Ethics issue: Trump org golf tee markers w/ Prez seal?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by LizKat, Mar 5, 2018.

  1. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #1
    So is the Trump organization bereft of lawyers with half a brain now? Using the Presidential seal for other than official government business is not permitted. A federal law says so. But the Trump organization has apparently ordered some golf tee markers with the Presidential seal on them anyway.

    So could Trump pardon whoever ordered these markers? My guess is he'd figure hey, why not. This gig comes to light at a moment in the life and times of this Presidency when such a consideration seems almost trivial. Maybe that's how some of the stunts the Trump family pulls are timed. "Don't worry, the watchdogs probably won't even notice this, all things considered."

    But this particular stunt has been noticed. So far no comment from the White House and one awaits news on whether the DoJ will issue a cease and desist order.


    https://twitter.com/CREWcrew/status/970728284337078273

    Now It's Golf Tees - The Beat Goes On.jpg
     
  2. SusanK macrumors 68000

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  3. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Coincidentally you neglected to mention this paragraph from your linked article:


    "Versions of the seal have occasionally been put to personal use by past presidents. George W. Bush and Barack Obama had custom sets of golf balls made with the seal. Ronald and Nancy Reagan had a set of presidential china bearing the seal, and there have even been M&M’s and jelly beans that featured the seal."
     
  4. Rhonindk macrumors 68040

    Rhonindk

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    #4
    Had a small bag of those (from Mall visit) from one of the buildings. Think it was Smithsonian ....
     
  5. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #5

    The article said dozens, not hundreds, or thousands of markers. Seriously, this is a total non-story. I counted 31 presidential tees from the photo. There's no way that little amount can be used to profit his golf courses in any meaningful way.
     
  6. 0007776 Suspended

    0007776

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    #6
    I think the difference there is this is Trump's organization playing up their connection with the president even though they claim he is no longer involved while those other examples were for the president's actual use.
     
  7. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #7
    And, you neglected to mention the following paragraph:

    Trump International appears to be the customer for Eagle Sign and Design, which has previously designed golf tee markers for Trump's golf courses.

    Again, the sketchiness is that Trump is using the White House to enhance his personal fortune.
     
  8. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #8

    Riiiighttt, because a billionaire is going to profit on a few dozen presidential tees, right?:rolleyes: I could understand the argument if it was in the thousands, but a few dozen, really?
     
  9. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #9
    By slathering the presidential seal all over his dumb golf courses, he's trying to use the seal for his personal gain. It doesn't make a difference if he loses money on the deal, it's still an ethical violation.
     
  10. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #10

    Or, perhaps they will only be used when he's golfing, since he golfs so much anyways, but you don't know for sure, yet accuse him of committing a crime.
    --- Post Merged, Mar 5, 2018 ---
    Why are his golf courses dumb? A lot of people enjoy nice golf courses.
     
  11. bopajuice Suspended

    bopajuice

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    #11
    Interesting perspective. "Oh come on your honor, I only stole a few million, it's not like I stole a billion dollars or anything"...
     
  12. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #12
    Why do you keep carrying water for Trump? Perhaps is doing a lot of work there.

    Again, the question is whether these seals violate the law. It's a good question and CREW's been after the Trump administration for a laundry list of ethical violations.

    CREW made an accusation and there's evidence that the seals exist, they were ordered by Trump International and Trump has played fast and loose with ethical guidelines before.

    So, I would bet that these seals were going to be ensconced throughout the "Winter White House," by Trump International, not just when El Presidente is on-site.
     
  13. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #13

    Explain to me how a few dozen presidential tees can rake in substantial profit at Trump golf courses? Obviously they're not going to sell them at the gift shop. It's more likely these will be used when Trump visits his golf courses. Just like Bush and Obama with their custom golf balls. Total fake outrage.
     
  14. hulugu macrumors 68000

    hulugu

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    #14
    You clearly don't understand the issue. Unlike with Bush and Obama, the problem may be that Trump International ordered the items for one of the golf courses.

    Even if you're correct that these will "be used when Trump visits his golf courses," it may still be an ethical issue.

    To reiterate my earlier point: you don't have to profit to commit an ethical violation. You can attempt to gain influence or prestige.
     
  15. LizKat thread starter macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #15
    And the tiresome part is that it's just one more instance of the sketchiness of this whole American experience. The press reports them all. After awhile it's so easy not to bother noticing them. Here below is another conflict of interest sort of situation, yet another instance of an oil and gas lobby crowd deciding to hunker down at Trump International's hotel on Pennsylvania Ave. in DC.

    During a six month stretch earlier, between Oct 2016 and March 2017, the Saudi lobbyists parked $270k at that hotel. A couple months later the Saudis became Trump's first stop on the international stage and as we know all manner of fine deals were arranged on the spot... but in theory it's all legit since the President has few constraints along lines of "conflict of interest" and anyway Trump has meanwhile put his biz in the hands of his kin by signing some (entirely revocable) paperwork. So the sketchiness can be expected to continue.
     
  16. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Then if that's the case why wasn't the ethical issues raised when Bush and Obama had custom gold balls with the presidential seal on them? Why single out Trump now?
     
  17. LizKat thread starter macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #17
    Because it's his company that ordered the seals.
     
  18. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    What's the difference? They said dozens, not hundreds, not thousands, or tens of thousands. Do you think a few dozen presidential tees is going to somehow profit the Trump organization in the millions, or billions? I mean seriously, wtf? This is hyperbole.
     
  19. LizKat thread starter macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #19

    It's not hyperbole. The statute is clear if you read it.

    It doesn't say a few dozen is okay. It says "any likeness" is not okay.


     
  20. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #20

    Would you rather him order directly like Bush and Obama did, using tax payer dollars? That means the Trump organization paid for it, not the US tax payer. Is there any proof he's using a few dozen tees to make a profit?
     
  21. LizKat thread starter macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #21
    Profit has nothing to do with it. It's that he's supposed to have recused himself from his business empire, and he is not who ordered the tee markers manufactured. The business did. Same as if you ordered them.
     
  22. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #22

    Getting back to the legal aspect of it, highlighted in your original post, how is Trump going to profit from a few dozen presidential tees in any meaningful way? Do you have proof Trump golf courses are going to promote, sell, or advertise them?
     
  23. LizKat thread starter macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #23
    They were ordered by Trump International for use on its golf courses. If you play golf there, you see the tee markers because that's what tells you where to stand for your first shot. They don't have a picture of an owl or a tree or Donald Trump on them, or the Mar-a-Lago crest either... they have the Presidential Seal on them. Government business is not being conducted there. The markers become just one more status-y attraction for the club. "I played golf where the President plays!" Well maybe the President never plays golf at say the Trump International in Bali. But there would be the markers... and the suggestion of how rarified it is to be able to play golf there. That's not the same as Trump conducting government business on the greens. That's a company using the seal for purposes other than conduct of government business.

    It's not whether it makes extra profit or not. It's the idea that the company is trying to use the seal in the conduct of its own business, having nothing to do with the government's conduct of government business.

    The Onion was cited by the Bush admin for running one piece with a replica of the seal in it.
     
  24. bradl macrumors 68040

    bradl

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    #24
    It is this reason alone why in the next few years we will have a 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

    BL.
     
  25. darksithpro macrumors 6502a

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    #25

    You're speculating. You assume it will be available for general members. How do you know this is what's going to happen, as opposed to these only being used when trump is golfing?
     

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