consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Trump yet again captures headlines. Including filing suit where Larry Klayman might have been chosen as Trump's attorney. And are you surprised that the target is Hispanic-American? [SPECULATIVELY UPDATED]

The Entertainer. With a prop he might even respect.

For starters, Strib carries AP feeds where web search will disclose alternate online coverage, but two Strib items are, "Donald Trump starts new media feud with Univision anchorman Jorge Ramos," here; and "Trump has Univision anchor taken out of Iowa news conference amid immigration confrontation," here.

"Uinvision anchorman Jorge Ramos," the one AP headline says; so who do you guess The Donald is suing? Hint - not anybody in the Bush family.

Not yet.

The Monitor, before filing of the complaint, wrote of possibility and/or likelihood. (The item is source of the opening image.)

Other mainstream coverage, NPR, Politico [with a Scribed link to the lawsuit if you use Facebook and its super-awful Scribed product - a more useful pdf of the complaint is online here]; and New York Times (with a familiar image, differently cropped). Less than mainstream -- The Hollywood Reporter [do remember Trump is an entertainer], and my favorite coverage, techdirt.

There are at least two non-Scribed pdf complaint copies online, here and here; and if you read the Trump complaint, and have read any of Larry Klayman's pleadings, you will (or might) feel a twinge of deja vu. At a guess, Larry would love a wealthy paying client such as Trump; but would Trump want Larry? The evidence is he used a New York firm, and filed in New York state court.

Claiming damages of $500,000,000 and defamation and breach of contract.

Again if you follow any reporting link, techdirt has the more entertaining coverage of the entertainer's lawsuit against a Spanish-language entertainment outlet. Stir in the ongoing Trump-Fox entertainment stuff; and the big question, are you turned off, enthused, or entertained?

To explain one point of piqued curiosity I have toward the Trump-Univision litigation show, it is appropriate to briefly quote the NYT item:

Mr. Trump contends that Univision was in violation of its contract by abandoning the broadcast. In the lawsuit, the Trump Organization said that Univision signed a five-year, $13.5 million contract this year to broadcast “Miss USA” and other Miss Universe pageants. The lawsuit also claims that Univision was trying to “suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech.”

Okay. A written contract. Apparently not appended to the complaint. So, was it in English, in Spanish, or were there two signed versions, one in each language? Given that Univision is a Spanish language news and entertainment outlet, does it cut its deals in one language, the other, or both?

When there's money on the table ...

_________FURTHER UPDATE [AS AMENDED]_________
Breitbart, here. CNN Money, here, stating in part:

[Trump attorney] Garten also said, contrary to some speculation, "there is no morals clause" in the contract with either network. Such a clause can let a company get out of a contractual obligation if an individual brings embarrassment upon the company.

Garten asserted that companies get into business with Trump knowing that he "draws a lot of media attention and talks straight."

So, can high profile arguably egregious conduct outside of a contract breach an understanding when no express term is included to that effect; but where there is always an implied duty of good faith, and an expectation of public reasonableness of a kind to not poison the well? Implied responsibility to not bring disdain or distress to weigh as an anticipatory breach of the bargain's having mutual benefit? (Something akin to a right to an expectation that a counter party will not act publicly in ways to lessen substantially the good will of the obligated party, if the obligated party were to perform contractual obligations - an equitable duty imposed to not adversely willfully impact the good will of the other party to the contract).

Trump seems to be set to only lose public credibility if that technical absence-of-an-express-clause argument is advanced by his litigators. It seems to be digging a hole more deeply.

Is, "draws a lot of media attention and talks straight," a reasonable characterization of events?

_________FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE_________
In terms of entertainment, there is the b-word used repeatedly by Mr. Trump, not the one that rhymes with witch, but "bimbo."

Consider the term in light of the opening image, and considering that, what would Norwood Teague say about the grip there?

Aside from that, see here, here and here, about Mr. Trump yet again calling the FOX lady entertainer a "bimbo."

Megyn Kelly, while having moved to the dark side of the force, [FOX], nonetheless has a law degree, worked for a law firm, and has litigated, something we might not expect of the young, attractive lady in that image.

