Special Interest Business Groups Win Regulatory Favors After Booking Their Conventions At Trump Properties

The Associated Press reports:

Payday lenders got regulators to rethink rules on how closely to vet borrowers. E-cigarette makers got a delay in federal oversight of many vaping products. Candy makers praised a decision to hold off on more stringent labeling standards. And title insurers declared “victory” for getting changes that benefited them in the tax overhaul. What do all these American special-interest groups have in common? They were among those that booked meetings, retreats and conferences at hotels and golf resorts owned by President Donald Trump.

While it’s impossible to draw a direct link between where groups seeking to influence the Trump administration hold their events and what they received, one thing is certain: Never before in American history have such groups had the opportunity to hold an event at a property owned by the president, paying for event space, rooms and food with money that ultimately heads into the president’s pockets.

An Associated Press analysis of the special interests that visited Trump properties in the first year of his presidency found several instances that at least created the appearance of “pay for play.” And lobbying experts say as long as the president fails to divest from his businesses and can still profit from such bookings, special interests will take full advantage.

Hit the link for the rest and try not to scream.

  • bkmn
    • Lumpy Gaga

      Actually, the lobbyists are enjoying a great deal.

      They’re taking advantage of the fact that Trump the Businessman will give you $500 to “make” $5.

  • Lazycrockett
  • Karl Dubhe

    Money is speech, right?

    Of course he’s going to take it.

    • Prost Seattle

      If corporations are people, why the hell not?

    • clay

      Only fully paid members of Mar a Lago get to voice their opinions on gun controls.

      • marshlc

        Yeah, that one made my jaw drop, and I’ve hardly heard anyone talking about it.

  • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

    Throwback Thursday: Boehner got caught red-handed distributing tobacco company checks to fellow members mid-vote


  • John Davis

    One more part of what used to be a pretty good nation, with a pretty good Constitution, with some good and some not-so-good leadership in the House, Senate, White House……..drip drip drip……kiss your freedoms away, guys!

  • Hank

    Hit the link for the rest and try not to scream.

    TOO F’N LATE!!!!

  • Todd20036

    Because this presidency is being sold more often than a $5 whore on crack.

    • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

      You said it. Its not news that he’s a whore, but my god, he’s a cheap whore. If a group books an event, maybe they drop $20K? What is the profit the property makes? Even if Trump takes 100% of the profit personally, he is bribable for what is pocket change to the wealthy. Rappers drop more in strip clubs than it costs to buy off our President.

  • alc2018

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31e077ed6a157eb9c9c2dc9275760c4da8000fe558c390e94c45b92a04f4b836.png I know you’ll love staying here; hookers are swept in the backdoor on call if you need

  • Xiao Ai: The Social Gadfly

    But, Trump left the business to his kids to manage!/s

  • Bambino

    Bed bugs, bed bugs! Whacha gonna do when they come for you. Bed bugs, bed bugs!

  • Steverino

    And I thought Hillary and the Clinton Foundation was supposed to be “pay for play.”

    Projection, projection…

  • PickyPecker
  • Max_1

    Like Congress will ever enforce.

    • JackFknTwist

      First the corruption of Congress by bribes…NRA
      Next the corruption of Regulators by graft.
      Next the corruption of Congress by power…..when the impeachment comes up.
      EDIT :
      Next corruption/gerrymandering constituencies
      Next corruption/preventing blacks registering to vote.

  • greenmanTN

    Somebody’s angling to be head kapo of the concentration camp.

  • kaydenpat

    Draining the swamp!!

    • Into cheetolini’s pockets

      • kaydenpat


  • Max_1

    The checks and balance rests with Congress…
    BUT it looks like they’re checked out.

    • coram nobis

      The checks are overdrawn.

  • coram nobis

    In which we learn a new word: payola.

    • clay

      payola for shinola

    • Hank

      Are you sure it is not “Pay for Play”???

    • thatotherjean

      Everything old is new again.

