"You've Been Trumped"

Oct 24, 2013

The company headed by Donald Trump is pressing ahead with plans for a golf course in Central Virginia, despite strong objections from environmentalists.  Next week, they hope to mobilize the public with a movie about the golf course trump built in Scotland.

Richard Finney made an award-winning documentary about Donald Trump’s decision to build a golf course on environmentally sensitive land in northern Scotland.

“Essentially it’s untouched coastal dunes land, and there’s very little of that left in Great Britain, so it  essentially was a kind of wilderness area.”

But, Finney says, Trump promised jobs, and local politicians were dazzled by his celebrity.   People who lived around the proposed site for a luxury hotel, hundreds of villas and the golf course refused to sell their homes, so Trump blocked their view.

“One of the tactics is kind of  building large walls of earth around residents’ homes.  Trump says he does that so that the golfers don’t have to look at the houses, but of course it kind of imprisons the homes of  these local residents.”

The film shows security guards harassing the locals, while Trump attacks the farmer who led the opposition, saying his property was poorly maintained and he lived like a pig. The filmmaker also played with a soundbite from the boastful Donald on late night TV.

“It will be the greatest golf course anywhere in the world, greatest golf course anywhere in the world, greatest golf course anywhere in the world!"

Trump won that round, but he has yet to build the hotel and villas he promised, and few of the promised jobs materialized. Now, Trump’s son is planning a golf course in Albemarle County.  “We think the property could be one of the finest courses anywhere in the world.”

Like his father, he attacks the former property owner, saying the winery had fallen into disrepair, and he promises employment.

“We’d be creating hundreds of hundreds of jobs, investing tens of millions of dollars in Albemarle County.”

He dismisses concerns about traffic and pollution from golf course chemicals.

“Here this would be a links style courses, using all native grasses.  There would only be about 65 acres of fairways, and so we would actually be doing great things for the environment.  We’d be preserving open space.”

But the property is governed by a conservation easement, and the group that holds it – the Virginia Outdoors Foundation – isn’t sure a commercial golf course is compatible with the agreement.  Environmentalists aren’t taking any chances .  They’ll try to organize opposition, hosting a free screening of You’ve Been Trumped .  


The film will be shown Monday, October 28, in Charlottesville’s Jefferson Theater at 6 p.m.