11 thoughts on “Anti-Trump demonstrations, Cleveland, USA, 13-21 July

  1. Mon Jun 27, 2016 2:27 pm (PDT) . Posted by:
    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus

    > http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article86164782.html
    >
    > Trump’s failed Baja resort fits business pattern
    >
    > When Stephenee Simms heard in 2006 that Donald Trump was building condo towers in Baja California, Mexico, the lure of a posh weekend getaway on the rustic coast just south of Tijuana was hard to resist.
    >
    > Simms, then an aerospace purchasing agent living in Los Angeles, said she used her life savings to pay a deposit of just over $50,000 for unit No. 602, a one-bedroom overlooking the Pacific.
    >
    > The sales team gave her a book, bound in blue suede, describing a resort where residents “relax by the infinity-edge pool, margarita in hand, as the cabana boy brings fresh towels.”
    >
    > It featured Trump, shown smiling in a French gold-leaf chair, telling readers that no words or pictures “can possibly describe what is about to take shape here, but it is certainly going to be the most spectacular place in all of Mexico.”
    >
    > In the end, nothing at all was built at Trump Ocean Resort, and Simms lost her money. As did about 250 other buyers, most of them from Southern California.
    >
    > All told, two years of aggressive marketing yielded $32.5 million in buyer deposits, every bit of it spent by the time Trump and his partners abandoned the project in early 2009 as the global economy was reeling. Most of the buyers sued them for fraud.
    >
    > The Trump Baja fiasco fits a pattern in the Republican presidential candidate’s business record. Over decades of building a business empire in real estate, casino gaming, golf resorts, reality television and the sale of clothing and other merchandise, Trump has left a long trail of angry customers and vendors who accused him in court of cheating them.
    >
    > Condo buyers at troubled Trump towers in Tampa and Fort Lauderdale, Fla., claimed in lawsuits that they too were misled and lost deposits. Students at the defunct Trump University say in fraud suits that they wasted money on worthless real estate training. Trump’s string of business bankruptcies has stuck suppliers with unpaid bills and banks with uncollectible debts.
    >
    > Trump has denied wrongdoing in every case, and he argues in the campaign that his success as a businessman qualifies him to run the country.
    >
    > Most of the Trump Baja condo buyers accused Trump and two of his adult children, Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr., of duping them into believing that Trump was one of the developers, giving them confidence that it was safe to buy unbuilt property in Mexico.
    >
    > “We were conned out of $140,000 in cash,” said buyer Sandra Sapol, 46, of Carlsbad. “That was hard-earned money, down the drain.”
    >
    > The Trumps settled the fraud lawsuit, which neither Simms nor Sapol joined, and denied wrongdoing. The terms of the deal are confidential.
    >
    > As for the charge of deception, Alan Garten, general counsel to the Trump Organization, the family’s umbrella enterprise, said, “Categorically untrue.”
    >
    > A request to interview Trump and his two children was declined.
    >
    > The Trumps say they licensed their name for the project, but were not a developer and had no responsibility to refund buyers’ deposits. They say the developers, Irongate Wilshire and an affiliate, P.B. Impulsores, collected and spent all the deposit money, then failed to get a construction loan.
    >
    > Irongate and P.B. agreed to pay the condo buyers at least $7.25 million to settle their part of the fraud suit. Like the Trumps, they admitted no wrongdoing.
    >
    > In the Republican primaries, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida accused Trump of fleecing the Baja condo buyers, part of his case that Trump was a “con artist.” Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, is now using the full gamut of Trump business failures to attack the New York tycoon.
    >
    > “He makes over-the-top promises that if people stick with him, trust him, listen to him, put their faith in him, he’ll deliver for them,” she told a crowd Tuesday in Ohio. “He’ll make them wildly successful, and then everything falls apart. And people get hurt.”
    >

