During the election campaign Trump advocates sold Trump as a better executive to appoint US Supreme Court Justices than Hillary Clinton. I responded by citing Donald Trump's support for the Kelo vs New London Supreme Court decision,which Trump praised as 100% correct.
Kelo v. City of New London,1 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
In effect Kelo vs New London says the big businesses like Trump Entertainment Industries, employing more that 1000 can override the constitutional property rights of other Americans for the purpose of economic development.
SUSOETTE KELO ET AL.
V. CITY OF NEW LONDON ET AL.
Supreme Court of Connecticut
Argued December 2, 2002
Officially released March 9, 2004
Opinion NORCOTT, J.
The principal issue in this appeal is whether the public use clauses of the federal and state Constitutions authorize the exercise of the eminent domain power in furtherance of a significant economic development plan that is projected to create in excess of 1000 jobs, to increase tax and other revenues, and to revitalize an economically distressed city, including its downtown and waterfront areas.
Donald Trump was born and bred into the lap of what is sometimes referred to as a shadow government by public private relationships.Trump started out his real estate career with a generous loan from his father and access to his father's political connections to negotiate a forty year tax abatement for his first luxury hotel.
In my book, Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of the Means of Production, I follow the history of the statutory re-invention of Maine government from a government by the Maine Constitution to a government by public private relationships. My perspective is given as an outsider looking in and in so doing I make no claims to legal professional authority but rather speak through the voice of the governed applying a common sense analysis to uncover the meaning codified into law by the language of the statutes. State law is much simpler than federal law and so one has to only follow through on simple layers of the substrate to de-code the meaning hidden within statutory references.
Trumps justification that "the law in on his side" for simultaneously operating his private business empire while running the US government relies on a Congressional Research Service report issued on 10/14/2016. The report does not identify the names of individuals responsible for its authorship.
Upon reading the report, I was struck by the similarity of the exclusion of the executive employers to conflict of interest laws in the federal report and an identical exclusion, which to be found in the statutory charter for the Maine Venture Fund- a public private investment company chartered by the Maine Legislature. In Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of the Means of Production. I argue that the executive exclusion from conflicts of interest laws found in the charter for the Maine Venture Fund violates Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine Constitution which states that all corporations, however formed are subject to general laws.
In Example: This is a quote from Congressional Research Service report which Trump relies on to justify a public private relationship operating at the top of the United States government:
Does federal law require the President to relinquish control of his or her business interests? Federal regulation of financial conflicts of interest is aimed at preventing opportunities for officials to personally benefit from influence they may have in their official capacity. As a general rule, public officials in the executive branch are subject to criminal penalties if they personally and substantially participate in matters in which they (or their immediate families, business partners or associated organizations) hold financial interests. However, because of concerns regarding interference with the exercise of constitutional duties, Congress has not applied these restrictions to the President. Consequently, there is no current legal requirement that would compel the President to relinquish financial interests because of a conflict of interest.
This is how the same exclusion from general conflict of interest laws for the board of the Maine Venture Fund is arranged by the Maine Legislature in a charter created under the administration of Angus King who is now Maine's US Senator: (quoted from Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of the means of Production)
Under §390. Conflicts of interest is written the following:
Notwithstanding Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B, each member of the board, and each employee, contractor, agent or other representative of the board is deemed an "executive employee" solely for purposes of Title 5, section 18, and for no other purpose. Title 17, section 3104 does not apply to any of those representatives. If a member does not participate in an action or deliberation with respect to a particular project, that member is presumed not to have personally and substantially participated in a decision of the board with respect to that project. Every interest of a board member in any matter before the board must be disclosed to the board in writing. [1995, c. 699, §3 (NEW).] (emphasis added)
Title 5, section 18 subsection 1, paragraph B "Executive employee" has the same meaning as set forth in section 19, subsection 1, paragraph D.
Section 19, subsection 1, paragraph D. "Executive employee" means an appointed executive employee or an elected executive employee. [1979, c. 734,§2(NEW).]
Title 17 §3104. Conflicts of interest; purchases by the State No trustee, superintendent, treasurer or other person holding a place of trust in any state office or public institution of the State shall be pecuniary interested directly or indirectly in any contracts made in behalf of the State or of the institution in which he holds such place of trust, and any contract made in violation hereof is void. This section shall not apply to purchases of the State by the Governor under authority of Title 1, section 814. [1975, c. 771, §164 (AMD).]
(author's interpretation) Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B, which defines executive employees does not have standing except for the purposes of Title 5, section 18. Title 17, section 3104, which says any person holding a position of public trust may not profit thereby does not apply to any of those defined as executive employees by Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B! The wording is interpret-able as meaning that conflicts of interest only applies to the substrate and does not apply at the executive level. In other words, if it can be substantiated that there is no direct involvement in the decision-making process any member of the board, and each employee, contractor, agent or other representative of the board can be an investor in a project and can profit from projects undertaken by the Maine Venture Fund. As Title 5, section 18, subsection 1, paragraph B states that Title 17, section 3104: Conflicts of Interest does not apply.
Similar presumptions of innocence were sufficient for the Clinton Foundation during Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. It was sufficient for Clinton to merely sign a document stating that she would not be engaged in Foundation business. During the election campaign, Trump told us that his family would run his private business interests. He neglected to say that they would also be helping him to run the government in the tradition of the public private hegemony into which Donald Trump is born and bred.
The Congressional Research Service report on conflicts of interests suggests that it is assumed that the conflicts are addressed by the electorate Although Mr Trump bragged during the debates that he made campaign contributions to negotiate favors from elected officials, he refused to disclose his tax information. The CRS report on financial disclosure is worded like this"
As explained above, the language of the report excludes the presidency. Unlike the October 14, 2016 report, the authorship is identified to be Jack Maskell,Legislative Attorney August 22, 2013.High-level officials in all three branches of the federal government are required to publicly disclose detailed information concerning their financial holdings and transactions in incomeproducing property and assets, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and real property, as well as information on income, gifts, and reimbursements from private non-governmental sources.Covered federal officials must disclose this information not only for themselves, but also must disclose much of the same required financial information with regard to their spouses and dependent children.
One last chance remains for Americans to enforce disclosure law on Trump. He is not yet the president. It is now or never.