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$1,289,507.76

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trainwreck-review-1

POP QUIZ

The figure above is:

a. The price of a the median one-bedroom apartment in Park Slope.
b. The amount Ryan Howard has been paid per RBI since 2011.
c. The amount per annum I would require before submitting to daily screenings selected from the works of Michael Bay.
d. The cash on hand the Republican nominee for president had at the end of the last reporting period.
Answer.

…as dmsilev observes in comments, Trump is charging his cash-starved campaign roughly $200 K a month in rent. And Trump is on his own payroll (correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe this is highly unusual.) In other words, it would seem to be like his other grifts. If you evaluate Trump’s presidential campaign based on obsolete metrics like whether it will help him become president, it’s a disaster. If you evaluate it based on whether it provides Trump the opportunity to loot gullible people while generating publicity, it would seem to be a smashing success.

…and:

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  • junker

    I was sure the answer would be all of the above.

    I hope you don’t write MC questions for your students, I am sure they would hate them!

    • Scott Lemieux

      Sorry, that figure is not high enough for c).

      • LosGatosCA

        Monthly?

        • Scott Lemieux

          If you throw in a couple of Seahawks offensive linemen who can pass block, you have a deal.

  • Ken

    How much is that in prime-time network minutes?

    • Warren Terra

      It would pay for more than a minute of ad time during the World Series!

      • tsam

        I wonder if they’re saving their money for a Super Bowl campaign ad. Seems like a smart idea to me.

  • dmsilev

    The real fun comes when you start looking at the details. For instance, from the disbursements,

    TRUMP RESTAURANTS LLC 05/18/2016 RENT AND UTILITIES 125080.31
    TRUMP TOWER COMMERCIAL LLC 05/31/2016 RENT AND UTILITIES 72800.00

    He’s charging his own campaign roughly $200K/month in rent. Sarah Palin was thinking small when she grifted a new wardrobe from the 2008 campaign.

    • Warren Terra

      Per month or per reporting period (which I think is quarterly)?

      ETA from the link:

      5. Covering Period 05/01/2016 Through 05/31/2016

      So, you’re right. That’s fairly incredible.

      • N__B

        Median office rent in Manhattan these days is about 50-55 $/RSF. Taking Trump Tower space at 60$/RSF, I doubt that the campaign needs anything like 14,000 square feet, so it’s probably quarterly.

        • N__B

          I missed the edit window. Either he’s charging his campaign insanely high rent by the standards of Fifth Avenue office space, or he’s got enough room for a curling rink.

          • Schadenboner

            Curling rink? That hair needs a whole goddamn salon.

            • weirdnoise

              Mr Small Hands is compensating with big stones.

              • eh

                I don’t know where everybody’s getting this “small hands,” stuff. It’s only his fingers that are smaller than average.

          • eh

            He had to go underground and build his own curling rink so he could use cheater brooms. Another case of a brother getting hassled by The Man.

      • CD

        So is money changing hands, or is this just the valuation on an in-kind contribution? In other words is this a grift off of the flow of external contributions to the campaign and/or how does it link cashflow-wise to Trump’s own “loans” to his campaign?

        • Bufflars

          That’s what I was wondering. What insanely high interest rate is he charging on the loans to his own campaign…

    • kped

      Do you have to charge market rates though? otherwise it becomes a donation/contribution, no?

      • Redwood Rhiadra

        Yes, his corporations are required to charge his campaign by law or record it as an in-kind donation (which would probably exceed the allowable limit).

    • Brett

      Nice to think that Trump won’t even exempt his own campaign finance from wetting his beak.

      Anyone who works for him better make sure they’re all paid up before the campaign is over. I have a feeling he’s going to stiff a bunch of creditors after he goes down in flames.

    • dmsilev

      THE MAR-A-LAGO CLUB, LLC 05/18/2016 FACILITY RENTAL/CATERING 423371.70

      $400K for rental/catering to his own resort? Did he even have any events in Florida in May?