  • Hank

    Just came in my inbox:

    Sign the petition: Tell Marco Rubio to reject the NRA

    • clay

      Dude! TMI! and use a sock.

      • Tread

        I’d watch.

  • Bad Tom

    No Quid! No Pro! You’re the Quo!

  • Rex

    Yup, electing a businessman president, excellent idea.

    • thatotherjean

      Electing a stupid, crooked businessman–even better!

      • another_steve

        A reality TV stupid, crooked businessman.

  • anne marie in philly

    “Special Interest Business Groups Win Regulatory Favors” – OF COURSE THEY DO! murikkka is beginning to sound like venezuela in terms of corruption…

  • safari

    Just like Pam “I wasn’t bribed” Bondi, we’re seeing that our anti-corruption laws are woefully inadequate.

    • Rex

      There are anti-corruption laws? Really?
      Does anyone else know this?

      • The_Wretched

        typically enforced by AGs….

    • another_steve

      Reality check:

      Jeff Sessions – Satan personified – has the lead in ensuring that those laws are enforced.

    • Tulle Christensen

      The main problem being the people in charge of enforcing the anti-corruption laws are corrupt

  • Treant

    Mueller? Congress? Anybody? Anybody?

    Yeah, didn’t think so.

    • Ross

      I am 100% certain that the GOP Congress does not care.

      I am 100% certain that Mueller is paying very close attention.

      • Treant

        I am 100% certain that the GOP Congress does not care.

        I am 15% certain that Mueller will ever do anything about anything.

  • another_steve

    Ohmigod. WTF.

    Our entire American system of governance – the entire core of our 200+ years of democratic governance – is being hijacked.

    • bandanajack

      correction… has been hijacked. russia is now in charge of the looting and pillaging phase

  • Boreal
  • I still can’t quite wrap my head around the fact we went from an administration with zero actual scandals and no criminal charges…to this dystopian nightmare of corruption, kleptocratic plundering, and literal treason.

    • another_steve

      Becca, sweet Becca.

      In moderation: Beefeater Gin.

      • M Jackson

        In a dirty martini. Wait a sec, I’ll be right back…

    • KCMC
    • M Jackson

      How can you whitewash the Obama administration like that after the Coffee Cup Salute? Oh the humanity!

      • And the tan suit. Never forget that. The horror!

        OMFG, I just remembered the Grey Poupon incident!

  • Henry Auvil

    But thank god we were spared Crooked Hillary and her diabolical corruption.

    • another_steve


      (sorry for shouting)

  • tbj5

    But remember, Hillary was 110% going to be Pay to Play because …. she got paid to give speeches.

    Definitely not the corrupt businessman with mob ties and who had been fined $10 million for money laundering.

  • M Jackson

    I’m picturing hordes of republicans dying because they were unaware of the dangers of vaping. Try it, it helps a little.

    • another_steve

      It’s a vile thought, but I concur.

    • Treant

      (tugs sleeve) The Brits recommend it to quit smoking. It’s only the FDA-paid American “researchers” who can come up with anything “bad.” And half the time that’s three researchers doing really bad science like severe overvolting. Of course, the FDA has representatives of the makers of both tobacco products, nicotine gum, and Chantix…including one item that uses heated propylene glycol and nicotine but magically passed FDA regs while normal vaping products “couldn’t.”

  • Ross

    It’s clear that laws no longer matter in America, as per our Glorious Leaders.

    So, henceforth, I will start breaking all laws that annoy me, too!

    And, because I am white and male, this will be OK.


  • Treant

    OT: Well, fuck. I’ve just been called to Jury Duty. Yet again. My husband, never. Friends, never. Me, third time in ten years.

    So, any easy way to get out of this?

    • KCMC

      strap a strap-on on your forehead. And enter stating, it’s loaded.

      • Treant

        The last time they didn’t choose me because it was an accident case with a chiropractor testifying. Frankly, I consider chiropractors to be quacks. And said so.

        • Tread

          I wouldn’t be walking without the assistance of mine. I literally couldn’t bend over to tie my shoes in December.

