How donald trump wooed new jersey politicians to push his business interests _ npr

One morning in the mid-1980s, New Jersey Gov. Insurance direct reviews Tom Kean walked into his office at the State House in Trenton. Canadian direct home insurance bc His secretary said Donald Trump, the casino owner from Atlantic City, was on the phone. Direct choice car insurance contact number Kean figured Trump wanted something from him.

Kean had been expecting Trump to ask him about some piece of legislation that Trump had interest in. Dial direct insurance reviews Instead, Trump opted for charm. How to buy cars from insurance companies direct Kean thought: “He’s not such a bad guy!”

Everybody in New Jersey politics has a Trump story.


Auto direct car insurance contact That’s because for more than a quarter-century, Trump, a self-proclaimed political outsider, played the ultimate insider’s game in New Jersey, where political deals require relationships and cash. 1 call direct car insurance With the state’s presidential primary on June 7, New Jersey voters will get their first opportunity to vote for a man who has long played an outsize role in state politics.

Trump golfed and broke bread with nearly every major political power broker in the state. Open and direct car insurance ni He used sweet talk, like he did with Kean, but he also deployed attack ads, like with former Gov. Canadian direct auto insurance Christine Todd Whitman. Direct insurance company inc He spent millions on New Jersey lobbyists, lawyers, spokesmen and political operatives, many of whom then contributed money to important politicians. Flux direct car insurance contact number This is how he survived business failures in state — and how he caught a lot of breaks.

Trump built his brand off his New Jersey casinos, all of which went bankrupt. Nevada direct insurance He bought a professional football team, the New Jersey Generals, which lasted just two years. Pay direct auto insurance And he opened three golf courses, which pay little in taxes. Bank direct insurance All along the way, Trump took a hands-on approach to politics.

“The others sort of went with the pack, but he was different. Insurance direct He did things differently,” Kean said. Direct insurance bc “He would sort of come to see you separately. Direct auto insurance login And it was evident to me from Day 1 that he was very, very smart. Direct line car insurance contact number And very, very tactful.”

Trump buttonholed legislators in Trenton to lobby for tax breaks for his casinos. Hastings direct car insurance contact number He turned one senator’s office into his temporary headquarters, so he could use the phone in between lobbying legislators. Call direct car insurance And the New Jersey attorney general — the person in charge of regulating his casinos — once let him use his helipad to fly into Trenton for a meeting. Top quote direct car insurance Trump and Attorney General David Samson then went to a local steakhouse to talk about changes Samson wanted at the casinos.

Days later, Trump sent a thank-you note to Samson that included a picture of Trump’s then-girlfriend, about whom he had bragged during lunch.

Donald Trump, owner of the United States Football League’s New Jersey Generals, talks to reporters on Nov. Direct auto insurance claims address 1, 1985, in Memphis, Tenn., during a break in the USFL owners’ meeting.

“You couldn’t be in public office in New Jersey in the ’80s and ’90s and not have frequent encounters with Donald Trump,” said Bob Torricelli, a former New Jersey U.S. Direct group insurance representative and senator who was, until recently, a member of Trump’s Florida resort, Mar-a-Lago. Dial direct insurance contact number “He was as much a fixture in the state as the Turnpike or the Shore.”

Trump worked politicians at all levels. Direct auto insurance jobs When he was opposing the construction of a state-funded tunnel to a rival casino project, Trump sent tapes of his own 60 Minutes interview to legislators. Free phone number for direct line car insurance He personally invited Atlantic City Council members to dinner to push them against the project (which prompted the state Division of Gaming Enforcement to investigate how Trump may have tried to influence the politicians). Car insurance auto direct And he even had his lobbyists make phone calls to county officials 100 miles away — the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders — because it was holding a nonbinding vote on the tunnel.

Years later, to get an unusual approval from the local planning board in Bedminster to build a mausoleum for himself on Trump National Golf Club, Trump simply hired a former head of the planning board to lobby for him. Direct insurance contact number Ed Russo assured the board that the private cemetery Trump would create would only be for 10 family members — the “good Trumps,” Russo explained. Employers direct insurance Trump got his mausoleum and cemetery approved.