      • Warren Terra

        Okay, we’ve got, in one month:
        Rent to Trump Restaurants and Trump Tower: $200K
        Rent to Mar-A-Lago: $420K
        Catering, Eric Trump Wine: $4K (piker!)
        Tag Air (Trump’s “airline” apparently) $350K
        Trump CPS, Trump Plaza: $15K
        Various people at Trump’s address (725 5th ave), including Donald, listed alphabetically under Trump (there are a bunch more listed elsewhere): ~47K
        Trump national and international golf clubs: $66K
        Trump Virginia Acquisitiions: $1K

        Total outlays: $6.7M, of which perhaps $1.1M went back into one of Trump’s pockets.

        Also notable:
        $1.56M to “Morning in America Inc” in Scottsdale, which is a bit hard to identify with a quick Google. It shares an address with various lobbying organizations officered by one Sidney Hay.

        ETA that’s from a quick trawl through the disbursements report – except for the $420K you say went to Mar-a-Lago, which I repeat from your comment but I didn’t spot.

        • Warren Terra

          Just outside the edit window: found it. It’s alphabetical under “The”.

        • weirdnoise

          Hmmm… There must be some name for such a financial perpetuum mobile. Rhymes with “odd.”

          • CD

            It is pretty funny — there was this earlier idea that he could self-finance as a multi-billionaire, but it’s becoming clear that he’s probably at best a multimillionaire, and yeah, his model involves getting other people to put up money and then skimming that off while not paying the bills.

        • dmsilev

          Someone at Balloon Juice linked to this NYT story from Feb, which notes that among other things,

          He spent about $2 million on hats, T-shirts and other merchandise, roughly half of it going to a Louisiana-based company, Ace Specialties, owned by a board member of Mr. Trump’s son’s charitable foundation.

          Sure enough, roughly $700K in this report to Ace Specialties.

        • CD

          No Trump vodka?

        • UserGoogol

          People keep comparing this campaign to The Producers, but maybe it’s a Big Lebowski situation.

        • N__B

          Various people at Trump’s address (725 5th ave)

          You know who else lives at Trump Tower? Andrew Lloyd Webber. Think about it!

          • I knew it! SEK’s domestic companions’ political ambitions are being thwarted by BIG CAT!!!

      • los

        Did he even have any events in Florida in May?
        No, but the events were Skyped. Don’t you liberals understand hi-tech?
        /s

    • elm

      He also apparently paid DraperSterling for advertising. I’m not making that up.

      • N__B

        I would break my monthly budget on popcorn if Matthew Weiner were to sue for copyright infringement.

        • Used to be an ad agency out here called McMahon & Tate, as in the agency in Bewitched. Don’t think they were ever sued.

  • Warren Terra

    With 30 field staffers, that’s a bit more than $40K apiece. Enough to pay them for the quarter, maybe even with enough left over for some of them to rent a field office.

    • junker

      You my friend need to learn more about the Art of the Deal (TM). The trick is to agree to pay them after the election. Then, if you lose you can refuse payment on the grounds that your loss indicates shoddy work on their part and refuse payment, daring them to sue you for it.

      • socraticsilence

        I want to watch Trump FOs on November 9th prying off gold fixtures with crow bars.

      • Schadenboner

        Except there will probably be a very long list of angry and rich Republicans (…but I repeat myself) willing to cover the expenses of such a law suit, and punish Trump with a roto-rooter of a discovery process.

        • los

          Has a Trump subsidiary bought resort acreage in a non-extradition “haven”?
          Cuba?

          • los

            Venezuela!

    • Warren Terra

      Apparently it’s a monthly report? I thought they were quarterly. So, even after paying rent on Trump properties there’s $30K per field staffer, for the month. Easily enough for each of them to rent a field office. They may be even to pay for an assistant apiece!

      • los

        They may be even to pay for an assistant apiece!
        “Interns” on J-1s, and pocket, ah um, invest, ummm, pay forward it all, um, the private sector savings!

    • socraticsilence

      Most competitive Senate races, even in smaller population state like NH or MT have greater staff outlays than Trump.

      How is this possible?

    • efgoldman

      Enough to pay them

      Assumes facts not in evidence.

