Dear Wisconsin: Make Him Pay First

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MSNBC’s Katy Tur interviews Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul.

Dear Wisconsin, about that recount. Better ask Donald Trump to pay up front, don’t you think?

The Trump campaign asked on Wednesday for a recount of the Wisconsin vote, even before it was completed. In an interview with MSNBC’s Katy Tur, Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul said that the state has a “safe, secure and reliable” process but that a recount can happen if the vote is within a 1% margin. He noted that if the vote is within .25%, the state pays for the recount; otherwise, the campaign requesting the recount must pay.

Wisconsin was called for the Biden/Harris Democratic ticket Wednesday afternoon, with more votes still outstanding expected to lean toward Biden from the Milwaukee area. The Trump campaign immediately called for a recount.

As nearly everyone paying even scant attention to the real world knows by this point, Donald J. Trump is infamous for not paying his bills. Not paying for services rendered is every much a part of his modus operandi as is lying and making up goofy nicknames for his foes. Oh, and saying something is “unbelievable.”

He likes to claim that services have not been rendered to the Trump Organization or that they were not rendered up to his standards. Or that they were late. He pays less than the agreed-on price or pays nothing, daring the business or contractor to sue him. This has reportedly happened many times to workers at his resorts and various contractors doing work at his buildings.

Like cheating on his taxes, he would say that this makes him smart, to take advantage of what he can get away with, as he reportedly does in golf, a game based on the player’s sense of honor. (Am I getting off topic? I don’t think so. A person is honest or not — the behavior plays out at work and at play and throughout a lifetime.)

As noted in June 2016 by USA Today:

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will “protect your job.” But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans…who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

Oh, and the multinational banks, like Deutsche Bank, that didn’t get paid back for extending massive loans to Trump but found themselves — almost comically — sued in return. In just one example, Trump defaulted on $270 million loan for his Chicago tower. And, of course, the U.S. government and the public, stiffed through the decades on those Trumpian taxes.

And some 68 million working and tax-paying Americans voted to put this chronic chisler back in the highest office of the land.

It has been estimated by reliable sources that Trump owes unknown entities about $1 billion, with more than $400 million in loans personally guaranteed.

And some 68 million responsible, bill-paying Americans voted to put this professional miscreant back in the White House for 4 more years.

Trump is the perfect vehicle for a party that has based itself on victimhood, people who have been trained by their media choices to despise laws protecting civil rights and government regulations protecting the environment and fair rates of taxation. Donald gets away with everything — even sexual assault — and thereby becomes a hero to those who have been trained by the Fox/Limbaugh/OAN Triad of Tantrums to be ferociously aggrieved by the fact that they are living in a pluralistic modern society.

Donald cheats his golf partners and marriage partners and fellow citizens and small business owners and waiters working overtime at Mar-a-Lago because, for many people, his celebrity gives him a free pass. As he once put it: When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the pussy.

Well, Attorney General Kaul, I’m sure you know in this case to get the money up front — in cash. (And watch out, he can be handsy.) Because you expertly run an honest operation, Trump will no doubt be displeased with the findings.

[A version of this story later appeared on Salon.]

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