By Mark Naison (May 10, 2017)
No one familiar with the history of New York City should be surprised by the scandals that have beset the Trump Administration. No one, I repeat no one, could have had the success Donald Trump had in putting up building after building in New York City during the 1970’s and 1980’s without having ties to the underworld figures who controlled the concrete industry, and had powerful influence in the city’s construction and transportation unions. it took prosecutions by people like Rudy Guiliani and my friend Ed McDonald, who was head of the Organized Crime Strike Force in NYC ( and who played himself in “Goodfellas”) to loosen the grip organized crime had on construction, but by that time Donald Trump’s career was already on his way and his reputation as a miracle worker putting up buildings in a decaying city had been made.
Let’s be blunt. Donald Trump, in his own way, is an extremely talented business leader. His accomplishments speak for themselves. His footprint is all over Manhattan in the buildings he put up. But those accomplishments came as a result of deals that would inevitably create problems for anyone who used their success as a developer to elevate themselves to public office
Voters took a huge chance, given Donald Trump’s business history ( the bankruptcies and lawsuits as well as the secret deals) in elevating him to the Presidency.
Now they, and the nation, are about to reap the whirlwind..