Donald Trump has obviously brought the fetid tidewaters of American politics to a whole new low. Assuming that Trump is not a “stalking horse” for Hillary Clinton (fracturing the Republican Party), he may be America’s homegrown Benito Mussolini. The current best nickname for this bastard is “Mein Trumpf”, and according to this article by Rick Perlstein, Trump’s ex-wife Ivana said he kept a book of Hitler’s speeches in the nightstand by his bed. Perlstein adds that Trump has received the enthusiastic support of various Neo-Nazi groups. Considering his rhetoric this should not be that suprising, Americans have always flirted with fascism, endorsing a mythical past and a powerful future while suffering through a crappy present.
What is very surprising however, is that very little has been said recently about Trump’s connection with the Mafia, even though authors and reporters have been dogging the issue for years. Trump plays a good game of (a) “Gee, didn’t know about that…” and (b) “Hey, how else ya gonna get any building done in Atlantic City”. Let’s take a look at some of Trump’s “Goomba” connections –
From CNN, July 2015: (excerpts)
(CNN)—”Donald Trump’s glittering empire of New York skyscrapers and Atlantic City casinos have long had a darker side, allegations that the mob helped build them.
Trump’s alleged ties to New York and Philadelphia crime families go back decades and have been recounted in a book, newspapers and government records.
“The mob connections of Donald are extraordinarily extensive,” New York investigative journalist Wayne Barrett told CNN in an interview.
Barrett, the author of the 1992 unauthorized biography “Trump: The Deals and the Downfall,” wrote that Trump’s life “intertwines with the underworld.”
“To be sure, organized crime had ties to the New York and New Jersey construction industry in the 1980’s and early 1990’s, making contact between developers and mafia-controlled companies almost unavoidable at times.
“There was a certain amount of mob association during which the father and he were building, which was very difficult to avoid in the New York construction world,” Barrett said, adding, “He went out of his way not to avoid them, but to increase them.”
In a recent Federalist article, David Marcus writes that Trump bought the property that his Atlantic City casino Trump Plaza would one day occupy — for twice market price — from Salvatore Testa, a Philly mobster and son of one-time Philly mob boss Philip “Chicken Man” Testa. (Springsteen fans might recognize the elder Testa from the opening lines of the song, Atlantic City.)
In his book, Barrett writes that Testa and a partner, who together headed a Philly mafia hit-squad called the Young Executioners, bought the property for “a scant $195,000” in 1977. In 1982, Trump paid $1.1 million for it.
“The $220 per square foot that Trump paid for the Testa property was the second most expensive purchase he made on the block, even though it was one of the first parcels he bought,” Barrett wrote.
The casino was built with the help of two construction companies controlled by Philly mobsters Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo and his nephew Phillip “Crazy Phil” Leonetti, according to, as Marcus notes, a New Jersey state commission’s 1986 report on organized crime.
Trump also had a decade-long relationship with Scarfo’s investment banker, according to Barrett’s book.
In Manhattan, Trump used the mob-controlled concrete company S&A to build Trump Plaza condos. Anthony “Fat Tony” Salerno, head of the Genovese crime family, and Paul Castellano, the don of New York’s Gambino family, controlled S&A, according to federal court records Barrett cited in his book.”
David Cay Johnston writes in The National Memo “21 Questions For Donald Trump” – -Let’s go straight to question 9:
9. “In demolishing the Bonwit Teller building to make way for Trump Tower, you had no labor troubles, even though only about 15 unionists worked at the site alongside 150 Polish men, most of whom entered the country illegally, lacked hard hats, and slept on the site.
How did you manage to avoid labor troubles, like picketing and strikes, and job safety inspections while using mostly non-union labor at a union worksite — without hard hats for the Polish workers?
10. A federal judge later found you conspired to cheat both the Polish workers, who were paid less than $5 an hour cash with no benefits, and the union health and welfare fund. You testified that you did not notice the Polish workers, whom the judge noted were easy to spot because they were the only ones on the work site without hard hats.
What should voters make of your failure or inability to notice 150 men demolishing a multi-story building without hard hats?
11. You sent your top lieutenant, lawyer Harvey I. Freeman, to negotiate with Ken Shapiro, the “investment banker” for Nicky Scarfo, the especially vicious killer who was Atlantic City’s mob boss, according to federal prosecutors and the New Jersey State Commission on Investigation.
Since you emphasize your negotiating skills, why didn’t you negotiate yourself?
12. You later paid a Scarfo associate twice the value of a lot, officials determined.
Since you boast that you always negotiate the best prices, why did you pay double the value of this real estate?
13. You were the first person recommended for a casino license by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, which opposed all other applicants or was neutral. Later it came out in official proceedings that you had persuaded the state to limit its investigation of your background.
Why did you ask that the investigation into your background be limited?
14. You were the target of a 1979 bribery investigation. No charges were filed, but New Jersey law mandates denial of a license to anyone omitting any salient fact from their casino application.
Why did you omit the 1979 bribery investigation?”
And this from The New York Daily News:
“They don’t call him “The Don” for nothing.
