After keeping his own overhead low when he was footing the bill for his campaign, Trump has apparently jacked the rent up on his presidential headquarters in Trump Towers nearly fourfold now that the money from donors has started to roll in.
And he did this after he spent the last year bragging about how cheaply he was running his campaign. It looks like that doesn’t matter when other people are paying for it, does it? And just think — Republicans that frequently accuse liberals of wasting other people’s money on social projects are going to turn around and vote for this guy.
The Trump campaign paid Trump Towers Commerical LLC $35,458 in March. Trump was funding the campaign himself at this point, and it had 197 paid employees and consultants.
In July, the donations started to roll in. At about that same time, Trump Tower raised the rent by a factor of four to $169,758. They only had 173 paid employees and consultants, as well.
A Republican National Committee member and Trump supporter, speaking under the conditions of anonymity, told the HuffPo:
If I was a donor, I’d want answers. If they don’t have any more staff, and they’re paying five times more? That’s the kind of stuff I’d read and try to make an (attack) ad out of it.
If this smells like a scam, just wait. In addition to the rent hike, Trump also paid his golf courses and restaurants more than $260,000 since his campaign and the RNC struck a joint fundraising deal in mid-May. This happened after he’d locked away the GOP nomination, and on May 18, the day the fundraising deal was publically announced, the following payments were made:
All of this is available through FEC records. As the HuffPo notes, these big payments weren’t as common when Trump was self-funding his campaign.
Furthermore, the purpose payments to the golf courses and the restaurant are unclear. It’s also unclear whether Trump is using more space in Trump Tower (which would justify the higher rent), and if he is, why he’s paying fewer people.
Trump began the rent hike at Trump Towers in May, with a May 31 payment of $72,800. In June, that payment hiked to $110,684, and in July, it was $169,758.
Prior to May, Trump was funding much of the campaign via his own pocket. Now that the situation is reversed, though, it appears that he’s . . . shall we say, less frugal with his campaign money, especially now that the bulk of it comes from outside donors.
The RNC member warned that small donors might not be sympathetic to Trump’s extravagance, and noted, “Nobody cares when you’re spending your own money, but when you’re spending the donor’s $27, that could cause problems.”
Most campaigns run on a much tighter budget.
Trump used to, as well. In fact, he used to pride himself on running a tighter ship, to the point his campaign invited reporters in for a tour of the fifth floor of Trump Towers to see just how budget conscious the campaign was.
But that was a time before they discovered the glory of campaign donations. And it’s always easier to spend other people’s money; Republicans know all about that.
Now, I’m not stating with confidence that how a candidate spends their donor money is indicative of how they’re going to spend tax dollars, but let’s consider this: Trump clearly doesn’t care now that he doesn’t have to foot the bill for his campaign, so he’s trying to milk every last penny out his donors. He’ll probably need it to start that cable TV network.
Given that, you must be a pretty dense individual if you don’t think he’ll do the same thing to the taxpayers, too. We’ve found the real “tax-and-spend” candidate, and we haven’t even had the election yet. Granted, it’s not particularly surprising: as a “tax-and-spend” politician, Trump is in good company.
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