Tag Archives: Money

Bad ‘Bidness’ — Trump Screwed Contractors…They Screwed Him Right Back

Back when I owned a government contracting business (Yes, I confess, I was a “Beltway Bandit”), there were a couple of Government agencies around town who were known to be particularly difficult to work for. Either stiffing contractors by exceedingly long payment cycles stretching payment for services often out over 90, 120, and even 180 days, changing project requirements in midstream and then being unwilling to pay the additional costs. And one particular agency whose contracting officers were known to be particularly hostile and difficult to work with. In any business your first priority (besides income) is to pay the people working for you….On time. That means if you contract for a 30 day payment cycle from your client, and you pay your employees weekly, you are out 4 weeks of salaries and expenses before you see the first dime roll in the door. Stretch that out 180 days, and if you have ten people making $50k a year…

That is $250,000 you have to come up with. Which is a hell of a lot of money for a small business.

Now, there are companies which will loan you money against invoices. You have invoiced Client X for $100,000, and they haven’t paid yet, you can borrow $100,000 to cover salaries until thy do. The problem being, you just lost, 3, 5, 8, 10% of what you borrowed as interest – subtracted directly from your bottom line. So let’s say your profit on $100,000 was planned to be $10,000 (Only the big Bandits get to mark up their margins to 30/35% in the Government contracting business, the small contractors are typically held to under 10%)…

You just paid $10,000 to borrow the money – meaning you made nothing. That profit is what allows your business to grow…And hire more people.

So what the businesses started doing is jacking the bids for work, and raising the rates to cover their anticipated losses. What should have been a $500,0000 contract became a $650,000 contract.

Congress finally stepped in and fixed that payment cycle in the mid 90’s, because the irresponsible and sometimes despicable actions of some government employees were driving small businesses out of business. And no, you can’t take them to court. You can’t sue the government unless they agree to be sued, and often such lawsuit is conducted in a special Kangaroo Court which massively favors the government, even when it’s employees have committed fraud.

In Civil Courts in the US, the outcome is determined by which party has the most money. A tool used by scumbags like Donald Trump against small businesses constantly.

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The ‘Trump Tax’: How Atlantic City businesses bilked Trump out of millions after he’d stiffed them

Has Donald Trump really refused to pay workers? Absolutely.

I grew up in Atlantic City, son of an Atlantic City firefighter. Like many firefighters, my dad had a side job working construction. When I was old enough, I apprenticed with a few of his friends so I could learn some trade skills over summer break. While neither of us personally did a job for Trump (and I was too young to have worked on them personally), we knew plenty of people who did. People on a job site talk, especially about horror stories with former projects. In all the stories I heard about work at Trump’s casinos, I don’t think I know a single person who received payment in full from Donald Trump without going to court.

The way a Trump project went in the early days of his AC properties was basically this:

The project started out with a tough, competitive bidding war. This was pretty common for casino projects prior to Trump, and everyone competed to be the cheapest and give a fair price. The contractor selected would then negotiate some specific terms. Typically Trump would try to reduce the price a bit more, and push as much of the payment as possible to the end of the contract. In itself, it’s not that unusual. It gives the client leverage when it comes to completing the project on time and at quality. But it puts the contractor in a bad position, as they have to cover payroll and often some materials out of pocket until the final payment comes through.

The job would then proceed. Complaints about delays due to Trump micromanaging things were common. He’d suddenly change suppliers or decide he didn’t like the carpet or drapes or chandeliers after they’d already been installed. So the project would run long and be over budget.

Eventually you’d finish and send off that final invoice. At this point, you’re stretched pretty thin. Your payroll and supply costs were higher than expected and all that cost has been out of pocket, so even with the final lump sum you’re doing a little better than breaking even. You pick up the check and it’s for exactly half what he owes you. You obviously ask for the rest and he makes up some reason for knocking off half what he owes (sometimes those delays he caused) and says if you want the rest you’ll have to sue him for it, but that he’s got a very good legal team and it’ll cost more than he owes you just to get it. You know you could win the suit, but financially you can’t afford a long drawn out legal battle.