          • Treant

            Some are tolerable. The one I went to for “back pain” assured me that this would strengthen my immune systems and, if I wanted, I could open my energy centers with a nice massage.

          • Tread

            Oh, that’s a hack. Mine required me to do an adjustment, PT, and traction. He’s like a full-service mechanic.

        • Dazzer

          Years ago, I fell off a roof and did major damage to my spine and pelvis. The osteopath (that’s what we call chiropractors over here) helped teach me to walk again.

          It only worked to a certain extent and then I had to use other therapies to continue to improve, but I wouldn’t be walking as well as I can today without the osteopath.

          • Treant

            In our case, an osteopath is a doctor who specifically studies and treats bones. A chiropractor cracks your back and neck to “relieve tension.”

            A lot of them are…let’s just call them interesting…with some interesting and very, very quacky claims. Training varies, a lot, in the States, and I don’t know the status of that in the UK.

            Wikipedia’s entry is a bit biased, but isn’t too terribly awful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chiropractic_controversy_and_criticism

      • Treant

        As I think, the time before that I answered a logical question logically. I was summarily dismissed from the jury pool.

    • TJ

      Yes. Suck it up and be a citizen instead of a whiny bitch.

      • Treant

        Fuck that shit. Citizens have equal rights. Call me when I have them.

        Also, call me when “Making Terroristic Threats” isn’t lumped onto every purse snatching charge.

      • Treant

        Oh. Russian troll with 15 comments and a locked profile. Blocked.

        • Proud MOFO Beaner (bkb)

          I had a long post disagreeing with your desire to get out. But instead I will just say

          People state racial and other biases to get excused.

          • Treant

            There’s definitely no point; you have your opinion. I’m of the opinion that justice is a joke and our local “justice” a particularly bad example of that.

    • boobert

      I couldn’t do it myself, but I witnessed it a lot. Playing the race card nearly always works. I did call the lawyers scumbags on a sideline and got picked anyway, lol.

    • Refugay

      “My step father is an attorney and I hate him, I hate all attorneys because they’re all snakes.”

      • boobert

        That didn’t work for me, lol.

      • Treant

        My cheating ex-cousin is a cop, and I actually do hate him and all cops. Most of whom have proven themselves to be snakes.

    • WNY

      I just spent 2 days of jury duty while they were trying to select jurors for a criminal case (that was projected to last 1-2 weeks) before the defendant decided to take a plea on the second day. The judge thanked us for our service and said that we would not be called for jury duty again for at least 6 years.
      Prior to that some people were dismissed if they had a hardship of some kind, like full-time students who can’t miss that many classes, self-employed people, people with no alternative child care options while they served, etc.

      • Treant

        How about “have no confidence in the execution of actual justice and will nullify your asses if I even suspect he’s being railroaded?”

    • M Jackson

      When they told us the preliminaries of the legal case and asked if we would have a problem delivering a verdict, I began to yammer on about how I could see the point in the defence’s case but also that I knew from my own work environments that the prosecution had validity and so on and so forth, as both attorney’s eyes glazed over and they said “Thank you Mr. Jackson, you’re excused”. I basically talked my way out of jury duty by just being myself.

      • Treant

        If I tried that, my inner misanthrope would come through and I’d end up in jail on contempt charges. They’d be correct, I might add.

        However, being Mr. Ultra-Logical generally gets me out of things; lawyers don’t like somebody who analyzes everything and is an emotional cold fish. 🙂

        • M Jackson

          There were very humble and hard working citizens there, and me. They all had basic clear-cut answers to the attorney’s questions and they all ended up on the jury.
          I on the other hand have always found my least favorite part of voicing my opinion to be reaching the end of it.

          • Treant

            Strangely, I’ve been advised (even here) that they’re sorry they slapped me, but they were afraid I’d never reach the end of my if-then-else statements. 🙂

            Like you, my opinions tend to be well-thought-out and I figure you probably want the entire proof.

