Dear readers … grab a cup of coffee, maybe a donut too, because today’s post is convoluted at best, and it will make your head spin! Mine is still spinning as I try to sort out the details.
One week ago, on December 14th, a new non-profit group called Opening Day Foundation registered in the state of Texas. The paperwork for the Opening Day Foundation listed four directors: Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Dallas investor Gentry Beach and Tom Hicks Jr., the son of a Dallas billionaire.
Walter Kinzie, chief executive officer of Texas event management company Encore Live, confirmed that a nonprofit group called the Opening Day Foundation hired his firm to manage Opening Day 2017. And what, exactly, is Opening Day 2017? What is was yesterday and what it is today may be two different things. Yesterday, it was an event, scheduled for January 21st, 2017, the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration. Prospective million dollar donors would receive a “private reception and photo opportunity for 16 guests with President Donald J. Trump,” a “multi-day hunting and/or fishing excursion for 4 guests with Donald Trump, Jr. and/or Eric Trump, and team,” as well as tickets to other events and “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer.”
Now, I just have to make a couple of snarky comments here. Are you seriously telling me that anybody in their right mind would drop a million dollars to spend a few hours with Donald Trump??? I would not spend a single greenback to even be in the same building as the man. In fact, he would have to pay me a million dollars to spend time with him, and even that is iffy. And frankly, if some idiot would throw a million dollars away like that, he should be publicly flogged … think how many children a million dollars would feed for a year!!! How many Habitat for Humanity houses could be built with that money? I find this absolutely incredible, and not in any good way! And my other comment is that “autographed guitars by an Opening Day 2017 performer” is very interesting, as thus far, runner-up Idiot of the Year Ted Nugent is the only one confirmed who has agreed to perform! Elton John, David Foster, Garth Brooks and others turned it down, and they could not even find one single D.C. high school marching band willing to march in the parade! Okay … rant over … beck to the story.
The Opening Day Foundation put out a brochure for the event. I attempted to copy it onto this post, but it was too blurry to be read once the size was reduced, but here is a link. It is interesting to note the different ‘packages’ that can be purchased for anywhere between $25,000 and $1 million. Note that the pages are redacted … that happened between Monday night and tonight (Tuesday). I have checked several sites, but the redacted version is the only one available.
Even though the Trump brothers’ names are listed on the original paperwork, Kinzie claims that the participation of Trump family members is not confirmed. Further, a spokeswoman for the transition team, Hope Hicks, claims that “The Opening Day event and details that have been reported are merely initial concepts that have not been approved or pursued by the Trump family. Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsmen and supporters of conservation efforts, which align with the goals of this event, however they are not involved in any capacity.” Yet Mark Brinkerhoff, a spokesman for the event, said the Trump brothers would attend. “Eric and Donald Jr., who are honorary co-chairman, are invited guests and will be there,” he said, adding that they aren’t members of the organizing committee. Didn’t I tell you your head would spin?
Which brings us to the next point: what charities, precisely, would be the beneficiaries of all this money coming in? Well, that is what is troubling the Center for Public Integrity. The brochure says that “all net proceeds from the Opening Day event will be donated to conservation charities,” but it does not name the charities or detail how net proceeds will be calculated.
And this is not the first time a controversy has arisen over a Trump family ‘charity event’. A fundraising auction that offered bidders coffee with Ivanka Trump to benefit the foundation her brother Eric founded was canceled last week amid controversy.
Let us go back to Hope Hicks’ statement for a moment: “… Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump are avid outdoorsmen and supporters of conservation efforts, which align with the goals of this event … “ Let us call a spade, a spade. The Trump boys are hunters and killers of wild animals for no reason other than sport. They are killers of endangered species. This, folks, is not what conservation means. Conservation is the saving, rescue and preservation of species. Look at the pictures below and tell me if you think they symbolize conservation efforts, or killing.
I have no idea what the purpose of Opening Day 2017 is … or was, since odds are that it, too, will be canceled. My thoughts are that our employee, Donald Trump, who will spend inaugural day, January 20th, at festivities and inaugural balls, should be willing to get his butt in the chair in the Oval Office and begin doing the job that he is getting paid to do. Or at least trying to learn what the job description actually is. My opinion, and this is only my opinion, is that this non-profit organization has no intention of contributing a single red cent to any legitimate conservation funds, that the proceeds will, if it is allowed to continue, go straight into the pockets of one Trump or another.
Remember way back in 2001, just a few short months after George W. Bush had taken office? His daughters, Barbara and Jenna caused quite a scandal when they were caught trying to use fake ID’s to buy alcohol! The girls were 19, and the legal drinking age 21. Jenna was actually arrested in a Texas nightclub, then turned up for her court appearance dressed in a low-cut black shirt, pink Capri trousers and a toe ring. It was quite the embarrassment for the new president, but in retrospect, it was nothing as compared to the embarrassment the Trump kids have already been, and Trump is still nearly a month away from inauguration! The Trump boys are older, but obviously not wiser, than the Bush girls were in 2001. And what the Bush girls did was not much different than any normal teenager does, but Eric and Donnie, Jr., seem to be hell-bent on being even more corrupt than their infamous father!
The latest news this morning is that the Trump sons will not be attending the event at all, amid the swirl of conflict, and there is some doubt about whether the event will transpire at all. I wonder if people had already paid for the ‘privilege’, and if so, whether they will get a refund? Trump’s transition team remains adamant that the Trump sons had no involvement, but others say differently, and I remain convinced that they were involved. The details are many and conflicting, so while I will leave it at this for the moment, I am reasonably certain I will be back with updates when the smoke clears and details are more lucid. For now, it is just one more controversy surrounding the name Trump.