President Trump’s former ethics chief said the president’s decision to show off a $40 Trump campaign merchandise baseball cap on a visit to storm-struck Texas raises ethics concerns.
The president was pictured wearing the Official USA 45th Presidential Hats in two pictures released by the White House over the weekend, and in TV footage of an official visit to the state Tuesday. Both hats, described as “Proudly Made in the USA,” are sold as merchandise via the Trump campaign website.
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From Vanity Fair (September 6, 2016):
Donald Trump has long boasted that his past political contributions have given him unique insight into the way Washington is rigged. “I give to everybody. When they call, I give. And you know what? When I need something from them, two years later, three years later, I call them. They are there for me,” he bragged during the first presidential debate. Trump’s candor won him fans, and burnished the billionaire’s claim to be the one candidate who both understands how the donor-donee relationship really works while not being beholden to donors himself.
Now, with just two months until Election Day, the Republican presidential nominee’s claims to have worked the system to his advantage are coming back to haunt him. Over the Labor Day weekend, Trump faced renewed questioning about why his family foundation had donated $25,000 to a political group supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi in 2013—in violation of federal rules preventing foundations from donating to political candidates—at the same time that her office was considering whether to investigate Trump University for alleged fraud. Bondi, according to reporting by the Associated Press in July, “personally solicited” the political contribution, just before she declined to move forward with the Trump University case.
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From the Star Telegram:
Texans: Are you really married?
Barbara Ann Radnofsky, a Houston lawyer and Democratic candidate for attorney general, says that a 22-word clause in a 2005 constitutional amendment designed to ban gay marriages erroneously endangers the legal status of all marriages in the state.
The amendment, approved by the Texas Legislature and overwhelmingly ratified by Texas voters, declares that “marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.” But the trouble-making phrase, as Radnofsky sees it, is Subsection B, which declares:
“This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
Architects of the amendment included the clause to ban same-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships.
But Radnofsky, who was a member of the powerhouse Vinson & Elkins law firm in Houston for 27 years until retiring in 2006, says the wording of Subsection B effectively “eliminates marriage in Texas,” including common-law marriages.
I can think of one person who’s thrilled to death over the news!
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