The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

The head of a fireworks company who is personally lobbying Trump to drop tariffs affecting his industry has donated fireworks worth $750,000 to Trump’s Independence Day celebration in Washington, D.C.

The White House is calling the event, which will include a Trump speech at the Lincoln Memorial, a “Salute to America,” but it’s an obvious attempt to hijack what has been a non-partisan concert and fireworks display, turning it into a bigger security nightmare than usual, and increasing the cost of the event for the local Washington, D.C. government.

The Washington Examinereported on Monday that Phantom Fireworks’ donation will add “15-20 minutes to the traditional show,” and is “valued at $750,000.”

Bruce J. Zoldan is the president and CEO of Phantom. Zoldan met with Trump at Trump Tower in December of 2016, during the presidential transition period.

Recently, he has been lobbying the Trump administration to exempt the fireworks industry from the job-killing tariffs Trump placed against Chinese imports.

“It’s virtually impossible for our product to be made anywhere else but in China,” Zoldan told the Washington Post in May.

The Post reported that Zoldan met with White House officials “to press his case” and was working on a formal request for the exemption.

“With an unfair tax that serves to raise the cost of firework devices so significantly, we’re hurting the very organizations that make up the fabric of America,” the National Fireworks Association said when the tariffs were first announced.

Zoldan’s donation gives a boost to the explosions at the event, which Trump has been obsessed with. He boasted in February of a “major fireworks display.” Now a company that is lobbying him for an exemption is making a massive donation to help give him the display he’s been fantasizing about for months.

It remains to be seen whether the donation for Trump’s salute to himself will pay off for the industry.

Published with permission of The American Independent.

 

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Photo by HAL9001 on Unsplash

If you've seen videos of people who took part in the U.S. Capitol riot weeping in shock after being barred from boarding their flights home, you may feel as Oscar Wilde did upon reading a tragic passage from a Charles Dickens novel: "One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing." But schadenfreude is not a good basis for government policy.

In the aftermath of the horrifying Jan. 6 rampage, the Transportation Security Administration said it was "processing hundreds of names with law enforcement agencies for a thorough risk assessment," with an eye toward putting some of them on the federal no-fly list. Incoming Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer thinks anyone who was inside the Capitol building should be kept off of airliners. "We cannot allow these same insurrectionists to get on a plane and cause more violence and more damage," he said.

Keep reading... Show less