Things That Matter

Here Are The Businesses And People Supporting A Trump 2020 Reelection

Here in America, capitalism gives us all the opportunity to vote with our dollars. That means individuals can make an impact on seemingly untouchable issues, like animal testing (buy cruelty-free), funding immigrant detention camps (stop buying Microsoft), gay rights (adiós Chik-Fil-A), and another four years of Trump in power. If the connections between these issues and their consequent direct action seem random, por favor, read on.

Whether we’re aware of it or not, we’re constantly voting with our dollars. For example, folks who signed up for SoulCycle classes and Equinox memberships didn’t understand the significance of how the companies’ owner would spend his profits. Stephen M. Ross, the billionaire owner of Equinox and SoulCycle hosted a major fundraiser for Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign at his mansion in the Hamptons. Spokespersons for these wealthy Trump supporters will tell you that the company profits itself are not used to fund politicians. While the corporation itself will not make contributions to Trump 2020 in the company’s name, the company does issue the largest paychecks to its CEOs. Board members and owners of these companies would not attain the power and wealth to influence campaign elections without every single individual’s choice to funnel their dollars through their companies.

Individuals can do whatever they want their money. Ross can donate to Trump 2020. But you don’t have to direct your hard-earned money towards someone who will create a society you don’t want to live in. If you don’t want Trump 2020 to happen, you can boycott these companies:

Update, July 14, 2020: Goya Foods and CEO Robert Unanue

Unanue is a longtime Republican donor pumping money into Republican causes for years. Unanue recently made national headlines after he praised President Donald Trump as a great builder and leader. The statement immediately set off a boycott of Goya Foods products since President Trump has made demonizing and dehumanizing Latinos, Goya’s core consumers, a large part of his campaign for the presidency and his reelection.

Update, June 16, 2020: NBA, NFL, XFL, WWE, and MLB.

Owners and CEOs from almost every major sport have donated to President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, 2016 campaign, or 2016 inaugural committee. The donors include Stan Kroenke (owner of the Los Angeles Rams), Vance and Linda McMahon (owners of WWE and The XFL), Charles B. Johnsons (principal owner of San Francisco Giants), Shahid Kahn (owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars), Robert Kraft (owner of the New England Patriots), Jimmy Haslam (owner of the Cleveland Browns), Ed Glazer (co-owner of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers), Jerry Jones (owner of the Dallas Cowboys), Joe Malone (owner of the Atlanta Braves), Arte Moreno (owner of the Anaheim Angels), Tillman Fertitta (owner of the Houston Rockets), Stephen Ross (owner of the Miami Dolphins), Robert Wood Johnson (owner of the New York Jets), Daniel Snyder (owner of the Washington Redskins), The Ricketts Family (owner of the Chicago Cubs), and James Dolan (owner/executive chair of New York Knicks, New York Rangers, and The Madison Square Garden Company).

Revlon

Ronald Perleman, the chairman of Revlon, donated $125,000 to The Trump Victory Committee in 2017 showing early support for a second term for the president.

Chi Haircare

Owner Farouk Shami donated to President Trump in 2016 and continues to support him today. According to an interview with The Times fo Israel, Shami supports President Trump because he believes the president will bring peace to the Middle East. He also claims that the president uses Chi Haircare products to style his hair.

Equinox/SoulCycle

Equinox and SoulCycle faced an onslaught of membership cancelations in response to news that shareholder Stephen Ross was hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for President Trump. The fitness clubs tried distancing themselves away from the scandal but SoulCycle saw a significant loss in members who used their dollars to protest the fundraiser.

Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs

Howard Lorber, the chairman of Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs was invited to attend the Stephen Ross’s fundraiser. It isn’t the first time that the owner of the hot dog business has been financially tied to Trump.

Original: Estée Lauder (& its subsidiaries)

Credit: maccosmetics / Instagram

Estée Lauder’s board member Ronald Lauder donated $100,000 to the Trump Victory committee in 2017. Estée Lauder also owns Aveda, Origins, Bobbi Brown, Jo Malone London, M.A.C. Cosmetics, Smashbox, and other subsidiaries. Boycotting Estée Lauder and its subsidiaries is a win for animals, too! The company continues to sell its products in China where they are legally required to subject rabbits and other small animals to painful chemical tests.

The Home Depot

Credit: homedepot / Instagram

Bernie Marcus and Ken Langone co-founded The Home Depot and have collectively donated over $7 million to PACs seeking Trump’s reelection. Another $100k went directly to Trump’s inaugural committee straight from the founders’ pockets. We also can’t shop at Hobby Lobby anymore because its CEO David Green actually urged Americans to support Donald Trump.

