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Trail Mix: Trump's shady donations and WA guv candidates show taxes

click to enlarge Did Trump donation head off a Trump University investigation in Florida?
  • Did Trump donation head off a Trump University investigation in Florida?

SCAM, PAM, THANK YOU MA'AM

Repeatedly, DONALD TRUMP has said that he knows other politicians were corrupt because he'd used his money to bend them to his whims. He argued that only he — a billionaire — was immune from the influence of, well, men like him.

Now, reporters have revealed just what his money may have earned him. The Washington Post revealed last week that the Donald J. Trump Foundation illegally gave Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi's political group a $25,000 donation in 2013, just four days after Bondi announced she was reviewing the state of New York's investigation into Trump University. And what'd ya know? Bondi decided to not proceed with an investigation after all.

Trump University — actually a series of seminars that promised the tools to real-estate riches — is currently in the midst of a lawsuit from former attendees arguing that they were bilked by false advertising. Bondi, who has endorsed Trump, denied that the donation was a bribe. But the context looks all the more suspicious after reporters revealed that the donation violated federal tax laws. The Trump Foundation appeared to cover up that illegality in its tax filing by falsely listing the donation under a different name. (DANIEL WALTERS)

TAX BRACKETS

If BILL BRYANT, a Republican and former Port of Seattle commissioner, succeeds in unseating Democratic Gov. JAY INSLEE, it'll likely mean a pay cut.

Last week, both candidates disclosed their recent tax returns to the Seattle Times, revealing where each gets their income, what they pay in taxes and how much they give to charity.

In 2015, Bryant and his wife, Barbara Feasey, reported nearly $650,000 in profits from his consulting business that advises agricultural companies seeking to export their products overseas. The Times also reports that Bryant and his wife paid an effective tax rate of 24 percent, and in 2015 donated $64,000 in cash and stocks to charitable causes including food banks, arts organizations and cancer research.

Inslee and his wife, Trudi, earned $219,000 in income and paid an effective tax rate of 15 percent, according to the Times. The Inslees' tax returns, according to the paper, reveal that they gave, on average, about $8,300 a year to charities over the past four years to organizations that serve foster children and homeless youth. In addition to his salary as governor, Inslee also receives a $43,000-a-year pension from his time in Congress.

Perhaps the smallest source of income for Inslee is royalties from Apollo's Fire, his 2007 book on clean energy, which amounted to $39 last year.

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