To the editor: David Lazarus’ piece about President Trump offering his resort in South Florida to host next year’s G-7 summit appeared in the Business section of the Los Angeles Times, but it should have been on the Opinion page.
Lazarus called it an infomercial and a blatant commercial exploitation of the presidency. Even though the president stated that he does not intend to make money hosting the event, Lazarus called that assurance a silly sentiment. Brian Murphy, the expert in colonial-era economics (really?) quoted by Lazarus, stated that the Founding Fathers never directly profited from their public service.
I repeat: Trump stated that he does not intend to make money hosting the event.
Connie Veldkamp, Laguna Niguel
To the editor: Lazarus does an excellent job explaining the obvious conflict of interest were the next G-7 summit to be held at Trump National Doral Miami.
There’s actually a fairly simple solution available to the president if he seriously wants to move forward with the idea. He insists he doesn’t care about making money, so he could simply donate the entire resort to the U.S. government.
Lazarus points out that George Washington, who heavily invested in real estate, founded the Potomac Co., which was designed to increase the value of his holdings. He eventually willed his shares in the company to an endowment to create a university in Washington.
So, there is a historical precedent for Trump to donate his company’s property, an action from which he would come out a hero. Besides, if he’s truly a multi-billionaire as he insists, it’s no big deal, right?
Peter Marquard, Northridge
To the editor: Lazarus correctly points out that Trump’s plug for having next year’s G-7 summit at his South Florida resort is an egregious conflict of interest.
Here’s another problem with the suggestion: The United States is a big country, and of all the beautiful places where the G-7 could meet next August, who would choose Miami during hurricane season?
Richard Merel, Hermosa Beach