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TRUMPUPDATE: Where are those tax returns, con man? On the morning of the first debate, let's re-demand those tax returns -- and also take a look at how many ways Donald and his family business have cheated and lied to African Americans while getting richer... One story from Gary Indiana...

As the days until the November 8, 2016 Election Day grow shorter and Donald Trump's lies grow bigger than his ego, the suspicion grows that Trump is refusing to release his 2014 and 2015 federal income tax returns -- as Hillary Clinton has done -- because he used every con and loophole in the tax code to cheat the people. Could it be that Trump has been paying less in federal taxes than the average Chicago teacher? Stay tuned and keep the drums beating demanding that Trump come clean on his tax returns.As the drumbeats of Trumpisms and Trumpsterish nonsense continue, on the morning of the first 2016 Presidential Debate, let's again ask (1) Where are those tax returns, Donald? and (2) How many black people have you lied to and cheated on the way to accumulating those billions you claim you have? Remember what you did to the people of Gary, Indiana, to get your casino...

As of the morning of September 26, 2016, Donald Trump was still refusing to release his federal tax returns, claiming various ways of avoiding public scrutiny of both his wealth and the claims he makes to being a billionaire. Given that Trump has recently claimed to be earning less than $500,000 per year (to get a tax break in New York), the public deserves answers before now, but now will be a decent time to begin.

Trump has taken lately to answering questions about his tax evasions through his surrogates. Mike Pence, Trump's running mate, is one of those charged with evading questions about Trump's taxes. Pence has been among those claiming that a federal audit of Trump's taxes precludes his releasing those returns to the public. But in an AP story on September 4, we read the following: “'Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns at the completion of an audit,' [Mike] Pence said, adding: 'We'll see' if Trump releases his returns prior to Election Day. Trump has repeatedly said he won't release any of his recent returns, citing the Internal Revenue Service review. But the IRS says all taxpayers are free to make their returns public, regardless of whether they are being audited."

Meanwhile, as Trump and the Trumpsters continue their racist appeals to African American voters [see bottom story here], the public should thank Business Insider (and the Associated Press) for exposing how Trump lied to and cheated the people of Gary, Indiana in order to get his casino there.

And finally, at the bottom of this entry, is the September 4, 2016 report on Trump's first visit to an African American church and his appeal to black voters for their support.

BUSINESS INSIDER ON HOW TRUMP LIED TO AND CHEATED THE POOR PEOPLE OF GARY...

In 1993, Trump promised to make Gary, Indiana, great again — it never happened. Associated Press, Sophia Tareen and Michael Biesecker, Associated Press, Sep. 21, 2016, 9:19 AM GARY, Indiana — Donald Trump swooped into Gary, Indiana, on his private jet and pledged to make the down-on-its-luck city great again.

It was 1993, and the New York mogul was wooing officials in the mostly black city to support his bid to dock a showboat casino along a Lake Michigan shoreline littered with shuttered factories. Trump and his representatives later told state gaming officials he would leverage his "incomparable experience" to build a floating Shangri-La, with enough slot machines and blackjack tables to fill city coffers and local charities with tens of millions each year, while creating scores of well-paid jobs for minority residents.

"We are looking to make this a real peach here, a real success," Trump said of the project.

Today, as the Republican presidential nominee pursues black voters with vows to fix inner-city troubles, many Gary residents say his pitch to solve the problems of crime and poverty is disturbingly familiar. Like others who have done business with Trump, they say their experience offers a cautionary tale.

Little more than a decade after investing in Gary, Trump's casino company declared bankruptcy and cashed out his stake in the boat — leaving behind lawsuits and hard feelings in a city where more than one-third of residents live in poverty. Trump's lawyers later argued in court that his pledges to the city were never legally binding. Trump told The Associated Press that his venture was good for Gary.

Local civic leaders disagree.

"What you had was a slick business dealer coming in," said Roy Pratt, a Democratic former Gary city councilman. "He got as much as he could and then he pulled up and left."

A company town founded by U.S. Steel just 30 miles southeast of Chicago, Gary peaked in size in the 1960s at nearly 200,000 as black residents arrived from the South looking for jobs and an on-ramp to the American dream.

Gary's fortunes fell with the steel industry. The remaining 77,000 residents abide persistent crime and chronic unemployment. Broadway, the once-thriving main thoroughfare, is now lined with vacant buildings, a boarded-up wig shop here, a once-regal theater there.

In 1993, when Gary was to get Indiana's first licenses for riverboat casinos, there was Trump, presenting a plan for a casino he claimed would revitalize the city's waterfront.

Due to concerns over his finances after two then-recent corporate bankruptcies, city officials initially did not recommend Trump for a license, but he didn't give up. Trump went directly to the Indiana Gaming Commission with a beefed-up proposal.

In a September 1994 presentation, Trump's team touted his "superior marketing and advertising abilities" to pitch a 340-foot long vessel called Trump Princess with more than 1,500 slot machines and enough nearby parking for 3,000 cars. Trump also said he would revamp an "eyesore" hotel near City Hall, according to a transcript.

