Campaign Grifting

Originally posted on July 18, 2020

It seems that wherever there is money being moved around Trump and his family are there to siphon some of it off into their own pockets. Political campaigns, especially presidential ones, have a large amount of money that fairly quickly goes through the campaign’s coffers, offering numerous opportunities for personal profit. And according to Trump’s sense of morality, he’d have to be some sort of stupid to pass up the opportunity, right?

There was an opinion piece in the Washington Post that recounted some of the ways campaign cash is being diverted into Trump’s pockets. The piece was in turn based on reporting by the Center for Responsible Politics entitled All the President’s Profiting

From the WaPo article: “During this election cycle, the center reports, the president’s campaign and its related committees have steered $2.6 million of their donors’ money to Trump’s family-owned properties and businesses. The Republican Party has spent nearly $1 million as well, and GOP candidates, elected officials and their political action committees have spent another $391,000.”

Some examples include:

  • $380,000 paid to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago for “rental/catering services”. Apparently for a “donor retreat”. What stood out for me was the mention that the bill had to be split into 43 payments, since they couldn’t do more than $10,000 in a single payment. Really? I’m guessing that limit has a lot to do with the IRS’s requirement that every deposit of more than $10,000 needs to be reported.
  • $37,000 per month in rental payments to Trump’s Tower in NYC, even though the campaign’s HQ’s are in DC.
  • The list of 705 entries where some political campaign has spent money at a Trump property. As just one random sample, Christian F Acosta for Congress spent $19,764 at Trump’s National Golf Club in West Palm Beach, FL.

I think I remember Trump promising to “drain the swamp”. His ability to effortlessly project his own avarice is quite amazing.

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