There is the dimension of Trump that seems to want it both ways. Having a ton of money is not an entitlement to sell inconsistent bombast to the most gullible. That ton of money surely facilitates such sales effort, but does not excuse it.

If you follow those three "FURTHER FURTHER UPDATE" links, is there much content you'd agree with or accept at face value, and if so, would it be Mr. Trump's tweeting challenge and characterization he extends toward Mr. Bush?

There were reports, e.g., here and here (with interesting images each), of a Bill Clinton - Donald Trump phone conversation weeks before Trump declared his candidacy, (wherein he launched his candidacy-related Hispanic commentary).

Shortly after that candidacy announcement weeks after the phone call but within days after the Trump commentary, NBC and Univison announced dropping contracted coverage of the Miss USA, Miss Whoever thing Trump was invested into, which happened as it was scheduled, about two weeks after the end of June, 2015, without TV coverage. End of June is when Trump sued Univision. How I learned of that lawsuit? The Iowa press conference where Trump and the Univision news anchor person had their discussions, Trump, this YouTube video at about 26:30 min and onward, he makes a point of it. The entire video is worth watching. But that is the part where the litigation is mentioned. Near the end of the session.

An eyeopener, this item dated July 7, days before the beauty pageant w/o TV, stating:

Can Donald Trump stop a Univision IPO?

The war between Donald Trump and Univision heated up further Tuesday when Trump fired off a letter demanding a Univision “reserve fund” to pay his $500 million suit.

“Given recent reports . . . that Univision is currently carrying in excess of $10 billion in debt, ‘has swung in and out of profitability’ and ‘barely broke even last year,’ we hereby demand that the company immediately establish a litigation reserve commensurate with the amount demanded . . . so that Univision is capable of satisfying any judgment,” Trump’s lawyer Jeffrey L. Goldman wrote.

[...] “Donald could be holding up a billion-dollar IPO,” an insider said. “Univision may settle for a hundred, two hundred million, because Univision just wants out. They were already married to Trump in this deal. They could have hit pause, said, ‘We do not condone his comments,’ and not made a knee-jerk reaction and made a bad deal.”

But in its IPO paperwork, Univision didn’t sound worried about Trump: “We are not involved in any legal proceedings that would reasonably be expected to have a material effect on our business, financial condition or operations.” Its rep has called the suit “legally ridiculous.”

Asked to comment, Michael Cohen, Trump’s special counsel, provided a statement by Trump: “We have today sent a demand letter that Univision immediately set up a reserve fund for this litigation. Univision had a five-year contract to broadcast the Miss Universe pageant with no right of termination and they terminated the contract with a press release. [...]

So, a pending IPO effort on the skids ready to be pushed to market. Trump very publicly alienates Hispanics, timed when it was. Univision reacts dumping Trump's beauty pageant within days and gets sued, within days; days before the blacked-out pageant. A net effect is litigation with a high target price potentially mucking up the Univision IPO status, at least somewhat, and that litigation gaining a high profile by Trump's quite prominently mentioning it, (again, see the Iowa YouTube segment).

But is it that simple?

Rereading the WaPo item about the Clinton - Trump phone conversation (with wonderment and concern over why would insider associates of each of them give WaPo such a story at that time, in such detail); there is this in the coverage:

Former president Bill Clinton had a private telephone conversation in late spring with Donald Trump at the same time that the billionaire investor and reality-television star was nearing a decision to run for the White House, according to associates of both men.

Four Trump allies and one Clinton associate familiar with the exchange said that Clinton encouraged Trump’s efforts to play a larger role in the Republican Party and offered his own views of the political landscape.

Clinton’s personal office in New York confirmed that the call occurred in late May, but an aide to Clinton said the 2016 race was never specifically discussed and that it was only a casual chat.

[...] The revelation of the call comes as many Republicans have begun criticizing Trump for his ties to Democrats, including past financial donations to the Clintons and their charitable foundation.

Trump took the call from his office in Trump Tower in New York, according to the four allies, who requested anonymity because they are not authorized to speak publicly. The call came as Trump was making a final decision about whether to run, and he was candid about his political ambitions and his potential interest in seeking the White House during the talk, these allies said.

