Democracy Gone Astray

Democracy, being a human construct, needs to be thought of as directionality rather than an object. As such, to understand it requires not so much a description of existing structures and/or other related phenomena but a declaration of intentionality.
This blog aims at creating labeled lists of published infringements of such intentionality, of points in time where democracy strays from its intended directionality. In addition to outright infringements, this blog also collects important contemporary information and/or discussions that impact our socio-political landscape.

All the posts here were published in the electronic media – main-stream as well as fringe, and maintain links to the original texts.

[NOTE: Due to changes I haven't caught on time in the blogging software, all of the 'Original Article' links were nullified between September 11, 2012 and December 11, 2012. My apologies.]

Monday, May 30, 2016

After Intense Scrutiny, Trump Finally Gives Veterans The Money He Promised

In January, Donald Trump claimed a stunt fundraising event he hosted raised $6 million for veterans. He said he personally contributed $1 million of his self-proclaimed $8.7 billion fortune toward that total.

But a Wall Street Journal report published roughly three months after the fundraiser found the promised beneficiaries had apparently received just a “fraction of the promised money.” In recent days, reporters started pressing the Trump campaign for more details. When specifics weren’t forthcoming, a Washington Post reporter used Twitter to investigate whether any veterans groups had posted about receiving the money Trump purportedly raised. They found nothing.

Perhaps realizing he was being caught not delivering on his promise, Trump apparently tried to make up for lost time. The Post reports that on Monday, Trump called the home of James K. Kallstrom, chairman of the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation, and informed him he would be giving $1 million to his organization. It remains unclear whether any other veterans organization has received a donation stemming from Trump's fundraiser since the Journal's report was published, though the Post reports that the founder of Boston's annual Wounded Vet Bike Run received a call from the Trump campaign on Tuesday, which suggests more donations could be forthcoming.

Trump's excuse for the months-long delay? "You have a lot of vetting to do," he told reporters on Tuesday, according to the Post. But that rationale is drawn into question by the fact the Donald J. Trump Foundation had previously contributed to the Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

On Twitter, Trump has tried to spin the story as an example of how he's not treated fairly by the media.

But this is far from the first instance of Trump being outed for exaggerating about his generosity. Last year, Trump repeatedly touted the $102 million he claimed he gave to charity over the previous half-decade, but a Washington Post investigation found that not a single penny of that total came from his own money. In fact, more than half of the 4,844 donations Trump claimed he made actually consisted of gratis rounds of golf. Along similar lines, a 2011 Smoking Gun investigation of the Trump Foundation's IRS returns found that Trump "may be the least charitable billionaire in the United States."

Trump claims his net worth is $8.7 billion, but he's provided no substantiation for that figure. Bloomberg News estimates Trump's actual net worth is actually under $3 billion, while Crain's New York reports that Trump recently received a tax break only available to married couples who have an annual income of $500,000 or less.

Original Article
Author: Aaron Rupar

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