Trump's team projected an annual take of $210 million by the fifth year the casino was operating. Gary's cut would be 1 percent of the gross gaming revenues along with other taxes, a projected haul of about $19 million annually.

To sweeten the pot, Trump's representatives said they would try to ensure that at least two-thirds of the casino's staff would be minority residents from the surrounding area, according to the transcript.

He offered to fund a new charitable foundation endowed with a 7.5 percent stake of the casino's stock, estimated by Trump's company to be worth $11.5 million. His official proposal also listed eight "local minority participants" in the project, a diverse group of men in medicine, business and law.

"When we put our name on something it's more than just recognition," Trump told the commission. "It's very important to us so we're looking for a long-term, very solid relationship."

Based on the strength of Trump's revamped proposal, the state gaming commission overruled Gary officials, awarding Trump one of the two casino licenses. A May 1996 agreement signed by the Trump organization said the developer would "endeavor" to fill 70 percent of its 1,200 full-time jobs with minorities, and more than half of them women. Trump was to invest $153 million, including $10 million on local redevelopment projects that included renovation of the sagging downtown hotel.

The eight business partners in Trump's license application had been offered a chance to buy shares worth more than $1 million, but most didn't have the money.

So both sides negotiated a deal. For no cash up front, they would be given 7.5 percent of the stock for the riverboat and another 7.5 percent was to go into a trust benefiting local charities, according to a summary of the deal Trump's lawyers sent to one of the men, Buddy Yosha.

The men were to pay in promissory notes and would be repaid later in cash or dividends from the casino.

A brief outline of the agreement was in the original casino application. And Trump's Indiana-based attorneys confirmed the investors' role in a February 1994 letter, saying they were confident they would get the license, show "genuine interest in being a good corporate citizen" and "provide substantial benefit" to local residents.

However, the men said Trump reneged once the license was approved. None got stock in the casino, and the money for charity was less than promised.

All eight sued Trump for breach of contract, alleging they were used to "Hoosierize" Trump's application with gaming officials and then dumped once the license was approved.

"We felt cheated," Yosha told the AP. "He said he'd do one thing and then he changed. It's like what he's doing with every position. He changes in the middle of the stream."

As construction on a dock for two side-by-side riverboats proceeded in spring 1996, Trump's company began hiring in advance of the casino's grand opening in June. But his commitments to hire minorities and local businesses never came to fruition, according to local leaders.

"Trump reneged on both of those commitments," said Richard Hatcher, a Democrat who was Gary's first African-American mayor. "It simply did not happen."

Hatcher helped bring a 1996 lawsuit, weeks ahead of the casinos' opening, alleging Trump's organization failed to meet promised hiring goals for minority and local residents and businesses, and had only hired 20 percent minorities. Though more than half of Trump's casino staff was eventually made up of racial minorities, the lawsuit said blacks were overwhelmingly relegated to minimum wage jobs, such as valets and janitors. The better-paying positions on the casino floor, such as table dealers and pit bosses, were reserved for whites, according to the lawsuit.

Trump's lawyers said the minority hiring goals were not legally binding. They succeeded in getting the lawsuit dismissed on procedural grounds.

The other lawsuit, filed in federal court by the eight jilted business partners, continued. Six of the men dropped out of the case after Trump's company agreed to pay them a combined $2.2 million, but Yosha and another man, William Mays, refused to settle.

When the case went to trial in March 1999, Trump testified he didn't know the men.

"I have never even seen them until this morning," Trump told jurors. "I never had a contract (with them). I never even met any of these people. I was shocked by this whole case. I had no idea who these people were."

Yosha acknowledged that he had not met Trump but said he had negotiated extensively with Trump's lawyers.

The jury awarded Yosha and Mays $1.3 million. But Trump appealed, and in 2001 a federal appeals panel overturned the jury's award, saying the agreement between Trump's company and the two men had not been legally binding.

The judge also said Trump had met his charitable obligations through The Trump Foundation, a more modest effort than originally proposed, which was to give $5,000 college scholarships to 10 graduating high school seniors in Gary each year.

In 2004, Trump Hotel & Casino Resorts Inc., the parent company of the Gary casino, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Trump sought to restructure $1.8 billion in debt, much of it tied to hotels and casinos in New Jersey and New York.

Don Barden, a prominent black businessman from Michigan who owned the casino boat moored next to Trump's, bought out Trump's stake in Gary the following year for $253 million. According to financial disclosures, the proceeds from the sale were used to shore up the financial condition of Trump's other casino and resort properties.

Through his spokeswoman, Trump told the AP he stood by his record but declined repeated requests to discuss the details.

"It worked out very well and was very good for Gary, Indiana," Trump said, according to his campaign.

Current Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, a Democrat, said there were some benefits to bringing gambling to the city. Gary still gets about $6 million a year in gambling revenues, but not the $19 million Trump originally predicted. Trump also brought his Miss USA Pageant to Gary twice, briefly providing some of the glitz and glamour he had promised.

What remains today is far from the world-class facilities Trump boasted he would create two decades ago.