          • Dazzer

            Just tell them you’re an alcoholic who isn’t recovering. And if they’re happy to have a drunk on the jury, you’re happy to serve. But you might be late for the morning sessions.

            alternatively, tell them you’re hired by the CIA to make poisonous soaps to assassinate foreign leaders and some of the deadly chemicals stick to your clothes, so you can’t in good conscience sit closely to other jurors.

            Or consult your diary and tell them that you’re pencilled in to be abducted by aliens half way through the trial – so you might miss out on a bit of someone’s testimony – and you’ll definitely need a rubber ring to sit on for a couple of days when you get back.

    • Halou

      Uhh, bone spurs?

    • kanehau

      I get called all the time – and have no problem serving.

      Except this one time where we were scheduled to take a vacation to New Zealand – and the judge said “if the trial goes that long we’ll replace you with your alternate”.

      No (especially since I had to drive 90 miles one way each day to get to the court house, which is no longer allowed).

      It was a trial of a landlord against some doctors – I was asked “what do you think of lawsuits” – I answered “most are not worth the paper they were printed on”.

      I was then asked what I thought of doctors, I replied “they think they are gods”.

      Final question “what do you think of lawyers”… “they are an unfortunate necessary evil”.

      I was out of there.

      After I returned from the trip I ran into a woman at Walmart who said “I was chosen as your alternate… we all REALLY enjoyed your answers”

      TL;DR: Simply show bias against both parties (but never the judge).

      • Treant

        I detest it. Lawsuits, as noted, are usually bullshit. ‘Round here, a solid half of criminal trials are railroading our Hispanic population.

  • JWC

    and this in no way is criminal?????????

    • safari

      Who would prosecute?

      • coram nobis

        U.S. Attorney for D.C., if it’s most public officials. For Donald, Congress would have to make this a count on the impeachment.

      • JWC

        if they had balls Justice

  • Kevin Andrews

    How nice for the special interest. Makes this Citizen believe that all that Russian & Oligarch’s cash dumped on the Shitgibbon & his Republican Fascist Zionist minions didn’t go entirely to the Gilded Feces but helped to pay his migrant labor.
    Standard Operating Practice from the Republican Fascist Zionist leadership and its minions.

  • The_Wretched

    emoluments, it’s in the constitution as a no no. The modern desciption is pay to play. It’s clear that corps are getting policy changes based on who makes sure Trump get’s a cut.

  • coram nobis

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
    — U.S. Const., Art. I, Sec. 9, cl. 8

    The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.
    — U.S. Const., Art. II, Sec. 1

    (b)  Whoever–

    (1)  directly or indirectly, corruptly gives, offers or promises anything of value to any public official or person who has been selected to be a public official, or offers or promises any public official or any person who has been selected to be a public official to give anything of value to any other person or entity, with intent–
    * * *
    shall be fined under this title or not more than three times the monetary equivalent of the thing of value, whichever is greater, or imprisoned for not more than fifteen years, or both, and may be disqualified from holding any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States.
    — 18 U.S. Code § 201, bribery

    • Natty Enquirer

      Regrettably, this Congress does consent.

      • coram nobis

        Most of them probably think “emoluments” comes in a 40-oz bottle by Jergens, in the cosmetics aisle at CVS or RiteAid.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      LOL, laws are just for Democrats.

  • safari

    I think Florida found their new governor

    • another_steve

      The Medicare program is fraught with fraud. Anyone on Medicare knows this. Anyone who carefully reviews and examines their Medicare statements.

      Government officials know this (I was one).

      The problem is immense and has yet to be successfully tackled.

    • Treant

      A year for every 4.3 million? Some would say that’s an excellent salary for a shit job. 🙂

    • Halou

      So very presidential…

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    If only we had a certain clause in place to prevent this kind of shit.

    • another_steve

      How’s this:

      You subvert American democracy and decency, you die.

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        I like it. I do.

    • boatboy_srq

      Do you mean the one covering “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”?

      Or the one dealing with a pResident “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office”?

