Equinox says it will donate one million dollars to several charities in the wake of a star-studded boycott ignited when the majority owner, founder, and chairman of the fitness club’s parent company, Stephen Ross, held a high-value donor fundraiser for President Donald Trump. The RNC bragged that the two Hamptons fundraisers Trump attended last Friday, one hosted by Ross, netted $12 million – two million more than projected.
Stephen Ross also owns the Miami Dolphins in addition to The Related Companies, a multi-billion dollar real estate development firm he started in 1972. Ross reportedly is worth $7.7 billion. The Related Companies purchased Equinox in 2005, but TIME notes “Equinox is a privately held company, making it difficult to fully assess its financial relationship with Ross.”
Newsweek on Thursday reported the charities that will benefit from the donation:
Cycle for Survival, which funds research into rare cancers, The Heroes Project, which benefits injured veterans, Move for Minds, an Alzheimer’s research organization, the Felix Organization, a charity focused on enriching children in foster care, and House Lives Matter, which supports the LGBT House Ballroom community.
In an email to members Equinox executive chairman Harvey Spevak last week said Ross “is one of the investors, including myself. He does not run the company. I do. I am the executive chairman of Equinox and have led the vision and strategic direction of the company since I joined in 1999. Our focus has always been about building a community centered on our values, not politics.”
Equinox has insisted Ross is merely a “passive investor” in the luxury fitness brand. Ross says he has “always have been an active participant in the democratic process.”
And while some news reports show Ross’ allies defending him – Trump last week called him a “great friend” who is “probably more inclined to be a liberal” – several reports reveal Ross is a more active participant, at least financially, in the Republican political process.
“In the current election cycle, Ross has given just under $50,000 [to] the Republican National Committee (RNC) and $33,600 to [the] National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC). He gave $10,000 to the Democratic Party of Virginia,” according to a deep dive by GayCityNews,
That is just the tip of the conservative money iceberg.
GCN details donations to Republicans and conservative PACS in 2017-2018 totaling just under $400,000.
Between 2015 and 2016 Ross donated over $550,000 to Republicans or conservative PACs.
And while Ross has donated to Democrats, the vast majority of his contributions in recent years appears to be to Republicans and conservative PACs.
Ross has called himself “an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability.”
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‘Makes Me Want to Throw Up’: Investor in New Trump ‘Truth’ Network Is Out Now That He Knows It’s a ‘Fake News Business’
The launch of Donald Trump’s new social media company “TRUTH” has hit another bump in the road as some early key investors are pulling out after discovering he is one of the principals behind itwhich they were unaware of at the time they put money into the start-up.
As the New York Times reported, “The details of Mr. Trump’s latest partnership were vague. The statement he issued was reminiscent of the kind of claims he made about his business dealings in New York as a real estate developer. It was replete with high-dollar amounts and superlatives that could not be verified.”
According to a report from the Huff Post’s Ed Mazza, one hedge fund manager lashed out when he found out about Trump’s involvement.
As Mazza reports, “[Boaz] Weinstein’s Saba Capital had been a major investor in Digital World, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) formed for the purpose of acquiring another company. As is common in SPAC arrangements, investors put their cash in before the acquisition target was chosen. When Weinstein learned it would be with Trump’s firm, he bailed.”
“I knew that for Saba the right thing was to sell our entire stake of unrestricted shares, which we have now done. Many investors are grappling with hard questions about how to incorporate their values into their work. For us, this was not a close call,” he explained.
Another unnamed investor, who reportedly held a 10 percent stake in the company, was considerably more graphic when talking about being taken in by Trump’s latest venture and he “sold everything as soon as he could,” reports Mazza.
“The idea that I would help [Trump] build out a fake news business called Truth makes me want to throw up,” they said.
You can read more here.
Image by U.S. Dept. of State via Flickr
‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’
Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.
“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”
This statement is an act of war against America. ANY Republican who does not publicly rebuke this statement must be defeated. ANY Republican. pic.twitter.com/mVAsPXkqGK
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 21, 2021
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.
“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”
McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:
In debate on the January 6 investigation today on the House floor, Democrats are repeatedly bringing up this new statement from Donald Trump. Rep. Jim Clyburn D-SC says the “Big Lie” is just like the “Lost Cause” after the Civil War. pic.twitter.com/NDNHdjKrYq
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 21, 2021
Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.
S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”
Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”
Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”
ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”
A former president of the United States who took an oath to uphold the US Constitution: “The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” #DonaldTrump #ThisIsGoingWell NB: almost no evidence of voter fraud has been uncovered or confirmed.
— Priscilla Huff (@phuffdaddy) October 21, 2021
Trump’s New Social Media Site ‘Hacked’ Just Hours After Announcement
Donald Trump announced Wednesday night he is launching TRUTH Social, a new social media site next year to fight “Big Tech,” because “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced.”
Within hours that brand new site, in a pre-launch state, was “hacked.”
“Trump announced he was launching a new media company, Trump Media & Technology Group, and its ‘Truth Social’ app,” Newsweek reports. “The ‘Truth Social’ app will begin a beta launch for ‘invited guests’ in November, with a nationwide rollout planned for early 2022, according to a press release.”
The Washington Post’s tech reporter, Drew Harwell, was hard at work late Wednesday night, revealing that accounts for Donald Trump and Mike Pence were either created by those who are not them, or those accounts were vulnerable and hacked.
The “donaldjtrump” account of Trump’s TRUTH Social has already been hacked. pic.twitter.com/LDQ5w24tcV
— Drew Harwell (@drewharwell) October 21, 2021
The Daily Dot’s tech writer says he is the one who created the Donald J. Trump account:
Was just able to setup an account using the handle @donaldtrump on ‘Truth Social,’ former President Donald Trump’s new social media website.
Although the site is not officially open, a URL was discovered allowing users to sign up anyway. pic.twitter.com/MRMQzjNhma
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) October 21, 2021
Apparently Trump’s TRUTH agents were able to cut access to the vulnerable site:
For those asking, the public domain for what appeared to be the mobile beta of Trump’s new social media platform ‘TRUTH Social’ has been taken offline.
I did manage to grab a screenshot of the Account Settings menu before access was blocked. pic.twitter.com/M8G3PE0JES
— Mikael Thalen (@MikaelThalen) October 21, 2021
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