The Trump campaign, as has long been obvious, the purest distillation of the contemporary Republican Party, a cycle of grift with no other real purpose:
After bragging for a year about how cheaply he was running his campaign, Donald Trump is spending more freely now that other people are contributing ― particularly when the beneficiary is himself.
Trump nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign, according to a Huffington Post review of Federal Election Commission filings. The rent jumped even though he was paying fewer staff in July than he did in March.
The Trump campaign paid Trump Tower Commercial LLC $35,458 in March ― the same amount it had been paying since last summer ― and had 197 paid employees and consultants. In July, it paid 172 employees and consultants.
“If I was a donor, I’d want answers,” said a prominent Republican National Committee member who supports Trump, asking for anonymity to speak freely. “If they don’t have any more staff, and they’re paying five times more? That’s the kind of stuff I’d read and try to make an (attack) ad out of it.”
Given the targets of the grift, in a way I almost admire this one. And, in fairness, some other people are getting in on it:
Donald Trump’s campaign paid Texas-based web design and marketing company Giles-Parscale $8.4 million in July. The Trump campaign spent nearly half of its money in the month trying to reach small donors with a digital firm that has little background working in politics or really doing the kind of outreach work that is essential to presidential campaigns. But the firm had ties to Trump’s businesses for years, according to a Wired profile on the company’s owner Brad Parscale.
But at least what money isn’t going back into Trump’s pockets is being spent with ruthless efficiency:
From mugs to hats to campaign stickers, the Trump campaign spent $1.8 million in July on campaign memorabilia, an amount that eclipsed even what it was spending on payroll. The focus on merchandise instead of building out a ground game continues to defy the logic of traditional politics.
If the primary objective of his campaign were to become president, this would all be quite irrational. But…