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Photo Credit: Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post

Trump using campaign donations to fund Mar-a-Lago, other business, is deceptive. (Op-Ed)

What does Donald Trump spend his campaign funds on? Advertising? Canvassing? Traveling to give speeches? Sure. However, he’s also siphoning that money into Mar-a-Lago and his cash-strapped businesses. His businesses are failing, he’s struggling to come up with bond money in his criminal cases, and it’s confirmed that he’s allocating campaign funds to lessen this burden. As shared by USA Today, Trump’s joint fundraising committee wrote three checks in February and one in March to his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida, totaling $411,287, and another in March to Trump National Doral Miami for $62,337, according to a report filed to the Federal Election Commission this week.

While federal law and FEC regulations allow donor funds to be spent at a candidate’s business so long as the campaign pays fair market value, many Trump supporters are donating for a campaign, not to unknowingly fund his ailing businesses. Trump has been doing this for years, using campaign funds to pay for his private jet, political events, rent at Trump Tower, and events at his properties, including hotels and private clubs.

It’s legal, sure, but it’s horribly unethical. When someone donates to a campaign, no matter what side of the political spectrum they fall on, they assume that money will be used for its intended purpose, not for scummy business practices, parties, and flight. “When voters see something like this happening it contributes to their distrust of the political system and their elected officials’ motives,” said Shanna Ports, senior legal counsel with the Campaign Legal Center, a nonprofit government accountability group. This misallocation of funds makes donors feel jaded, lied to, and deceived. Would Trump supporters still donate if they knew that their hard-earned dollars were funding events at private clubs they would never be allowed to attend?

Donald Trump is a notorious liar, and he’s not a great businessman. It seems that he is plumb broke, relying on his generous donors to fund his lifestyle and save him from financial ruin. For a man who is heralded as a great American entrepreneur, it’s surprising that he cannot even run a business successfully; so much so that he must milk his donors dry for support. Then again, this is Donald Trump. He inflates his value just as large as his unchecked ego. If I were donating to any cause that was revealed to not be using my donation for its intended purpose, I certainly wouldn’t donate or support that entity any further.


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