We the People: Actions trump talk for GOP presidential hopefuls

Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina, the current darlings of Republican polls, both tout business credentials as the reason why the people should place their trust in them and select them to be president.  They have both accused each other of being dishonest. They are right!

Donald Trump built a real estate empire in New York City and in 1980 started a big successful project known as Trump Tower. The project on Fifth Avenue at 56th Street was completed in 1980. A gleaming 68-story structure rose from the site of a department store and the condominiums sold for between $500,000 and $10 million.

Mr. Trump was sued after hundreds of undocumented Polish immigrants, who were paid $4-$5 an hour to demolish the existing building with hand tools and back-breaking effort, were cheated out of wages. A local union also sued to get the contributions promised to its welfare fund. One plaintiff said the Polish immigrants were promised half the compensation of union workers and often worked in choking clouds of asbestos dust without protective equipment.

There were numerous references to the “Polish Brigade” in court papers and supervisors needed interpreters to give directions to the undocumented workers. A contractor with little experience was hired at a fee of $775,000 to raze the building and that contractor ignored union rules and existing contracts and then failed to pay the Polish workers the wages promised.

A lawsuit ensued in 1983 and dragged on for 15 years. After hearings and a trial, a federal judge found that Mr. Trump and his partners conspired with the local union president to shortchange the union welfare fund out of contributions. He ordered the defendants to pay $325,415 plus interest.

After an appeal, the matter was set for a new trial but in 1999 the parties finally settled the case and Mr. Trump insisted that the court record be sealed. It should be unsealed and he can explain how he is a true champion of the American worker against undocumented immigrants.

He characterizes Mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers but when he built Trump Tower, undocumented immigrants could demolish a building and be underpaid and unprotected in order to maximize his profit.

Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard, strongly criticized President Obama for being soft on economic sanctions against Iran. She said that she would not make the deal that would lift them but, lo and behold, her company skirted the sanctions and traded with Iran while the sanctions were in place! Bloomberg News reported that HP, under her leadership, sold hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of computer products to Iran through a foreign subsidiary, which should have been a violation of export sanctions.

The HP trade with Iran was first reported in 2008 by The Boston Globe. In 1997, HP began a partnership with a new Indian company and then sold it hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of computer equipment. HP printers became the No. 1 printer in the Islamic Republic. All U.S. companies had been banned from exporting to Iran in 1995, when President Clinton issued executive orders for economic sanctions in response to the Islamic Republic’s support for terrorism.

After The Boston Globe article, HP responded to an SEC probe by saying that it sold more than $120 million of products to the Indian company through a Dutch subsidiary but denied that this was a violation of economic sanctions. It is a good thing that HP was not manufacturing nuclear arms technology. Ms. Fiorina proves every day that she belongs with the frontrunners for the GOP nomination because she too is an expert in adhering to the letter of the law while hypocritically complaining that other people want to do what she has already done.

The Brooklyn GOP will convene to select a leader for the county organization. At the 2013 convention, State Senator Marty Golden attempted to supplant Chairperson Craig Eaton with a candidate of his own selection. The meeting devolved into a chaotic and contentious scene after Mr. Eaton successfully disqualified hundreds of proxy ballots that Mr. Golden intended to use to elect his man.

Mr. Eaton has said that he does not want the county organization taking orders “from a state senator.” There was name calling and accusations by both GOP factions. Mr. Eaton was a longtime ally of Mr. Golden but the two have not seen eye-to-eye in a long time.

Will this next convention be the scene of the same drama? Will Mr. Golden be better prepared to take control of the divided Republican organization? Stay tuned.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.