      • ochospantalones

        Yeah, I would strongly recommend that anyone signing up to work for the Trump “campaign” demand to be paid upfront, cash on the barrelhead.

        • los

          in gold.
          /s

  • Hells Littlest Angel

    But Trump can leverage the RNC’s assets to borrow cash and buy on credit. You know, a good, old-fashioned bust-out.

    • junker

      We can only hope this ends with RNC headquarters mysteriously burning down in the middle of the night.

      • BiloSagdiyev

        Henry Hill: [narrating] Now the guy’s got Paulie as a partner. Any problems, he goes to Paulie. Trouble with the bill? He can go to Paulie. Trouble with the cops, deliveries, Tommy, he can call Paulie. But now the guy’s gotta come up with Paulie’s money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. Oh, you had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. Place got hit by lightning, huh? Fuck you, pay me.

    • Scott Lemieux

      So when HBO does the movie, the top GOP donors will be played by Robert Patrick and whoever played the owner of the Bamboo Lounge in GoodFellas?

      • los

        Mitt Romney wakes to find horse head laying near the foot of his bed.

        • BiloSagdiyev

          Probably not the first time. He’ll drag it out to the car elevator and strap it to the roof of the station wagon and blast off for Salt Lake City.

  • Wapiti

    It says that the committee owes $45M. It looks like some people are going to take a bath, if this doesn’t get paid down before the convention?

    • Warren Terra

      See my comment below – it’s not “some people”. All of the money is owed to Trump personally.

    • dmsilev

      All the loans are owed to one Donald J. Trump. Seriously.

      I think he’s hoping to get paid back from donor money.

    • djw

      Pretty sure that’s the money Trump loaned the campaign.

    • sky

      That could be his own loans to his campaign. He was lending the money while bragging about being self funded. I think everyone assumed he’d get big donations in the general and pay himself back. It doesn’t look that way now, so expect him to go full televangelist.

      • Warren Terra

        If he agrees not to raise money from private sources – saving himself a bunch of bother – his campaign is eligible to receive something like $100M in public funds. He could immediately repay his loans to his campaign, and still have enough campaign funding left for two or three large-state Senate races!

        • Docrailgun

          Ha! Now we know what the scam was. People were wondering why Trump would put up with the annoyance of running a campaign – there it is!
          If his campaign get $100 million of taxpayer money and his campaign pays Trump and Trump’s companies outrageous rents and such – he comes out of this making $75-$100 million bucks.
          That is ballsy to the extreme. Wow.

        • petesh

          I would like to know more about this. Who disburses public funds and when, and what kind of credentials do they demand? Oh my goodness, Trump could become the George Washington Plunkitt of our degenerate age.

          • Warren Terra

            Basically: it’s that $3 checkoff on your tax return. Major-party nominees (as determined by recent performance of their nominees in Presidential elections) get $20M towards their party convention and, if they refuse donations for the general election, something like $100M for the general election ($91M in 2012).

            Although I surmised in my above comment, I don’t know whether public financing for the general election can legally be applied to debt from the primary.

            Also: it’s been a while since a major-party nominee accepted the funding for the general election, because even with a $2700 per person donation limit they can readily raise a half-billion for the general election. But Trump could certainly threaten to take the deal, and so cripple his own campaign, with downticket consequences, unless donors pay off his loans to his campaign!

            • petesh

              The concept is brilliant but flawed, I think: the idea of getting public money to pay the bills incurred at his own businesses while attempting a hostile takeover of the public money supply has a certain twinkly fascination to it, especially when you consider that he wants to outsource the actual campaigning and spend his time on the fun speechifying and performing.

              The primary debt issue is a difficulty, and the cash is (I think) all in matching funds. I doubt he can match himself; he could try but actual cash might be required. Maybe he could hire a fundraiser on commission, take the funds raised and then cancel that contract on the grounds that the performance wasn’t up to expectations.

              • Warren Terra

                the cash is (I think) all in matching funds

                I think public funding in the primaries is matching funds; public finding in the general is contingent on not accepting donations, so isn’t matching funds.

                Though I still don’t know if public financing for the general election campaign can be used to pay off debt from the primary campaign.