A newly-revealed video deposition shows real-estate mogul Donald Trump confused when asked under oath about his relationship to a twice-convicted felon with ties to the Mafia.
Trump has long faced allegations of connections to the mob, but his relationship with Felix Sater — who pleaded guilty in 1998 to racketeering in a fraud scheme involving the Genovese and Bonanno crime families — represents a more direct link between the presidential candidate and organized crime.
“If he were sitting in the room right now, I really wouldn’t know what he looked like,” Trump testified in the video deposition, which was obtained by ABC News.
But Trump reportedly named Sater as a senior business adviser in 2010. The Russian émigré carried a Trump Organization business card with the title “Senior Advisor to Donald Trump” and appeared in numerous photos with Trump.”
“The Atlantic City story starts with Trump’s purchase of a bar, at twice its market value, from Salvatore Testa, a made man in the Philadelphia mafia and son of Philip “Chicken Man” Testa, who was briefly head of the Philly mob after Angelo Bruno’s 1980 killing. Harrah’s casino, half owned by Trump, would be built on that land, and Trump would quickly buy out his partner, Harrah’s Entertainment, and rename the casino Trump Plaza.
Author Wayne Barrett lays out a slew of suspicious dealings and associations.
Trump Plaza’s connection to the mob didn’t end with the land purchase from Testa. Nicademo “Little Nicky” Scarfo (who became boss after the elder Testa was blown up) and his nephew Phillip “crazy Phil” Leonetti controlled two of the major construction and concrete companies in Atlantic City. Both companies, Scarf, Inc. and Nat Nat, did work on the construction of Harrah’s, according the State of New Jersey Commission of Investigation’s 1986 report on organized crime. In addition, Scarfo, whose reign as head of the Philly mob was one of the bloodiest in history, controlled the bartenders union, which represented Trump’s workers in Atlantic City, according to George Anastasia’s book, “Blood and Honor.”
One more link to organized crime lurks in Trump’s past Atlantic City dealings. He had a close association with Kenny Shapiro, an investment banker for Scarfo. According to secret recordings of then Scarfo attorney Robert F. Simone, Shapiro was intimately involved with bribing Atlantic City Mayor Michael J. Matthews, whose term would end in 1984 with a conviction on extortion charges.”
So why are all the news outfits not reporting on this as Trump claws his way to the top of the manure pile? You would think other Republican candidates would be flinging poo like crazy. Is it just because the media loves the Trump spectacle – like looking at rotten roadkill and thinking “that must have hurt”? Is that how he got that raccoon hat on his head? What will it take_ or is this an angle “gentlemen” will not address?
While we are skinning the road pizza, here’s one more little Trumpet worth noting: Woody Guthrie rented from Donald Trump’s father Fred Trump – and hated him so much he wrote songs about it.
From “The Portside”:
“In December 1950, Woody Guthrie signed his name to the lease of a new apartment in Brooklyn. Even now, over half a century later, that uninspiring document prompts a double-take.
Below all the legal jargon is the signature of the man who had composed “This Land Is Your Land,” the most resounding appeal to an equal share for all in America. Below that is the signature of Donald Trump’s father, Fred. No pairing could appear more unlikely.
Guthrie’s two-year tenancy in one of Fred Trump’s buildings and his relationship with the real estate mogul of New York’s outer boroughs produced some of Guthrie’s most bitter writings, which I discovered on a recent trip to the Woody Guthrie Archives in Tulsa. These writings have never before been published; they should be, for they clearly pit America’s national balladeer against the racist foundations of the Trump real estate empire.
Recalling these foundations becomes all the more relevant in the wake of the racially charged proclamations of Donald Trump, who last year announced, “My legacy has its roots in my father’s legacy.”
“In the postwar years, with the return of hundreds of thousands of servicemen to New York, affordable public housing had become an urgent priority.
For the most part, low-cost housing projects had been left to cash-strapped state and city authorities. But when the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) finally stepped in to issue federal loans and subsidies for urban apartment blocks, one of the first developers in line, with his eye on the main chance, was Fred Trump. He made a fortune not only through the construction of public housing projects but also through collecting the rents on them.
When Guthrie first signed his lease, it’s unlikely that he was aware of the murky background to the construction of his new home, the massive public complex that Trump had dubbed “Beach Haven.”
Trump would be investigated by a U.S. Senate committee in 1954 for profiteering off of public contracts, not least by overestimating his Beach Haven building charges to the tune of US$3.7 million.
What Guthrie discovered all too late was Trump’s enthusiastic embrace of the FHA’s guidelines for avoiding “inharmonious uses of housing” – or as Trump biographer Gwenda Blair puts it, “a code phrase for selling homes in white areas to blacks.” As Blair points out, such “restrictive covenants” were common among FHA projects – a betrayal, if ever there was one, of the New Deal vision that had given birth to the agency.”
“For Guthrie, Fred Trump came to personify all the viciousness of the racist codes that continued to put decent housing – both public and private – out of reach for so many of his fellow citizens:
Old Man Trump knows
Just how much
he stirred up
In the bloodpot of human hearts
When he drawed
That color line
Here at his
Eighteen hundred family project …”
Well, the nut doesn’t fall far from the tree…