[Marxism] Donald, the deals and the mafia dons
lnp3 at panix.com
Thu Aug 17 19:20:35 MDT 2017
The Australian, August 16, 2017 Wednesday
Donald, the deals and the mafia dons
By Cameron Stewart WASHINGTON
When Donald Trump was a fast-rising property developer in the early
1980s, he decided to build his signature casino complex in -Atlantic
City, New Jersey - a town where construction was ruled by the mob.
The problem for the brash New Yorker was that part of the land he wanted
for his casino was owned by Salvie Testa and Frank Nar-ducci Jr, mafia
hitmen known as the Young Executioners.
They worked for Atlantic City mob boss Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo.
Even so, Trump did the deal, eventually buying the land for $US1.1
million, about twice the market price for the 465sq m block that had
sold five years earlier for $US195,000.
It is deals such as this that have long fuelled rumours of Trump's
associations and connections with the mafia.
As The Australian reveals today, the NSW Police Board was so concerned
about Trump's suspected mafia connections in -Atlantic City that, in
1987, it recom-mended that Trump's bid to build the Darling Harbour
casino be rejected.
"Atlantic City would be a dubious model for Sydney and, in our judgment,
the Trump mafia connections should exclude the Kern/Trump consortium,"
the board concluded, according to NSW government cabinet minutes from 1987.
Trump has consistently denied his dealings with any suspected mobsters
ever crossed the line. But he has admitted that almost everyone involved
in building casinos in Atlantic City in the 1980s used mob-linked companies.
"You had contractors that were supposedly mob-oriented all over Atlantic
City," he said once. "Every single casino company used the same
companies." Trump has never been charged in relation to any
mafia-related links, an outcome that some attrib-ute more to luck than
David Cay Johnston, who has written a book on the casino business and
has covered Trump's business dealings for 27 years, told Politico
Magazine: "Thanks in part to the laxity of New Jersey gaming
investigators, Trump has never had to address his dealings with mobsters
and swindlers head-on.
"Some of Trump's unsavoury connections have been followed by
investigators and substantiated in court, some haven't. When confronte-d
with evidence of such -associations, Trump has often claimed a faulty
memory." By the late 80s, when Trump was bidding to build the casino at
Darling Harbour, his business dealings in New York and Atlantic City had
involved mafia-connect-ed companies.
In New York, Trump became a major customer of a concrete company
controlled by mafia bosses Anthony "Fat Tony" Salerno and "Big Paul"
Cast-ellano when he built the Trump Tower and Trump Plaza buildings.
Salerno was head of the -Genoese crime family while Castellano was don
of the Gambino crime family.
Wayne Barrett, the author of Trump: the Deals and the Downfall, wrote
that Trump chose to purchase overpriced concrete from the
mobster-controlled companies, perhaps to ensure there were no delays to
the projects. "There was a certain amount of mob -association during
(the -period which his) father and he were building which was very
difficult to avoid in the New York construction world," Barrett wrote.
"He (Trump) went out of his way not to avoid them, but to increase
them." Writes Johnston: "Trump had no reason to personally fear Salerno-
or Castellano, at least not once he agreed to pay inflated concrete-
prices. What Trump -appeared to receive in return was union peace. That
meant the project would never face costly construction or delivery
delays." When Salerno was convicted and sent to prison, his indictment
listed an $US8m concrete contract at Trump Plaza.
Barrett believes Trump met Salerno at the townhouse of Trump's former
New York fixer, Roy Cohn, who had connections to the mob. Trump denies
it, -although a staffer of Cohn told Barrett she was at the meeting.
"Instead of looking for the witnesses â€¦ the New Jersey Division of
Gaming Enforcement took an easier path," Johnston writes. "They put
Trump under oath and asked if he had ever attended such a meeting. Trump
denied it. The inquiry ended." Trump has admitted the concrete company
that helped build Trump Tower and Trump Plaza, S&A Concrete, was
"supposedly associated with the mob", but it was chosen because it was good.
"Virtually every building that was built was built with these
companies," Trump said in a 2015 -interview with The Wall Street
Journal. "These guys were excellent contractors. They were phenomenal.
They could do three floors a week in concrete. Nobody else in the world
could do three floors a week." A New Jersey state commission's 1986
report on organised crime said the Trump Plaza and Casino in Atlantic
City was eventually built with the help of two construction companies
controlled- by Scarfo and his nephew Philip "Crazy Phil" Leonetti.
Trump has never shaken off speculation about the extent of his dealings
with the mafia and he was forced to deny his connections during the
Johnston wrote last year: "No other candidate for the White House has
anything close to Trump's record of repeated social and business
dealings with mobsters, swindlers and other crooks." Trump rival Ted
Cruz asked during the Republican primaries whether Trump's refusal to
release his tax records was linked to his -alleged dealings with the
mob. "There have been multiple media reports about Donald's business
dealings with the mob," Cruz said. "Maybe his taxes show those business
dealings are a lot more extensive than has ever been reported." The
White House referred questions to the Trump Organisation, which did not
respond.Cameron Stewart is The Australian's Washington correspondent and
Sky News's US contributor
More information about the Marxism