Maybe the ghosts of Mike Pence’s ancestors, or somebody’s, are getting stirred up in Ireland, because for a simple diplomatic visit, it has turned into a real can of worms. First, Pence got raked over the coals when his deputy press secretary touted the fact that Mike and Mother Pence would be having lunch with Leo Varadkar and his husband, ergo, Mike Pence is not anti-gay. Now, while that controversy was still smoking, more fat got thrown on the fire Tuesday morning, when it was learned that Pence will be staying at Donald Trump’s Doonbeg property, when his meeting with Varadkar is on the other side of Ireland, in Dublin. And guess who picks up the tab for the helicopters, security etc.? That’s right, moi et toi.
While in Ireland, VP Pence is staying in Trump's golf resort. Which is in Doonbeg (red pin).
His official duties are in Dublin, which is literally the opposite side of the country.
Apart from enriching the President, what is the purpose of running up taxpayer costs like this? pic.twitter.com/30QyxI5WXb
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) September 3, 2019
In the mafia there’s a concept known as “kicking up” or “paying tribute” to the Boss – lining the Boss’s pockets to keep him happy. The Boss doesn’t have to explicitly ask; it’s understood.
— Elie Honig (@eliehonig) September 3, 2019
The Pences are from Doonbeg, eh? Well, who knows. Back when Brett Kavanaugh was getting confirmed I happened to encounter a Twitter thread of Esquire’s Charlie Pierce. Some people from Ireland were tweeting with Pierce and stating their opinion of how Kavanaugh’s ancestors used to steal sheep and then that led to a dialogue of how Mike Pence’s people were landlords for the British, and the Curse of Cromwell was upon him. There are enemies and there are enemies, and the enemy you wish the Curse of Cromwell upon is really your enemy.
In all events, Pence enriching Trump’s coffers is nothing new at all. His PAC, Great America Committee, has spent $224,000 at Trump properties, chiefly the Trump International Hotel and it’s steakhouse, and you’ll love this: his congressman brother, Greg, was illegally living there and the PAC was picking up the tab. Daily Beast:
Such spending appears to be a family affair. Pence’s brother, freshman Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN), has also dropped considerable sums at the Trump hotel. In fact, Rep. Pence’s campaign amended a number of FEC filings this year after USA Today noted that the campaign appeared to be illegally paying for the congressman to live at the Trump hotel. The Pence campaign said those expenses were reported incorrectly, and amended FEC filings accordingly.
As of March, when Rep. Pence’s campaign reported its latest Trump property expenditure, the campaign had spent about $45,000 at the president’s businesses.
The spending by the Pence brothers reflects a broader trend taking place throughout the Republican Party, where officials are doling out campaign cash to properties and businesses associated with the president. But the vice president is a particularly prolific Trump property patron. Only the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee have spent more at Trump businesses than Pence’s PAC during the 2020 election cycle.
This is standard operating procedure for Mike Pence. He illegally spent campaign contributions on his mortgage and groceries back in the day when he was a freshman congressman himself. This is what he knows. Plus, interestingly, he said Tuesday that his expenditure at Doonbeg was approved by the State Department. Now, that’s not surprising considering that William Barr just spent $30,000 reserving a holiday party at the Trump hotel. They’re all paying tribute to Trump, it would appear. This comment by David Frum says it all.
The VP is staying a 3 hour drive from Irish capital, necessitating costly helicopters, all so that his visit to Ireland can put cash in the boss’s pocket. Normal federal employees go to prison for such schemes
— David Frum (@davidfrum) September 2, 2019
That’s the bottom line.