Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Donald Trump | trucker hat | selling out | business | campaign

Trump Trucker Hats Selling Out, Testing Campaign Finance Rules

Image: Trump Trucker Hats Selling Out, Testing Campaign Finance Rules
(AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 06:42 PM

The sale of Donald Trump campaign gear at the Trump Store in the lobby of Manhattan's Trump Tower is creating an interesting case study into the delicate balance between running a business alongside a presidential campaign.

The trucker hat that Trump wore during his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, which says "Make America Great Again," was for sale at the store and reportedly sold out in two hours, The Washington Post is reporting.

The store clerk told the Post that all of the campaign merchandise was sold tax free and the money made from the merchandise went to the campaign. The merchandise also takes up a spot that is only for the campaign. However, no information is collected from shoppers, who are de facto donors.

The situation is actually more complex than it may seem, Larry Noble of the Campaign Legal Center told the Post.

"When you sell something through a store, there's a normal business process you go through," Noble said. "A campaign has to do its dealings in the ordinary course of business. If he were trying to sell campaign material through Walmart, Walmart would have to charge him what they'd normally charge or pay him what they'd normally pay."

In other words, the campaign is supposed to cover all the costs incurred from selling the campaign gear, including staff and utility costs.

However, the campaign isn't supposed to use any profit from the item to cover those costs. All the money that shoppers pay for the campaign merchandise is supposed to go to the campaign in the form of a contribution to Trump 2016. That means that the Trump campaign has to pay the Trump Store to carry its merchandise. If it doesn't, then the store has to count as a campaign contribution.

Because each sale is technically a campaign contribution, The Post says that it should also be collecting donor information from buyers. Cash donations can be given up to $100, and it is not required to itemize contributions that are under $200.

This also creates a complicated situation if a foreign tourist wants to purchase campaign gear because campaigns are not supposed to collect donations from foreign donors.

However, the Post contends that the money being made from selling trucker hats are "pennies on the dollar" compared to the amount of money Trump is loaning himself to pay for his campaign.


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The sale of Donald Trump campaign gear at the Trump Store in the lobby of Manhattan's Trump Tower is creating an interesting case study into the delicate balance between running a business alongside a presidential campaign. The trucker hat that Trump wore during his visit...
Donald Trump, trucker hat, selling out, business, campaign, finance, donors
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2015-42-28
Tuesday, 28 Jul 2015 06:42 PM
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