The last Morning Jolt of the week discusses several key avenues of attack for Trump’s rivals showcased last night, including . . .
Trump University. The background:
Never licensed as a school, Trump University was in reality a series of real estate workshops in hotel ballrooms around the country, not unlike many other for-profit self-help or motivational seminars. Though short-lived, it remains a thorn in Trump’s side nearly five years after its operations ceased: In three pending lawsuits, including one in which the New York attorney general is seeking $40 million in restitution, former students allege that the enterprise bilked them out of their money with misleading advertisements.
Instead of a fast route to easy money, these Trump University students say they found generic seminars led by salesmen who pressured them to invest more cash in additional courses. The students say they didn’t learn Trump’s secrets and never received the one-on-one guidance they expected.
But the first major shot at Trump University came from Texas in January 2010. That’s when Abbott’s assistant attorney general in the Consumer Protection and Public Health Division, Rick Berlin, began a probe of whether the operation violated Texas’ Deceptive Trade Practices Consumer Protection Act.
In a “civil investigative demand” mailed to university corporate offices at Trump’s 40 Wall Street address, Abbott’s office sought financial records; promotional and advertising material, such as that used to promote Trump University seminars in Texas; talking points and sales scripts used by seminar leaders to encourage people to purchase the paid programs; and names of all Texans who “purchased your workshop or mentoring program” from January 2008 to the present.
Rather than respond and turn over the requested documents, Trump University agreed to cease doing business in Texas.
Later that year, Trump University stopped operations altogether.
If everything’s on the up-and-up, why do you run out of town at the first inquiry from law enforcement? If the accusations about Trump University are true, Trump isn’t the big man who stands up for the little guy; he’s the fat cat who plays the little guy for a sucker.
Trump claims he can’t find Americans willing to do the work. If you grind your teeth every time you hear someone like Karl Rove use the phrase “jobs Americans won’t do,” why would you give Donald Trump a pass?
But the attacks are beginning to pile up, with a New York Times story this week saying Mr. Trump’s Florida country club has hired hundreds of foreign seasonal workers, rejecting applications from Americans.
“Everybody agrees with me on that. They were part-time jobs,” he said. “Otherwise we might as well have just closed the doors.”
Really? Florida has about a half million unemployed people right now. That figure has come down about 60,000 in the past year, but you’re telling me Trump couldn’t find a single Floridian to do this work?