TUESDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2016
Today’s Good News And Bad News
From Our Local Political Junkie We’ll Call “Cincy Dave”
SECOND OCTOBER SURPRISE
The New York Attorney General has shut down the Trump Foundation. The attorney general’s office has notified Donald Trump that his charitable foundation is violating state law — by soliciting donations without proper certification — and ordered Trump’s charity to stop its fundraising immediately, his office said Monday. James Sheehan, head of the attorney general’s charities bureau, sent the “notice of violation” to the Donald J. Trump Foundation on Friday, according to a copy of the notice provided by the press office of state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
According to tax records, Trump’s foundation has subsisted entirely on donations from others since 2008, when Trump gave his last personal donation. This year, the Trump Foundation made its most wide-ranging request for donations yet: It set up a public website, donaldtrumpforvets.com, to gather donations that Trump said would be passed on to veterans’ groups. But the Trump Foundation never registered under article 7A of New York’s Executive Law, as is required for any charity soliciting more than $25,000 a year from the public.
One important consequence: Trump’s foundation avoided rigorous outside audits, which New York law requires of larger charities which ask the public for money. The Trump Foundation has no paid employees, and its board consists of Trump, three of his children and one Trump Organization employee. They all work one half-hour per week, according to the charity’s most recent IRS filings. [How Donald Trump retooled his charity to spend other people’s money] Schneiderman ordered the Trump Foundation to supply the state, within 15 days, with all the legal paperwork required of charities that solicit money from the public.
In addition, Sheehan ordered that Trump’s foundation provide all the financial audit reports it should have provided in prior years, when it raised money without legal permission. He said that if Trump’s foundation did not stop its fundraising and file the proper paperwork, that would be considered “a continuing fraud upon the people of New York.”
TONIGHT IS THE JUNIOR DEBATE
The VP debate is at 9 PM. We don’t expect anything surprising to be said but you never know. Both have a lot of damage control to do in only 90 minutes. In most presidential elections the VP candidates are supposed to be the attack dogs, so the presidential candidates can stay above the fray, but this year it looks like those roles are reversed. Maybe one of the VP candidates will emerge as a “hatchet man” but it seems unlikely. Mike Pence has made his way in Indiana by avoiding negative campaigning and Tim Kaine seems to have a positive outlook on things. Regardless of what happens tonight, it is unlikely to move the needle very much in the presidential contest.
DR. TRUMP ON PTSD
Donald Trump told a group of military veterans on Monday that some members of the military develop mental health issues because they are not “strong” and “can’t handle it.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat, they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over. And you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it,” the Republican presidential nominee told an audience of military veterans at an event in Northern Virginia on Monday morning.
“And they see horror stories, they see events that you couldn’t see in a movie — nobody would believe it.” Mental health advocates have been trying for decades to destigmatize depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other issues in hopes of empowering people to not be afraid to seek medical help.
The stigma surrounding mental health has been especially difficult to fight in the military, where many service members think that they should handle these issues on their own and that asking for help is a sign of weakness. Suicide has become an epidemic among veterans, and more than 20 end their lives each day.
Trump said these suicides often occur because veterans are not able to quickly make an appointment for “what could be a simple procedure, a simple prescription.”
Trump’s campaign defended the candidate’s comments and accused the media of taking his words out of context, but even his friends at Russia Today (RT) said that it was an insult to military veterans.
Hillary has apparently decided that Donald Trump’s billion-dollar loss is a bigger club than his tax avoidance. In her speeches since the New York Times published part of Trump’s 1995 tax returns, she seems to feel that going after Trump’s strength—his business acumen—is a better weapon than attacking his failure to pay taxes.
Yesterday she said: “What kind of a genius loses a billion dollars in a single year?” He can parry the tax angle by simply saying: “I just took the deductions I was entitled to by law. What’s wrong with that?” It is a lot harder to defend failed casinos, a failed airline, and many other failed businesses and still claim to be a great businessman.
In addition, Trump is proud of the fact that he may not have paid any taxes for two decades. It shows that he is smart. Losing a billion dollars hits at the core of who he is and clearly gets under his skin. At the next debate, she is likely to bring up the loss to needle him. When he feels under attack, he often goes off script and says things that makes his advisers scream.
GOOD NEWS FOR TRUMP
The Hillary campaign has a lot more campaign offices than the Trump campaign but he has something that she does not – offices in Israel. Americans who live abroad vote in the state where they last lived. About 80,000 Americans living in Israel voted in the last presidential election and the Trump campaign claims that 85 percent of them went to the Republican candidate, so they are hoping for a similar result. However, Hillary is not Barack Obama and Trump is definitely not Mitt Romney. (More here)
TODAY’S MEANINGLESS POLLS
These are mostly swing states and the only bright spot for Trump is Ohio. They were also taken before the first two October surprises (Trump’s tax return and his charity’s shut-down). It seems that muckrakers are really having fun. The Trump campaign needs help from Assange-Putin to dig up or manufacture something equivalent on Hillary because the old scandals just aren’t getting it done anymore.
— More Good News And Bad News Tomorrow —