    > The Baja resort was supposed to cover 17 acres of oceanfront property on bluffs 10 miles south of the U.S. border. The 525 condos cost $275,000 to $3 million; Simms’ was $506,900. Buyers were required to make a 30 percent deposit in several installments.
    >
    > As the Trumps and their partners promoted the condos with sleek brochures and what they called “VIP” cocktail receptions in San Diego County, they often left the impression – or said outright – that Trump was one of the developers. Their marketing team determined that the Trump name was the No. 1 draw for buyers, according to documents that surfaced in the lawsuit.
    >
    > “We are developing a world-class resort befitting of the Trump brand,” Ivanka Trump said in a video on the Trump Baja website. “I’m very excited about it. I actually chose to buy a unit in the first tower.”
    >
    > Her father appeared in the same video saying he was proud “that when I build, I have investors that follow me all over.”
    >
    > “They invest in what I build, and that’s why I’m so excited about Trump Ocean resort,” he said.
    >
    > Simms, in a video appearance she now regrets, was also shown praising Trump’s “wonderful reputation” at a VIP reception hosted by Ivanka Trump at L’Auberge Hotel in Del Mar. “The Trump name is synonymous with quality,” Simms said in the video.
    >
    > Simms, 50, and Sapol, who went to the same party with her husband, Jeff, remembered meeting Ivanka Trump as waiters served canapes.
    >
    > “She was joking around that she was my upstairs neighbor, and she could borrow sugar from me,” Simms recalled.
    >
    > A few weeks later, Donald Trump Jr. met potential buyers at a similar event at the U.S. Grant Hotel in San Diego. A Trump Baja newsletter, sent by the sales team to those who put down deposits, reported that he “flew in from New York to purchase a suite at the event and meet with fellow buyers.”
    >
    > In fact, according to court documents, Trump Jr. did not buy a condo at the Baja resort.
    >
    > Garten, the Trump counsel, did not respond directly when asked by email why condo buyers were told that Trump Jr. had bought a unit. In general, Garten said, allegations in the lawsuit “were never proven.”
    >
    > A July 2007 newsletter sent to condo buyers also stated that the resort was being “developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.”
    >
    > Further buttressing buyers’ belief that Trump was one of the developers, not just a brand name, Trump personally signed an August 2007 letter to condo buyers that identified him as exactly that. It was on the letterhead of P.B. Impulsores, the Mexican company named in unit purchase documents as the resort developer.
    >
    > The letter, co-signed by Jason Grosfeld of Irongate, urged buyers to read an attached “Frequently Asked Questions” sheet about the project. This time, Trump and Irongate were listed as the developers.
    >
    > Tony Brown, 50, a Carlsbad buyer who owns a medical imaging company, said he and his wife, Karen, lost a $170,000 deposit. To them, Trump’s name was a “security blanket” for those who could afford oceanfront property in Mexico, but not California, he said.
    >
    > “When we found out later it was just a branding scheme, whatever confidence we had in his ability to take a project and bring it to fruition went out the window,” Brown said. The couple said they did not take part in the lawsuit because they did not want to waste any more money.
    >
    > A webcam in Baja allowed buyers to monitor construction. As months went by with no sign of progress beyond the mounds of dirt bulldozed around the bluffs early on, investors’ alarm intensified.
    >
    > “I was pretty much freaking out,” Simms recalled as she recently reviewed the blue-suede Trump Baja brochure at a Los Angeles-area coffee house near the law firm where she now works as a receptionist.
    >
    > Sapol and her husband, who own an embroidery and screen printing franchise, knew something was wrong when Trump’s Baja sales force stopped responding to their phone calls and emails. “We just started getting a pit in our stomach,” she said at their shop in an Encinitas strip mall.
    >
    > The Sapols decided to drive to Baja to confront agents at the sales office where they’d once reviewed three-dimensional models of the resort and interior design displays.
    >
    > “We go down there, and we look in the window, and all of the furniture is out, and the lights are out,” Sapol said. “They moved out. We were like, oh my God, where did everybody go? What happened?”
    >
    > She remembered the billboard on the highway nearby, with a giant photo of Trump: “Trump,” it read. “Owning here is just the beginning. Phase One – 80 percent sold in one day. Phase Two – Now available.”
    >
    > “We totally got ripped off,” Sapol said. “We just never thought it wouldn’t get built.”
    >
    > In February 2009, buyers’ worst fears came true when an unsigned letter arrived from P.B. Impulsores saying “the project will not be able to proceed” for lack of financing in a dismal economy. No money was left to refund deposits, it said.
    >
    > Donald Trump went unmentioned. But the letter said a company called “Trump Marks Baja LLC” had terminated its license agreement, making it “even less likely that a lender would ever step in.”
    >
    > “When the project went south, no one from the Trump organization even contacted us to take responsibility,” Sapol said. “We were misled – all the marketing materials, the brochures, the name of the building, the fact that Trump’s daughter was at the event, saying she and her brother bought units.”
    >
    > Ivanka Trump later told CBS News that her family had “lived up to our obligation under a license agreement.”
    >
    > “We were never the developer of this project, and that was made clear,” she said. “We never took anyone’s deposit.”
    >
    > Trump, she said, was just the brand. “I am sorry for everyone, but we are in the same boat,” she said.
    >
    > The Trumps did collect $500,000 in licensing fees from developers Jason Grosfeld and Adam Fisher, the principals behind Irongate and P.B. Impulsores.
    >
    > Grosfeld did not respond to requests for comment. Fisher declined to discuss the project.
    >
    > Fearing they might lose still more money, the Sapols decided not to join the fraud suit because lawyers required payment upfront.
    >
    > Simms was in worse shape. Soon after losing her deposit, she and everyone else at the aerospace office where she worked in Westlake Village were laid off. Her condo in Los Angeles went into foreclosure. When lawyers in the fraud suit invited her to join the case, she had no money to take part.
    >
    > “No savings, 401K, home equity, job, nothing,” she wrote to them in an April 2010 letter.
    >
    > For those who did not sue “to turn around now and make a claim is ludicrous,” Garten said. “They had ample opportunity.”
    >
    > Simms still wants her money back – with interest.

