports with other reporting revealing that Trump is having a lot of trouble wooing donors raising the ultimate question as to why he doesn’t simply write himself a check. He claims to be worth $10 billion dollars. If that were true he could finance this campaign entirely with a small dent in his fortune. For “some reason” he won’t do that, insisting that the campaign can be run on the cheap.

None of this should be surprising. Trump has a long history of financial malfeasance. We’ve heard all about Trump University and ACN and various other low-rent branding schemes. But if the horror of Orlando had not intervened, the most significant part of his business history is probably all we would have been talking about over the past week. The morning of the massacre, the New York Times published an exposé of Trump’s 25 years of running gambling enterprises in Atlantic City and it was devastating. For obvious reasons most people did not pay attention to it in the wake of such an unspeakable tragedy. But it’s time to take a closer look.

The article was entitled “How Donald Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions.” Let’s just say Trump always managed to take care of himself first. Everybody else got burned --- “bigly.”
His audacious personality and opulent properties brought attention — and countless players — to Atlantic City as it sought to overtake Las Vegas as the country’s gambling capital. But a close examination of regulatory reviews, court records and security filings by The New York Times leaves little doubt that Mr. Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing.

But even as his companies did poorly, Mr. Trump did well. He put up little of his own money, shifted personal debts to the casinos and collected millions of dollars in salary, bonuses and other payments. The burden of his failures fell on investors and others who had bet on his business acumen.
It was a set-up:
“He assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high interest rates — after telling regulators he would not — that the businesses had almost no chance to succeed.”
It happened repeatedly. He would buy at the top, and then mortgage the property to the hilt hyping himself to investors as a supreme business genius, the bottom would fall out and the whole thing collapses for lack of funds. But being the consummate hustler he is, he persuades the investors to take huge losses then loan him money all over again for yet another venture with the same phony prospectus. He, of course, was taking tons of money from the enterprise the whole time for himself. He is estimated to have cost his investors more than 1.5 billion dollars in losses.

He did that four times in Atlantic City, four bankruptcies, until he finally ran out the string in 2010.

Despite his protestations that he “got out” before Atlantic City crashed, the truth is that he was in long after everyone knew it was failing, licensing his name to his derelict casinos and dirty hotels, making them buy his silly Trump swag at inflated prices and generally stiffing thousands of workers and contractors over and over again even was he was making millions. It’s fair to say that the allegedly sophisticated Wall Street investors should have known better than to believe the Trump hype, especially more than once, but unfortunately their foolishness took down a lot of smaller investors with them, people who put their retirement savings on the line and lost it all.

This investigative report came on the heels of an earlier expose in USA Today with the headline “Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills” about the more than 3500 lawsuits filed against him.. Basically, the scam was that he would contract with a company for some kind of work on the hotels, approve the work and then refuse to pay the final invoices telling them to take him to court if they didn’t like it, in some cases “advising” them to take the offer of a lower fee if they wanted any more work in the future. The legal fees would eat them alive and they would often drop the case or be ruined. And those weren’t even the scores of businesses and employees who were destroyed by his serial bankruptcies.

This is how he operates his businesses so it shouldn’t be too surprising that he’s running the same scams on his campaign. His May FEC reports show that 20% of the nearly 7 million spent in May went to Trump-owned businesses or family members. The campaign pays for his sons and daughter to travel for appearances. It “rented” Trump’s Palm beach club Mar-a-Lago and paid for Trump’s private 767 757. According to Market Watch, “the filing suggests that Trump himself is drawing a salary from the campaign, which would be highly unusual.” That would be unusual for a normal candidate, it’s standard operating procedure for Trump. Whether these expenses are commonly charged to campaigns is irrelevant. There is no law against a candidate paying his own expenses out of his own pocket. Trump is choosing not to do that for some reason.

He has loaned his campaign about 45 million dollars, which he insists is only a loan on paper and has no intention of paying back to himself from campaign funds. He’s using some of those funds to “pay expenses” apparently which, for him, is actually quite generous. But if I were a contractor or a vendor doing business with the Trump campaign, I’d insist on payment in full before delivery. There is very little chance you’ll ever see your money otherwise. Trump gets his take before everyone anyone else. There’s rarely anything left when he’s done.