There is this guy. He’s running for president. He himself is not particularly experienced at most (all) of what a president does, but we’re not to worry.
Because he’s not the detail guy. He’s the big picture guy, the boss. He hires the folks who lift and tote.
But that’s OK.
“My motto is ‘Hire the best people…” (Donald Trump: Think Big, 2007).
And now, let us savor:
Donald Trump’s new presidential campaign chief is registered to vote in a key swing state at an empty house where he does not live, in an apparent breach of election laws.
Stephen Bannon, the chief executive of Trump’s election campaign, has an active voter registration at the house in Miami-Dade County, Florida, which is vacant and due to be demolished to make way for a new development….
Election officials in Miami-Dade make clear to prospective voters that they are required to actually live in the county and to use their home address in election paperwork. “You must reside in Miami-Dade County,” their website states. It adds: “When you register to vote, an actual residence address is required by law.” A county spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Bannon’s situation.
Three neighbors said the house where Bannon is currently registered to vote had been abandoned for three months. When the Guardian visited the property on Thursday a large window in the front aspect was missing. A soiled curtain was blowing through it. The driveway was a mess of tree branches and mud.
Bannon never appeared at the house, according to the neighbors.
What’s most striking is that this apparent prima facie voter fraud — while the more likely to get Bannon into actual legal difficulties — is in a moral sense the lesser of two scandals that have dropped over the last twenty four hours. Because we’ve also learned this:
Stephen K. Bannon, the new CEO of the Donald Trump campaign, was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness following an incident in early January 1996, though the case was ultimately dismissed, according to a police report and court documents.
The Santa Monica, Calif., police report says that Bannon’s then-wife claimed he pulled at her neck and wrist during an altercation over their finances, and an officer reported witnessing red marks on her neck and wrist to bolster her account. Bannon also reportedly smashed the phone when she tried to call the police.
The details get uglier:
Bannon then got his lawyer on the case, who allegedly “threatened” Piccard and told her she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if the case went to trial.
Bannon then told Piccard to skip town.
He said “that if I wasn’t in town they couldn’t serve me and I wouldn’t have to go to court,” she claimed in the document.
Piccard left for two weeks before Bannon’s attorney said she could return, according to the declaration.
“Because I was not present at the trial, the case was dismissed,” she said in the documents.
That second quote is from The New York Post. That would be the Rupert Murdoch-owned Post, which is an added twist to this tale. What is the true state of Trump-Murdoch relations?
But leave aside that kind of political inside baseball. The most compelling element to the story of Bannon’s thuggery is that it is an unexpected, deep look into his character. Through it we can discover what kind of person Donald Trump — a major party nominee for President, with a genuine, non-zero chance of achieving that office — thinks is one of “the best people.”
It ain’t pretty. The Post‘s coverage continues:
Bannon had allegedly also earlier told Picccard, who was then his girlfriend and the expectant mother of their twin girls, that he would only agree to marry her if the kids were “normal.”
He married her on April 14, 1995, three days before the twins were born.
Worst of all — at least it seems to me — Bannon is a man who would do this:
Piccard alleged in another document that Bannon believed in corporal punishment for the girls, even though he rarely saw them.
She cited as one example that Bannon allegedly spanked one of his toddler daughters to try to stop her from hitting her head against the crib.
Piccard claimed that when she intervened, he exploded, calling her “f—ing crazy” and saying if he hadn’t been interrupted, “she wouldn’t be banging her head anymore.”
Beating any adult is reprehensible. Whacking on a child, a toddler? (And no, I don’t think “spanking” in this context is likely to have been a gentle swat on the bum.) There are special circles of hell for those folks.
I left out the last half of the Trump quote at top. In full, it reads “My motto is ‘Hire the best people, and don’t trust them.’”
As none should him.
Images: John Sell Cotman, Ruined House, betw. 1807 and 1810.
George Romney, Mother and Child, undated, before 1802.
Yes, bigfoot that mfer…
@Wiesman: There is no big foot. There is only foot, and bigness.
