By Doug Porter
I don’t why it’s taken so long to get around to hearing about this, but opposition files on presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump are finally making their way into media. This is just basic research, done by every campaign.
Sixteen Republican presidential contenders lost out to The Donald and not one of them squawked about the more than three thousand, five hundred lawsuits filed against the New York billionaire. I guess these court actions were considered inconsequential by the GOP types because so many of the had to do with small business and workers not getting paid.
Meanwhile, the Democratic horn of plenty (also known as research) has begun sharing its bounty. USA Today and Mother Jones both have substantive stories filled with tales of woe from Deadbeat Donald’s victims.
The USA Today investigation was far-reaching, filled with the stories of those who’d done business with the billionaire and been stiffed. (Emphasis mine)
Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.
At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.
Trump’s companies have also been cited for 24 violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act since 2005 for failing to pay overtime or minimum wage, according to U.S. Department of Labor data. That includes 21 citations against the defunct Trump Plaza in Atlantic City and three against the also out-of-business Trump Mortgage LLC in New York. Both cases were resolved by the companies agreeing to pay back wages.
In addition to the lawsuits, the review found more than 200 mechanic’s liens — filed by contractors and employees against Trump, his companies or his properties claiming they were owed money for their work — since the 1980s. The liens range from a $75,000 claim by a Plainview, N.Y., air conditioning and heating company to a $1 million claim from the president of a New York City real estate banking firm. On just one project, Trump’s Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City, records released by theNew Jersey Casino Control Commission in 1990 show that at least 253 subcontractors weren’t paid in full or on time, including workers who installed walls, chandeliers and plumbing.
In response to the USA Today story, the Donald shrugged it off, saying people who weren’t paid had done shoddy work.
A Sparkling Example
The Mother Jones story centers on an 82-year-old Latvian immigrant named Nicolas Jacobsen who got stiffed after installing three replicas of chandeliers that hung in Versailles or Napoleon Bonaparte’s palace at Trump’s private Palm Beach resort, Mar-a-Lago.
Jacobsen ended up settling for a third of what he was owed after realizing he didn’t have the resources to fight off Trump’s legal counter-attack.
The chandelier episode is far from an outlier. Trump is well known for forcing workers, vendors, and small businesspeople he does business with to take haircuts on what he owes them, sometimes with legal threats, a practice known as “the Trump discount,” one aggrieved contractor told the Economist. Trump brags that he always gets the best deals, and he has vowed to bring his aggressive deal-making style to the White House. But his slash-and-burn approach doesn’t always work, particularly against people with the means to fight back.
William Scherer, a prominent Fort Lauderdale lawyer and GOP fundraiser who had represented Trump in a legal matter, told the Sun-Sentinel last year that Trump is a “deadbeat.” (Scherer isn’t the first critic to use such a term for Trump.) In 1994, Scherer took Trump to small-claims court to get him to pay a $5,000 bill he owed. Scherer told Reuters that he’d already cut his rate for Trump, but after the matter was resolved, Trump’s reps called him and wanted to cut the outstanding bill “from small potatoes to smaller potatoes…I wouldn’t go for it.” Scherer told the paper he won his full bill, plus court costs.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment. But, when asked byUSA Today about various episodes in which he has been accused of stiffing people, Trump was unapologetic. “Let’s say that they do a job that’s not good, or a job that they didn’t finish, or a job that was way late,” Trump said. “I’ll deduct from their contract, absolutely. That’s what the country should be doing.”
In a speech before the American Constitution Society convention in Washington, Senator Elizabeth Warren painted a broader picture of Donald the Deadbeat, showing just how effective an coordinated campaign can be.
From the Hill:
Warren also attacked Trump’s businesses, which he often points to as evidence of his leadership capabilities, and said ventures like Trump University show he doesn’t think the rules apply to him.
“Donald Trump is a loud, nasty, thin-skinned fraud who has never risked anything for anyone and who serves no one but himself,” she said.
“Trump tells everyone who will listen that he is a great businessman. But let’s be honest, he’s just a guy who inherited a fortune and kept it rolling along by cheating people,” she said. “And you know, when that’s your business model, sooner or later you’re going to run into legal trouble, and Donald Trump has run into a lot of legal trouble.”
