FEC Filings: Trump Campaign Paid $1 Million to His Own Companies Last Month, Financial Situation Growing Dire

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Photo Courtesy of Haddad Media

In filings with the Federal Elections Commission Monday, the Donald Trump campaign revealed that over $1 million was spent on Trump-owned companies such as his Palm Beach resort Mar-a-Lago, to which he paid over $400,000. Trump’s campaign paid nearly $350,000 for private jet and helicopter expenditures through TAG Air, also owned by Trump. Other expenditures include a $125,000 bill from Trump Restaurants, $35,000 for the Trump National Golf Club in Juniper, Florida, and nearly $30,000 for rentals and catering at the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Also revealed in the FEC filings are the surprisingly empty coffers of the Trump campaign. Trump declared an astonishingly low $1.3 million war chest, the smallest ever for a modern presidential candidate. His on-hand cash is dwarfed by the Hillary Clinton campaign’s $42 million it raised from both private donors and super PACs. The Clinton campaign is expecting to spend well over $100 million on television ads alone before November.

It is unclear how the Trump campaign plans to make up this enormous deficit, and reports have surfaced that Donald Trump seems unwilling to reach out to big donors in the face of paltry fundraising numbers. Politico reported on June 15 that Trump walked out of a fundraising session coordinated by the RNC. According to the report, “Trump had promised [RNC Chairman Reince] Priebus that he would call two dozen top GOP donors, when RNC chief of staff Katie Walsh recently presented Trump with a list of more than 20 donors, he called only three before stopping, according to two sources familiar with the situation. It’s unclear whether he resumed the donor calls later.”

You can read the full story from Politico here.

For more on Donald Trump’s FEC filings click here.

Labor MP Jo Cox Killed Outside Constituent Event

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Photo Courtesy of Haddad Media

Labor MP Jo Cox, a longtime advocate of women’s mortality issues and former adviser to Sarah Brown’s Maternal Mortality Campaign, was killed in an apparently politically charged attack outside of a constituent event this morning. Before the attack, Cox gave an impassioned plea this morning to aid Syrian refugees at a small event in a West Yorkshire library. She was flown to Leeds General Infirmary where died from her wounds. She is the mother of two children.

For live updates as this story unfolds, check here.

Bloomberg Masters in Politics: Mitch McConnell Says Own Party’s Nominee ‘Doesn’t Know A Lot About The Issues’; Clinton Comms Director Jennifer Palmieri Lays Out Game Plan for Defeating Trump

MIPNow that the primary battles on each side of the presidential race are over, the calls are growing for party leaders to rally around each party’s nominee. Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are combating high unfavorability numbers and will each face an uphill battle when it comes to unifying their party after a scorching primary season.

Bloomberg’s Masters in Politics hosts Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin heard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who is on a media blitz to promote his new book, “The Long Game.” McConnell doesn’t think GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has all of what it takes to work effectively with Congress, suggesting rather candidly that he make up for it with a Vice Presidential candidate who has the requisite political experience. “He needs someone highly experienced and very knowledgeable because it’s pretty obvious he doesn’t know a lot about the issues.”

McConnell, who is serving in his third decade in the Senate, didn’t end his criticism of Trump there. When pressed about the numerous accusations of racism that are currently being lobbed at the presidential hopeful, he said, “I object to a whole series of things that he’s said — vehemently object to them. I think all of that needs to stop. Both the shots at people he defeated in the primary and these attacks on various ethnic groups in the country.”

Haddad and Fischer Martin also got a glimpse into the Clinton campaign’s strategy for the general election with Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.

“What we’ve settled on, how we think about it is Donald Trump is not a serious man, but he’s a serious candidate,” said Palmieri. “And even though he’s not a serious person, what he’s proposing is a real threat, and it’s a real danger.”

Palmieri also touched on Elizabeth Warren’s role in bringing Democrats together against Trump. Warren, whose endorsement is the most coveted in the world of Democratic politics outside of President Obama’s, endorsed Clinton last night and just today held a meeting at Clinton’s home in Washington, DC, fueling speculation that Clinton may tap Warren as her VP. Palmieri suggested that Warren has been one of the most effective voices in the fight against Trump, saying “she’s just been extraordinary in taking on Donald Trump, she’s also obviously very effective in getting under his skin,” while adding “she’s somebody that Hillary has said that she would consider as a running mate, too.”

