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Mar 01 2016

When One of the Little People Got the Better of Trump

Normally us little people are mere speed bumps to the Donald, dupes and losers to be tricked and intimidated. Victims of his Trump University scam are an obviously example. It sure feels good on the rare occasion when one of the little people wins:

Among civil-libertarian Trumpologists, Vera Coking has become something of a folk hero. As outlined by the Washington Post‘s Manuel Roig-Franzia and the Institute for Justice (whose lawyers represented Coking), in the 1990s, Coking was a then-septuagenarian widow and proud owner of a three-story boarding house in Atlantic City, where she’d lived since 1961.

As casino developers circled, her house became vulture bait. In the ’80s, Penthouse’s Bob Guccione offered her $1 million to sell so he could throw up a casino on her land. Coking passed. So Guccione began building around her, going so far as to construct skeletal beams over her roof. But in the middle of construction, his project went bust.

Trump swooped in, having bought Guccione’s remains, seeking to enlarge his casino empire with the Trump Plaza (now closed). He too made a play for her land, desiring to turn it into a waiting area for limousines. … She still stubbornly refused.

So Trump went to work around her, dismantling Guccione’s unfinished construction. And while Trump has aggressively disparaged the condition of her house, as though that justifies trying to take it, Coking’s lawyers charged that demolition crews had started a fire on her roof, broken windows, removed her fire escape, and “nearly destroyed the entire third story of her home by dropping concrete blocks through the roof.” Coking still refused to sell.

Enter the city’s Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, a highfalutin’ name for an eminent domain operation, working in cahoots with Trump to remove Coking’s house from her possession. In 1994, the casino authority made her an offer she couldn’t refuse: They would give her $251,250 for her house (750 grand less than what Guccione had offered a decade prior). And if she didn’t accept within 30 days, they’d take her to court to snatch her land through eminent domain.

Coking and the city ended up duking it out in court, Trump throwing in with the casino authority. But after years of wrangling, in 1998, the Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in Coking’s favor, shutting Trump and Co. down. Trump, who has repeatedly expressed rapturous support for eminent domain, claiming it’s necessary to build roads and schools (if not limousine parking lots at casinos), called Coking’s house “a tremendous blight on Atlantic City.”

The brassy widow, for her part, called Trump “a maggot, a cockroach, and a crumb.”

Unfortunately, not everyone has been blessed with Vera Coking’s capacity for incisive character analysis.

Vera Coking flashes a V for Victory over the Donald.

  • waicool

    it is important for all of us so called “conservatives”, “patriots”, “constitutionalists”, “tea-partiers”, etal, to take notes RIGHT NOW regarding who supports who during this election cycle. Donald Trump’s value is the “coming out” of sites like moonbattery, right scoop, redstate, and fox among others, exposed for all to see. i never imagined i would witness some of the alliances i am seeing right before my eyes because i now realize who these gaslighting gasbags are and the effects of their infectious propoganda.

  • Wilberforce

    Reminds me of the house and situation in the movie, “Up”.

    Good for you, Vera! True American Spirit.

  • Daniel

    This was NOT a happy ending story for her at all. First of all, this was a boarding house, not a regular home — a small business that wasn’t actually doing very well. She ended up selling for a fraction of what Donald had offered and the moved into a ‘retirement home.’ Yeah… a glamourous end for a woman who could have become a multi-millionaire.

    Reportedly, she refused a multi-million dollar deal and according to other sources, similar properties sold for well over $2 million at the time.

    She lost at LEAST $1.5 million in her stubbornness.

    How is that a win? If you lost over a million dollars because you didn’t want to sell, but did so later at a massive loss only to end your final days in a urine-fresh old folks home?

    I have a hard time seeing that as a victory…. unless you’re a socialist and exist for the purpose of “saying no to the man.”

  • Eddie_Valiant

    Why do you care what she “lost”? Only a brain dead trumpie would take the approach that using the power of eminent domain to snatch away private property for a billionaire developer is justified.

    If the taking of private property rings your bells, move to China where it happens all the time. You’ll love it there.

  • Torcer

    The danger to America is not Barack Obama Donald Trump but a citizenry capable of entrusting an inexperienced man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama Trump presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, Trump who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama Donald Trump . It is less likely to survive a multitude of Idiots such as those who made him their president.”