Plenty of people have taken him to court. And he stalls. That’s his whole strategy. Just wait until you can’t afford to keep the case up. If you can hold out, you know you’ll win, but by then you’re in bad shape and may default on loans or lose your business. And it’s not just you, it’s the guys on your crew. You owe them their paychecks. You can’t just screw them because Trump screwed you. So most people just took what he was willing to give.

Eventually we got smart. We instituted the Trump Tax. Contractors started padding out their bids by quite a bit, so that even if you didn’t get that final payment you’d at least break even. Trump still thought he was being clever and making those “great deals” he’s always talking about, but in truth he was now getting hosed and losing more money over his dishonesty than he ever saved. Every once in a while someone would break ranks and give Trump a fair price. They’d lose their shirt on the job and learn a lesson.

In the long run, it would have been better for everyone involved if Trump had just played it straight. But he couldn’t help himself. And the people of Atlantic City paid the lion’s share of the price.

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Posted by on October 16, 2016 in Chumph Butt Kicking


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Trump So Poor…

Donors bailing out on the Chumph have left his campaign with only $1.3 m in the bank, and when you add in monies from Super Pacs and the Republican Party – Hillary has out-raised him 4-5 to one. Even worse, the Chumph is using his campaign money as a cash cow to feed his flailing business ventures, paying his own companies $1 million a month out of his campaign money.
Revelations that the Chumph campaign has money problems has started a Twitter storm of #TrumpSoPoor.

Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Campaign Cash on Hand as of June 1, 2016

Some of the Tweets…

his next trophy wife will be from Mexico.

republicans are cutting his benefits and telling him to get a job

that he’s being sponsored by a kid in Africa.

he’s being targeted by Trump University as a potential student.

that when he calls into TV & radio shows now, the first thing they hear is “Will you accept the charges…?”.

He had to tell his followers “We can either be racists or xenophobic, but we can no longer afford to be both.”

he uses Tang when he runs out of Foundation.

he can’t even afford to lie about donating to veterans anymore. Sad!

he’s been forced to scale back his Mexican wall to a “Stay off my lawn” sign

that people may begin to suspect that a business owner who has filed bankruptcy 4 times may not be very good with money

he’s now campaigning for @BernieStanders so he can get “free stuff”.

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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in The Clown Bus


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Trump’s “Billionaire” Lie Unravels

I had posited in a previous piece that Donald Trump is not actually a billionaire, as he loves to claim – and based on the type of business he is in (Real Estate) that any realistic evaluation of his actual net worth (assets minus liabilities) would probably place him in the under $250 million range. Real Estate deals tend to be heavily leveraged. Meaning the “Bank” owns 90% or more. Indeed in Trump’s normal deal he winds up actually owning not much more than his name on the side of the building.For someone willing to take the risk of punitive litigation by Trump – it isn’t very hard to puncture that veil, and get a true picture.

And I should mention that $250 million may be an optimistic figure – based on the rate he now appears to be borrowing money. That indicates a sinking ship…Of his own device.

Now, the press is beginning to go after this issue…And it isn’t going to be pretty.

Shady accounting underpins Trump’s wealth

The GOP nominee is rich. But how rich depends on odd accounting and subjective criteria.

Donald Trump claims a net worth of more than $10 billion and an income of $557 million. But he appears to get there only by overvaluing properties and ignoring his expenses.

POLITICO spoke with more than a dozen financial experts and Trump’s fellow multimillionaires about the presumptive Republican nominee’s financial statement. Their conclusion: The real estate magnate’s bottom line — what he actually puts in his own pocket — could be much lower than he suggests. Some financial analysts said this, and a very low tax rate, is why Trump won’t release his tax returns.

“I know Donald, I’ve known him a long time, and it gets under his skin if you start writing about the reasons he won’t disclose his returns,” said one prominent hedge fund manager who declined to be identified by name so as not to draw Trump’s ire. “You would see that he doesn’t have the money that he claims to have and he’s not paying much of anything in taxes.”

