Following President Donald Trump officially changing his residence from Manhattan to Palm Beach, Fla., several members of the New York City Council have introduced a resolution seeking to end the president’s business ties with the city’s municipal parks.
Democratic City Councilman Mark Levine on Thursday was expected to introduce a non-binding resolution calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to sever the Trump Organizations four contracts with the city, three of which are up for renewal in 2021, according to the New York Daily News. The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilwomen Margaret Chin and Carlina Rivera.
The president’s son and executive vice president of the Trump Organization Eric Trump responded in the story that it was “unfortunate” Levine was making the contractual issue into a political issue.
“For over 20 years, The Trump Organization has been a partner of New York City and has saved many iconic assets, such as Wollman Rink and Trump Golf Links at Ferry Point, which were deeply distressed and in sad financial ruin. Under our leadership, those assets have become the pride and joy of our great city,” he said in a statement. “We are honored to be partnered with the city, and we will continue to do an outstanding job. We look forward to making New York proud for many years to come.”
Levine shot back on Twitter.
Sorry @EricTrump, the feeling's not mutual.
Your dad's businesses in our city's parks are underperforming financially and damaging the image of our public spaces.
— Mark D. Levine (@MarkLevineNYC) December 19, 2019
“Sorry @EricTrump, the feeling’s not mutual. Your dad’s businesses in our city’s parks are underperforming financially and damaging the image of our public spaces,” Levine said. “And if you’re so proud of them, why did you remove the Trump name from both ice rinks??”
“The Trump organization currently operates two ice skating rinks and a carousel in the city’s famed Central Park, as well as the Trump Golf Links located in the Bronx,” he added.
Trump’s name was removed from the ice skating rinks, which the organization has run for decades, earlier this year as part of a rebranding effort.
“The Trump organization notified us in late August that they planned to change the on-rink branding,” Parks Department spokesperson Crystal Howard, said in an October email to the Washington Post, adding that the city did not ask for the change.
Levine did not stop there.
“The guy who was just impeached still has lucrative contracts w/ NYC to run 4 businesses in our public parks. This is a violation of the emoluments clause, is a bad deal for us financially, and damages the image of our parks. Cancel. These. Contracts. Now,” he said.
Levine’s resolution states that the city’s contracts with the president’s personal business is a violation of the Emoluments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and refers to Trump’s misuse of his New York-based charity, which recently resulted in the president admitting to wrongdoing and paying a $2 million settlement to eight charities.
“It’s just a matter of profound offense to most New Yorkers that our city has given four lucrative Parks [Department] concessions to the Trump Organization,” Levine said. “The Trump Organization is a company that is deeply entangled in a criminal conspiracy and there is ample precedent for Parks concession contracts being cancelled on such grounds.”
According to the Daily News report, though, attorneys for the Parks Department have already informed Levine that the contracts cannot be cancelled outright, particularly Trump’s contract for his Bronx golf course that runs through 2032.
Levine disputes that.
[image via NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images]