With all this mess surrounding his campaign, Trump must know by now that he is damaging his business brand. Not only is he going to lose badly and drag down the Republican Party in November, but he’s going to have a hard time selling his products to the public now that his name has been dragged through the mud. He associates with awful people like Bannon because he has no judgment. We would end up with people like Bannon in key cabinet positions if this country lost its collective mind and elected Trump.
@Tom Levenson: Woah, if true.
Nom de Plume
You left out his new guy in charge of field operations, who’s so crooked even Chris Christie had to fire him.
When I saw the title, I assumed the post was about the news that Trump had hired one of Christie’s Bridgegate operatives as his national field director.
We need a scorecard or something to keep track of this stuff.
“Yes, but he’s a good Christian and I forgive him.”
– Christian Republican Voters
What is the sound of one big foot? You can hear faint echoes of it in the ghostly moans of the commentariat.
George Romney was really, really well preserved back when running for president. His kid didn’t turn out as nice as the sketch.
Trump attracts these folks with amazing consistency. How many have the stones to ask for cash up front?
I heard a news report that the Trump campaign, or maybe the MN GOP, or maybe both working in delicious harmony together, did in fact mess up the electors. So the comments about it I read on this blog were true. Trump campaign apparently has no legal electors for MN.
Won’t make any difference, I suppose, since MN surely will vote for HRC. But, more evidence the election is rigged, right?
A tree falling in the woods?
With all the Rmoneys and Mittlets and Anns and Rafalcas, I had managed to forget that there was a painter named George Romney. Always quite liked his work. That Mother and Child sketch is new to me, and lovely. Thanks for finding it, Tom.
@Patricia Kayden: I’m not sure the public really ever bought his brand, but now he has a very committed segment of the public to market to. He and Bannon will start up their alt-right media network and will probably run that carnival for a few years and he may even be more successful than he has been, at least until his schtick wears out ala Palin.
@Nom de Plume: Also left out is the REASON for the election fraud in FL. Tax avoidance in California by claiming he is not a resident there, where his houses and employment are.
@shortribs: Trump needs to get some top people to look into his top people. Many people are saying that.
@catclub: Oh dear. Sleazy and stupid tax avoidance schemes among Trump’s top people. I don’t want that to get around. That will make Trump fans forgive his immigration flip-flop-flip flip-flop wafflegab.
Eh. Anybody who would voluntarily take a highly visible position in the Trump campaign is a doucherocket by definition. This is additional confirmation, if any were needed, that Bannon is indeed a flaming, roaring, screaming asshole.
Plus, somebody should tell him that this whole “too busy to shave” thing does not do a thing to improve his appearance and in point of fact makes him resemble a particularly ugly-ass baboon.
Not to mention that he’s now hired Bill Stepien (of Bridgegate fame) as his national field director. Seriously. You can see it at TPM because linking here is next to impossible, regardless of device. It didn’t used to be but it is now so don’t expect me to ever link to anything. I’ll just tell you all where I saw it and you can look it up yourselves.
From Putin to Rasputin.
That would be the final bit of audio in the opening credits of Monty Python’s flying Circus.
Better that than a shitgibbon. Were he a shitgibbon, his ferret-headed shitgibbon boss would have to fire him, because of the competition.
What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?
@catclub: Yes. It seems like he may have violated CA tax law in addition to FL election law. Nice twofer.
Well, there is something karmic about Bannon getting a high profile job with Trump and all of a sudden finding his various frauds against the states of Florida and California exposed by real journalists.
@catclub: Oh dear. The Franchise Tax Board makes the IRS look like pikers when it comes to enforcement. Bannon probably has tax liens out the wazoo.
@jl: I heard tell they got that fixed. It wouldn’t surprised me if it was still knackered up though.
@catclub: I’ve heard tree falling in the woods, scary sound, but nothing like what a big foot makes.
@geg6: Stepien has managed campaigns, at least in New Jersey. Presumably this means that Republican turn out in New Jersey at least might be close to normal for a presidential year. I wish Republicans didn’t have such a built in advantage with turn out.
@What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?: Future Trump tweet:
“Crooked Hillary is a tax cheat and doesn’t really live in FL. Sad”.
I thought this was important. PLum line pointed out the same thing. There is no team with Trump.
