Donald Trump announced on June 16th that he will be running for President of the United States. Trump is a billionaire who runs Trump Organization and was the founder of Trump Entertainment Resorts. He is well known for his role in the reality show, “The Apprentice”, where he coined his catchphrase, “You’re Fired!” A story that is not well known is how Donald Trump tried to use the government to take the home of Vera Coking.

In 1961, Vera and her husband bought a small inner city home in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Fast forward 32 years, Vera has is a grandmother and widow. Donald Trump has just purchased all the land around her home. The plans are to turn the property into a parking lot for his limousines. He came to Vera offering a low price for the property. She, of course, refused. Instead of bargaining, Trump decided that he would go to the government and have her house forcibly taken from her.

In 1994, Trump went to the New Jersey Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA) and lobbied them to take the land from Vera. They agreed and sent her a letter that the government was going to take her property through eminent domain.

Vera received a letter that said, “You may be required to move within 90 days after you receive this notice. If you remain in possession of the property after that time, CRDA may be able to have you and your belongings removed by the sheriff.” (Napolitano, 74)

Vera spent the next two years of her life fighting to keep her property. The case went all the way to the New Jersey Supreme Court. The judges came to Vera’s defense and claimed that the Takings Clause of New Jersey Constitution had been abused. They concluded that billionaires do not have the right to take a person’s property for their own private use.

Donald Trump in his announcement speech talked about how America has failed. He said, “The American Dream is dead!” That might very well be true, but he is not the solution; he is the problem. This is an example of crony capitalism. Billionaires, corporations, and government working together to line each others pockets, all while hurting the little people. America needs a leader that will end crony capitalism, not a billionaire who uses government to take houses from little old widows.