CVS Pharmacy

Credit: cvspharmacy / Instagram

The Boston-based drugstore chain donated in the company’s name to help get Trump reelected. CVS Health Corp. donated $35,000 to Trump’s Victory PAC and $500,000 to America First Policies, a nonprofit that promotes anti-immigration rhetoric and policies. Once word got out that an official from America First Policies’ had spewed (surprise!) racist and sexist rhetoric, CVS said they would no longer contribute to that particular group. 

Las Vegas Sands Group (The Venetian, The Sands, and Marina Bay Sands hotels)

Credit: venetianvegas / Instagram

The biggest donor to Trump’s inauguration was Sheldon Adelson, owner of Las Vegas Sands, which owns The Venetian, The Sands, and Marina Bay Sands hotel resorts in Las Vegas. Adelson donated $5 million to the inaugural fund. He donated $25 million in “soft money” to Super PACS dedicated to getting Trump elected, which are immune to election finance laws that limit the max donation to $360,000.

Facebook, Instagram, WhatsAPP, Spotify, Lyft and Airbnb

Credit: startup_invest / Twitter

Besides the obvious lack of action from Facebook to prevent Russia from fear-mongering and influencing American votes, Facebook board member Peter Theil has donated $250,000 to Trump 2020 and is Trump’s 7th largest donor. Oh, and Theil’s tech company, Palintir, has a $1.5 billion contract to protect ICE’s surveillance network. 

Taco Bell

Credit: tacobell / Instagram

We all have an opinion on Taco Bell, and apparently Taco Bell franchise owners are highly opinionated, too. Together, they donate to a TACO PAC, which donated $53,625 to Republicans this year alone. According to Food and Wine, t also donated $5,000 to Trump’s re-election bid so far.

Marvel Entertainment

Credit: marvel / Instagram

Former CEO and now Chairman of Marvel Entertainment, Isaac Perlmutter, is a long-time friend of Donald Trump. Perlmutter donated $360,000 to Trump’s victory committee in 2017. He wrote another $360,000 check last month that went directly to Trump 2020. That’s not even the half of it. Perlmutter donated $5 million to a Super PAC whose mission it is to re-elect Trump and his comrades.

READ: In A Seriously Awkward Announcement, Vice President Pence Went To Florida To Launch A ‘Latinos For Trump’ Coalition

Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

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Here Are Some Key Take-Aways From President Trump’s Disastrous Axios Interview

Drew Angerer / Getty Images

President Donald Trump recently did an interview with journalist Jonathan Swan for Axios and it was very bizarre. From bragging that the U.S. has a death rate lower than the world’s to claiming to have done more for African-Americans than John Lewis, the interview went off the rails from the beginning.

President Donald Trump’s latest interview is a wild ride in the worst way.

The president of the United States used an interview with Axios to try to push his narratives. From Covid to Ghislaine Maxwell to John Lewis to Russia, President Trump managed to spout a series of conspiracy theories and questionable statements. The interview has left many scratching their heads in disbelief.

One of the most bizarre moments is when Trump produced incoherent charts trying to change the Covid response narrative.

First, President Trump tells Jonathan Swan that the average 1,000 daily deaths and daily 65,000 infections “is what it is.” The president further argued that the country was doing everything it could to get it as under control as possible.

President Trump also tried to continue pushing the false narrative that the U.S. is doing the best with testing. As it stands, it takes days for some people to get their test results back, which makes contact tracing difficult. Contact tracing is one of the most important tools to control the virus that has already killed more than 155,000 people in the U.S.

On Representative John Lewis, President Trump was less than kind.

When asked how history would remember him for not attending Rep. John Lewis’ funeral, Trump began about how Rep. Lewis didn’t attend his inauguration. In fact, Trump called is a “big mistake.” He continued by saying Rep. Lewis should have attended his State of the Union speeches as well.

The truly stunning moment was President Trump diminishing the important contributions Rep. Lewis made to this country. Instead of acknowledging Rep. Lewis’ hard-won victories for African-Americans.

“I did more for the Black community than anybody with the possible exemption of Abraham Lincoln,” President Trump claimed. “Whether you like it or not.”

“You believe that you did more than Lyndon Johnson who passed the Civil Rights Act,” Swan asked in disbelief.

“Yeah because I got prison reform,” Trump shot back. He then continued asking Swan how the Civil Rights Acts has worked out.

He also doubled down on his comments wishing Ghislaine Maxwell well.

Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested for her role in the Jeffery Epstein child sex ring. When first asked by reporters, President Trump wished her well and acknowledged that he knew her and met her several times when living in Florida. When Swan told him that she had been arrested on charges of child sex trafficking, Trump acted obliviously.