He reminds me of comedian Dan Aykroyd’s portrayal of a sleazy businessman in a Saturday Night Live sketch:
Janitors March in Downtown San Diego
Eight janitors with the Service Employees International Union- United Service Workers west were arrested on Thursday at the end of a noontime protest in downtown San Diego.
Hundreds of union members and supporters rallied in support of janitors demanding higher wages, more health care and protections for female employees who they say are often sexually assaulted at the workplace.
Negotiations have been at an impasse and a strike vote is scheduled for Saturday, June 11.
From the (online) Union-Tribune:
The demonstration started about noon as the group, many of whom were dressed in purple T-shirts and red bandanas, marched west on B Street before gathering in front of the Wells Fargo building where several speakers enumerated the group’s demands.
Eight people then moved to the front of the property where they locked arms and sat in front of the building’s glass doors where they blocked the entrance.
Shortly before 1 p.m., San Diego police officers ordered the group via loudspeaker to move. The crowd moved back except the people at the doors, which included two women holding mops who stayed put. Officers moved in a short time later, zip-tied their hands behind their backs and took them into custody.
Grocery Store Strike Vote Scheduled
Members of the United Foodservice and Commercial Workers will be staging informational pickets out front of Albertsons/Vons and Ralphs stores in the area over the next week.
Employees have continued to work, despite a contract that expired three months ago. On June 2, the company finally presented its economic package, rejecting all the UFCW’s proposals.
The union says the company’s wage offer is insulting, along with a benefit proposal would drastically increasing employee health care costs and decimating the pension plan.
As a result, all local unions are scheduling strike votes for June 20, 2016.
Step Away from the Screen…
“There’s a real Twitter war underway right now…” pic.twitter.com/pejxbRqjd2
— Hunter Schwarz (@hunterschwarz) June 9, 2016
Weekly Progressive Calendar: Upcoming in San Diego
Sierra Club Free Movie Night “Who Bombed Judi Bari?”
Friday, June 10, 6:30pm
8304 Clairemont Mesa Blvd #101
For more information call 619-463-0721.
On May 24, 1990 a bomb blew up the car of two of the most prominent Earth First! redwood activists: Judi Bari and Darryl Cherney. The FBI and Oakland Police accused them of carrying their own bomb and being environmental terrorists. The activists launched a successful lawsuit against the FBI and Oakland Police. A story about beating the system and saving the trees; a film that resonates today as we face deteriorating civil rights and the huge ecological problems that bring us closer to catastrophic climate change. Free.
Rape on the Night Shift Film Screening
Friday, June 10, 5pm
Sherman Heights Community Center
2258 Island Ave.
Info & Updates
Join us for a FREE screening on Rape on the Night Shift, a moving film that investigates the sexual abuse of immigrant women in the janitorial industry. This event will be co-hosted by SEIU, Run Women Run, ACLU San Diego and Imperial Counties and the Lawyer’s Club of San DIego
We will be having a panel discussion following the film.
Pachanga De Frida
Saturday, June 11, 6pm
San Diego LGBT Community Center
3909 Center Street
Info & Updates (Admission Charge)
Each year we celebrate the birthday of Frida Kahlo, commemorating the legendary life of one of the most influential Mexican painters of the mid-twentieth century while enjoying live music, multiple art exhibits by local Latin@ artists and vendors, a Frida look-a-like contest, great food and Tequila! Proceeds from this event benefit Latin@ Services at The Center.
Barrio Art Crawl Summer Kickoff
Saturday, June 11th, 6pm
1955 Julian Ave
Info & Updates
– Chicano Park: Logan Ave. / National Ave.
– Chicana Art Gallery: 2117 Logan Ave
– Bread & Salt: 1955 Julian Ave.
– Not An Exit Gallery: 1955 Julian Ave.
– Galeria 1881 Logan Ave.
– La Bodega Gallery: 2196 Logan Ave
– HB Punto Experimental: 2151 Logan Ave. (Alley)
– The Glashaus: 1815 Main St.
– Low Gallery: 1878 Main St. (Alley)
– Gallery D: 1878 Main St.
– Union Barrio Logan: 2191 Main St.