I’m coming around more and more to the TrumpTV thesis. The campaign mismanagement is going into the range where I have to question whether it’s even an honest attempt. It may well be that Trump is trying to suppress his own vote and make sure on the day he loses the election he also badly underperforms his polls. This would be a key log to throw on the “system is rigged against the silent majority of whites” fire that is going to run the boilers at TrumpTV.
Trump may only be down 6% in overall national numbers, but I think strategically he’s down at least 8-10 in terms of the lowest hanging fruit he’d need to pluck to get to 270. This is already not surmountable and still heading in the wrong direction for him. The national election is over and we need to start looking at the damaging aftermath of this white nationalist/xenophobe empowerment. I feel like Hillary needs to start sounding like a postbellum Lincoln around September 20th or so.
@Yutsano: Seconded, CA FTB does not deal.
Rick Perlstein is upset about Hillary’s speech, saying it gave too much slack to non-Trump Republicans.
And if not now, he soon will.
Trump is moving downmarket because he’s shit in his own bed and is running out of options. He’s no longer a legit developer, banks won’t touch him, his Russian connections are going to be dead, he screwed his gig at NBC, and his brand is becoming worthless. The only thing he has now is the hate he originally mined with the birther stuff. All of this because Obama made fun of him and he couldn’t take it. Trump’s biggest problem is that he actually took himself seriously. Obama made fun of him because he is a joke and has been one for years. You can make a lot of money as a joke if you’re funny and don’t take yourself too seriously. Trump was doing ok with the Apprentice and related gigs, but he veered out of his lane when he starting mouthing off on Fox. He got publicly humiliated by Obama, and now he’s doubling down and stands to lose even more, because now the joke isn’t funny.
The NY Post thing is interesting, maybe Murdoch realizes Trump is trying to set up an alt-right media empire that is screwing with the audience for Fox and his tabloids, and wants to put a torpedo in that before it leaves the dock. The best way to kill Trump is to suffocate him in loser spunk, and making him shuffle his campaign management again and explain what he’s doing swapping spit with a bunch of white nationalist losers like Bannon works in that direction.
@Matt McIrvin: And that is a valid complaint.
But selling to GOP voters “Trump is uniquely bad, don;t vote for him” is much easier than “Your party of racists has nominated this racist, don’t vote for him.”
OTOH, once you get them to not vote for Trump because he is uniquely bad and racist, they are more likely to examine other GOP candidates.
@Matt McIrvin: That speech gave the non-Trump Republicans just enough rope to hang themselves. A brilliant move taken from the playbook of Barack Obama.
I had to pay an unusually high tax bill for last year because an investment did better than expected, and I got a letter from the CA FTB saying, “You wrote a paper check for this. Never do that again or we can fine you,” along with a citation of the applicable CA code.
I’ll probably never run into the situation again, but that letter kinda freaked me out, to say the least.
@Matt McIrvin: Clinton’s aim is to convert a chunk of the non-Trump Republicans over to her side and wipe the floor with the GOP. She can only do that if she gives the non-Trump GOP some kind of an out.
@Barbara: Big Journalism!!
This here tree, supine next to my tent, standing the previous day, is absolutely the loudest fvcking thing I’ve ever heard, especially at three in the morning. Since it was in the southern Cascades bigfoot may have been in the neighborhood, but was smart enough to leave the scene if it was.
@jeffreyw: And a big foot is nothing compared to a 16-ton weight.
@catclub: These RWNJ gigs — there’s just no way to fail. Maybe if they get caught carrying around a head in a bowling bag.
Sad, not sad! This is going to be Yuge but not very classy.
This makes me want to open a one time bank account for that transaction. I presume that Electronic transaction (withdrawal) from your bank account was the required method. Makes me nervous.
I almost feel for his Kiddies; I don’t see Daddy Trump being so benevolent as to give The Spawn a monstrous pile of money. Surely big, but big enough to continue their lifestyle?
They might actually have to get a real job someday. Poor souls.