Following are more headlines from coverage of the McConnell interview:
Washington Post: Mitch McConnell just made a devastating admission about Trump — and the GOP
Politico: McConnell doesn’t rule out revoking Trump endorsement
The Hill: McConnell won’t rule out rescinding Trump support
Washington Examiner: McConnell: ‘Pretty obvious’ Trump ‘doesn’t know a lot about the issues’
The New York Times: Mitch McConnell Won’t Rule Out Rescinding His Endorsement of Donald Trump

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Actor Bryan Cranston: ‘If you don’t vote, I can’t talk to you’

Bryan Cranston, star of “Breaking Bad” and most recently “All the Way” as President Lyndon B. Johnson, spoke with Volta Insider’s Rachel Greenberg at the 2016 White House Correspondents Garden Brunch.

One of his first memories of having an interest in politics was after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. As a 7 year old, Cranston “noticed the ripple effect it had on everybody…It popped me out of my self-centeredness and said there’s something important going on that I need to pay attention to.” President Johnson was the first president he ever listened to and realized how important it is to pay attention.

On the importance of getting involved this election season: “Voting is a voice…if you don’t vote, you don’t have that voice.” Cranston explained that if someone tells him they don’t vote, he tells them he can’t talk to them “because they don’t have a voice…if you don’t care enough to take the responsibility to vote, you don’t have a voice, and therefore I have nothing to say to you.”

Cranston said that the national debt will influence his decision about who to vote for this year. “I don’t want to have the country continue raising the debt to leave it to our children.” He is currently supporting Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

Download the podcast of Volta Insider’s interview with Bryan Cranston on AudioBoom or iTunes, where you can also access the full Garden Brunch podcast episode featuring media notables, Hollywood stars, and leaders from the business and non-profit sectors.

Volta Insider Host Rachel Greenberg Interviews Politicos and Hollywood Stars at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Weekend

GV5A2722 As the stars walked the red carpet at the  24th annual Garden Brunch in celebration of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner Weekend, Volta Insider host Rachel Greenberg was there to interview Hollywood’s biggest stars as well as DC’s media and political elite. Greenberg spoke with one of the weekend’s biggest stars, Helen Mirren, about the White House Correspondents’ Dinner weekend and her legendary career as an actress.

According to Mirren, the event is “a gathering together of amazing people from all over America, fascinating people from all walks of life.” She also praised the weekend’s festivities for allowing Americans to poke fun at themselves saying, “Americans are wonderful. They take themselves very seriously and so they should, but they’re also very, very good at making fun of themselves.”

Dame Mirren has famously played Queen Elizabeth on both the stage and screen. Greenberg asked her about the challenges of playing such a well-known living person. “You’ve got to pay attention to the truth of the real person,” said Mirren. “You’re not inventing a new character.” When it comes to the Queen herself, Mirren said, “She’s strong in many ways, in other ways not. She’s not strong in the way someone like Hillary Clinton is strong,” while adding that “within her own context and within her own tradition, certainly she has great strength.”

Greenberg then asked about one of Mirren’s most legendary performances, her starring role as Maria Altmann in The Woman in Gold, based on the story of the Gustav Klimt painting and the Supreme Court battle over its ownership. Mirren says she was drawn to the film because “The visual arts are the things that I most respond to, they’re my real pleasure in life.” Mirren also noted that she grew up at the end of World War II and that “it’s important that we keep reminding ourselves of what happened then, and what could therefore happen again.”

This year’s Garden Brunch theme was “Starting up, starting out”, and Greenberg got a chance to ask the stars for their best advice to inspire those to follow their dreams.

Joanna Coles, editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan, gave some frank advice for recent grads entering the workplace. “Never mix alcohol and the workplace. Work twice as hard as you think you need to work, and always make a phone call when you think a text or an email will do, it won’t.”

Ms. Greenberg questioned Senator Amy Klobuchar on her best advice to young people. To Senator Klobuchar, it’s “Always to keep your expectations high.”

Travis Kalanick, co-founder and CEO of Uber, says that when you’re going to try something new, “you have to go to a place that’s not possible. You have to bend reality but don’t break it because reality can be a really tough adversary.”

Comedian Grace Para says don’t wait for someone to make your dreams come true. According to Para, “You’ve got to be completely entrepreneurial and do it yourself.”

Joy Behar, co-host of The View says the best advice she ever got was to simply be bold. “Do what you think is right and speak out.”

Gugu Mbatha-Raw urges everyone who is starting out to be curious about everything, not just your give field. Mbatha-Raw says that “Being open minded and open hearted is a consistent character trait with some inspiring people I’ve worked with.”