  • Mexicano

    Well said. I could understand a certain skepticism and doubt, but the unrelenting vitriol being directed at Trump by sites like this one has really shocked me. If Cruz was squeaky clean there might be some logic to their vicious attacks, but he is not. Surely we should get behind Trump now that he looks likely to win the nomination. After all, the alternative (Hillary) doesn’t bear thinking about.

  • MAS

    Now that is a work of genius! Well put sir…

  • MAS

    “I could understand a certain skepticism and doubt, but the unrelenting FACTS BASED TRUTH being directed at Trump by sites like this one has really shocked me.”

    Fixed it for ya. Hey thanks for stopping by y’all, here’s your hat and coat. Be sure to write when you find a site you agree with.

  • Mexicano

    For the record, I’m a long-time reader of the site – maybe 5 years or more – and a great fan of Dave’s work. Up until now, at least.

    You will note that I did not dispute the allegations being hurled at Trump. I am sure there is truth to much of what is said. I merely pointed out that the alternatives aren’t so great and since he’s got the best chance of winning now might be a good time to get behind him.

  • MAS

    Well you’re in some strange company then. I am not committed to direct support of any candidate, yet. Your fellow Trump net commandos are doing a great job of convincing me to go with The Donald though…NOT.

  • OldSailor

    Well done Dear Lady.

  • NJ Mike

    Atlantic City, on its own changed the ZONING from mixed use to CASINO REDEVELOPMENT. At that point her home went from a highest and best use residential/mixed to Casino redevelopment.
    Imagine that the casino was a waste treatment facility. Sure, she ‘won’ and can stay living next to the open stirring fields but WHY not take the economic benefit?
    I am ashamed that Conservatives can’t see the difference here.

  • Torcer

    You are all too kind.
    I merely modified the original quote, but it does seem to apply quit nicely.

  • Artfuldgr

    Moonbattery has just gone liberal!!!
    coking was holding out for lots more money, and from bob guccione
    its interesting where dave cut the information…
    ie. after the property and stuff was no longer in trumps hands…

    she ended up in an old folks home and got less for it than trump offered her
    which at one point was over a million and nearer two, but they wanted 5 million

    and the court case was started by the dems in atlantic city after trump walked away,a nd they wanted to offer her 250k

    i guess its time to abandon this… the liberals have taken over moonbattery
    or moonbateries hatred of a billionare they never met and dont really know except thorugh liberal press has him on the same side now.

  • Artfuldgr

    Vera Coking was a retired homeowner in Atlantic City, New Jersey whose home was the focus of a prominent eminent domain case involving Donald Trump.

    In 1961, Coking and her husband bought the property at 127 South Columbia Place as a summertime retreat for $20,000.[1]

    In the 1970s, Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione offered Coking $1 million for her property in order to build the Penthouse Boardwalk Hotel and Casino. She declined the offer, and Guccione started construction of the
    hotel-casino in 1978 around the Coking house, but ran out of money in
    1980 and construction stopped. The steel framework structure was finally
    torn down in 1993.[2]

    In 1993, Donald Trump bought several lots around his Atlantic City casino and hotel, intending to build a parking lot designed for limousines.[3] Coking, who had lived in her house at that time for about 35 years, refused to sell. When Coking refused to sell to Trump, the city of Atlantic City condemned her house, using the power of eminent domain. Her designated compensation was to be $251,000,[4] about one quarter of what Guccione had offered her 10 years earlier.

    With the assistance of the Institute for Justice, Coking fought the local authorities, and eventually prevailed. Superior Court
    Judge Richard Williams ruled that, because there were “no limits” on
    what Trump could do with the property, the plan to take Coking’s
    property did not meet the test of law. But Williams’ ruling did not
    reject the practice of using eminent domain to take private property
    from one individual and transferring it to another

    Two other properties that prevailed against eminent domain eventually
    did sell: Sabatini’s restaurant received $2.1 million and a pawnshop
    sold for $1.6 million. Their lots became part of a large lawn flanking a
    taxi stand for Trump’s casino


    Coking remained in her house until 2010, when she moved to a
    retirement home in the San Francisco Bay Area near her daughter, Claudia
    Casey Coking and her grandchildren, Ed Casey, Raymond Casey and Claudia
    Casey- Fernandez Casey subsequently tried to sell the house, putting it on the market in 2011 with an initial asking price of $5 million By September 2013 the price had reduced to $1 million,
    but it still did not sell as Atlantic City continued to suffer the lingering effects of the financial crisis of 2007–08 and over-building during the boom that preceded it

    The property was finally sold for $583,000 in an auction on July 31, 2014.[9] Neither the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority nor the owners of Trump Plaza expressed any interest in the auction.[1] The buyer was Carl Icahn,
    who held the debt on Trump Entertainment, owner of Trump Plaza. He
    subsequently demolished the house on Wednesday, November 19, 2014



    which is a lot less than trump offered her

  • 762×51

    And your point is what?