@jl: The problem has been fixed and Trump is now on the Minnesota ballot. The State of Minnesota has 10 electoral votes in the Electoral College. The ballot application requires 10 Electors and 10 alternate Electors. The Minnesota GOP forgot to elect 10 alternates at their convention a few months ago. They had an emergency meeting a few days ago and named the alternates. The deadline was August 29th. Problem: they subverted their own process and hence opened the door to potential legal challenges to Trump’s candidacy.
Seven minor parties were able to figure out the process and got their applications in well ahead of the deadline.
Also, too, I have a manifesto about dealing with the alt-right:
There is no point in directing anger and outrage at them over the shit they say, because that’s what they want. That’s what they live for. They feed off it like the emotional vampires they are.
What we need to do is combine mockery and contempt. Take, for instance, that stupid frog thing. Our reaction shouldn’t be, “OMG, I’m so offended at these images of sex and violence and Nazis!” That’s the response they’re trying to evoke.
Our response should be, “What’s with the frog? No, I see the Nazi stuff, but what does the frog have to do with anything? I mean, I guess I would be offended if I understood why the guy has a frog’s head. It just doesn’t make sense — why did you pick a frog?” And keep that up until they get angry and flounce away.
There’s nothing these alt-right idiots hate more than people not understanding their codes and forcing them to explain themselves, so let’s make sure to do that. In spades.
The reason for the voter registration fraud was…the state tax fraud.
And I’m reading this only at the B-J comments section because our press corpse wore themselves out trying to find an angle on the chicken of ‘Clinton Foundation takes money from connected rich people, some of whom think they are buying access but ask a private college consortium how that works’.
Or a pointed stick.
@Mnemosyne: I think this is right. I’m sad at the co-optation of Pepe, BTW. A while back, one of my son’s pleasures was showing a new absurd Pepe. Not so much now.
load a big ol’ foot
go into debt
@PhoenixRising: Give ’em a little time. The story has some legs, I think, and I agree w. commenters above that the CA FSB won’t ignore it either.
Iowa Old Lady
@redshirt: Hee. Projection for the win!
I think technically it was supposed to be a wire transfer, which is a slightly different (and better regulated) beast than a regular electronic transfer.
Depends on whose head it is.
I’m not sure I understand…
I dunno, I’d like to think so. But I think he associates with awful people because he’s an awful person.
@Tom Levenson: THEY STOLE OUR FROG!!!
Apparently Trumpster doesn’t believe in extreme vetting of his future employees. Many people,not me,would say that Donald Trump’s lack of vetting of possible hires would worry them about staying at a Trump hotel since they might hire rapists,even the Mexican kind or child molesters! Just imagine your bell boy or concierge being a convicted felon! But that’s not me saying it. It’s other people.
This post is great for one reason and one reason only. Because it bigfooted DougJ and his nonsense.
@Tom Levenson: Hope so–everyone who lives and works in CA has a horror story about the FTB. They don’t play.
B coincidence: A lot of the growth in Reno in the past decades has been work-flex folks who are running from the FTB to Carson City County, Nevada, where they sleep 181 nights per year and keep the receipts to prove it…many of them were in Hillary’s audience yesterday.
The Other Chuck
@Mnemosyne: Not to mention that once you have them going on about the frog, it demonstrates to everyone else watching how completely unhinged they are.
I assume shomi is from missouri.
eta: just to state the obvious
It gets better: regardless of which other place he might have registered to vote, VOTE fraud is not the most relevant type of fraud he was committing.
If Bannon really lives in DC, as he sometimes claims, DC non-residents who work in the District have to file a form to avoid income tax there.
These people just don’t know how to do ANYTHING, do they?
@PhoenixRising: Yes but we all know it’s liberals who do vote fraud and also the system is rigged VOTE TRUMP!
@redshirt: This has never driven me as nuts as it does now. The denominations more Righteous than us had few exceptions that were blunt about forgiving lying for the sake of saving the heathens / accomplishing some Higher purpose. And yet it is rare to see any church folk acknowledge the ongoing behavior of, much less criticize the most lie-spouting candidate I have ever seen.
If Clinton was such a dangerous possibility, and relentless sin was the holy mandate to ruin her, I can’t imagine why all criminal charges have been (surreptitiously ?) avoided.
