Donald Trump purchased the famous Doral Country Club near Miami in 2012 and spent a fortune renovating the facilities and the golf course. It’s now called Trump National Doral and from all accounts is a fabulous and luxurious golf resort.
But the local government seems to have a problem with Mr. Trump: He likes to keep the grass cut on his golf course. Consequently, he has been issued more than 100 citations for supposedly violating the city’s noise ordinance with his lawn mowers since last August. EACH citation has a $1500 fine attached to it.
In a recent interview Trump pointed out that the previous owner, who cut the grass just as often, got NO citations. “Maybe it’s because I have money,” he explained. In other words, the Doral city government is just another criminal gang, like all other governments, and is attempting to extort money from Trump, who has already spent more than $50,000 in legal fees on this issue. This of course is no different from the kind of extortion portrayed in all those Mafia movies (“You have ta give me my take if you wanna do business in my neighborhood — or else!”).
The only real difference here is that the Doral city government is unlikely to send a couple of goons over to Trump’s house in Palm Beach to break his kneecaps with baseball bats if he doesn’t pay. They’d probably send cops and lawyers instead.
UPDATE: Gregg N. sends the script of a scene from The Godfather in which Don Fanucci, the local Mafia kingpin, plays the classic Mafia extortion game with a young Vito Corleone (before Vito himself became “The Godfather”):
Don Fannucci to Vito Corleone: “I hear you and your friends are stealing goods. But you don’t even send a dress to my house. No respect! You know I’ve got three daughters. This is my neighborhood. You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak little. I hear you and your friends cleared $600 each. Give me $200 each, for your own protection. And I’ll forget the insult. You young punks have to learn to respect a man like me! Otherwise the cops will come to your house. And your family will be ruined. Of course, if I’m wrong about how much you stole, I’ll take a little less. And by less, I only mean — a hundred bucks less. Now don’t refuse me Understand, paisan? Understand, paisan? Tell your friends I don’t want a lot. Just enough to wet my beak. Don’t be afraid to tell them!”
For more on the theme of government as a criminal enterprise see my book, Organized Crime: The Unvarnished Truth About Government.8:24 am on February 20, 2015