Trump is certainly wealthy. But in a campaign where the New Yorker has portrayed himself as the biggest, the richest, the classiest and the best at everything, disclosing that he is less rich than he lets on could be damaging. And it is a line of attack Democrats are already using and hope to pound away on until November.

The case against Trump’s accounting of his wealth: His businesses apparently generate a lot of revenue but may not put much cash in his pocket; he assigns himself a net worth that is impossible to verify and may be based in part on fantasy; and he is selling assets and increasing debt in ways that suggest a man scrambling for ready cash.

In response to a list of questions for this story, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks emailed: “The report speaks for itself.” If it does, the report does not speak clearly.

The financial disclosure form showed Trump adding fresh debt of at least $50 million, though a campaign news release said Trump is using increased revenue to reduce his debt, which is now at least $315 million and possibly more than $500 million. The disclosure also suggests that Trump sold fund assets to raise as much as $7 million in cash and individual securities to raise up to $9 million more…More Here



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Posted by on May 31, 2016 in The Clown Bus


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The Drumph’s Extensive Mafia Connections…

As I said in an earlier piece, you can’t be involved in a major real estate deal in that part of the world and not wind up with some shady connections….

And the Trump is dirtier than most.

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob?

In his signature book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump boasted that when he wanted to build a casino in Atlantic City, he persuaded the state attorney general to limit the investigation of his background to six months. Most potential owners were scrutinized for more than a year. Trump argued that he was “clean as a whistle”—young enough that he hadn’t had time to get into any sort of trouble. He got the sped-up background check, and eventually got the casino license.

But Trump was not clean as a whistle. Beginning three years earlier, he’d hired mobbed-up firms to erect Trump Tower and his Trump Plaza apartment building in Manhattan, including buying ostensibly overpriced concrete from a company controlled by mafia chieftains Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno and Paul Castellano. That story eventually came out in a federal investigation, which also concluded that in a construction industry saturated with mob influence, the Trump Plaza apartment building most likely benefited from connections to racketeering. Trump also failed to disclose that he was under investigation by a grand jury directed by the U.S. attorney in Brooklyn, who wanted to learn how Trump obtained an option to buy the Penn Central railroad yards on the West Side of Manhattan.

Why did Trump get his casino license anyway? Why didn’t investigators look any harder? And how deep did his connections to criminals really go?

These questions ate at me as I wrote about Atlantic City for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and then went more deeply into the issues in a book, Temples of Chance: How America Inc. Bought Out Murder Inc. to Win Control of the Casino Business. In all, I’ve covered Donald Trump off and on for 27 years, and in that time I’ve encountered multiple threads linking Trump to organized crime. Some of Trump’s unsavory connections have been followed by investigators and substantiated in court; some haven’t. And some of those links have continued until recent years, though when confronted with evidence of such associations, Trump has often claimed a faulty memory. In an April 27 phone call to respond to my questions for this story, Trump told me he did not recall many of the events recounted in this article and they “were a long time ago.” He also said that I had “sometimes been fair, sometimes not” in writing about him, adding “if I don’t like what you write, I’ll sue you.”

I’m not the only one who has picked up signals over the years. Wayne Barrett, author of a 1992 investigative biography of Trump’s real-estate dealings, has tied Trump to mob and mob-connected men.

No other candidate for the White House this year has anything close to Trump’s record of repeated social and business dealings with mobsters, swindlers, and other crooks. Professor Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian, said the closest historical example would be President Warren G. Harding and Teapot Dome, a bribery and bid-rigging scandal in which the interior secretary went to prison. But even that has a key difference: Harding’s associates were corrupt but otherwise legitimate businessmen, not mobsters and drug dealers.

