CA golf club suit deepens Trump woes


DALLAS, TX - SEPTEMBER 14:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally at the American Airlines Center on September 14, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. More than 20,000 tickets have been distributed for the event.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Another unflattering story from Donald Trump’s recent past, this one playing out in California, has fueled a fresh round of criticism against his character and his campaign. 

“After the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes opened for play in 2005, its world-famous owner didn’t stop by more than a few times a year to visit the course hugging the coast of the Pacific,” according to the Los Angeles Times. “When Trump did visit, the club’s managers went on alert. They scheduled the young, thin, pretty women on staff to work the clubhouse restaurant — because when Trump saw less-attractive women working at his club, according to court records, he wanted them fired.”

Former Trump employees, the Times noted, have come forward to corroborate these claims in declarations filed four years ago “in a broad labor relations lawsuit brought against one of Trump’s development companies in Los Angeles County Superior Court.”

The timing of the revelations has fed into a narrative that Clinton supporters believe can help restore momentum to their candidate’s campaign. “While Trump has said he has ‘great respect for women,’ he has degraded them with insults,” the San Francisco Chronicle observed.

“He has called talkshow host Rosie O’Donnell ‘fat’ and ‘a slob’ and Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly ‘a bimbo.’ […] Hillary Clinton addressed her opponent’s record with women, telling the story of former Miss Universe winner, Alicia Machado, who said Trump called her ‘Miss Piggy’ when she gained weight.”

Flat polls

Trump’s remarks have not sunk his campaign to date; in some instances, they have buoyed up his own supporters. (Machado, for instance, has come under fire for her involvement in potentially criminal misdeeds.) But despite the dramatic ups and downs of the Trump and Clinton campaigns, which have put the candidates far apart in opinion surveys one moment and much closer the next, Trump has not been able to come within striking distance of Clinton in the Golden State. “Clinton now leads 59 percent to 33 percent among likely voters, up from 57 percent to 32 percent three weeks ago,” the Orange Country Register recently noted, citing a survey conducted by the Southern California News Group and KABC/Eyewitness News.

The mogul did recently score an endorsement from the Santa Barbara News-press, but that achievement mixed good news with bad news for the campaign. “Not only is it Trump’s only endorsement from a California paper, it’s one of the few anywhere in the nation,” the Chronicle reported. “So far, he’s gotten official endorsements from the National Enquirer, New York Observer and New York Post.”

Driving support and opposition

“Still, if polls represent the general — voting and nonvoting — population, then some 14 million Californians of all ages want Trump to win,” Victor Davis Hanson noted in the Los Angeles Times, “a far greater number than found in most die-hard red states. They resemble Trump supporters elsewhere, but they seem even angrier, in part because they are an emasculated political minority.”

“Trump supporters in rural California are quite different from the stereotyped Republican Party of the last two elections. The welder who recently worked on my gate had no empathy for ‘wealthy white people’ — I suppose like Jeb Bush or Mitt Romney. Yet he was tired of hearing of ‘white privilege,’ an insult leveled by those who enjoy quite a lot against those who have none.”

In a striking symbol of the limits of Trump’s appeal in California, however, organizers behind, the Mark Zuckerberg-launched immigration reform lobbying firm, credit Trump’s willingness to attack the political establishment on the issue with powering their rise to prominence. “Today, after a few years of disappointments, bad press, and high-profile departures, FWD has found its footing as a major player in the immigration debate,” Wired reported. “A lot of it has to with the activists and grassroots workers who staff’s nine field offices. And a lot of it also has to do with a politician whose anti-immigration policies are so radical, and so extreme, that he’s done more to galvanize bipartisan support for immigrant rights than all of Silicon Valley’s billionaires combined: Donald Trump.”

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