Election 2016: February 2016 Archives

Ted Cruz returns to Tulsa

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Ted Cruz speaks to Tulsa rally (SX021020)

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz returned to Tulsa today for his third visit of the 2016 presidential campaign. Despite the short notice and the early starting time -- 12:30pm, barely after most churches end their Sunday services -- Cruz drew a crowd of about 3,000 to Tulsa's Central Park Hall. The stop was the first of three events in the state today ahead of Tuesday's primary.

Crowd at Tulsa Ted Cruz rally (SX020958)

In his 30-minute speech, Cruz said that his campaign was about three things: jobs, freedom, and security. His discussion of jobs included extensive mention of immigration policy -- the job-killing aspects of illegal immigration and excessive use of foreign guest workers. The immigration problem was also mentioned in the security section, in which Cruz reaffirmed his opposition to citizenship for anyone here illegally.

Citing the verse from Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun, Cruz drew a parallel with the economic and foreign policy challenges faced by the nation in the 1970s -- "same failed economic policies, same feckless and naive foreign policies," and even the same countries involved -- then as now, Russia and Iran are mocking our leaders. But Cruz found hope in the comparison: "We remember how that story ended," with Ronald Reagan's election, a revolution that came from the American people and turned the country around.

In his concluding paragraphs, Cruz told the crowd that Oklahoma is a battleground -- he's running neck and neck here with Trump. While 65% of Republicans nationally say that Trump is the wrong candidate to face Hillary Clinton, supporters of other candidates have to pull together to beat him. Cruz said that his was the only campaign in a position to beat Trump on Super Tuesday. He urged supporters to devote these last 48 hours to the campaign, to use social media and to pick up the phone to call friends and neighbors and urge them to vote for Cruz on Tuesday.

For a full 20 minutes after the speech, Cruz worked the crowd, shaking hands and posing for photos. A veteran political observer on hand pointed out that no other candidate makes himself as available to the public as Ted Cruz does.

Ted Cruz listens to voter following rally (SX021038.JPG)

Most of the speech was devoted to a substantive discussion of policy, organized around the three themes of jobs, freedom, and security.

To put Americans back to work, Cruz said, we need to lift off the jackboot of government from the necks of small business. As a replacement for the burdensome Obamacare regulation, Cruz called for health insurance that is personal and portable and that keeps government from getting between us and our doctors. Cruz called for a simple flat tax and the abolition of the IRS.

Cruz pointed out that immigration is also a jobs issue. When Arizona passed a tough immigration enforcement law, many illegal immigrants left the state on their own. As a result, the state had to spent hundreds of millions of dollars less, because it was no longer paying to educate and provide emergency room care for as many illegal immigrants. Arizona's unemployment rate dropped, and workers in the construction trades saw their wages go up.

Cruz said that both parties had failed us on immigration. Democrats see illegal immigrants as a source of new voters. Too many Republicans, listening to Wall Street and the U. S. Chamber of Commerce, see illegal immigrants as a source of cheap labor.

2013 was the time for choosing, when the "Gang of 8" bill -- which Cruz called the "Rubio Schumer Amnesty Bill" -- came before Congress. Rubio was sent out to evangelize for the bill to conservative media. (Trump was busy firing Dennis Rodman on Celebrity Apprentice at the time.)

Cruz reminded the audience of Trump's financial support for five members of the Gang of 8, part of a 40-year track record of funding open-borders Democrats, of the million-dollar court judgment against Trump for using illegal immigrant workers on the Trump Tower project, and of Trump's claim that he can't find Americans who want to work as waiters and waitresses.

Regarding security, Cruz said, "America has always been reluctant to use military force. We are slow to anger. But if and when military force is required, we should use overwhelming force, defeat the enemy, and get the heck out!"

Preceding the senator on the platform were State Rep. David Brumbaugh (R-Broken Arrow), Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak, Congressman Jim Bridenstine, and national radio talk show host Glenn Beck.



Ted Cruz this morning on Face the Nation:


Donald Trump's habit of using government to hound people from their homes to make way for his schemes isn't limited to the US. Ian Tuttle has documented Trump's efforts to make life miserable for neighbors of his grand Scottish golf resort -- a resort that has failed to live up to the ambitious claims made for it.

The story is like a replay of Local Hero, which was filmed just 35 miles to the north, but without the happy ending. In the movie, an American tycoon with Scottish roots wants to buy out a village on the North Sea coast and replace it with an oil refinery. The tycoon (played by Burt Lancaster) visits the site to close the deal with the lone holdout, a hermit who lives in a shack on the beach, to which he holds title. The tycoon falls in love with the seaside village and instead builds a marine research laboratory.

In the Trump version of the story, the tycoon bulldozes the dunes and blockades the "local heroes" who refuse to yield to his demands. A documentary about the ordeal, You've Been Trumped, was released in 2012 and is available for free online viewing on Hulu. (The photo above is a still from the follow-on film, A Dangerous Game, about the environmental and social impact of the golf resort industry around the world.)

