Charitable Giving Trump Style
D. S. Mitchell
About Calamity News
Calamity Politics is a progressive political blog published on the North Oregon coast. Calamity News and Politics aims to present engaging political commentary and analysis, where we, in our own sarcastic and cynical manner put a spotlight on interesting and topical news issues. Since January 20th, 2017, Calamity Politics has focused its energies on keeping the media spotlight on the calamitous and outrageous scandals centering around the Trump Administration. The Trump family is a scandal factory.
The headline news, and the back pages too, of yesterday’s papers were full of juicy stories. I know… I complain about it a lot. Too many absolutely incredible salacious stories for me to keep up with. Nobody can write fast enough. I keep struggling on, however. Trump’s Twitter Turds. Mar-a-lago advertisements on the White House website. Melania Trump advertising her jewelry on Pinterest. Speaking of Melania; a whole crop of nude photos from the 1990’s have surfaced. Kellyanne Conway is hawking Ivanka Trump’s apparel in front of the Presidential Seal. It keeps me slack-jawed.
Arm Waving Outrage
Never in my lifetime could I have imagined such outrage. If you aren’t mad, I mean screaming, arm waving, foot stomping mad, you are not paying attention. Listen, ladies and gentlemen the ongoing scandals, brewing up from the sewer of corruption known as the Trump Administration, is beyond comparison. I am not even talking about the possible conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
The Eric Trump Foundation
The above three paragraphs were just me on a rant. Pardon me. The subject of today’s story is the manipulation and clear corruption of The Eric Trump Foundation by Donald Trump Sr. According to a Forbes story, in 2007 Eric Trump established the Eric Trump Foundation. The stated goal was to raise money for St. Jude’s Research Hospital. St. Jude’s is a hospital that specializes in cancer treatment of children. At that time, Eric chose several of his friends to sit on the board.
According to the promotional for the first event, The Eric Trump Foundation claimed costs would be minimal. Eric stated he could use the Trump National Golf Course, in Westchester County, New York for “free’. At the time Eric said, “We get to use our assets (the golf course) 100% free of charge.”
St. Jude’s Hospital
Information provided by several outlets including NBC, MSNBC, Forbes, and the Washington Post, show that Eric Trump delivered $11,000,000 between 2007 and 2015 to the St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Sources further show that in addition to the $11 million Eric helped raise an extra $5,000,000 for St. Jude’s “through events hosted by other groups”.
Trump Sr Gets Involved
According to Eric Trump Foundation IRS filings the overhead cost of the golf course charity event was around $50,000, and although not “free” as claimed, certainly within reason for such an event. After 2010 apparently, Donald J. Trump, Sr caused expenses to more than double. A former employee, Ian Gillule, stated that Donald Sr. went on a terror when he learned that The Eric Trump Foundation wasn’t being “billed” for the club use. When the old guy flipped out according to Gillule he insisted that “EVERYONE” gets billed. From that point on, costs ballooned. In 2011 the costs were up to $142,000. By 2015, the costs for the invitational golf event exceeded $322,000.
Forbes reported the increased costs for the tournaments coincided with two events. The first being Donald Trump, Sr deciding to “bill” the charity event. Second, changes to The Eric Trump Foundation Board of Directors. Reports claim The Eric Trump Foundation began using its charitable status to “funnel” donations that donors believed were going to St. Jude’s Research Hospital, instead to The Trump Organization. This was done by charging excessive fees to use Trump properties during fundraisers, and then “re-donating” other funds to charities “friendly” to Trump interests.
Numerous news sources report The Eric Trump Foundation paid $1.2 million dollars to the Trump Organization between 2007 and 2015 despite Eric Trump’s claims they had “free” use of the links and buildings for the St. Jude’s event. Based on filings from The Eric Trump Foundation and other charities, it becomes clear that the course was not free.
Charity watchdogs told Forbes Magazine “the listed expenses defy any reasonable cost justification for a one-day golf tournament”. Dan Alexander writing for Forbes reported that they had uncovered that the Donald J. Trump Foundation, “apparently used Eric’s charity to funnel $100,000 into generating revenue for The Donald J. Trump Foundation.
New York state is investigating The Donald J. Trump Foundation for its not so charitable activities. The president’s foundation had come under earlier scrutiny for “self dealing and advancing the interests of its namesake” rather than those of charity. Alexander wrote,”All of this seems to defy federal tax rules and state laws that ban self-dealing and misleading donors. The Eric Trump Foundation suspended operations in December of 2016, after his father won the presidential election. Currently, Eric and Don Jr. are running the Trump Organization. That fact alone, raises larger questions about Trump family dynamics and whether Eric and Don Jr. are handling the Trump Org independent of their father
I think we all know there is no separation between the president and the affairs of the Trump Organization. The veil is obviously fake. It is clear old man remains involved in Trump Organization. Such activities should disqualify Trump from holding any public office, much less the presidency. Trump has not set up a blind trust by any stretch of the imagination. The Forbes story summation, “Altruism as a business development strategy isn’t necessarily illegal. But, a situation in which outside donor money is redeployed away from the core mission in ways that seems to ultimately benefit the family that pays the majority of the Board is–at best–an appearance problem”.
Keeping It In House
Think about it. Just another example of the Trump family keeping the money ‘in house’. Remember, you can’t just sit around. These are challenging times. The president is head of a crime family. He must be replaced. Support the Resistance. Make a phone call, write a letter to the local newspaper, write a letter to your Senator, your representative. If you want to become more involved start a blog, march in a protest, run for office. Pick one small task each day, and do it. It is the totality of action that moves mountains and societies. Taking a phrase and reusing it in a whole new way, ‘just do it”.
Join the Resistance