Last month, I posted this piece about a landfill for Mexican toxic waste being proposed to be built in a floodplain near water supplies and areas housing poor people in Laredo, Texas.
I honestly thought when I posted it that there was a big chance Donald Trump, or his buddies at Breitbart, would seize on this because, as I noted, this kind of thing is basically why Trump exists in the first place. But, like the guy who consistently takes a pass on talking about winning issues and instead focuses his attention on self-harm, Trump didn’t do or say anything about this, and neither did Breitbart, where you would have thought someone like Matt Boyle would have gone bananas at the prospect of Mexican toxic waste being imported into and dumped in America.
Maybe that’s because it’s a piddly, local issue. Or, maybe— just maybe– it’s because of something else.
It turns out that the developer of this landfill has a business relationship with a guy called Dennis Nixon; at a minimum, Benavides’ Rancho Viejo Cattle Company did a 5,000 acre land deal with Nixon’s Nixco Partners Ltd back in 1999, and Texas political folks say they’ve had more business dealings than that. Who is Dennis Nixon, you ask, and what does any of this have to do with Donald Trump? Well, Nixon has maxed out to Donald Trump, giving him the full legally-allowable $2,700. He’s also co-hosted at least one big fundraiser for Trump. He’s also donated $33,400 to the Republican National Committee this cycle. While he’s given to other Republicans running for lower offices, his only donations in 2016 have been these, plus a few to his employer’s PAC
We all know Trump is a very transactional guy. We also know he has struggled to raise money the way that other nominees probably would have, and hasn’t had as good a track record on that front as, say, Mitt Romney did. So, the impetus for him to keep his donors happy is arguably greater, plus, as noted, he has an eerie tendency to avoid effective lines of attack and self-sabotage anytime he looks like he might be getting an edge on Clinton.
Has Trump taken a pass on something that seems like a pretty obvious line of attack because he’s an unserious candidate who doesn’t get that all politics is local, because he’s a self-harmer, because he’s a walking in-kind donation to Clinton, or because a maxed out donor and a maxed out donor’s alleged pal wants him to? Who knows, but you can bet that if any polling continues to show Clinton performing better in Texas and if she gets any more newspaper endorsements down there, someone on her campaign will sooner or later say something about this. In any event, it’s weird because the reason the waste can be imported is NAFTA, which Trump loves to bash, plus all the rest of it.
So why the silence?