Scott Brinton

Donald Trump’s boondoggle on the ocean

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I covered Donald Trump long before he ran for president. It was the mid-2000s, and the American economy was tanking –– big time. The Donald wanted to construct a posh, $24 million, 86,000-square-foot catering hall –– called Trump on the Ocean –– at, of all places, Jones Beach State Park.

I wrote a series of columns and editorials opposing the ludicrous plan. What I learned from that coverage is this: Trump wins a lot. He also loses a lot.

That’s the tycoon’s code: If you want to win big, you take chances. Risk is accepted, if not celebrated, as part and parcel of the process.

The thing is, the president of the United States is obligated to minimize risk by drawing logical conclusions rooted in reality, seeking consensus among divergent viewpoints and uniting rather than dividing.

As owner of a privately held company, Trump is beholden only to himself. As president, he would be beholden to the American people. The rules and responsibilities of each position are very different. Trump doesn’t seem to grasp the concept.

Trump on the Ocean was a classic example of the Donald’s modus operandi. He makes an outrageous proposal. People protest. He immediately dismisses their concerns. People object more vociferously. He threatens to sue. Sometimes, as was the case with Trump on the Ocean, he actually does. (Trump sued a state review board –– and won –– at least initially. The project, though, went nowhere. More on that later.)

Many, many people –– particularly South Shore residents –– hated the very idea of Trump on the Ocean because the Donald touted it as an upscale eatery that would cater to the rich and famous –– at Jones Beach, which developer Robert Moses created in 1929 to give working-class folks their own little stretch of sand.

With Trump on the Ocean, the Donald would have lorded it over we, the people. It would have been his private castle from which he and his tony sycophants could look down on the plebeians playing Frisbee on the sand.

Trump demonstrated no regard for average folks’ needs or desires. His concern was his own bottom line.

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  • Reader

    While the deal was scrapped in 2012 what is there now?

    If this is nothing more than a personal attack on a presidential candidate say so. He may not be my opinion of a president or even get my vote but the personal attacks by the media is nonsense. The acts of a businessman to increase profit should not be viewed in the same context as a political figure looking out for the taxpayers, even members of the press should be smart enough to recognize the difference. If they cant their opinion should not matter to anyone.

    Friday, April 1, 2016 Report this

  • otto48

    The ultimate financial success or failure of the project aside, the action of the state review board in blocking it due to a concern that workers might be trapped in the basement during a storm was both ridiculous and politically driven. Absent a tsunami there was no danger, especially if weather forecasts continue to be broadcast over the radio.

    Saturday, April 2, 2016 Report this