Stan Pate says he spent a little over $50,000 to send Donald Trump a message. In the course of the weekend, millions saw it as well.Pate takes credit for the skywriting over the Rose Parade and three college bowl games over the New Year’s holiday, including one ending: PUTIN EATS TRUMP FOR DESSERT.
“All the phrases are mine,” the 57-year-old Alabama real estate developer said Friday night. “I sat down and penned those phrases.”
Only a week after conceiving the stunt, Pate was grateful for the clear skies over Pasadena and proud of his clearer message: Anybody but Trump for president.
The skywriting — which began AMERICA IS GREAT. TRUMP IS DISGUSTING — was timed for the end of the parade, he said, when the most eyes were on the skies and the AirSign planes.
He said he hoped the message “would be interesting to people” and become a “call to action.”
“This is an attempt to organize people that feel the same way that I do, that have been looking for a voice,” Pate told MyNewsLA in a phone interview. “This is a small tool in the toolbox. And Mr. Trump needs to get used to it. He needs to tighten his saddle and stay tuned because there’s more to come.”
What’s next? Pate gives no hint.
“That’s not the way you do these kinds of things,” he said. “If you’re gonna knock a bully out on the playground, you don’t tell him.”The bully analogy came up several times in a 20-minute chat.
“He is exactly the bully on the playground … that bullies the smart kids at school,” Pate said. “He don’t know what the Bill of Rights says, what the Constitution says, the Declaration of Independence — nor does he care.”
Although recent news accounts note Pate’s financial support of Sen. Marco Rubio (a donation in January before Rubio announced for president), Pate says he admires other Republican contenders as well.
“Gov. [Jeb] Bush and I are friends,” he said. “He’s commonsense. He’s thoughtful. … I love Carly [Fiorina]. I mean she is a fantastic woman. She’s all brains. Sen. [Ted] Cruz is a brilliant guy. We have a lot of qualified people running for president.”
But not Trump.
“He says he’s got $10 billion. He’s only got one vote,” Pate says.
But the rest of the field has one Pate, and he intends to go where Trump’s rivals won’t, saying: “These people are presidential — they have ideas. It would be unpresidential to get down in the gutter with Trump.”Pate’s beef with his fellow real estate man?
“Instead of having a meaningful discussion, Trump continues this brash, hate, divide, alienation [campaign],” Pate said. “Anybody with common sense will recognize that you can’t alienate the Hispanic community, women, Muslims and win the office of president.”
Trump is just wrecking the political process, even damaging the office of president, says Pate, a lifelong bachelor with no children.
“I’m embarrassed for America when I talk to my friends outside the country,” Pate said. “This is a reckless guy. He doesn’t understand that hate’s not policy. And he doesn’t understand that hate’s not presidential. He says the other candidates are enemies.”
Pate won’t be pinned down on his party affiliation — he says he gave $300,000-plus to Alabama Democrats in the last election cycle. But he feels for the GOP brand.
“Trump has total disregard for Republicans and quite frankly total disregard for Democrats. And total disregard for the voters,” he said. “It’s all about him.”
In fact, he said, “if this comes down to Donald Trump [vs.] Secretary Clinton, I will be motivated to support, work for and vote for her.”
And contrary to the Trump slogan about making America great again, Pate the fiscal conservative and social libertarian says: “I believe America is great.”
But he’s worried that Trump is a throwback to a darker time in America — involving another Alabaman.
“He is running a campaign like George Wallace ran in 1968 — and that was to rile up the far right … with the whole goal of making himself powerful in the Electoral College,” Pate said.
Pate confirmed that Eddie Thompson of AirSign urged him to send a more powerful (and expensive) message to Trump.
“Didn’t take much convincing — go big or go home,” Pate said.
Pate has been a political player since the early 1990s, he said — “part of being an American.” He even considered running for Alabama governor in the early 2000s.
In 2010, he paid for an aerial banner over a major football game saying, IMPEACH CORRUPT ALABAMA GOVERNOR BOB RILEY. “I’ve spent a lot of time and effort in a creative ways to embarrass him … billion-dollar Bob,” said Pate, a chemical engineering graduate of the University of Alabama.
Any other stunts?
“Let’s just say I’ve been involved in interesting efforts throughout my career,” he said.
And he says his new super PAC — We the People Foundation — so far is funded by himself alone.
Has he heard from Trump or his campaign?
“There’s nothing to talk about,” Pate said.
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