But Trump’s greatest success came with New Jersey casino regulators, who repeatedly gave him the green light to borrow more money and build more casinos — even as investigators probed his ties to the mob, and even as his businesses were going bankrupt.

Hillary Clinton is now highlighting this part of Trump’s career on the campaign trail. Auto direct car insurance telephone number “He could bankrupt America like he’s bankrupted his companies,” Clinton said. Canadian direct insurance phone number “I mean, ask yourself, how can anybody lose money running a casino?”

Better question: How can anybody lose money running a casino and continue to, well, run casinos? Short answer: Casino regulators in New Jersey were notoriously forgiving when it came to Trump. Deal direct insurance Two regulators who approved Trump casino licenses even as his business was crashing were months later appointed to highly coveted judgeships.

That raised eyebrows. Quinn direct car insurance contact number But the governors who appointed the casino regulators — and the judges — were eager to satisfy Trump, who was one of the largest employers in the state, with businesses that filled state tax coffers.

Donald Trump (right) waits with his brother Robert for the start of a Casino Control Commission meeting in Atlantic City, N.J., on March 29, 1990. Direct line insurance contact Trump was seeking final approval for the Taj Mahal Casino and Hotel.

Yet Trump didn’t win such powerful friends the normal way — by making political donations. Direct insurance phone number He couldn’t. Premium direct car insurance As a casino owner, Trump was barred by state law from contributing to campaigns.

Instead, says David Cay Johnston, a journalist who covered Trump at the time, in exchange for the free pass Trump got from regulators, politicos got other perks. Direct marketing insurance services “There were favored seats at boxing matches or concerts. A insurance direct There were deeply discounted bills for people who had parties or weddings at casinos. Auto direct car insurance review uk There were limo rides to go to events. Direct insurance locations There are all sorts of things that Trump was in a position to do,” Johnston said.

“Donald was in a position to dazzle people,” Johnston said. Direct choice car insurance “And given his celebrity status, just to get a picture shot with him or to be able to say you were his guest at a party had value.”

More recently Trump pursued a plan, ultimately unsuccessful, to turn a contaminated site at the Meadowlands in North Jersey into golf courses and houses. Direct insurance group To push the deal through, he showed up to a meeting at the Department of Environmental Protection in Trenton with his makeup on from a filming of his reality TV show, The Apprentice.

“He had this star status so it was an interesting dynamic watching people around the table and seeing them react to this TV star,” former New Jersey Meadowlands Commission Executive Director Robert Ceberio told The Bergen Record. Direct auto insurance locations “He told us the show was No. One direct car insurance contact number 1 in its time slot.”

Before he could use his fame, Trump found other ways of influencing politicians. Direct auto insurance contact number In 1982, when Trump needed a string of Atlantic City zoning approvals for his first casino, contributions from contractors who worked for him accounted for nearly half of the winning mayoral candidate’s campaign war chest, according to journalist Wayne Barrett’s biography of Trump.

Trump also hired those who were connected. Auto direct car insurance One of Trump’s top lawyers was his brother-in-law, John Barry, who worked at a firm founded by a state attorney general who oversaw his casinos. 1 direct insurance Former state regulators ended up working at the same firm.

The amount of money that Trump spent on lawyers isn’t public record — but his lobbying records are. Canadian direct insurance vancouver bc In 1998 alone, Trump Casinos and Hotels paid $443,912 to outside lobbyists, the second most of any entity in the state. Online direct insurance State records show he kept several lobbyists on retainer at a time. Canadian direct insurance reviews By hiring away the top lobbyists, one source said, they couldn’t work for his opponents.

“The only substitute for making contributions to form relationships is to spend the time to get to know people and convincing them on the merits,” said Torricelli, the former senator. Direct insurance contact “And he did. Direct auto insurance careers And he was good at it.”