          • N__B

            That, sir, is a slur on Plunkitt. The heart of GWP’s political philosophy is that it was okay to steal as long as you did so while providing actual services to your constituents. There is no evidence that Trump intends to provide actual services.

  • mikeSchilling

    e. An Alfred Bester story.

  • Warren Terra

    Also: the campaign claims to owe $45 million. Normally I’d assume they’d just declare bankruptcy (or never close the books – the Giuliani campaign was raising money at least four years after dropping out of the 2008 race), but all of that money is owed to Trump personally. Maybe he’ll actually make some effort to raise money for the campaign, in order to repay himself?

    • Wapiti

      But if I were Mr. Republican Moneybags, looking at that, I’d have to realize that the first $45M in donations go to Trump – they might not be spent on the campaign to move forward. And if they are spent on the campaign going forward, Trump is hoovering up the money by overcharging. PACs look like a (slightly) better investment.

  • junker

    So how much would you need to be paid per year to watch a Michael Bay movie every day?

    • Bill Murray

      Netflix would hire him for $10 per movie

      • wjts

        I was a subject in a clinical drug trial where one of the side effects was increasing my tolerance for Michael Bay movies. So history suggests that the going rate is around $100 a session (in early 2000’s dollars) plus all the anesthesia you can inhale.

        • Were there no IRBs then?

          • wjts

            I guess not. But there weren’t any live-action Transformers movies, either, so I suppose it worked out OK.

  • Bill Murray

    not counting this year, Howard has been paid about $284,238 per RBI for 2011-2015 — $110 million for 387 RBIs. So a much better deal than Trump

  • Crusty

    Self-funding billionaire.

    • Brett

      He must be really short on liquid assets, even if he is worth $2.4 billion (a notch down from the $10 billion he claims). A guy like that can’t raise seven- or low-eight-figure sums out of pocket to invest in his own campaign?

      Yes, I know he’s lent his campaign $45 million. Still, you’d think a multi-billionaire could raise more – especially if he has time to plan for it.

    • farin

      Sure, he’s totally funding himself. He never promised to be a campaign-funding billionaire, did he?

  • Brett

    I’ll take a contrarian approach here. If Trump decides sometime in late August/early September to actually put a bunch of his own money into the campaign and starts frantically running television ads/doing campaign stuff, do you think it will have made a difference that he wasn’t doing that stuff now?

    Certainly there’s some stuff he’ll suffer from in being that tardy, like organizing on-the-ground groups and local campaigning.

    • wjts

      As I understand it, mostly from commenters here, Clinton has been buying up a lot of that TV ad airtime already. And I’d suspect that 30 seconds of primetime TV advertising will be more expensive in September than it is today. Maybe that nice young man who dresses up like the Riddler and screams about FREE GOVERNMENT MONEY will be willing to sell Trump some of his airtime?

      • Schadenboner

        Wait, are you from the Chicagoland Media Market or was that actually a national ad?

        • wjts

          I’ve definitely seen his commercials in Pittsburgh, and I may have seen them in Massachusetts.

        • Warren Terra

          It’s a national ad. Some more info here.

          • Schadenboner

            How goddamn depressing. All this time I’ve been walking around believing I was just one day away from meeting him.

            Fake Edit: Ah, he’s from Milwaukee. The hope kindl’d anew!

            • wjts

              The infallible Wikipedia claims he lives in Maryland. But maybe you could meet whoever sings the “Save big money at Menards” jingle or the Empire Carpet guy?

              ETA: I guess not. The Empire Carpet guy died a few years ago. Now that was some effective advertising: I suspect I’ll forget my own name before I forget their phone number.

              • vic rattlehead

                True story: I saw him in Adams Morgan in early 2014. Right on 18th st.

          • los

            This guy is NeverTrump’s savior.
            Matthew Lesko tweeted: “Trump Art of the Steal is LESS not really free. Matthew Lesko’s Art of the Steal is MORE not really free.”

        • Matt McIrvin

          National. This ArsTechnica article about the genesis of Trump University includes an amusing, brief exchange with him in which he points out that they’re basically doing what he’s doing, only his book just costs $40.

    • randy khan

      It’s hard to know for sure, but if Clinton runs unopposed ads against him for a couple of months and has enough money to match him in the fall, then it probably won’t help him to spend that money then.

      (I’d also note that it’s a good bet that she’ll have the same kind of efficiency in ad buying as the Obama campaign in 2012 and that Trump will be even less efficient than Romney because he has no idea what he’s doing. If that’s the case, Clinton might be able to match him or even run more ads without spending as much money as Trump.

    • Chuchundra

      Yes, it makes a big difference. The HRC campaign is buying up ad space now. If El Trumpo opens his wallet in a couple months, there won’t be much left to buy and what is available will be at seriously inflated prices.

      Plus, you can’t spin up a modern presidential campaign in a couple months.

    • efgoldman

      Certainly there’s some stuff he’ll suffer from in being that tardy

      More than that, and harking back to previous campaigns, HRC (and her surrogates, and the commercials) are defining Combover Caligula – as if he weren’t doing a fine job herself – as being unfit for the presidency, a blowhard, and a laughing stock.
      Plus, she has to spend money that was raised for primaries prior to the convention.
      Rinse and the traditional Republiklowns know this damned well.

      • los

        RNC must be (doing more than just) hoping that Trump crashes hard and soon enough to plausibly install Cruz as nominee.

        • los

          plausibly = “comvincingly justifiably” to enough trump zombie voters

    • CD

      You’re assuming he *has* “a bunch of his own money.” He’s lent $45 million so far and he may not have a whole lot more free cash. The billionaire claims may be bluff.

    • Craigo

      This is bad in all the ways.

      1. You can’t let an opponent define you. See Romney, Willard, aka that guy who likes to buy business and fire the employees.
      2. Ad buys in June are cheap. Ad buys during the fall season are ruinously expensive.
      3. Buying time weeks or even months in advance is even cheaper. Buying it at the last minute is “Do I really need two kidneys?” expensive.
      4. Donald Trump doesn’t have a bunch of money.
      5. “Not spending any money on field might be bad” is burying the lede.

    • In addition to what was already said, even in 2012 there was a notable edge that the Obama campaign had over Romney in ad buys just by being ahead of the game 10% or so. How much that affects the actual outcome, I don’t know. But all of our models that claim that campaigning has a low impact on the outcome of the election are based on the expectation that both candidates campaign to the best of their ability.

      • But all of our models that claim that campaigning has a low impact on the outcome of the election are based on the expectation that both candidates campaign to the best of their ability.

        So? It begins to appear that Mr. T. is campaigning to the best of his ability.

        • N__B

          When I was at the Tute, certain basic requirements for engineering students had a “self-paced” option. You were given the curriculum and readings and then had to take a test for each week’s material. Your average on the tests was your grade. No classes, and you could take all the tests any time you wanted within the semester.

          I never felt the urge that intensely to skip classes, but a friend found out (intro to thermodynamics) that the problem with him being allowed to work at his own pace is that he did.

          • I never felt the urge that intensely to skip classes, but a friend found out (intro to thermodynamics) that the problem with him being allowed to work at his own pace is that he did.

            Yeah, well, that sort of sums up the laws of thermodynamics nicely, doesn’t it?

            …Speaking of which, one of the Old Fogies here at the home (a retired physicist; not the resident Nobel laureate) passed on the following anecdote, which involves both thermodynamics and the most recent (re-)unification of Germany.

            Walter Nernst, who won the 1920 Nobel Prize for Chemistry in consequence of his having formulated the Third Law of Thermodynamics, was much adulated by the German scientific establishment as a body—though not always by its individual members, since he was by no account a particularly pleasant person. He died mid-war, in 1941, and was buried where he’d been living, in Zibelle, now just over the Polish border (and called Niwica). Among those in attendance was Max Planck (Nobel in Physics, 1918), who was of course even more adulated than Nernst (and older); despite the war, he and others accompanied the coffin to the grave, dressed in their academic finery.