    • Halou

      If only there were a governing body willing to fucking enforce it.

      But no. The Republicans “own” Congress, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future now that they refuse to defend the nation from adversarial regimes hellbent on making war against the United States.

  • safari
    • Tread

      HAHAHAHAHAHHAHA! By a well-spoken teenager, no less.

    • coram nobis

      They have at least 111 state house districts? California makes do with 80 assembly seats.

    • Chris H.

      Awwwwww. Too bad. Sending thoughts and prayers. /s

    • bzrd

      Marco Rubio pelted by rapidly fired words from intelligent teenagers
      died from his wounded pride

  • misterjack

    Man, JMG is depressing as hell, today. Is it Happy Hour, yet? Is it the weekend, yet?

    • JWC

      Tis always 1800 somewhere in the world just adjust the time

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Yesterday was bad too.

  • safari

    O/T: A note. We’re no longer a nation of immigrants.

    • Tread

      WHAT. THE. FUCK.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Throw a rope around the neck of Lady Liberty and drag her out to sea

      • coram nobis

        Well, she’s French. And undocumented.

    • Treant

      I’ve always had minor problems with that statement (I was born here, just like anybody else who claims to be indigenous).

      But in this case, the reason for removal is not logic, but racism.

    • Halou

      “America, the nation of …
      Hmm, well putting ‘whites only’ there would more than likely be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and set off a civil war… Oh, the predicaments we make for ourselves.”

    • bzrd

      no, we’re the marauding hordes
      just ask the people here first
      p.s. the feds owe them billions for the pillaged mineral wealth

  • mikemmiv

    When the administration can be bought so easily… the comparison of a 2 cent whore comes to mind.

  • boatboy_srq


    …and now,

  • Jean-Marc in Canada

    But of course.

  • Halou

    Yet all the fools and fanatics out there will say how great the president is for forgoing his $400,000 a year salary.

    Trump has “earned” several times that much by forcing the Secret Service to rent golf carts and rent rooms at his shithole in New York because Melania and Barron were ordered to stay there for as long as possible, only going to D.C. because the SecServ budget was about to reach a critical zero. Curiously enough, that was also the time when Trump gave up playing golf at his own courses… Hmm.

    As to the point of the article. Trump has received millions of dollars from special interest groups within the US and from unscrupulous regimes all around the world. He went so far as to pledge support to the Saudis and the UAE should they make war against Qatar, because both those nations have Trump properties either operational or in the making, while Qatar does not. Both those nations invest in Trump properties in the US, and Qatar does not.

    Trump has received millions of dollars from people seeking political favours and concessions in just one year. Yet all the fools and fanatics out there will say how great the president is for forgoing his $400,000 a year salary.

    • coram nobis

      Incidentally, the U.S. military has a large base or two in Qatar. A Saudi/UAE attack on Qatar might avoid them, but the RSAAF hasn’t been terribly careful of late, judging by their activity in Yemen. So, a war there might spare Trump properties but CENTCOM might have a problem.

      • Halou

        Pro-Russian regimes have never been all that concerned about the loss of American lives. If anything, they prefer it.

  • Halou

    If Trump ever gets impeached, he should be issued with a bill to repay every damned cent he has stolen from the American people… To cough up two cents for every one he has received from ‘special interests’… And a dollar for every cent of foreign money he has received in return for policy concessions.

    Something to mitigate the massive damage that will be caused by the trillion-dollars-per-year deficit bomb he set up to go off a few years down the line.

  • There doesn’t really have to be a direct link — this whole administration is anti-consumer* — but I’m sure putting money in Trump’s pocket didn’t hurt.

    * Which just goes to show how short-sighted and stupid conservatives are: we have a consumer-driven economy; if consumers don’t have money to spend, the economy tanks.

  • Thorn Spike

    🎶 And the grift goes on…🎶

  • Friday

    Obvious corruption is obvious.

  • Gerry Fisher

    Who coulda predicted?! (Other than everyone.)