    She lived in the house another 18 years to hold out for more money?
    There is no correlation between real estate market prices in different decades?
    Heirs don’t get as much money for a property as the original owner?
    Some people eventually have to sell property to pay for medical care?

    Looks like almost twenty years later, she got too old to live alone anymore and went to live with her daughter. The daughter sold the property, probably to help pay for her mothers medical care. Vera Coking was born in 1928, she most likely has substantial medical bills now.

    Your “facts” do not demonstrate greed anymore than they demonstrate a knowledge of real estate markets.

  • 762×51


  • 762×51

    Maybe she just didn’t want to move from the house she had lived in for 30 or more years? I have relatives who still live in the house they built in 1945 when he got out of the military after WWII. You couldn’t get them out of it with dynamite. Would I have taken the money? Maybe. Doesn’t mean the next person would and certainly does not mean she had to or that she was “holding out for more money”.

    This is such bullshit and is a pure indicator of the totalitarian mindset of Trump and his supporters, if you disagree with them, they will destroy you. Nothing but a bunch of Progressive fascists. Once the mob can dictate what you can or cannot or must do with your personal property, you are a slave.

  • 762×51

    LOL, spoken like a true Progressive fascist. Everyone “take notes” on who is with us and who is against us so we can get them, later. You assholes are showing who you are better than your candidate and he isn’t hiding it very well.

    When you think you’re man enough to come get me, just let me know.

    Oh wait . . . . Progressives are sniveling cowards who are incapable of doing their own dirty work. You have to get others to do it for you.

  • 762×51

    Odd, I’ve posted to this site almost daily since before Obama was elected the first time and I don’t recall seeing your screen name.

    Just another Trump Troll from what I can see.

  • 762×51

    You know, I was initially open to the idea of Trump a few months ago but this fascist bullshit has put me completely off of him. It has revealed him to be a Progressive just like Obama and Clinton.

    Like any mob, they believe they can bully their way to the top and they may well succeed with these Alinsky tactics getting their boy elected, it worked for Obama. They can’t bully everyone though and “The Donald” doesn’t have the proper skin color to protect him.

    You may recall I have said here a few thousand times we are headed for civil war, that it is inevitable. Trump and his acolytes do not affect the inevitability but they do serve to increase the body count. This is going to far worse than I thought.

  • Mexicano

    What a trite comment.

  • 762×51

    Yep, Trump Troll.

    No response to the statement, facts or any facts to refute the statement or facts presented. Just ad hominem, the earmark of an Alinsky Progressive.


  • Chocolate&Cheese

    HT fossten
    Note: Coking’s fam­ily even­tu­ally sold the prop­erty for $530,000, a third of what she was orig­i­nally offered. Mean­while, Atlantic City largely tanked, and Trump, who had walked away from the project, saved mil­lions in losses he would have incurred had he pre­vailed over Cok­ing in court.

    Yep, a loser.

  • Cameraman

    Right now Our Fate is Sealed.if Trumped Wins we Lose if Killery wins we Lose! Shyte we are in it deep. Stack the Three B’s and be prepared!

  • Daniel

    Bottom line? She held out, lost out and is now in an old folks home that, like so many others, smell bad and take horrible care of them. If she was able to get the $2 million others in that area got, she would be living far more comfortably.

    And she ended up selling the place anyway. So what was the point of holding out?

    I care because it’s a BS leftist/socialist position to say that she made the right choice somehow. She wasn’t leaving it to her family or any other such cause or purpose. It was because she was trying to far more than it was worth that she actually lost out on the deal and she lost miserably.

    Painting it as some sort of victory forgets that it actually ends miserably for her.

  • 762×51

    Now up to 4 B’s.

    Beans, Bullets, Bandaids and Bodybags.

  • waicool

    sploadie much? You sound desperate, potentially violent and not very helpful

  • Mexicano

    Oh dear, you really are ‘special’, aren’t you.

    I shall try and keep this simple: an ad hominem attack is one that attacks the person not the argument. Accusing someone of being a troll is a good example, something you yourself are guilty of. QED and all that.