I’m no gaga fan, registered no-party-affiliation, went door-to-door for Obama both elections and worked at length for a D congressional candidate… but I’m fighting more and more fear.
Fundigelical choices are yet another reason I dread the next few years.
@bupalos: There is no secret plan that explains all this. Trump is an incompetent boob who only hires yes-men and doesn’t believe that people with actual skill and knowledge can possibly be better than his own unquestioned genius.
He’s “succeeded” in real estate only because of his dad’s money and connections, and he succeeded in reality TV only because he’s an outlandish buffoon who was already famous.
It really is just because he’s that bad, and he was able to win the primaries because the GOP has been building a base of gullible bigoted marks for several decades, apparently not realizing that the old Democratic line about how people will vote for a real Republican over a fake Republican also applies to racist demagogues.
What they want is to get their message out to the widest possible audience. They want their memes retweeted or shared on social media.
Somewhere, lurking out there are thousands (maybe millions) of like minded individuals, who worry about the future of the white race, but are too scared because of the political correctness police to do anything.
By co-opting the already popular Pepe the Frog meme, they have been able to show there are other white supremacists out there to a broader audience than those who frequent their 4chan chat rooms.
@catclub: Oh dear. I surely hope so. My state is, for want of a better word, complete assholes to tax dodgers. ESPECIALLY if you’re dodging property taxes. Which is one of about twenty million things I love about California.
At least it is not Doug Feith (stupidest man in the world) … yet.
@Calouste: The explanation I found most compelling is that the most effective way to win more Senate and House seats is to drive down Republican turnout. Telling Republicans who only vote in presidential years that Trump is an awful person who isn’t representative of “their” GOP is a more effective way of doing that than trying to convince them that the party they’ve supported is racist and despicable.
It would be great to get them to abandon the GOP permanently, but there’s no way Hillary Clinton is going to get them to do that.
@VOR: Thanks for info. They must have gotten it fixed just at the final final final deadline, since I heard a news report saying that some deadline had passed, the Trump campaign did not submit correct lists, and some expert was talking about the implications for the electoral college count (but that wouldn’t make any difference if MN voted Dem).
A Trump homocon rainbow t-shirt?
Could be a real collector’s item.
Well, keep in mind that being stupid doesn’t mean you always make the wrong decision, just that you do a lot of the time when smarter people wouldn’t. “So obvious the stupidest man on the planet can get it right” isn’t necessarily a negative.
I’ve lived and paid taxes in California for more than 25 years, and I have never had a problem with CFTB. I think they once sent me a small refund check because I had made an arithmetic error in my form, but that’s the strongest interaction I can remember having with them.
@Trollhattan: A tree falling — or even a big branch of a tree cracking or falling — makes a loud sound. The sound the tree in my front yard made when it lost one of its biggest sections was so loud it woke me up at 4:00 am, nearly 30 feet away and through a closed window.
One could almost think Trump was running some sort of weird sting operation for some law enforcement agency. First a Russian agent, now a tax evasion & voter fraud. They come to work for Trump, they get found out. It never seems to occur to them how much added scrutiny a presidental campaign brings. Hiring the best people. Oh, my.
My guess is that you have income from W2 employment. Paid by a business that withholds your income tax because it too is registered with the FTB.
If those conditions don’t apply and you STILL have no horror story about FTB overreach in your bag, you are one lucky exception.
And farmers want to be called “sons of the soil,” but it ain’t gonna happen.
@Roger Moore: I had an epic showdown with the California FTB in the 80s, because the second year after I bought my house I failed to declare the previous year’s refund as income, due to ignorance. I ended up having to go to their office in El Monte or something, where a very nice woman sorted it out.
Reporting and paying sales taxes used to be a giant pain, but they’ve transitioned it all online and now it takes a minute at most once a quarter.
Had a guy worked for me a long time ago who didn’t like paying taxes, so he did everything possible to get out of it. Unfortunately he also did things not possible and they didn’t play nice.
An accountant I had a long time ago said that anyone can get out of paying taxes, if you know the law. But you’d be audited for sure and although he’d win every point, the cost of paying him to prepare and defend the legal ways he would use to avoid taxes would cost more than the original tax bill. His next comment? “Pay your damn taxes. If you made enough money to owe them, you have more than enough to pay them and they benefit all of us.” A wise man.
