Sunday, May 15, 2016

The Flip Side of the Coin

Back in 1993, the Trump Plaza hotel and casino were looking to expand. 

Just a little.

Just a small limousine parking lot. 

In the process of buying several nearby properties, they encountered a problem. Three nearby owners, including an elderly widow named Ms. Coking, refused to sell. 

No matter how much he offered, she was not interested. Ms. Coking had lived there for decades and the property held sentimental value to her.

 No deal.

Donald Trump, it has been said, does not take no for an answer. If someone or something is in his way, if the widow would not sell, he would force her. He turned to a government agency and was interestingly able to persuade them to use eminent domain to take it.

Eminent domain allows for governments to take private property and use it for necessary public use. Roads, hospitals, bridges, etc. Private property was considered sacred by the Founders, so they mandated (Fifth Amendment) it must only be taken for public use. One might be hard pressed to explain how a limousine parking lot for a casino could be considered public use but the Constitution is not something of great concern to Donald Trump.

While his efforts against the old widow would ultimately be stymied by the Courts, he had demonstrated a willingness to use any means to achieve his goals.

How could he persuade a government official to use eminent domain to get him a limousine parking lot?  Years later when running for President, he would be accused of "buying" or bribing government officials. Remarkably, he would brazenly admit to it. With pride.

Many of his supporters have considered the open bribery he has employed as irrelevant since after all he was doing the bribing and was not the one being bribed. Two sides of the same coin as it were, but unlike the politicians, he only operated on the one side of the bribery coin.

He was self-funded. Invulnerable!

He would, in fact, make this a staple of his stump speech.

For example, in January in South Carolina while campaigning he said this:

"What’s happened is all of this money is being given to them [government officials] by special interests, by all of these people, including lobbyists, and these lobbyists make our leaders do — our leaders, can you believe our leaders? This is what — but they make the leaders of our country do things that they don’t even want to do because they’ve given them tens and tens and tens of millions of dollars."

The day after effectively winning the nomination for the Republican party on May 3, he suddenly discovered he would need more money in the general election than even he had. As a result, he announced he would begin to solicit funds for his general election campaign.

No longer self-funded.

He would instead begin the process of asking for money on a large scale. He would have to begin opening his extensive Rolodex and start making those phone calls asking for large contributions.

Quietly, with downplayed fanfare, the bribery coin had been flipped over. 

Not to fear --- we all know Donald Trump is a man of high character. 

We all know he could never be bought.

"The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors."

US Constitution Article II section 4

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