Republicans Found Yet Another Way to Enrich a Republican Politician

Another Trump-era trend.

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Since President Donald Trump took office last January, political groups, trade associations, and foreign interests hoping to stay on his good side have made a point to book their conferences and fundraisers at his Washington, DC, hotel. On Monday, Vice President Mike Pence even got in on the action, bringing in half-a-million dollars for his own PAC—all while padding his boss’s bank account. Explicitly holding fundraisers to personally enrich the president is an otherwise unprecedented move that in the Trump era has become commonplace.

But Trump isn’t the only GOP politician making money off his fellow lawmakers. On Wednesday, the morning after Trump’s state of the union address, Congressional Republicans took a train to White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, for its annual retreat. Each year Republicans spend a few days together somewhere within a roughly three-hour radius of DC—Colonial Williamsburg; Hershey, Pennsylvania; Philadelphia—to plot strategy and sing songs around the proverbial campfire. Trump will address the meeting on Thursday. This year’s retreat isn’t just anywhere—it’s at the Greenbrier, the mountain resort (with a casino, golf course, and ski resort) owned and operated by West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice. Justice, a billionaire coal baron who was elected as a Democrat in 2016, announced he was switching parties last year at a rally with Trump, and Republicans announced the retreat location a few months later.

The Greenbrier’s a nice place for a weekend getaway—it even includes an underground bunker meant to house joint sessions of Congress in the event something happened to Washington, DC. But as with the Trump hotel fundraisers, it’s another case of party leaders making decisions that just so happen to enrich one of their party’s most powerful (and wealthiest) figures. Then again, the emoluments clause doesn’t apply to governors.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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