Greenberg also talked politics with a number of actors who play powerful Washington leaders such as “Scandal”-star Tony Goldwyn, who plays President Fitzgerald Grant in the ABC show. “The only way that anything gets done is if every person engages on a grassroots level, acts locally, and gets in the habit of service and engagement in our process,” he says.

Michael Kelly, who stars as Chief of Staff to the President on “House of Cards”, noted just how important young people have become to the electoral process and urged young people to “Get active and then vote.”

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Bryan Cranston the star of All the Way where he plays President Lyndon Johnson, spoke passionately about the importance of voting. According to Bryan, “If you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice.”

Watch the full report from Volta Insider at this year’s Garden Brunch here.

Natalie Heinitz Receives Manhattan College’s 2016 Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Award + Clinton Campaign Research Job

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Natalie Heinitz is the most recent recipient of Manhattan College’s Joseph J. Gunn Alumni Medal, which recognizes one student who has made a significant contribution to the school each year.

A native of Springfield, Virginia, Heinitz is a Communications and Government double major and has served on the editorial staff of student newspaper Quadrangle during her four years at the university. Heinitz is a representative on the Advisory Committee on Campus Safety, which creates and recommends new campus safety measures and serves as an on-campus Catholic Relief Services student ambassador.

Heinitz has been involved with the Lasallian Outreach Volunteer Experience program, or LOVE, where she sits on the Executive Board. In that role, Heinitz has represented Manhattan College on service trips to Haiti, Jamaica as well as the Blackfeet Indian Reservation in Browning, Montana.

In addition to having such an outstanding record of service, Heinitz made the Dean’s List in each semester and graduated summa cum laude.

Heinitz has been interning with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign since October 2015 and begins a full time job as a research associate on the rapid response team at Clinton HQ in Brooklyn, NY.

You can find out more about Natalie Heinitz and the Joseph J Gunn Alumni Award here.

Volta Insider talks with entertainers, politicos at WHC Garden Brunch

At the annual White House Correspondents’ Weekend Garden Brunch, Volta Insider‘s Rachel Greenberg interviewed media notables, Hollywood stars, and leaders from the business and non-profit sectors as they arrived at the event.

Several big names shared the best advice they’ve ever received or given, as well as their insights about the upcoming election, including Helen Mirren, Bryan Cranston, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, Cosmopolitan Editor-in-Chief Joanna Coles, Scandal’s Tony Goldwyn, Uber’s Travis Kalanick, Independence Day’s Jessie Usher, Concussion’s Gugu Mbatha-Raw, model Anne V, comedian Grace Parra, The View co-host Joy Behar, actress Candace Cameron Bure, House of Cards’ Michael Kelly, and Scandal’s Katie Lowes.

The theme of this year’s White House Correspondents’ Weekend Garden Brunch was “Starting Up and Starting Out.” Brunch guests signed a Microsoft PPI on their way into the event where they provided additional insights and advice to be shared with cohorts from Halcyon Incubator. Also in the spotlight at the brunch was Yellow Ribbons United and its #PlayfieldInThePark initiative.

Download the podcast on AudioBoom or iTunes.

MASTERS IN POLITICS: Gov. John Hickenlooper and Bill Kristol

MIPThis Memorial Day weekend, Episode 9 of the MASTERS IN POLITICS Podcast, hosted by Tammy Haddad and Betsy Fischer Martin, features interviews with the Democratic Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, and the Editor of the Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol.

The presidential swing-state of Colorado will get a lot of attention this fall and there’s no doubt that their Governor (often buzzed about as a potential VP pick) will be pulling out all the stops for likely nominee Hillary Clinton. Gov. Hickenlooper shares his impressions of the race so far – including his dismay at the popularity of Donald Trump in his state.

EXCERPT: “There is a lot of support for him. I do think as time goes on … people haven’t really examined that this is the president. This is the person who more than any other person, young kids in elementary school and middle school they admire and try to emulate. And is this who parents are going to want to be the model for their children? And I think, as kind of a bully and a braggart, I think that’s probably something that’s not going to go well with a lot of parents.”

Hickenlooper, a former geologist, turned brewmaster, turned politician, is out with a new book about his life in politics and beer called The Opposite of Woe. In his book – and with us – he shares a mix of funny tales, personal challenges and life lessons that he’s encountered along the way.

