Op-ed: The story of Trump University has been widely told but it is only the tip of the iceberg where Donald Trump’s links to crime are concerned.
In “The Making of Donald Trump,” Pulitzer Prize winner Cay Johnston writes that the Donald “mobbed up” with gangster unions and companies to build his towers with ready-mix concrete instead of steel girders. The best providers had criminal records, and could guarantee the concrete would be delivered even during strikes.
Several of the men he did business with were convicted of federal crimes, John Cody was one of them.
When Trump decided to get into the newly legalized casino industry in New Jersey he should have been blocked. No one who has been investigated by law enforcement should be granted a casino license. Trump got licenses in record time.
Always on the prowl for some new enterprise, Trump and some colleagues went overboard and created a new professional football league, USFL, which would play in the spring.
It lasted only from 1983 to 1985. Plans for an 1986 season fell through.
Trump and his counterparts thought a lawsuit would make them competitive.
Earlier attempts had failed though one, the American Football League merged with the NFL. The NFL had been around since 1920 with teams in virtually every major city, and in some cities more than one franchise.
Television revenue made the NFL a fortress.
The USFL thought it could do the same.
The USFL filed an antitrust lawsuit against the older league, claiming it had established a monopoly with respect to television broadcasting rights, and in some cases, to access of stadium venues, Wikipedia reported.
“The case went to trial in the spring of 1986 and lasted 42 days. On July 29, a six-person jury handed down a verdict that devastated the USFL, even though it technically won its case. The jury declared the NFL a ‘duly adjudicated illegal monopoly’, and found that the NFL had willfully acquired and maintained monopoly status in professional football through predatory tactics.
“However, it rejected the USFL's other claims. The jury found that the USFL had changed its strategy to a more risky goal of forcing a merger with the NFL. Furthermore, the switch to a fall schedule caused the loss of several major markets (Philadelphia, Denver, Houston, Pittsburgh, Detroit, Miami, the Bay Area).
“Most importantly, the jury found that the NFL did not attempt to force the USFL off television. (Indeed, ESPN remained willing to carry USFL games in the fall, several of the league's teams also had local broadcast contracts, and 1986 also happened to be the inaugural season of the Fox Broadcasting Company, a network that would eventually become the fourth major broadcast network.)
In essence, the jury felt that while the USFL was harmed by the NFL's de facto monopolization of pro football in the United States, most of its problems were due to its own mismanagement. “It awarded the USFL nominal damages of one dollar, which was tripled under antitrust law to three dollars. It later emerged that the jury incorrectly assumed that the judge could increase the award.”
Trump was a major player in this fiasco.
Trump Destroys League http://bit.ly/2boAQHy
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Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.