Bankruptcy and Colorado: The rules only count for Donald Trump when they work to his advantage…


Despite what you may have heard or read, Donald Trump has never filed for bankruptcy. His companies have, four times, but Donald Trump never has.  The purpose of corporations is for investors to put a limited amount of capital at risk in exchange for the opportunity to earn money in any one of a myriad of legal ways. Investor use the corporate structure to ensure that if their bets go south, the most they can lose is the capital they invested in the first place.

Corporate bankruptcy laws can give a company an opportunity to restructure its business in a more favorable environment than it would have if it simply continued on whatever path that got it in trouble in the first place… it can give them breathing room. At the same time bankruptcy laws give creditors a legal framework through which they can exercise claims on said company’s assets. At the end of the day, corporate law, particularly as it relates to companies with millions or billions of dollars, can be complex, esoteric, bewildering, yet nonetheless be an effective tool.

It was by understanding the nuances of bankruptcy law that Donald Trump was able to navigate his way through treacherous waters for decades and seemingly emerge each time with a larger fortune than he had when he started. He used the threats of potential bankruptcy (or imminent domain action) to further his interests. He also mastered labor law, tax law and learned to orchestrate the media like a maestro. After all is said and done, the result is that four decades after a $1 million loan from his father – and $10s of millions of dollars in tax benefits from friendly politicians – Donald Trump sits on a fortune that is worth $10 billion – by his own account. That’s the equivalent of taking a $100 loan and growing it into $1,000,000. Not bad. One has to be pretty smart to accomplish something like that, because, whatever you think of the tactics, his fortune is the result of four decades of hard work, not betting it all on some lottery or dropping it into some Atlantic City slot machine.

So it is that backdrop that makes Trump’s current pleas ring so hollow. This morning he was on Fox News complaining that the Colorado delegate selection process was unfair. Had the rules been changed in March and he had no time to react, that might have been a logical argument. But the rules weren’t changed in March. They were changed in August. So it appears that with his $10 billion fortune and eight months to work with, Donald Trump was not able to field a team in Colorado who could have worked within the known system to garner delegates for him. Somehow he could figure out how to play the game in Michigan where he and John Kasich shut Ted Cruz out, but he couldn’t figure out how to do so in Colorado. So somehow there must be some cheating going on. Trump and his team waste no opportunity to suggest that Ted Cruz is somehow using “Gestapo tactics” by understanding the rules and using them to his advantage.

The irony is, that is exactly what Donald Trump has been doing his entire life… using the rules of the game… bankruptcy law, imminent domain, tax law, labor law etc. to win at business and accumulate a vast fortune in the process. But somehow, today, because he throws his towel into a ring where he’s unfamiliar with the rules and unwilling to spend the money necessary to understand them and succeed with them, the game is rigged. Trump claims that this is not how our democracy is supposed to work. That demonstrates in one sentence why Donald Trump should not sit in the White House. The United States is not a democracy and never has been. It is a republic, ruled by the rule of law, not the rule of man or of the mob or of the majority. If he ever bothered to read the Constitution he’d see that it’s all right there.

So, it’s not much of a surprise that we wake up this morning to hear more whining from Donald Trump. He’s very much a spoiled child. Given daddy’s fortune and connections Donald grew up not having to worry about what others said or wanted – at least as it relates to business and his public persona – and used that perch to learn the rules of a game that would serve him well for decades.

The funny thing is, Trump says he wants to change the system and Make America Great Again… he decries the fact that he’s an outsider and can’t within the GOP system. But of course he’s not an outsider. He’s been a crony capitalist his entire life.

The truth is, if Donald Trump really wanted to save the country, if he really wanted to be an outsider who upset the established apple cart, he would have run for president as a third party candidate from the beginning rather than throwing in with the GOP. Two thirds of Americans feel the country is headed in the wrong direction. If that was not a setup for a third party success then there never will be one. Half the Democrats hate Hillary Clinton. Half of the Republicans (and probably 95% of conservatives) hate the GOP establishment. Does one not think that in this environment, had Trump been willing to spend even 10% of his $10 billion fortune, that he could have almost walked into the White House?