On the Republican side, just when you thought the notion of a high-profile third party candidate emerging to take on Trump and Clinton was not in the cards, Bill Kristol says he has reason to believe that Mitt Romney is now seriously thinking about making a run.

EXCERPT: “I’ve spoke to people who have spoken to him and I think he is at least having serious conversations, listening to other people make a pitch and asking questions about it. He is not sort of saying, ‘I’m sorry, I’m busy playing with the grandchildren.’ He is a patriot and really cares about the country.

“I think he thinks someone should do it. And I think that he thinks that maybe he is the right person to do it. He has the national stature and name ID, access to resources. He was right about an awful lot of things that he said in 2012. … He is a man of high character compared to Clinton and Trump and just generally and objectively. So I think we might have a shot at Mitt Romney doing it.”

You can hear much more from these two “Masters in Politics” – including why Hickenlooper keeps a $20 bill that Obama gave him in his wallet, and how, ironically as the Governor of a state that has legalized marijuana, he once got in big trouble trying to grow pot from of his bedroom window in high school.

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New Doc on Off-Track Betting Sells Out on Premiere Day, Encore Showing in NYC Planned for May 19

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“Finish Line: The Rise and Demise of Off-Track Betting,” the documentary film about 70s New York fixture, Off-Track Betting (OTB), had its world premiere at the Workers Unite! Film Festival in New York City.

Directed by former OTB employee Joseph Fusco, the film offers first-hand accounts from the very people who were affected most by NYC’s controversial gambling institution. The Workers Unite! Film Festival screening was standing room only for the premiere.

For nearly 40 years, OTB parlors were on almost every corner in New York City. The smoke filled parlors were known for spilling out vagrants, gamblers, and old men. As a lifelong New Yorker, filmmaker Joseph Fusco remembers the OTBs growing up in the 70s and 80s. “I remember my mom instructing me to walk on the other side of the street to avoid the OTB,” Fusco, now 43, says with a smile. “As a kid, they seemed scary. But at the same time I was curious as to what was going on in there.”

What was going on in there was the only place for legal horse race gambling in New York outside of going out to the racetracks. But moms had a right to worry. The parlors were usually not a welcome sight in many neighborhoods.

“As fate would have it many years later, I was an employee of OTB,” Fusco says. “People don’t realize but OTB employed over a thousand unionized, city workers.” OTB collected billions of dollars in horse racing bets, earmarked to pay for city services such as hospitals, schools, and firehouses.

But then, almost overnight, the OTB parlors were gone leaving many New Yorkers wondering why. The film explores the key question: How does a billion dollar bookie go bankrupt?

“On December 7, 2010, OTB shut down quite literally in the middle of the day. Myself and a thousand other folks were thrown out onto the streets. I needed to find out why,” Fusco says.

Fusco joined forces with cinematographer Matthew Flannery and set out to document this lost piece of the New York experience, as well as to uncover the reasons why the OTB was shut down so abruptly.

According to Fusco, “When OTB shut down, people lost their livelihoods, their health care. What happened was criminal, and the reasons OTB closed were far more sinister and sickening than we ever imagined.”

The film will have an encore screening on Thursday, May 19.

Joseph Fusco’s interview on PBS’ MetroFocus: http://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2016/05/nycs-kentucky-derby-blues/

The film’s trailer: https://youtu.be/afDCPRwuYN0

Film website: www.otbdoc.com

The Workers Unite! Film Festival event page: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wuff-2016-special-second-screening-program-tickets-25392951000

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Michael Kelly Honors Halcyon House Fellows at WHC Weekend Garden Brunch

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Among the stars that gathered in Washington, DC for the White House Correspondents’ Dinner this year, none were more in-demand than House of Cards’ Michael Kelly. In the show, Kelly plays Doug Stamper, President Frank Underwood’s right hand man, and the most ruthless operator in all of Washington. The real Kelly is anything but, of course. He was spotted at a number of White House Correspondents’ Weekend events including the HBO/Google party at the Renwick Gallery in celebration of the HBO film All the Way, which premieres May 21st, and the fabled Garden Brunch, the annual party that precedes the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Kelly addressed the crowd at the White House Correspondents’ Garden Brunch, whose theme this year was “Starting Up, Starting Out”, and the fellows at local startup incubator, Halcyon House, which provides fellowships and housing to people with big ideas in business. The House is helmed by biochemist and philanthropist Sachiko Kuno, who was also in attendance. Kelly encouraged this year’s fellows at Halcyon House to follow their dreams.