The 42nd president listened intently and then analyzed Trump’s prospects and his desire to rouse the GOP base, the Trump allies said.

One person with knowledge of Clinton’s end of the call said the former president was upbeat and encouraging during the conversation, which occurred as Trump was speaking out about GOP politics and his prescriptions for the nation.

Clinton aides declined to speak on the record about the call, saying the conversation was personal.

“Mr. Trump reached out to President Clinton a few times. President Clinton returned his call in late May,” a Clinton employee said. “While we don’t make it a practice to discuss the president’s private conversations, we can tell you that the presidential race was not discussed.”

One Trump adviser said Clinton called Trump, but the adviser did not provide specifics about how the call came about.

Date atop the online Trump complaint, 6/30/2015, likely a key date in things. (Online pdf versions of the complaint are image based, not text searchable, unlike the plaintext online version techdirt has linked to, here.) Readers of the text of the Trump complaint might have noticed in an early, prominent paragraph:

2. While Univision has claimed in the media that its decision to cut ties with MUO [Trump's beauty pageant business entity] came in response to certain comments by Mr. Trump during a June 16, 2015 campaign Speech announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, the decision was, in reality, a thinly veiled attempt by Univision, a privately held company principally owned by longtime Clinton Foundation donor and current Hillary Clinton fundraiser, Haim Saban, to suppress Mr. Trump's freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins to campaign for the nation's presidency and, in recent weeks, has dramatically risen in the polls while expressing critical views of Mrs. Clinton. Little else can explain Univision's decision to not only abandon its contractual relationship with MUO, but also, upon information and belief, pressure NBC to follow suit and cut longstanding ties with Plaintiffs nearly two weeks after the statements were made.

[emphasis added] Interested readers are encouraged to construct a timeline, and to think things over, including as part of such an exercise:

Try a websearch = univision ipo

Try a websearch = Hiam Saben

See what you get.

Of course it admittedly is speculative whether Bill and Don put their heads together by phone in advance of the Trump move against Mexicans, in anticipation of an apparent stressing of an IPO effort and possibly forcing a settlement on terms favorable to Trump whereby Univision, in effect by settlement, funds the Trump candidacy campaign. (Settlement payments, if any, likely tax deductible as a business expense to Univision, currently a private closely held venture, unlike the tax treatment likely attendant to campaign funding or outside PAC spending in an equal amount. Here, readers familiar with the tax code and regs should submit a comment because I do not have that specific expertise and am purely guessing blind about tax dimensions and consequences.)

Fortune published Gettyimage
And with IPO status pending, Univision, which previously I and likely others never heard of, gets fallout Trump-inspired publicity, which could enhance rather than detract from IPO pricing success. Publicity which so far seems to have played well within the Hispanic community which is Univision's target audience; thus enhancing goodwill value of the venture, with viewers and advertisers. And the firm's name gets bandied before hedge fund managers and other possible investors. Who knows, FOX might buy into the Univision IPO. That's an entertaining thought. As entertaining as that thought is, consider another - lawsuit settlement might include a Univision acquisition of the Trump share of the beauty pageant thing, NBC continuing to own the remainder, all done as part of settling within an adversarial status at a price the litigants (at arms-length and not in collusion), agree to as reasonable. The IPO was not halted, but has gone on, and once there is public trading and a trading price in the market, a potential Univision-Trump settlement could even involve a transfer of shares (publicly traded at such a point per the IPO) in lieu of a cash settlement of the Trump damages claim.

And for something wholly unrelated to anything else in this post, something for a total change of pace - cover art for a Grateful Dead album:

image source, here

_____________THROW-IN UPDATE____________
The Larry Klayman - Sheriff Joe clique now looks to be wanting a piece of the Trump. Or that is so if we believe Brietbart, here. Tediously long and headlined as a Brietbart "Exclusive," have a look. Then try this: Trump is not so dumb as to get in any way mixed with that clown pack. That's a speculative Crabgrass exclusive. Trump could prove it wrong but don't hold your breath waiting for a Joe and Don junket south of the border.

No comments: