The Trump Organization is, technically, run by Donald Trump's large adult sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. But despite his public statements to the contrary, Trump himself still has an ownership stake in his huge empire of real-estate properties, restaurants that serve nightmarish cocktails, and random buildings with his name slapped onto the sides. That's why a watchdog group is suing the president for remaining tied to his businesses while they receive money from foreign governments, which appears to be a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
His properties in South Florida are no different. Since Trump took office, a whole lot of major corporations and lobbying groups have decided to hold galas and other large events at the Trump National Doral Miami. Take, for instance, the predatory payday-lending industry: Lenders plan to hold a huge event at the golf resort in roughly a week — right as they're also lobbying the Trump administration to roll back lending regulations. Coincidence?
Here's a breakdown of the shadiest events held at the Trump Doral since our big, pockmarked pear of a president took office:
1. The upcoming payday-lending-palooza. Is there any more obvious attempt at influence-peddling than this? According to the Miami Herald, the Community Financial Services Association of America, a
2. The GEO Group private-prison bash.
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3. The Republican Party's parties. According to the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the Republican Governors Association funneled $408,588 to the Trump Doral for a conference in May 2017. Not to be outdone, the Republican National Committee spent $205,000 on events at the resort this past February and plans to hold its spring meeting there in May.
4. Big Candy's big event while also doing big lobbying. Per the Washington Post, the National Confectioners Association, which represents Hershey's, Mars, Jelly Belly, and other purveyors of refined sugar, has been pushing the federal government for years to roll back sugar-industry subsidies that the companies claim drive up the cost of creating their products by an estimated $280 million per year. With a new administration in the White House, the association (which says it booked the events in 2014 and 2015, before Trump was voted into office) brought 600 people to the Trump Doral in March 2017.
5. The insurance industry's love for the Trump Doral. The American Land Title Association (ALTA), the insurance industry's biggest lobbying group, really wants portions of the Wall Street-regulating Dodd-Frank Act revoked. It also wants the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau weakened. According to HuffPost, the association held its annual conference (called ALTA One) at the Miami-area golf course last October. In the meantime, Trump fought nearly every banking law the group has magically fought. Amazing how that works.
6. The Metals Service Center Institute's party after Trump began pipeline construction. The Metals Service Center Institute, which lobbies for industrial-metal-supply companies, sure wanted construction on the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines to get moving again. Trump made sure that happened in February and March 2017. Then the institute held a big conference at the Trump Doral in May 2017, according to HuffPost. What a coincidence.