            Soon after the war ended Nernst’s family petitioned successfully to have him disinterred and re-buried in his ancestral Prussian village. Again there was a funeral cortege of scientific luminaries, again including Planck.

            A few years later yet (and shortly before Planck died) the University of Göttingen petitioned successfully to have Nernst disinterred again and reburied there. Again Planck accompanied the coffin. Another famous physicist (whose name I have forgotten), once again walking alongside Planck, observed that it was odd to be burying Nernst a third time.

            “You can’t bury him too often for me!”

  • Sly

    I’ll go with (E) the combined dollar value of all the white bulls Hillary Clinton sacrificed to Magna Mater in order to run against this dipshit.

  • However much or little the Democrats paid for the file of Trump-related oppo research purportedly distributed by hackers, there is no way it could have covered all of Trump’s skeeziness.

    • efgoldman

      However much or little the Democrats paid for the file of Trump-related oppo research

      If they paid anybody anything, they’re spending money they could put back in petty ca$h to buy lunch next Friday.

    • Tybalt

      That was just the DNC file. I am reminded of what Nixon said when he found out Liddy’s gang of idiots was bugging and rifling the DNC (looking in substantial part for oppo research): “Why would they do that? All the good stuff is in the campaigns!”

    • The “hackers” are almost certainly employees of the Russian government.

      • Pseudonym

        So Trump’s new campaign manager’s buddies?

        • The campaign will be funded by Moscow Gold!!!

          • los

            none of that Treacherous Lada Money!

    • That ‘oppo research’ was all stuff that people could find on Google. I’m sure the actual Clinton campaign has much better shit — not that Trump’s well-known public dirt shouldn’t already disqualify him from being within 100 miles of the presidency.

  • Anonymous Surrogate

    It is the Republican party that needs a Presidential candidate. Mr. Trump has offered himself up for that role. It is not Mr. Trump’s responsibilty to get himself elected

    That is the Republican Party’s responsibility. It is NOT Mr. Trump’s fault if the GOP can’t get the job done.

    He’s a very busy man.

    • los

      Trump needs two stagehands just to keep the critter consistently perched and poised.

  • Gwen

    Slate’s Hot Take is that Trump raised less money than the Kickstarter for the Veronica Mars movie.

    • dmsilev

      I saw it noted somewhere that the vestiges of Ben Carson’s campaign has more cash on hand than Trump’s campaign does.

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  • Calming Influence

    If he were to take just half his hat budget and put it into upstate NY bumper stickers, he could win. Let’s just hope no one suggests this to one of his 30 campaign staffers.

    • wjts

      If we were clever, we’d tell 15 of his campaign staffers that the key to victory is to take half of the hat budget and spend it on bumper stickers and the other 15 that the trick is to take half of your bumper sticker budget and spend it on more hats.

      • Pseudonym

        All this talk of hats makes me miss SEK. I hope OLDMAN CATs have been treating him well.

        • I hope OLDMAN CATs have been treating him well.

          They’ve been distracted, deep in preparations to go to Cleveland and stage a successful floor fight as deadark horse hcat catndidates. (At the moment there’s still some contention over which one is for Vice.)

      • Calming Influence

        wjts: Brilliant. I’m guessing you never lose at “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock”.

  • MacK

    I note that Trump is lending to his campaign. Does this mean that any money raised can be used to repay Trumps loans?

    Does it also mean that that Trump can take those loans as a bad debt and get a tax writeoff?

    • Anna in PDX

      I was wondering about a tax write off, as well. Anybody here a tax attorney or something?

      • The Dark God of Time

        Cpainva is probably knowledgable as any tax attorney.

    • sibusisodan

      Also, is he charging interest on those loans?

      • Warren Terra

        I seem to recall a long-ago discussion of this topic on the news (as in, I think I’m right, but I’m not a very reliable source), in which it was said that a campaign can take out a loan and pay interest, if it’s a bank loan and maybe other some other circumstances (indeed, they may have to pay interest, so the interest forgiveness doesn’t become an illegal contribution), but cannot pay interest to the candidate if the candidate loans them money.

  • njorl

    I believe it was Sun Tzu who said, “If you would wield power, invest in hats.”

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