This is part of the Donald Trump story that few know. As Barrett wrote in his book, Trump didn’t just do business with mobbed-up concrete companies: he also probably met personally with Salerno at the townhouse of notorious New York fixer Roy Cohn, in a meeting recounted by a Cohn staffer who told Barrett she was present. This came at a time when other developers in New York were pleading with the FBI to free them of mob control of the concrete business.

From the public record and published accounts like that one, it’s possible to assemble a clear picture of what we do know. The picture shows that Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service…Read the Rest of This Damning Information Here


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Posted by on May 23, 2016 in The Clown Bus


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Big Money Republican Donors Desert Trump

A Presidential race i today’s terms costs about $1 billion. Much of that money comes from the uber-rich. When that group bails on a candidate, life in terms of television ads and door-to-door campaigning gets tough. It seems that some of the big money players – the guys whop drop $10 or more million have headed out the door on the Drumph…

The bad news for the Drumph (and good news for the country) is that the presumptive nominee, Hillary already has a strong organization in place. Further – Drumph is worth only a small fraction of the $10 billion he claims, and by evidence released recently has avoided paying any taxes.

Several Big Republican Donors Refuse to Contribute to Trump’s Candidacy

Donald Trump may have sealed the peace with the Republican Party and a few of those who once criticized him. Yet his ability to raise $1 billion before November is in doubt, as several powerful donors who have given tens of millions to the GOP over the years refuse to get behind Trump’s presidential candidacy. The New York Timesgot in touch with 50 of the GOP’s largest donors or their representatives and found “a measure of contempt and distrust toward their own party’s nominee that is unheard of in modern presidential politics.” More than a dozen of them flat out refuse to back Trump.

Some of those who are refusing to back Trump will surely come around. Others, however, speak in terms that make it clear they want nothing to do with the real estate mogul and reality television star. “If it is Trump vs. Clinton,” hedge fund manager William Oberndorf said, “I will be voting for Hillary.” He’s hardly alone. “He’s an ignorant, amoral, dishonest and manipulative, misogynistic, philandering, hyper-litigious, isolationist, protectionist blowhard,” investor Michael K. Vlock said.

The resistance from the megarich may be a sign that Trump could very well become the first Republican presidential candidate to be outspent by a Democrat in decades. Some, however, are vowing to stand by Trump. One of them is Foster Friess, who sent an email to the Hill on Saturday explaining his reasoning for supporting the presumptive nominee. “I believe that as Republicans continue to unite behind Donald Trump, he’ll become an even better candidate,” he said.

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Posted by on May 22, 2016 in The Clown Bus


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Cops Tase, Sic Police Dog on Restrained Man – Man Wins Lawsuit

At some point the City Mayors, councils and elected figures have to be held into account for this.

WATCH: Cops hold man down and sic K-9 on him after beating him — for dancing in a parking lot

A Washington man has settled a lawsuit with the city of Tukwila after police officers assaulted him following a complaint that he was dancing in an industrial parking lot, reports the Seattle Times.

The city will pay Linson Tara $100,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed after the officers used Tasers, their fists and then a police dog on him while he was being restrained.

Tara was facing three counts of fourth-degree assault on police officers, but those charges were dropped when dash cam video showed one of the officers holding Tara on the hood of the police cruiser while his partner used a Taser on him.

Tara can then be seen being thrown to the ground with the two cops piled on him as one punched him repeatedly while the other held him down.

During the entire altercation a police dog is heard frantically barking and appears on screen after being released from the cruiser where it proceeds to attack Tara as he is restrained.

One officer can be heard telling Tara, “Put your hands behind your back and I’ll take the dog off.”

Tara was later transported to a local hospital treated for injuries that included dog bites.

In  the police report, officers Brent Frank and Mike Boehmer stated that they had been called to the parking lot after receiving a report that Tara was “walking around, yelling and dancing.”

According to the lawsuit, the officers used excessive force, noting that by the time Tara was rolled over he appeared to be unconscious.

The lawsuit also challenged the the city’s policy of allowing police dogs to bite suspects as a “pain compliance” technique.

The department previously found the officers’ use of force, including the deployment of the K-9, to be within their guidelines.


