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NBC News, the first week of April, took a look at the stalled nominations for ambassadorships made by the Trump administration, including two residents from the Birmingham - Bloomfield area of Oakland County. The NBC piece raised questions about a possible inauguration donation-to-ambassadorship pipeline (certainly nothing new) and whether the lack of diplomatic experience was one possible reason for the unusually high number of unconfirmed nominees. Among those, David T. Fischer, Suburban Collection auto dealerships' chairman and CEO, nominated to represent the USA in Morocco. Federal records show Fischer gave $250,000 to Trump's inauguration and close to $2 million to GOP campaigns from 1989-2017. Also cited was John Rakolta Jr., chairman and CEO of the Walbridge Aldinger Company, a major engineering/construction outfit that can count among its projects the proposed massive Woodward-Bates project in Birmingham. Nominated as ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Rakolta donated $250,000 to the inauguration, has given $1.13 million to GOP candidates from 1989-2017, and has paid his dues in a number of Republican campaigns and Detroit revival efforts. For the uninitiated, these inauguration donations may seem staggering, but get ready to be gobsmacked – one confirmed ambassador donated $1 million to the

Trump event.


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