President Trump said he wasn’t sure about that fact almost trying to ignore the facts. Swan pushed back reminding Trump that Maxwell was indeed in prison for child sex trafficking. Ignoring Swan Trump says he wishes her well because of Epstein’s death.

You can watch the full 37-minute interview below.

Get comfy. It’s a wild ride, y’all.

READ: The Trump Administration Raised Fees For Immigration Cases Including For Refugees

Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

Things That Matter

Trump Appears To Be Laying The Groundwork To Contest The Election With These 3 Alarming Statements

Samuel Corum / Getty Images

With less than 100 days until the election, Trump is working hard to do something that no previous president has ever done before: falsely claim that an election was fixed against him in order to discredit the vote. Trump has repeatedly — and incorrectly — claimed the election will be “rigged” against him.

The president has promoted crazy conspiracy theories and outright lies to whip up his core supporters to wrongly believe he is the victim of some unknown, shadowy “deep state” plot. In an interview that aired last week, he refused to commit to accepting the results in November.

From increased vote-by-mail to widespread fraud (which is essentially a non-factor in U.S. elections), Trump is already working to dispute the results of the 2020 election. With less than 100 days to go, we are careening toward an extraordinarily dangerous crisis of American democracy.

Recently, Trump seems to be trying to case the legitimacy of the 2020 elections into doubt.

Voting rights experts and political strategists on both sides of the aisle are becoming increasingly concerned about the potential for a disputed presidential election in November, one in which one candidate openly questions the legitimacy of the results or even refuses to concede. These experts are keenly aware of President Donald Trump’s well-documented history of lying about voter fraud and claiming that elections were “rigged” when he doesn’t like the outcome. 

And if he’s literally building a case against the election, it became clearer that Trump is absolutely willing to dispute the results. During a recent Fox News interview, Trump refused to commit to accepting the outcome of the election. “I have to see,” Trump replied, “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”

Trump seems to be hinging his doubts on the increase of mail-in voting in the age of Coronavirus.

Thanks to the Coronavirus pandemic, more Americans than ever are expected to case mail-in ballots this year, so it will definitely take longer for the results to be announced. There’s no denying that. Even elections experts are now replacing “election night” with “election week,” because it could take days for a winner to be announced. In fact, both presidential campaigns have set aside millions of dollars and recruited lawyers for the looming legal fights.

So there is good reason to brace for chaos. One has to look no further than the recent primary season, which broke new ground for how elections are conducted. States dramatically scaled up vote-by-mail options, using spring and summer primaries as a “dry-run” for the November election. There were successes, like Kentucky, with its sprawling “supercenters” where people could safely vote in-person. But there were disasters too, like Wisconsin and Georgia, which were plagued by missing absentee ballots and grueling lines.

Meanwhile, Trump has been very open about his views on main-in voting: He has repeatedly said it threatens his reelection chances and would hurt Republicans across the board, even though nonpartisan experts say neither party typically gets an automatic boost from postal voting. To prevent these perceived losses, Trump pleaded with states to restrict mail-in voting by falsely claiming it is plagued by “massive fraud and abuse” and leads to “rigged elections.” His efforts have been unsuccessful. Officials implemented reforms from Republican-haven Utah to liberal Vermont.

Trump’s already calling the election “rigged.”

As Trump slides in the polls, he already declared that his matchup this fall against presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden “will be the most rigged election in our nation’s history.”

Those are some serious accusations and, coming from a sitting president, do a lot to undermine American democracy and the integrity of our elections.

He’s also predicted massive fraud and suggested delaying the election.

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history,” Trump tweeted, offering no evidence for a debunked assertion. “It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Trump has a long history of denouncing election results he doesn’t agree with.

For at least the past eight years, Donald Trump has a well-established past of questioning the legitimacy of elections, even though there was no proof of widespread irregularities or fraud in any of these elections.

In 2012, in the race against Obama, Trump supported Mitt Romney and when Romney lost the election, Trump denounced the results as a “total sham” and tweeted, “We can’t let this happen. We should march on Washington and stop this travesty.”

Then during the first contest of the 2016 primary season, Trump lost Iowa to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). Trump responded by saying “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it,” and accused Cruz of committing “fraud.” Trump called for a new election, said Cruz’s results should be “nullified” and said “the State of Iowa should disqualify” Cruz.

That same year, the won Trump actually won the presidency, Trump infamously refused to commit that he would accept the results. Instead, he said, “I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense.” Even after Trump won, he falsely claimed there were millions of illegal votes in California and other states, creating a false narrative to explain why he lost the popular vote to Clinton.