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  3. Emergency Call-in Day to demand permits for ‘Stop Trump’ march at RNC

    The Internatonal Action Center urges you to respond to the Committee to Stop FBI Repression’s appeal below and make the requested calls on Monday July 11 demanding permits be granted for the ‘Stop Trump’ march at the RNC

    Committee to Stop FBI Repression (stopfbi.net)
    CSFR is helping to plan the protest on Day One of the Republican National Convention (July 18). Please join us as we fight for permits!
    Emergency Call-in Day to demand permits for
    ‘Stop Trump’ march at RNC

    CALL Monday, July 11 at 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. EDT
    Call Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson at 216-664-3990
    Call Mike McGrath at 216-664-2200, Department of Public Safety

    The City of Cleveland has rejected the permit applications from the Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC for a rally and march on the opening day of the Republican National Convention.

    Sample message: “Hello, my name is __________, calling from ____________. I am calling to ask Mayor Jackson to issue the permits for the Monday, July 18, 12 Noon rally at Cleveland Public Square and the March on the RNC to follow it.

    “I am one of millions taking a stand against the racist, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim agenda of Donald Trump and the Republican Party. We want our permits now, so we can have a family-friendly event that sends a clear message to the Republicans. We want peace, equality and justice!

    “We want our permits now!”

    Coalition to Stop Trump and March on the RNC at http://www.protestRNC2016.com
    On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/574059672757617/
    Contact the Coalition at StopTrumpMarchOnTheRNC@gmail.com
    Copyright © 2016 Committee to Stop FBI Repression, All rights reserved.
    Thanks for your ongoing interest in the fight against FBI repression of anti-war and international solidarity activists!

    Our mailing address is:
    Committee to Stop FBI Repression
    PO Box 14183
    Minneapolis, MN 55414

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  6. Republican Platform: Sell Off Public Lands in the West, Log National Forests

    Sun Jul 17, 2016 10:08 am (PDT) . Posted by:

    “raccoon” redwoodsaurus
    > http://www.seattlepi.com/local/politics/article/Republican-platform-Privatize-public-lands-in-8376467.php
    >
    > Republican platform: Sell off public lands in the West, log national forests
    >

    > Watson Lakes in the Noisy-Diobsud Wilderness Area. The wilderness area was signed into law by President Reagan, a conservative Republican. Now, the 2016 Republican platform proposes selling off federal lands, and logging national forests.
    > A Republican president, Gerald Ford, urged on by GOP Gov. Dan Evans, signed into law legislation creating our wildly popular Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, between Stevens and Snoqualmie Passes, exactly 40 years ago.
    >
    > The drafters of the national 2016 Republican platform marked the anniversary by calling for a mass sell-off of federal lands in the West, and stepped-up logging in national forests.
    >
    > The platform is a kind of Theodore Roosevelt-in-reverse document, which renounces even policies of Ronald Reagan.
    >
    > Using the 1908 Antiquities Act, Roosevelt created national monuments in spots like the Grand Canyon and the Olympics where state and territorial governments were beholden to mining companies and timber barons.
    >
    > The 2016 GOP platform would require that national monuments be approved by both Congress and state legislatures.
    >
    > Roosevelt used his pen to create national forests across the West as a means to preserve public lands from corporate plunder. He expanded the national park system — the idea that America gave the world.
    >
    > The 2016 platform would turn public lands back to private interest. In its own words:
    >
    > “Congress should reconsider whether parts of the federal government39;s enormous landholdings and control of water in the West could be better used for ranching, mining or forestry through private ownership.
    >
    > “Timber is a renewable natural resource, which provides jobs to thousands of Americans. All efforts should be made to make federal lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service available for harvesting. The enduring truth is that people best protect what they own.”
    >
    > The people are already protecting public lands, witness public support when President Obama designated the San Juan Islands National Monument.
    >
    > The Alpine Lakes Wilderness — recently expanded with support from Republican Rep. Dave Reichert — was created thanks to a public movement that overcame ferocious opposition from the timber industry, its public relations apparatus and its lawyers.
    >
    > The Republican platform sure won’t help the man atop Republicans39; 2016 statewide ticket — gubernatorial candidate Bill Bryant.
    >
    > The former Seattle Port Commissioner is out with his first TV spot. It displays shots of public lands — Mts. Rainier and Shuksan, a waterfall past which Bryant is hiking, a stream in which Bryant is fishing — and touts Bryant as “a governor who is a conservationist.”
    >
    > Republicans have helped give us treasured places: Ronald Reagan signed the Washington and Oregon Wilderness bills, and legislation creating the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area.
    >
    > But very different Republicans are now in charge.
    >
    > Dan Evans used money from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund to preserve parks and recreation lands across Washington. He is cofounder, with ex-Democratic Gov. Mike Lowry, of the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Coalition.
    >
    > Back in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, the GOP-run House took up a bill that slashes the LWCF by 30 percent.
    >
    > Don’t do this, “This really matters,” said Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., opposing the cuts.
    >
    > “We’ve seen hundreds of projects in our state as a result of this critical program,” Kilmer added.
    >
    > Do we want to go down a path flanked by clearcuts, gouged by mines, and decorated with “Keep Out!” signs by the new private owners of the people’s domain.

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