Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 26, 2016

Judging Trump by his deeds

By Eva Norlyk Smith | Sep 15, 2016

To the Editor:

A recent contribution to the opinions section of your paper suggested that we as voters ought to “judge a man by his deeds.” The letter, openly in support of presidential candidate Donald Trump, among other things references the candidate’s “generosity and kindness,” as evidenced by his charitable donations through the Trump Foundation.

Recent reporting in national news media paints a different picture, however. It is important for voters to be aware of these new facts if we, indeed, are to judge Mr. Trump by his deeds.

According to recent research by the Washington Post, Mr. Trump’s Foundation donations have not included any of his own money for nearly a decade. Mr. Trump has repeatedly referenced the charity in speeches and interviews as a testament to his character, but according to tax records, the last gift from Trump to his Foundation was in 2008. Instead, Trump has found a way to give away somebody else’s money while claiming credit for giving away millions of dollars in charitable donations.

Worse, Mr. Trump appears to not be beyond using his Foundation’s money for political influence buying. The Trump Foundation is currently under scrutiny for giving away funds for political purposes, which is against the law of this country.

The Trump foundation gave $25,000 to a campaign group affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi (R), who shortly after dropped a pending investigation into alleged wrong-doings of Trump University. Trump later had to repay the $25,000 to the Foundation and pay a penalty to the IRS, according to the Washington Post.

There have been other reports that Mr. Trump uses his Foundation for less than charitable purposes. In fact, according to CNN, the Trump Foundation is currently under scrutiny by the New York Attorney General’s office because of concerns that the Foundation may have engaged in improper actions and may not have been complying with the laws that govern charities in New York.

If we are to judge a man by his deeds, we as voters also cannot ignore Mr. Trump’s long record of violations of basic American principles, including repeatedly using broadly denigrating terms for minorities and insulting an American Gold Star family. Mr. Trump may promise to make America great again, but to use another saying, actions speak louder than words. In Mr. Trump’s case, voters would be wise to pay close attention to the many reports now emerging on the self-serving and problematic nature of those actions.

 

– Eva Norlyk Smith, Fairfield

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