Sunday, May 22, 2016


At Politico, David Cay Johnston tells us about Donald Trump's mob ties:
Trump’s career has benefited from a decades-long and largely successful effort to limit and deflect law enforcement investigations into his dealings with top mobsters, organized crime associates, labor fixers, corrupt union leaders, con artists and even a one-time drug trafficker whom Trump retained as the head of his personal helicopter service.
Johnston gives us stories like this:
In Atlantic City, Trump built on property where mobsters controlled parts of the adjoining land needed for parking. He paid $1.1 million for about a 5,000-square-foot lot that had been bought five years earlier for just $195,000. The sellers were Salvy Testa and Frank Narducci Jr., a pair of hitmen for Atlantic City mob boss Nicky Scarfo who were known as the Young Executioners.
There's a lot more where that came from, including a summary of the many shady aspects of Trump Tower's construction (concrete purchased from mob bosses, mobsters helping to conceal Trump's use of undocumented immigrant demolition workers, etc., etc.).

But stories about Trump and the mob never go viral. Major media organizations don't pick up on them. Michael Isikoff wrote a story about Trump and the mob back in March and that didn't break through, either.

I'm not sure why. Maybe it's regarded as old news -- the same way that Republicans shrug off all of Trump's old moderate-to-liberal positions, we all seem to be shrugging off the sleaze in Trump's past.

Or maybe it's believed that you can't make a fortune in East Coast real estate without some ties to the mob. We assume he just had no choice.

Or maybe we think it's sexy that Trump has mob ties. That's my theory. It gives him an air of danger. And, of course, mobsters have been heroes in popular culture for decades now: The Godfather and its sequels, the Scorsese canon, The Sopranos, Scarface, rap music (remember, the generation that grew up on gangsta rap, which includes a lot of white male fans, is just now entering middle age). We like organized crime. When we think "corruption," we think of government mismanagement, not organizing crime figures tossing people into the river in cement overshoes. That's not corrupt, that's exciting.

If I'm right about that, it's rather shocking: Trump has ties to mobsters and we don't care. But I think that's the case.


Soccer Dad said...

i don't know about all the details, but i do know that until, iirc, the 90s, the mob controlled virtually all the concrete in the NYC area
you had to do biz with them; their just weren't any other people with ready mix trucks

so he over paid some guys for property, i mean, waddya think this is, Kansas or something ? its jersey; you ain't dealin with the mob, your selling girl scout cookies.....

it is like back in the clinton era; did he lie in the deposition bout monica; you from nyc, you say, course he lied; what schmuck would tell the truth about something he ain't gonna get caught on ?

huh ?
how many new yorkers it take to change a light bulb ?
none of your effing business buddy

effin wimp trump , he would be known as, didn't do b with the wise guys

Victor said...

The "Village Voice" covered his mob ties back in the early 80's.

No one gave a shit back then.
Now, it's part of his appeal, FSM help us...

Greg said...

You can have mob ties if you maintain an aura of feistiness and media cool. Sinatra (and JFK) proved that.

Ken said...

But then Sinatra, and certainly JFK weren't morons...

sdhays said...

I think it's all of the things you mention, but one additional thing that occurs to me is that, unlike "violent drug gangs" or cartels, "the mob" is made up of white people. Or, at least, that's the way it's thought of. They're the "respectable" organized crime. It even has a civilized name: "organized crime". So it's a "respectable" cultural fixture of the Northeastern US, especially in NYC.

I'll just add to your point of "the mob" being sexy that the vast majority of Americans do not live in a society where they personally experience "the mob's" existence. We experience it solely through popular culture or the national news out of NYC or Boston. It's distant, and almost from a bygone era, "The Sopranos" not withstanding.

So it all comes back to: the media shouldn't say he has "Mob ties". They should say he has ties to violent criminal organizations. Throw "violent drugs" into it, and you might penetrate the national discussion for a few days.

main street liberal said...


If you don't already have a political blog, you need to get one and publicize it because your insights are impressive. I hope, however, you're not minimizing penetration of the national discussion for "a few days." One day is not helpful, nor probably two; once you go beyond that, it's an issue, and probably a major one.