But he didn’t run as a 3rd party candidate, instead he joined the GOP and tried to win the nomination in an established system that he didn’t understand. And now we’re supposed feel sorry that he’s feeling cheated? Either he didn’t have the courage to pursue his stated goal of taming Washington from without or he was not smart enough to recognize what it would take to win from within the GOP. Either way, he’s lost. If he wins the GOP nomination he will lose to Hillary – or Bernie if she’s indicted. If he tries to run as a 3rd party candidate now, after everything that has gone on in the primaries, the only thing he’ll accomplish is putting another Democrat in the White House. But of course that may have been his plan all along.

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Vince:The support of Mr. Duncan Hunter and Mr. Jeff Sessions for Mr. Trump would undermines the conclusion of a master plan to allow Mrs. Clinton an inevitable path to be President 45.

undermine not undermines-sorry

There is a GOP master plan to put Hilary in the White House, and Trump stands in it’s way.

The GOPe desperately wants to keep dems in the white house so they can pretend to oppose the globalist agenda they share with the dems. . . it is as real as professional wrestling. They are just keeping the bread and circuses going.

One correction–Ted Cruz came in second in Michigan ahead of Kasich.

Could you briefly explain what happened in Colorado and why they changed the rules?

@Robert What?:

Could you briefly explain what happened in Colorado and whythey changed the rules?

It is the same here in Texas, except we have primaries and we don’t call them “caucuses” but rather conventions; precinct convention, county convention and state convention. We elect delegates from the precinct conventions to go to the county convention, from county conventions to the state convention and from state to national. At each step of the way, you basically campaign to be elevated to the next level. Campaigning at the precinct and county level mostly entails giving speeches and trying to convince the other delegates why they should vote for you to move up to the next level.

And while your precinct or county may have selected a front runner by ballot count, the delegates are only bound to their endorsement on the first vote at the national convention.

@Robert what?

Why did the rules change here in Colorado? I live here in CO. The decision was made last year, in September 2015, to move back to the caucus system. It was not a last minute change in rules as the Trump campaign has asserted. Further, the Trump campaign had zero presence until last month. Their state field director lasted for all of one day before he was fired. Two weeks ago, it was decided to make an effort to organize but it was half-hearted/half-assed. A week ago, the Trump campaign gave up on organizing altogether. To gather delegate support in CO, a candidate needs to organize and have a ground game. The Cruz campaign had spent over a year organizing from the precinct to the state level, making sure their slate of delegates were able to move to the next round. The Trump campaign, they had no organization, no ground game.

And to show their maturity, Trump supporters in Colorado are sending death threats to the state GOP leader via social media and email.


Thanks David. I wasn’t asking specifically vis-à-vis Trump. Just why they made the change? What did they have before: a regular Primary? Some news outlets are saying the Caucus itself was cancelled. Is that true?

@Robert What?

Colorado has always been a caucus state with the exception of 2008 when there was a presidential primary. Traditionally, Colorado’s “primary” would choose the nominee for statewide, US Senate and congressional offices (which it will do again in June). It is separate from the delegate selection process to a national convention (D and R). As for the caucuses being cancelled, that was a misperception by those who didn’t know they were delegates to the state convention – both the Trump and Kasich campaigns. Neither campaign did much work to make sure their delegates would show up to the congressional district and state conventions. It is a convoluted process here in Colorado. The only other GOP campaign that organization and a ground game was Jeb Bush before he withdrew.

As for the caucuses being cancelled, not true. Where that piece of fiction is coming from is new to me. There is some talk in the state legislature to move Colorado from a caucus to a primary. But, only the legislature can make the change.

Grammar corrections. Should read:

As for the cancellation, caucus and state convention, it was a lack of information by those who didn’t know they were delegates to the state convention – both the Trump and Kasich campaigns.

The only other GOP campaign that had organization and a ground game was Jeb Bush before he withdrew.