Emails Lead to Papa Doug’s Fall From GOP Grace

by on November 19, 2019 · 1 comment

in San Diego

RNC Cuts Ties to San Diego’s Real Estate Mogul “Papa Doug” Manchester

By Doug Porter / Words&Deeds / Nov. 18, 2019

The Republican National Committee has cut all ties with San Diego real estate mogul “Papa Doug” Manchester. They’ve refunded his most recent contributions and denounced his behavior as “totally inappropriate.”

It appears as though Papa Doug broke one of the few rules enforced at the White House these days; he got caught.

CBS News reports it has obtained emails between Manchester, the RNC, and Republican staffers on the Senate, describing them as evidence of “a possible pay-for-play scheme involving the Republican National Committee and President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to the Bahamas.”

Following a well-publicized trip to the Bahamas in September with a plane full of supplies in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian, Manchester got some Twitter love from President Trump.

  • “I would also like to thank ‘Papa’ Doug Manchester, hopefully the next Ambassador to the Bahamas, for the incredible amount of time, money and passion he has spent on helping to bring safety to the Bahamas.”

Two weeks after Trump’s inauguration, Manchester contributed an op ed to Times of San Diego, saying “for the first time, a true capitalist is in the White House, an incredibly smart man with a big heart and an amazing family.”

Cash and kudos is usually all it takes to get Donald Trump’s attention. Three months later, Papa Doug was nominated to be US Ambassador to the Bahamas.

Manchester probably saw this latest Tweet as a sign that his long-stalled nomination to be ambassador to the Bahamas would be revived. 

RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel emailed Manchester asking for a donation, just three days later.

  • “Would you consider putting together $500,000 worth of contributions from your family to ensure we hit our ambitious fundraising goal?”

Papa Doug may have wanted some assurances, given his response:

  • “As you know I am not supposed to do any, but my wife is sending a contribution for $100,000. Assuming I get voted out of the [Foreign Relations Committee] on Wednesday to the floor we need you to have the majority leader bring it to a majority vote … Once confirmed, I our [sic] family will respond!”  

And it might have done the trick, had Manchester not copied staffers for Kentucky’s Senator Rand Paul and Idaho’s Senator Jim Risch.

Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had doubts about Trump’s choice, bouncing it in 2017 and 2018. The White House re-submitted the nomination on January 26, 2019 and appeared before the committee for questioning on June 20th.

Now-retired Senator Bob Corker, who’d stalled the ambassadorial nomination, was interviewed by CBS about the suggestion of a pay-for-play scheme:

  • “I can only tell you that if I received an email like that, there would have been a five-bell alarm that went off,” Corker said.
  • And that’s exactly what happened. Risch alerted the White House, which then asked Manchester to withdraw. 

In October, Manchester withdrew his name from consideration for the post, citing personal reasons. He denies having done anything inappropriate.

The Trump administration didn’t get around to formally withdrawing his nomination until November 13, when they caught wind of the CBS investigation.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Just a few years back “Papa Doug” Manchester was on the cusp of being a national player in the world of politics.

He owned San Diego’s daily paper, dreamed of creating a national cable network catering to the right wingers who felt Fox News wasn’t conservative enough, and was a millionaire-class donor to the Trump 2016 campaign.

Now he’s been knocked down another notch. It’s not that he’s too corrupt for the Trump administration. It’s that he got caught leaving a paper trail.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Page November 19, 2019 at 12:26 pm

A grown man who insists that everyone call him Papa. Christ. Maybe he should have been nominated to be ambassador to Haiti, after all, they have a history of calling a grown man Papa who had about the same world view and opinion of himself.


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