I’ve owned two businesses in CA spanning nearly 25 yrs and lived here over 50 yrs and never had a problem with the FTB because of it.
S/he is the stalker equivalent/alter-ego of Reggie M.
No, this is the GREAT George Romney. Such a great draftsman.
@jl: Trump people made the required filing today – deadline was Monday. He is on the ballot in MN
@Ruckus: That is the most astonishing thing on this entire comment thread.
Everyone I know with business interests both within and outside CA requires regular consulting from a CPA and legal team to prevent being held liable by the FTB for business activity that isn’t taxable by CA. Maybe that is their only area of overreach, but it is consistent.
I’d be deeply amazed if Steve Bannon registered to vote in FL in order to vote in FL, rather than as a tax avoidance strategy, is the point. Both CA and DC have extensive collection infrastructure for income and business tax, and they will see that you pay…anything you can’t prove you don’t owe.
Rick is a good guy and a great author, but Clinton’s speech was a) devastating and b) a clear last warning to Ryan & Co: stand with this guy, with all of this dolt-Right nonsense going on (on top of everything else) and be forever tarred. Most won’t jump ship, but at least now she has a very clear date/speech to point to when dealing with these clowns.
The ads are going to be quite pointed from here on out, too.
@Hoodie: I knew Ailes was going in as an agent of Murdoch….
@efgoldman: I believe in this time of gender identification awareness, the proper formulation is “s/he/it”.
Fallows had an angle on that I found plausible. The silence has the purpose of letting them go back to the saner plurality of Republicans next winter and say: Look, we stood behind this guy because voters chose him, but we can’t keep saying the quiet part loud or we will never win another national election. That leverage with the next primary’s voters, which they will lose if they risk fulfilling Trump’s frame (I’m the only truth teller; these other guys are wimps; they refuse to face the horror of _______), is their last hope for their party.
OT, it’s Boris Karloff day on TCM.
@catclub: shomi is from Hell. He/she just lives in Missouri.
Aw, man! I probably have most of my favorites already, though.
My recs for what’s still to come today:
“The Walking Dead” (1936 — in progress, but should be available to stream on WatchTCM)
“Black Sabbath” (1964)
And, well, everything from “Black Sabbath” through “Bedlam,” though if you can only choose one, pick either “The Black Cat” or “The Body Snatcher.” They’re showing all three of his Val Lewton films, of which “The Body Snatcher” is the first and best, IMO.
Is that pronounced “Golly”?
That accountant that I commented about? He taught tax law. He’s a smart guy and his advice about paying made life a whole lot easier where the tax man was involved. The accountant before that made keeping books a pain in the ass because he didn’t really know his business. I had to pay more, got less and spent a hell of a lot more time until I hired the good guy and found out what was really necessary.
@Mnemosyne: Set the DVR for The Black Cat, thanks!
JR in WV
Is there a point, perhaps, that Hillary should just stop responding to Trumps outrageous comments and behavior and just continue to outline the ways in which she intends to make our lives a little better? My wife is a HUGE Hillary supporter, (not sure I structured that right) and she remarked that she was concerned that staying the gutter too long will ultimately hurt her…I kind of agreed until I read this thread, but I’m throwing it out here to see if the cat licks it up, so to speak…
No, because when she just goes out giving policy speeches the press ignores her and Trump claims she’s hasn’t been seen for weeks. So she’s got to throw out some sharp jabs now and again to get the attention of the press.
It makes me sad that your wife is worried about HRC staying in the gutter too long after ONE critical speech.
@Calouste: My purity ponier friends are getting upset by all these neocons endorsing Clinton. It’s all proof she’s a secret Republican.
(I have to admit, there’s a little part of me that feels like the George W. Bush-era Republicans: every vote we get from the other side over the 50% + 1 required for victory is a waste, because fuck them. But this isn’t how you make giant lasting changes.)
The Other Chuck
@Matt McIrvin: Noam Chomsky told the purity ponies to STFU about the endorsements. But I guess that just means Noam’s a sellout too. Some people you just can’t reach.