Posted by on May 21, 2016 in BlackLivesMatter


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How Republicans Have Derailed the New South’s Emergence

North Carolina’s Research Triangle and the Charlotte/Cary area are hotspots for tech an other development. The US Government supplies over $1.5 billion a year in research grants to the state’s public universities, money that has helped drive the growth of the Universities in the state from decidedly mediocre to competitive powerhouses. This has spurred massive growth, as the combination of a realistic cost of living, easy access to recreational activities in the mountains and shore, as well a good school systems have individualized both corporations and employees to flock to the state.

Unfortunately, like Virginia, the back woods redneck religious bigots haven’t quite dissipated yet, and with the election of a Republican majority in the state house – pushing extremist social conservatism which is an anathema to the high-tech and banking industries.That growth roll may be in for a screeching halt.

You want to keep that growing Gov McCrory, you need to cut the “Culture War” bullshit fast.

The fact is, major corporations don’t give a shit about Republican tax breaks, they do about being able to attract the best and brightest as employees, and having a stable government  which isn’t going to do something stupid to hurt their business. They need good schools, which are producing students in the fields that relate to their businesses, who are willing to stay in-state after they graduate. (As an example, the collapse of what was once referred to as “Silicon Valley East” here in northern Virginia, was in good part due to the major University in the area being taken over by conservative donors. The school produces Economists and right wing Federalist Lawyers – but not STEM Graduates needed by the local industries to grow, or to establish the sort of incubators which create the next Google. Instead we have the Antonin Scalia Law School, which is fornicating useless, both as the symbol of higher education in the fields in demand, as well as in attracting students that want to be in a top program in the Sciences, Engineering, or technology.)

They want to be able to attract experienced workers and executives. To get those people, the potential employees need to feel comfortable moving their families into the State. The sort of “Culture Wars” and racism being promulgated by the right, destroys that.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.

Back during the South Carolina confederate flag imbroglio, one of my clients was a foreign auto company looking to put a plant there. Took one of the Senior Staff folks down there behind the proverbial woodshed, and explained to him that foreign companies, unlike their US counterparts are not willing to go into an environment where discrimination and harassment lawsuits chew up 10-15% of their profits. And as such, were looking for a place which supported a harmonious workforce, over cheap rent. The differential between labor costs between Detroit and Charleston disappears really fast paying lawyers at $500/hr over racial bullshit. They got that message apparently from more than one prospective company. American companies have finally started to get a clue about this as well.

Too bad the white winger Tea Baggers haven’t.

This isn’t just an issue about Transgender people, it is an issue about the future viability of the State as a business center.


Monday, two North Carolinians squared off over the state’s controversial House Bill 2, which requires transgender people to use the bathroom matching their “biological sex” in public schools and government buildings and invalidates local laws protecting transgender people from discrimination. Both Pat McCrory, the governor of North Carolina, and Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, grew up partly in Greensboro, a site of anti-segregation sit-ins in 1960, and Lynch recalled that history by comparing H.B. 2 to Jim Crow laws. “Let us reflect on the obvious but often neglected lesson that state-sanctioned discrimination never looks good in hindsight,” she said, as she announced that the Department of Justice is suing North Carolina, claiming that H.B. 2 violates federal laws forbidding sex discrimination.

Earlier that day, McCrory’s office had filed its own federal lawsuit, which attempted to protect the state from federal anti-discrimination action against H.B. 2. “North Carolina does not treat transgender employees differently,” according to the lawsuit. “All state employees are required to use the bathroom and changing facilities assigned to persons of their same biological sex, regardless of gender identity, or transgendered status.” Such bland assertions of neutrality have an infamous place in the law. Before the Supreme Court established a right to same-sex marriage, in 2015, North Carolina forbade gay and straight alike to wed members of the same sex. Before the Court invalidated laws against racial intermarriage, in 1967’s Loving v. Virginia, the state forbade both black and white people to marry someone of the other race. All these laws were defended on the grounds that they treated everyone alike. So, for that matter, were the original Jim Crow segregation laws. In 1896, upholding separate-but-equal accommodations, the Supreme Court held that, if “the enforced separation of the races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority,” this was “solely because the colored race chooses to put that construction on it.”