Bill Pascrell III, the son of a Democratic congressman, was one of Trump’s casino lobbyists in the late 1990s. Doctors direct insurance “He’s certainly not my cup of tea, but he’s a very smart guy, and he was always good at working with our team in terms of interaction with politicians,” Pascrell said. Phone number for direct auto insurance “Most who met him I think enjoyed the experience.”

Pascrell saw Trump play golf in New Jersey with not just the leaders of the state Legislature but also John Boehner, the former speaker of the House. M direct insurance (Boehner beat him and won about five bucks, Pascrell says, which infuriated Trump.) Several politicos said Trump was simply pleasant to be around, even if some former lobbyists and attorneys griped that he didn’t always pay them on time, if at all.

One of Trump’s executives from the early 1990s, New Jersey developer Billy Procida, said he learned the art of politics and deal-making from watching Trump. Direct insurance tennessee “You try to be friendly with as many people as you can be friendly with, within the constraints of the law,” he said. One quote direct car insurance “Frankly I did learn a lot from Donald in that regard, in that it wasn’t tit for tat. Auto direct insurance services It wasn’t direct. Canadian insurance direct … Direct auto insurance headquarters When you get up into the stratosphere, everybody’s friends. Nevada direct insurance company You need as many friends in life as in business.”

“Donald did not content himself with simply speaking with governors or senators,” Torricelli said. Dial direct online insurance quote “He actually built relationships in political organizations and through the political hierarchy.”

For much of Trump’s time in New Jersey, a Democratic insurance executive named George Norcross was at the top of that political hierarchy. Direct life insurance company He has tremendous sway over who gets on the ballot and which way legislators vote. Direct auto insurance no credit check Trump became friends with Norcross, and Norcross’ firm landed insurance contracts at Trump’s casinos.

In 2003, Trump’s rivals in the casino industry and a Republican state senator complained that Norcross strongarmed a sweetheart tax deal for Trump through the Legislature. Quinn direct car insurance number Years later, Norcross’ brother, U.S. Direct auto insurance 1800 number Rep. Canadian direct insurance alberta Donald Norcross, received a $10,400 campaign contribution from Trump’s daughter Ivanka.

Behind the scenes, Norcross and Trump golfed together, of course, and Norcross was invited to Trump’s third wedding. Auto direct motor insurance And when Norcross bought a home near Trump’s Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, he brought Trump over to check out the new digs.

In 2006, Trump filed a libel suit against Tim O’Brien, author of the book Trump Nation. Insurance direct sale salvage But he didn’t file in New York, where O’Brien worked as a reporter, nor in North Jersey, where O’Brien lived. Auto direct insurance phone number Trump sued in South Jersey, specifically, in Camden County, Norcross’ power center. Canadian direct auto insurance bc The year before, Norcross had been caught on tape as part of a criminal investigation boasting of his control over the appointment of judges. Open and direct car insurance dungiven Norcross was never charged with a crime, but now O’Brien was sitting in a Camden County courtroom — and Trump was represented by Norcross’ top lawyer, Bill Tambussi.

“We always believed that the reason they wanted the venue in Southern New Jersey was that Donald thought he could leverage political connections he had down there by virtue of the operations he also had in Atlantic City to get favorable treatment in the courts,” O’Brien said. Direct auto insurance claims number The suit was later dismissed.

In 2000, when Trump briefly toyed with running for president on the Reform Party ticket, one of Norcross’ top political consultants — a friend of Trump ally Roger Stone — worked for him. Canadian direct travel insurance bc Today, that consultant, Steve Ayscue, is the second-in-command for Hillary Clinton’s campaign in New Jersey.

Through a spokesman, Norcross declined to comment about anything related to the election. Direct insurance services preston He is a Democratic superdelegate but has yet to publicly declare his support for a candidate. First call direct car insurance Ayscue did not return requests for comment, nor did Tambussi, the attorney.

“Yes, George is a friend of mine, but George is friendly with a lot of people in Atlantic City,” Trump once said. Direct national insurance “I wish I had that kind of power.”

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