Sickening Stench at the Trump Campaign
There is nothing normal about the way Donald Trump and his organizations handle money. It’s like a game within a game, a sleight of hand by the protagonists trying to leave the party with not only the door prize but all the silverware. I am astonished by the way the President’s reelection campaign handles their money. Where is it all going?
According to ABC News, “President Donald Trump’s reelection team kicked off 2020 with what seemed like an unbeatable cash advantage, boasting a massive fundraising operation, bolstered by the joint efforts of the Republican Party. Fast-forward 10 months and they’ve burned through a whopping $1.4 billion of the more than $1.6 billion raised over the last two years.” Okay, how and where did they spend it?
NPR tells us that Biden raised $130 million in the first half of October while the Trump team brought in only $43 million. The Biden coffers currently hold $162 million in ready cash, according to the NPR report. My jaw dropped when I read this story, “In a closed door meeting with donors in Nashville last week, Trump told GOP donors it will be ‘very tough’ for Republicans to keep its Senate majority because ’there are a couple of senators‘ that he can’t support.’” What is this man doing? If I was a donor at the meeting, I would have been on the phone with my banker requesting a stop-payment on all my checks to the Republican National Committee.
Politicians in tough battles, even Trump’s golfing buddy Lindsey Graham, will not get financial support from the RNC in South Carolina. The Donald doesn’t care about him or anyone else. He will use all the money for himself. Maybe Trump thinks he gets to keep all the left-over money if he loses. Where is the IRS when we need them?
We are almost one week away from the election and there is a sense of quiet before the storm. With Trump running around the country on taxpayer purchased jet fuel, it’s a wonder how the General Accounting Office will get funds from the campaign to reimburse the people for its expenses. We will probably never hear any details about that.
According to ABC News, “The vast majority of the money spent [by Trump] during that time — nearly $45 million — went to television and online advertising, according to the latest disclosure report filed to the Federal Election Commission, as Biden and pro-Biden efforts ramped up his ad spending.” But some of the Trump – Pence campaign expenditures have raised eyebrows, including hundreds of millions that have gone to alleged ‘pass-through’ vendors that have been accused of masking the ultimate recipient of the money. A portion of those expenditures have been the subject of a Federal Election Commission complaint.
A detailed report by Business Insider describes an internal audit the campaign is conducting of “spending irregularities” during Brad Parscale’s time helming the president’s reelection efforts. The new campaign manager, Bill Stepien, denied that Parscale was being audited, but other sources contradicted that. Unless this is a concerted effort to hurt Mr. Parscale by the Trump people, it’s most likely their denials will remain suspicious, at best.
The New York Times reported that a noticeable percentage of Trump campaign Facebook ads were not launched from Trump’s official pages, but from one of Parscale’s firm — building an online following for Parscale, not the president. They put the figure at $325,000. The Times also reported that the person who replaced Brad Parscale, Bill Stepien, has been running a consulting firm that’s been paid $653,000 by down-ballot candidates, even as he’s been helping to run the Trump campaign. If true, it’s a clear conflict of interest or perhaps a cover for Trump to avoid Federal Election Commission rules.
The ABC News investigation has learned that over the last two years more than $5 million of campaign cash has gone to Trump’s various hotels, resorts and other interests. In the last four months, Trump Victory, which raises money from some of Trump’s most generous donors, spent nearly $900,000 for facility rental and catering at Trump-branded properties. When Trump is gone, the Emoluments Clause must be clarified and enforced.
Trump seems to be buying loyalty left and right. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel nets $372,000, or $30.000 a month, while the campaign’s communications director, Tim Murtaugh, makes $20,000 a month. The Biden people are making much less.
Back to the grand totals for this campaign season, Biden has raised $952.2 million while Trump has brought in $612.7 million. There is a reason why Trump’s donors are getting nervous. It’s because they, like millions of other Americans, have lost faith in Trump’s attitude and policies surrounding the COVID-19 global pandemic. They know we will never have a total economic recovery without defeating the virus.
Two companies set up and run by Trump’s campaign leadership, including Parscale, appeared to provide a variety of services to the campaign but really served as “clearing houses” to dole out deals and payments to subcontractors and vendors without revealing the ultimate recipients of the donor money. The Campaign Legal Center wrote in a complaint that the lack of disclosure of the campaign’s payments to subcontractors is a violation of the Federal rule that requires campaigns to itemize disbursements to its ultimate vendors. This must be audited after the election.
Now all this would be a rather mischievous exercise on my part, if only Brad Parscale hadn’t gone on an alcoholic bender telling his wife he was going to kill himself with one of his many guns to celebrate the Second Amendment, I don’t mean to kick a guy when he’s down, but if Parscale had so much money why was he so depressed? My supposition is that the other partners in Brad’s consulting firm are none other than Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump and they will all be caught red handed with their hands in Daddy’s cookie jar. Perhaps this is why they are trying to muzzle the press and not disclosing all the records. Jeez, we already know that Trump payed a Playboy bunny and a porn star more than a quarter of a million dollars to keep their mouths shut, which is a Federal campaign fund violation. Why would the Trump family’s skimming off the top in broad daylight surprise anyone? TRUMP CANNOT BE TRUSTED. Let’s throw him out, lock him up and throw away the key.
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