A decade after Trump pulled out, the two original riverboats, now called The Majestic Star and Majestic Star II, are still docked in Gary's industrial harbor, hemmed in by a gray vista of dirt piles and cold smokestacks visible from the dingy windows. The carpets are faded and interiors dated with mirrored ceilings and walls. On a recent workday, a sparse jeans-and-sweat-pants crowd lined up for the serve-yourself soda and coffee between games.

The dilapidated hotel by City Hall was never renovated and was demolished in 2014. As for promises of high-paying jobs, a study for the state gaming commission found the median annual salary of a Trump casino employee in 2004 was $25,000, worth about $31,800 today when adjusted for inflation. That amount is slightly higher than the city's median household income.

"When a community brings in gaming to spur economic development, I think one of the things we look for are long term partners," Freeman-Wilson said. "That was not what we found in Donald Trump."

Trump won the county that includes Gary in May's Republican primary, but the area is expected to continue to be a Democratic stronghold in November. A GOP presidential candidate has not carried the county since Richard Nixon.

Headed into November, Trump hopes to win over black voters.

"What do you have to lose?" Trump asked at a recent rally in Florida. "It cannot get any worse. And, believe me, I'm going to fix it. I'm going to make it so good."

Asked about Trump's pitch, former Indiana gaming commissioner David Ross, who was on the board that awarded Trump the casino license, said it would be a bad bet.

"What you have to know is that Trump is for Trump and he's not for any black voters or anybody," said Ross, a physician in Gary and a Democrat. "He's not a guy who's looking to help people. What he's looking for is to make some money for Trump."

TRUMP IN DETROIT AT AN AFRICAN AMERICAN CHURCH SEPTEMBER 4...

Trump vows to fix ‘wrongs' facing blacks... GOP nominee tries to boost appeal on Detroit church visit, By Jill Colvin and Corey Williams, Associated Press SEPTEMBER 4, 2016.

DETROIT — Donald Trump swayed to songs of prayer, read scripture and wore a traditional prayer shawl Saturday on a visit to a predominantly black church in Detroit as he called for a “civil rights agenda of our time” and vowed to fix the “many wrongs” facing African-Americans.

“I am here to listen to you,” Trump told the congregation at Great Faith Ministries International. “I am here to learn.”

Trump has stepped up his appeals to minority voters in recent weeks, but the visit was the first time Trump has addressed a largely black audience since winning the Republican nomination.

Trump was introduced by Bishop Wayne Jackson, who wrapped a traditional prayer shawl around Trump and told his congregation that “this is the first African-American church he's been in, y'all! Now it's a little different from a Presbyterian church!”

Seated next to him in the front row was Omarosa Manigault, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV series who has helped to guide his outreach to the black community. Also accompanying him was Detroit native Ben Carson, the retired neurosurgeon who ran against Trump in the primaries and is now advising the campaign.

While protesters were a vocal presence outside, Trump made a pitch inside for support from an electorate strongly aligned with Democrat Hillary Clinton.

“I want to help you build and rebuild Detroit,” he said. “I fully understand that the African-American community has suffered from discrimination, and there are many wrongs that should be made right.”

He also said the nation needs a “civil rights agenda of our time” with better education and good jobs.

Unlike his usual campaign stops where he confidently has addressed mostly white crowds that supported him, Trump's visit to Detroit on Saturday was intended to be more intimate. Some protesters tried to push through a barrier to the parking lot but were stopped by church security and police.

Toni McIlwain said ahead of Trump's trip that she believes he has a right to go anywhere he wants. But, she said, it took a lot of nerve for him to visit Detroit.

Many black people in the city, she said, are still stung by his stop in Michigan last month, when he went before a mostly white audience and declared: “You live in your poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed.”

He asked, rhetorically, what blacks had to lose by voting for him instead of Clinton.

“He generalized the total black community,” she said.

But the risky nature of the visit was underscored by what appeared to be unusually cautious planning by the Trump campaign.

On Thursday, The New York Times published what it said was a script of preapproved questions Trump would be asked in his interview with Jackson, along with prepared answers. Jackson told CNN on Friday that he “didn't see anything wrong” with clearing his questions with the campaign and hadn't offered softballs.

For Trump, courting African-Americans is a challenge. Most polls show his support among black voters is in the low single digits. Many view some of his campaign rhetoric as insulting and racist.

Detroit is about 80 percent black, and many residents are struggling. Nearly 40 percent of them are impoverished, compared with about 15 percent of Americans overall. Detroit's median household income is just over $26,000 — not even half the median for the nation, according to the census.

Meanwhile, GOP vice presidential hopeful Mike Pence is ready to release his tax returns. But don't expect the same for Trump.

In an interview with NBC's “Meet the Press,” which will air Sunday, the Indiana governor said he will release his returns this month. When asked whether Trump also will release his returns, however, Pence said no, citing an ongoing audit of the GOP presidential nominee's taxes.

“Donald Trump will be releasing his tax returns at the completion of an audit,” Pence said, adding: “We'll see” if Trump releases his returns prior to Election Day.

Trump has repeatedly said he won't release any of his recent returns, citing the Internal Revenue Service review. But the IRS says all taxpayers are free to make their returns public, regardless of whether they are being audited.



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