As a former New York realtor, I did business intermittently with The Trump Organization from about 2006 until 2008. I’ve always found them eager to reward quality work and pay faster than anyone else in the industry. When the major media insinuated that Trump deliberately did not pay many contractors (a damning accusation embraced cynically by the Clinton campaign) it was especially maddening.

Perhaps most troubling is the media’s willingness to accept uncritically anecdotal accounts of non-payment, betraying a complete lack of understanding for the high-stakes New York real estate market.

Consider some of the Big Apple’s industry practices in the most cut-throat environment in the United States.

For example, the original list price of a residential property is the price a buyer will actually pay, if not more when there are multiple offers. Additionally, New York is one of the few cities in which a renter is typically required to pay a broker’s fee, often thousands of dollars. Occasionally, if the building is situated off the beaten path, the building owner may agree to pay the fee.

When Trump Place first opened along the Hudson River, the developer decided to pay the broker’s fee to motivate realtors. To my satisfaction, their checks always arrived within 3 days of lease-signing. Every other management company in similar circumstances would take at least 30 days to pay.

To fully understand what animates Trump, however, consider what it takes to build a skyscraper, a truly remarkable feat: You must respectfully deal with people from all walks of life. You work with construction crews, city bureaucrats, ambitious politicos, bankers, interior decorators, venture capitalists, brokers, suppliers, merchants, security personnel and an endless list of others.

Multitasking is a necessity. Deadlines and financial obligations must be met. People need to be incentivized to accomplish more in less time or the job will never be finished. In this context, it’s not hard to understand why a contractor might not be paid for his services. If the work was not done according to specification — or even if it was, but not completed in a timely manner — the contractor could have forced the developer off schedule, potentially costing him hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars.

For decades, Trump has employed thousands of workers, reliably meeting his payroll to ensure they would continuously show up and do their jobs well. He’s also done business with thousands of contractors. It defies credibility to suggest Trump systematically didn’t pay them.

Compare that with Hillary Clinton’s experience.

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She has never created a single job in her entire career. The thousands of people who worked at the State Department and the dozens who worked in her senate office were paid by taxpayers.

While Trump was building his private sector empire, Clinton was strengthening her bona fides among the donor class, plotting her next moves to acquire more power even if it meant breaking the law.

Clinton proactively set up a private email server, hidden in her home, to send and receive State Department documents. Her intent was to avoid detection when co-mingling Clinton Foundation business with State Department business. Her conduct was in violation of U.S. Code Title 18, part 1, chapter 37, section 793 and at least 12 other statutes.

When asked to explain herself, Clinton lied to the FBI and to Congress — two separate crimes.

Irrefutably, there is a prima facie case against Clinton: Clear evidence that the law was broken multiple times. The issue now is how to assign culpability. That can only happen at a trial where Clinton, like any other defendant, is entitled to a presumption of innocence and a vigorous defense.

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Can any rational American honestly believe that Clinton, if she were president, would suddenly find religion and no longer violate the law if she felt her political objectives required it?

Trump is hardly the ideal candidate. He doesn’t use flowery language, nor does he “feel your pain.” The media has mercilessly attacked his temperament.

But Trump is a fighter, and the times are treacherous. Islamic fanatics and others imperil the homeland like never before. Ironically, it may take exactly someone with Trump’s temperament to slay the dragons, which are real and threaten our very existence.

The American people understand that instinctively. So, despite his shortcomings, here’s a question that must be answered: If the trains run on time, heading in the right direction towards a bright and prosperous future, if there is a seat onboard for all lawful passengers, does it really matter if the conductor is neither a poet nor a wordsmith?

The corollary to that question is: Would the American people knowingly elect a president who could very well have violated multiple federal laws and compromised national security?

Shortly, Americans will go to the polls. Their votes will answer these questions.

Michael Pollack owns and operates a marketing company. Previously, he was a realtor in New York. Thinking of submitting an op-ed to the Washington Examiner? Be sure to read our guidelines on submissions.

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