– A Bridged Gallery: 1991 Main St.
The San Diego Really Really Free Market
Sunday, June 12, 11am – 2pm
Teralta Park – City Heights
40th & Orange Avenue.
Info & Updates
Give and get cool stuff for absolutely free. Simply bring the things around the house you aren’t using anymore, put them in the “free pile,” and look around to see if there is anything you’d like to take yourself.
San Diego County Evening Budget Hearing
Wednesday, June 15, 5:15
San Diego Board of Supervisors County Administration Center,
Room 310, 1600 Pacific Highway
Info & Updates
Too many children, seniors and vulnerable residents in San Diego County aren’t getting the services they need to survive. Meanwhile the County keeps adding to its rainy day fund even though its budget outlook remains sunny, while too many San Diegans don’t have a roof over their heads. On June 15 we have an opportunity to change that.
Join residents, community groups, faith-based organizations, working families and others from across the county to ask the county to increase the budget to serve our community and tell them how you want them to spend it.
In San Diego County, 19 percent of our children live in poverty. San Diego County has the fourth largest homeless population in the country. San Diegans face long wait times to access mental health and substance abuse treatment; these wait times waits endanger those seeking treatment and our communities. To address these needs, the Invest in San Diego Families coalition is calling upon the County of San Diego to add $200 million to the proposed budget to address some of the critical and unmet needs of our children, seniors and other vulnerable San Diegans, instead of hoarding our money in a $1.6 billion reserves account.
The County of San Diego isn’t used to the spotlight being shined on its decisions. Last year, just two people commented on the entire budget. Now, because of our work together, we have won an evening hearing that is accessible to most working people. Let’s use this opportunity to tell the Board of Supervisors about what our community really needs!
Anti-Trump Action Debrief:
Organized Community Power or Military Police Repression
Wednesday, June 15, 6pm
2078 Logan Avenue
Info & Updates
Join Union Del Barrio to discuss what took place on May 27th and to learn how you can join our struggle for community self-defense.
History of The OB Rag
Thursday, June 16th, 7pm
OB Historical Society Meeting
Point Loma United Methodist Church
1984 Sunset Cliffs Blvd.
Learn the history of the OB Rag by current OB Rag Editor Frank Gormlie.
SlapJazzDanny & Friends at The GO!
The Toronto Globe and Mail wrote of SlapJazzDanny:
“Hambone was developed by American slaves as a way of making music when they werent allowed to use musical instruments. San Diegos SlapJazzDanny is among the greatest hambone artists in the world. He literally converts his body into a drum set.”
Inspired by ‘E’! What is ‘E’ you might ask… Oh that is Encouragement! We all need it and it makes life worthwhile. Danny loves to share his art as a performer, and he feels it is his duty to ”give back” out of what has been given to him. You can see SlapJazzDanny in performance at:http://slapjazzdanny.blogspot.com/p/y…
Joining Danny for this very special evening at The GO will be two other masters:
Leland “Spoonful” Collins: Master Spoons! He brings the heat! You will never look at your kitchen spoons the same way again! https://www.facebook.com/leland.s.col….
Jimmy Patton: Award Winning Guitarist! Claimed the title of Best Unsigned Guitarist in the Nation! https://www.facebook.com/Jimmy-Patton…
Get your event listed: I try to list the next 10 days or so of mostly non-commercial events I think our readers might find of interest. I source my material from social media listings and press releases. In cases where there are competing but similar events or campaigns of the progressive persuasion, I do my best to list everything.
Unfortunately, my subscription to the psychic hotline has lapsed so if you don’t tell me or Facebook, etc., about your event it won’t get listed. See my email address at the end of this column.
On This Day: 1937 – The mayor of Monroe, Mich. organized a vigilante mob of 1,400 armed with baseball bats and teargas to break the organizing picket line of 200 striking workers at Newton Steel. The line is broken; eight are injured and hospitalized. Sixteen workers’ cars were vandalized, five cars overturned, and eight more were dumped into the River Raisin. 1925 – The state of Tennessee adopted a new biology text book that denied the theory of evolution. 1966 – Janis Joplin debuted on stage at the Avalon ballroom in San Francisco.
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