    As it happens, we are both on the same side. We just have different views on the best way to save our societies from liberalism. I see Trump as our best option, despite his many failings. You obviously don’t. Not anymore, at least. Maybe you’ve got a better plan. If so, I’d be glad to hear it.

  • gunga

    20/20 hindsight… What a genius! By taking a widow to court and losing, he lost less money than he would have if he’d won. Kinda reminds me of the old adage that the easiest way to make a small fortune is to start with a large one. In this case, Trump was saved from his own FOOLISHNESS by the widow he tried to screw using eminent domain. Yeah, he’s not a loser…he’s the guy that’s so stupid that losing in court was cheaper than getting what he wanted. You actually support rich people tossing little old ladies out of their homes. Good to know.

  • gunga

    Again, you actually support rich people tossing widows out of their homes because they have a “better” use for the land? …and that the coercive use of eminent domain against said widows A-OK with you?

  • gunga

    Siding with a rich guy trying to turn out a widow out of her home is a conservative value exactly how? Holding out for more money is un-American? The market may decide what my property is valued, but I get to decide if my property is on the market…until the rich guy crawls into bed with the crooked politicians to use eminent domain. D-i-s-g-u-s-t-i-n-g

  • gunga

    Why not take the economic benefit? Maybe because money doesn’t mean as much to some people as others. Maybe because staying in the home she shared with her husband meant more to her than money. Maybe she was a greedy old bird who thought she’d hit the lottery. Who cares? The point is that it was HER house and she should be FREE to do with it what she would. What part of private property do people not understand? Does your liberty have a price tag? Mine was paid for in blood. Sell yours to the highest bidder if you want to.

  • She made the choice she made. Who the hell are you to say it was wrong and that it ended miserably? If all she wanted was to stay in her home, it ended perfectly. Show me the stories of her weeping into her pillow for 18 years over the money she “lost.” Freedom to determine what to do with one’s own property is the polar opposite of socialism, btw. The government seizing your home so a rich jackass can build a casino is about as socialist as it gets.

  • Yeah, let’s all support that guy!

  • MAS

    Mmmm M1 A1! She’s so pretty and sings with authority.

  • MAS
  • 762×51

    Truly the rifleman’s rifle.

  • 762×51

    The better plan is what Cruz has been proposing AND actually doing for years. Get rid of Obamacare and replace it with free market solutions where government stays out of the healthcare system entirely. Trump wants to replace it with full on single payer government run healthcare.

    Create a flat tax so that everyone has skin in the game and abolish the IRS. Trump has no plan at all in that regard.

    Cruz supports traditional marriage so we don’t have to change our society to placate 1% of gays who want to pretend they are married. Trump supports gay marriage.

    Cruz has actually argued gun rights before the SCOTUS AND WON. Trump supports the “Assault” Weapons Ban.

    I’m not going to go into every difference here but there are substantive differences between the two. Trump keeps it in the gutter so he doesn’t have to go into detail because there is no detail.

    Trump has no plan beyond everything being great. He has no details, no policy, no depth, and no intention of honoring the Oath to support and defend the Constitution. He is Barack Obama with an R next to his name.

    Support him if you want, he is a Progressive, just like Clinton. Allow your anger to replace common sense. You and I both know that DC is full of corruption, is electing a guy who openly brags about paying off politicians really the solution you are backing?

  • Mexicano

    I agree with you on many of the above issues on an intellectual level. Where I think you might be going wrong is:

    a) You may be overestimating Cruz. He is a part of the establishment we both loathe. He reminds me too much of so many other staunch Republicans who instantly transform into RINOs the moment they achieve power. Also, though I’m part-Hispanic, I think the US needs a white, US-born leader right now.

    b) You may be underestimating Trump. He knows the tide is turning away from progressivism and he is forming new opinions daily in order to further benefit from this sea change. This is the source of his power and I don’t think he will do anything to jeopardise the support he’s getting. Not only does he want the US to be great again, he wants more than anything to be the man who made America great again.

    c) The whole political cycle has evolved into a new arena recently. The economy is tanking, immigrants are threatening the integrity of every western nation, the Middle East is ready to explode… The US needs a leader who appeals to his electorate on a much more visceral level than an establishment lawyer like Cruz. They know the shit is about to hit the fan and want a Napoleon or a Pinochet this time around, someone who will play dirty and be absolutely ruthless should that be required. Trump is the only candidate who looks likely to play that role.

    See – I’m no Alinsky progressive by any means! Quite the opposite.

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