In 2006, Trump proposed to build a golf resort on the North Sea coast in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. When local government denied his application to wreck a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (a shifting dune-scape unique to Scotland) to build his course, he went over their heads to the Scottish Executive which overruled local government. Alex Salmond, the local member of the Scottish Parliament and later leader of the Scottish National Party, facilitated the deal, claiming the project would generate 6,000 jobs nationally, 1,400 locally, but those plans haven't materialized.

As local MSP, Mr Salmond personally rang Scotland's chief planning officer while he was with the Trump lawyer after the plan was rejected by the local infrastructure committee in his Aberdeenshire constituency.

The man leading Scotland's drive for independence has seen little political or economic reward for his efforts, however. Mr Trump's plans for the Menie estate should have created thousands of jobs by building two golf courses, a five-star 450-bed hotel, 500 homes and 950 short-term lets.

To date, Mr Trump's own representatives put the number at only 200 new jobs - and Panorama estimates on the basis of the latest accounts (to December 2011), that only £25m has been spent with just one golf course and a temporary clubhouse to show for it so far.


Once Trump had pushed local government out of the way, he tried to use government muscle to shove his neighbors out of the way, pushing the local government to get Compulsory Purchase Orders (equivalent of eminent domain) to buy out neighbors whose properties were not as grand and glorious as Trump thought they ought to be. When local government deferred, Trump began harassing his neighbors in various alleged ways: Cutting off water with construction "accidents," ignoring property boundaries, and building berms that blocked their view of the ocean:

ybt_online_ab_110811_pm_crop.jpgDuring a visit to his Scotland project on an episode of Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf, a short-lived reality show that aired on the Golf Channel in 2010-11, Trump announced that "there are some houses quite far away from the course" that "I don't want to see." The camera panned to David Milne's home, high on its perch. Announced Donald: "We are berming some of the areas so that you don't see the houses." And sure enough, construction crews spent a week piling earth in a "bund," a large ridge, around Milne's home, removing it from view -- and cutting off his view of the sea. (Similar bunds were piled up around Forbes's house, and around Munro's.) "Nobody has a problem with it!" said Trump, on Trump's Fabulous World of Golf. He then conceded, with a shrug: "I guess maybe the people who live in the houses have a problem with it."

The Aberdeen Voice published an update last month, ten years after Trump announced his plans for the area. Quoting local councilor Martin Ford:

"Mr Trump's grandiose and extravagant promises of jobs, money and enhanced reputation for the region - parroted by First Minister Alex Salmond's Scottish Government - have failed to materialise. "At Menie, little of the proposed resort has been built. None of the 950 timeshares. A 19-bedroom hotel in an existing country house instead of a 450-bedroom new build. One golf course, not two. A much smaller clubhouse than originally proposed. Under 100 jobs, not 6000. Around £30 million spent instead of the £1 billion investment pledged.

"Meanwhile, the unique dune system at Menie, a protected Site of Special Scientific Interest, has been sacrificed - the justification being the economic benefits Mr Trump and the Scottish Government said would come from the resort that hasn't been built.

"Mr Trump's neighbours on the Menie estate have had their lives disrupted by bullying and intimidation for most of the last decade.

Tuttle's story concludes:

It would be an extraordinary irony if Donald Trump secured the Republican nomination riding a groundswell of working-class anger toward "elites." In Scotland, Trump teamed up with "elites" in the local and national government in an attempt to railroad working-class residents out of their homes. In Scotland, Donald Trump was not against "special interests." He was special interests. As Susan Munro told Anthony Baxter: "I've been here a long time, near on three decades, that's a long time. Most of my adult life's been spent in this house, brought my family up here, my family was born here. And then this man, this foreigner, because he's got a few pounds American in his pocket, a bit of a name, and we're just cast aside, we're in the way."


Local opposition website Tripping Up Trump (archived). The site includes accounts of other problem-plagued Trump developments around the world.

Website for the Trump International Golf Links. There is a single 18-hole course, a small hotel, and a couple of restaurants.

London Review of Books review of You've Been Trumped

Carol Craig's review of You've Been Trumped:

What emerges is the story of ordinary basic humanity versus greed and hubris. The local people value their heritage, community and environment but are pitted against those who are enthralled to wealth, fame, and power. The locals act with integrity and decency; the best that can be said about Trump is that he is a man who cannot be trusted.

Watching this film, the ordinary people of Scotland (and some local artists) are a credit to the country. But institutional Scotland comes out of it very badly. It isn't simply Trump, and by extension, the politicians who supported him that are shown in a negative light: the local police, local university (who gave Trump an honorary degree), and Scottish arts organisations, who refused to fund or show the film, are also discredited. The mainstream Scottish media who failed to cover the story adequately are also shamed by this film.

Yesterday, on Twitter, Trump issued a veiled threat against the Ricketts family, which owns the Chicago Cubs, for donating to an anti-Trump super-PAC.

I hear the Rickets family, who own the Chicago Cubs, are secretly spending $'s against me. They better be careful, they have a lot to hide! 8:42 AM - 22 Feb 2016

News reports note that the donation was not secret at all but has been disclosed in accordance with federal election laws.


HBO Real Sports has done a segment about Trump's broken promises in Scotland:

Hat tip: The Right Scoop.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Election 2016 category from February 2016.

Election 2016: January 2016 is the previous archive.

Election 2016: March 2016 is the next archive.

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