Quicken, automakers poured cash into Trump inauguration fund

WASHINGTON - Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert never gave to Donald Trump the candidate, but the downtown Detroit developer's company put up $750,000 toward Trump's inauguration in January.

Trump's inauguration committee today released a 510-page report detailing donors who contributed a total of $107 million to the inauguration effort. Included in the list were several prominent Michigan individuals and companies — though there were some notable absences as well.

The larger Michigan donors included Ford Motor Co, which gave $250,000; General Motors, which gave just under $500,000; and John Rakolta, the head of Detroit construction firm Walbridge, and the Suburban Collection's David Fischer,  who each gave $250,000. Rakolta and Fischer are typically involved in Republican fundraising efforts.

Gilbert, who also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers, never donated to Trump during the campaign, though he gave to other Republican presidential candidates last year, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. He even donated $75,000 to a joint fundraiser for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates.

Ford was often a punching bag during the campaign for Trump, who vowed to stop plans for shifting work to Mexico. Since the election, Ford has announced plans to expand in the U.S., though those plans were said to be underway before the November balloting.

A spokeswoman for the company said today that Ford has "a long history of celebrating American heritage, including support for Mount Vernon, Ford's Theater and presidential inaugural activities."

Much of GM's contribution — just under $300,000  — was for vehicles provided to the president and other members of the inauguration party. A GM spokeswoman said it tracks with the company's tradition in providing vehicles for the event and the White House.

But missing from the list were others who might have been expected, such as Peter Karmanos or anyone named DeVos.

The DeVoses are the largest family of Republican givers in Michigan. But West Michigan's Betsy DeVos had already been tapped as Trump's education secretary by the time he was sworn in and she said at her Senate confirmation hearing that she and her husband Dick would forgo federal donations while she was in the job.

Others who did give included West Bloomfield's Mohammad Qazi, Ciena Healthcare's founder, who gave $50,000, and DIBC Holdings in Warren — a company affiliated with the Detroit International Bridge Co., the Moroun family business that owns the Ambassador Bridge. DIBC Holdings gave $50,000; the Moroun family has been engaged in a battle to stop a rival international bridge for years.

One other donation of note was a $5,000 contribution by Ismael Mosa-Basha of Bloomfield Hills. Mosa-Basha runs an organization called the Basha Foundation in Bloomfield Hills, which gives to Muslim organizations. Trump has been criticized for attempting to crack down on immigration and refugee resettlement from majority Muslim countries.

Mosa-Basha did not immediately return a telephone call to the Free Press for comment.

© 2017 Detroit Free Press


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories