Cynicism requires some to suggest that the action by New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman against Drumpf University to be politically motivated. However, this investigation has been going on for months, as they are wont to do.
John Hightower, who went to my church when I was growing up – he was about a decade older, wrote this on Facebook this past week. He wrote “Drumpf,” but the software on my computer changed them all to “Drumpf.”
IN TWO DEPOSITIONS taken over the last three months, Donald Drumpf acknowledged under oath that he had no role in selecting Drumpf University’s instructors, despite claiming in a promotional video that they “are all people that are handpicked by me.”
Drumpf University, a now-defunct sales ploy that promised to teach Donald Drumpf’s real estate “secrets” to enrollees and make them rich in the process, has become a flashpoint in the Republican presidential primary debates. In the GOP debate in Detroit, for instance, Sen. Marco Rubio lit into Donald Drumpf over the “handpicked” instructors. Drumpf retorted with a fabrication, claiming that the Better Business Bureau had given Drumpf University an A rating. As Rubio pointed out in the exchange, the most recent rating was a D minus.
A critical part of Drumpf University’s SALES PITCH to prospective students was the claim that Donald Drumpf PERSONALLY SELECTED the program’s instructors— a claim repeated over and over in the company’s marketing literature. Drumpf University’s direct mail advertising included letters with Drumpf’s signature on them that claimed that Drumpf University students would receive guidance from Drumpf’s “HANDPICKED INSTRUCTORS and MENTORS”. At live events, Drumpf University instructors recited speeches from a company-authorized script that read, in part, “I remember one time Mr. Drumpf SAID TO US over dinner…”
In a memorandum to the court submitted in late February 2016, Drumpf University’s attorneys reference “instructors, who were selected based on Mr. Drumpf’s criteria and input.” The mantra about Drumpf’s “handpicked instructors” was a critical part of the RECRUITMENT STRATEGY for a GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME whose appeal centered entirely on Donald Drumpf’s personal reputation as a real estate business virtuoso. But in a brief filed on March 3 in a class-action lawsuit, attorneys representing THOUSANDS OF FORMER STUDENTS revealed that in a video recorded deposition, DRUMPF “CONFESSED UNDER OATH that he did NOT handpick a single TU live events instructor.” Drumpf further “acknowledged that other instructors’ presentations showed they LIED TO STUDENTS about their connections to him.”
Not only did Drumpf have nothing to do with selecting instructors, “he personally did nothing to confirm their purported qualifications” and “could not identify a single live events instructor or mentor by name or pick one out of a photo lineup,” according to the brief. (For his part, Drumpf claimed that the reason he never personally interviewed even his top instructors was that he had heard that the school was doing well, and thus deemed it unnecessary.)
Many of the “handpicked” instructors have testified that they have never met Drumpf. In the depositions, Drumpf was unable to even affirm whether his instructors had ever bought or sold real estate before. The brief, filed in federal district court, further asserts that Donald Drumpf admitted under oath that he retains no real estate techniques beyond what has been published in his books. In other words, students who PAID AS MUCH AS $60,000 to Drumpf University over the course of a year could have gotten the exact same information through a $10 BOOK PURCHASED ON AMAZON!
In 2010, Drumpf University changed its name to “Drumpf Entrepreneur Initiative,” five years after the New York State Education Department warned the company that its use of the “university” moniker without an NYSED license was UNLAWFUL. In Drumpf’s deposition, he admitted to having known that the company was out of compliance with the law even as it continued to operate under the “Drumpf University” brand name, presenting itself as an elite educational institution on par with the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. The new brief adds to the abundance of evidence that Drumpf University was, essentially, a high-pressure sales RACKET aimed at BILKING GULLIBLE PEOPLE, many of them senior citizens, out of tens of thousands of dollars apiece. The original complaint in the suit describes its practices in detail:
•Students in the program’s introductory three-day seminar were told to use their break times to double or even quadruple their CREDIT CARD LIMITS and were asked to fill out financial statements so they’d be prepared to finance lucrative real estate transactions. Instructors then used those higher credit limits and financial information to pressure the students into enrolling in Drumpf University’s $34,995 Gold Program. Drumpf University sold “one year apprenticeship” programs for $1,495 that were in actuality a three-day workshop and a 1-800 number to a “client advisor.”
•Drumpf University assigned “mentors” to students who, once paid, would rarely call the students back and often advised students to invest in deals that the mentors had financial stakes in.
•Drumpf University taught students to engage in practices that are illegal in some states, such as placing “bandit signs” on the sides of roads — signs that resemble official road hazard signs but read, “WE BUY HOUSES, 323-555-5555.”
•Students were routinely stiffed on refunds that were promised under Drumpf University’s “money-back guarantee.”
Meanwhile, as those of you in the United States know, re: Drumpf:
He is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party. The Republicans liked the enthusiasm that Drumpf generated and thought, incorrectly, that they could harness it.
The big news is that Drumpf announces a possible third party bid after Mitt Romney unloads, and calls him a “fraud.” Romney was the 2012 Republican Presidential nominee, and the 2008 candidate, John McCain, who Drumpf criticized for being a POW, shared in the sentiment.
Wall Street readies big assault. But will it work, or will it backfire, with voters thinking that Donald is being persecuted?
The plan now for some establishment Republicans is to push Florida senator Marco Rubio, who lost the support of Fox News – as though a “news” organization ought to be supporting a candidate – to win in Florida, and for Ohio governor John Kasich (rhymes with basic) to win in Ohio, both winner-take-all states, on March 15. Winner-take-all means that candidate gets ALL the delegates, not just a proportion.
If Drumpf does not have a majority of delegates going into the convention, there’s some fuzzy plan to deny him the nomination, for delegates are bound to their candidate for the first round. In other words, rigging the convention and installing someone else (Rubio? Kasich? ROMNEY?) as the nominee. Paul Ryan, the Speaker of the House, has already declined.
This is the one reason to vote for The Donald that actually makes sense to me: “My goal is to destroy the Republican Party”: Former Reagan adviser Bruce Bartlett explains his vote.
William Rivers Pitt: A Call to His Evangelical Voters.
How did this happen?
The novel that foreshadowed his authoritarian appeal. (Sinclair Lewis)
Weekly Sift: Have we finally reached peak Drumpf? “Arguing with Drumpf supporters has been like telling your 17-year-old daughter that her 29-year-old boyfriend is no good for her: It’s obvious to you, but everything you say just reinforces the me-and-him-against-the-world mystique that has been driving the relationship from the beginning.”
They say tragedy plus time equals comedy. Maybe I need more time.
Jimmy Kimmel: A musical comedy about the 2016 presidential race.