By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features
David Fahrenthold’s Washington Post investigation into Donald Trump’s charitable donations (and his refusal to publish his tax returns) have raised issues about abuse of tax law and pay-to-play, which the candidate himself has actually boasted about.
But recently, I came upon a vivid example of how Donald Trump takes his charitable contributions:
In a tiny town of Dunbar, Pennsylvania, just off the Great Allegheny Passage rail trail, there is a new attraction. It is an 8 x 5 foot, 2,800-pound glass sculpture, “Seated Torso,” by French artist Pascal, who visited Dunbar in 1961 when it was still a major glass-making center, as the Pennsylvania Wire Glass Co. was going bankrupt and closing down and she acquired this 4,000-pound hunk of glass. The “sculpture”, valued at $3.5 million, was donated to the tiny town by none other than Donald J. Trump – there is a framed letter and photo from him on the wall of the extension to the historical society that was built to house the sculpture.
“Pascal spent 15 to 20 years carving ‘Seated Torso,’ [her daughter Jill] Petty said. It was purchased in 1994 for $3 million by billionaire John Kluge, who at the time was considered one of the richest men in America,” Trib Live’s Liz Zemba reported.
“Kluge, who died in 2010, displayed the sculpture in a domed rotunda at his Charlottesville, Va., estate. When tycoon Donald Trump acquired the estate for a winery, he needed the space for other purposes, and a search was on for a home for the piece, said Kerry Woolard, general manager of Trump Winery.”
So, the Trump people decided to return the sculpture to where the glass had originated. But they left it to this decaying town, devoid of its major industries (coal, glass making), to come up with the tens of thousands of dollars to build a place to display the piece and get it to Dunbar. They even made the town pay the $16,000 to remove the roof from the domed structure in Virginia in order to extricate it.
I have no doubt Donald Trump took a $3.5 million tax deduction for his largesse.
If anything, it is further proof that Donald Trump has never done anything that was not for his own personal benefit. How does that make him fit to be President?
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