After $25,000 Donation, Florida A.G. Forgot To Investigate Trump's Scammy 'University'
Guaranteed not to be a scam! (not a guarantee)
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi is a big fan of Donald Trump, and offered him an enthusiastic endorsement the day before Tuesday's Florida primary. She's delighted to be able to help, as she said at a rally in Tampa Monday:
“You are speaking loud and clear, and Americans are speaking loud and clear,” Ms. Bondi told supporters at a rally in Tampa.
She also had another reason for backing Mr. Trump: “I always listen to my mom, and my mom is with Donald Trump, and so am I.”
[contextly_sidebar id="cwyi2fIy4Ni8C5tkPEsPfIDGlTyGqXsh"]Say, you know who else Pam Bondi likes to listen to? Donald Trump's money, maybe. When Bondi made the endorsement, money-n-politics reporter Adam Smith hit the Twitter machine to remind everyone that a couple years back, right after the New York attorney general sued Donald Trump's fake "University" for fraud, Pam Bondi's office announced that she too was looking into complaints of fraud against Florida's affiliate of the real estate seminar scheme. Three days later, a Trump foundation generously donated $25,000 to a campaign fund for Bondi's reelection effort, and darned if Bondi didn't ultimately decide there was nothing to investigate about Trump University. It was quite the happy coincidence!
[contextly_sidebar id="7q5dKr6F0qK8PAmGNR5AscjR8rVOEkBT"]It wasn't the first time Bondi had done weird stuff for the sake of her reelection campaign; as you may recall, she also asked Gov. Rick Scott to reschedule the execution of a convicted murderer so it wouldn't conflict with a campaign event that she'd already committed to.
If one were very cynical, one might think Bondi's initial interest in looking into the operations of the Florida franchise, then called "Trump Institute," was publicity-seeking me-tooism, seeing as how Bondi got her name in all the papers by hinting she'd copy New York A.G. Eric Schneiderman, who had cited several complaints from Florida in his lawsuit. All but one of the complaints against Trump Institute -- the usual stuff, like getting sales pitches for more classes instead of learning how to get rich in real estate, as well as "mentors" who didn't have any particular expertise and eventually stopped returning calls -- had been filed under the previous Florida A.G. In 2010 the "Institute" cut ties with the Trump Mothership, changed its name, and then quietly stopped doing business, which probably did wonders for its rating from the Better Business Bureau.
In any case, Bondi's interest in investigating faded very quickly after the "And Justice For All" committee, which was technically independent of Bondi's reelection campaign, received one of its biggest single donations from Trump. A month after Bondi indicated she was studying Schneiderman's lawsuit, Bondi spokeswoman Jenn Meale explained there was no need to investigate, since any Florida consumers would be taken care of if the New York case was successful.
Oh, one small problem with that, as the Tampa Bay Times discovered:
[A] review of the 22 complaints filed in 2008 show they named the "Trump Institute," an entity not named in the New York suit. Because those are technically different entities, it's unclear how many making those complaints would be covered, then, by the New York suit.
Meale points out that since Bondi has been attorney general, the office has received only one complaint about the Trump seminars.
So everything will be fine, and also it wasn't her job. Plus, Donald Trump is a great human being and a great leader to make America great again. When he was asked in 2013 why he'd suddenly become interested in getting Pam Bondi reelected, a mere three days after she said she might investigate his scammy "university" for fraud, Trump released a statement saying he admired Pam Bondi's integrity:
Pam Bondi is a fabulous representative of the people -- Florida is lucky to have her. … The case in New York is pure politics brought by an incompetent attorney general, a political hack.
Trump didn't bother answering whether he was donating to any other state attorney general campaigns, because shut up is why.
When the New York fraud suit was announced in August 2013, Trump accused Schneiderman of trying to shake him down for campaign contributions. He also attempted to try the case in his favorite venue, Twitter:
Trump took his complaints about Schneiderman to New York's Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which decided last year not to take any action. This only proves Donald Trump can't get any justice, at least not outside of Florida, where people have the good sense to recognize what a great guy he is, a point he's happy to reward with generous campaign contributions.
[Washington Times / Orlando Sentinel / Tampa Bay Times / Orlando Sentinel again / Village Voice / AP]
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.