McCrory’s suit looks more like political theatre than a serious attempt to preserve H.B. 2. On April 19th, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which includes North Carolina, adopted the Obama Administration’s interpretation of federal sex-discrimination law to invalidate a local school-board policy that assigned students to bathrooms by “biological genders.” The court accepted the federal government’s argument that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Titles VII and IX of the Civil Rights Act includes discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and that “biological” bathroom assignments are just this sort of discrimination. (The Fourth Circuit reported that, in public hearings on school-bathroom assignments, the plaintiff in the case, a transgender boy, had been called a “freak” and “compared to a person who thinks he is a ‘dog’ and wants to urinate on fire hydrants.”)

That McCrory would seek out this wrong-side-of-history position reveals a lot about the fractured and desperate state of the Republican Party. The governor took office in 2013 as the consummate country-club Republican. He had spent fourteen years as the mayor of Charlotte, a banking capital, where he presided over robust growth and—unusual in the South—the construction of a light-rail system. He was a candidate in the “New South” tradition, a political manner that is also a development strategy. In the sixties, as other parts of the white South dug in against desegregation, North Carolina’s politicians found a different formula: accept the national consensus on civil rights and attract employers with low wages, weak unions, and business-friendly laws. The state’s population more than doubled between 1960 and 2010, as a formerly rural, agricultural state developed national centers of technology and finance. The previous New South governors were Democrats, but many saw McCrory as their natural successor in a state that narrowly supported Barack Obama in 2008 but in 2010 handed control of the legislature to Republicans for the first time since Reconstruction.

Since taking office, McCrory has mostly been back on his heels as a Tea Party legislature, installed with decisive support from the activist donor Art Pope (whom Jane Mayer wrote about in 2011), has set the state’s agenda. McCrory has signed laws restricting abortion access, cutting back on early voting and requiring voter identification, slashing unemployment benefits, and repealing the state’s Racial Justice Act, which commuted the death penalty for people sentenced in racially inequitable jurisdictions. North Carolina is one of nineteen states that have refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act (and the fourth-largest, after Texas, Florida, and Georgia). The advocacy group Families USA estimates that 593,000 North Carolina residents lack health insurance because of the state’s refusal.

The Tea Party has shared McCrory’s deregulatory, tax-cutting economic agenda, but it has led with culture-war issues. The year McCrory won the governorship, the legislature put forward a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which passed with sixty per cent of the vote. This blend of tactics defined most state-level Republican parties in the Obama years, when the Republicans took power in statehouses across the country, and McCrory seems to have made his peace with it. Polls showed him lagging in a tight reëlection race when he called North Carolina’s part-time legislature into emergency session in late March. Both houses passed H.B. 2 on March 23rd, and McCrory signed it that night. The only local anti-discrimination statute that it overrode was one passed a month before in Charlotte, where McCrory had served seven terms as mayor.

Now the New South elements of McCrory’s governing style are falling to pieces. H.B. 2 may have seemed an ordinary measure of culture-war politics when the governor signed it, but the consensus position on L.G.B.T.Q. rights has changed so fast that it may secure his place as the Orval Faubus of public bathrooms. McCrory’s Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper, the state’s attorney general, who has announced that his office will not defend H.B. 2 against legal challenge, has led McCrory in every poll since the law was passed. Since H.B. 2 became law, PayPal and Deutsche Bank have scrapped expansion plans for North Carolina, the N.B.A. and N.C.A.A. have suggested that they may not hold future events in the state, and a caravan of entertainers have cancelled shows, including Bruce Springsteen and Cirque du Soleil. New South governors measure themselves by the investments they attract. When the cultural divisiveness of Tea Party politics drives out business and entertainment, it becomes New South kryptonite….More Here

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