The man who paid for anti-Trump skywriting over the Pasadena Rose Parade is making no secret of his identity — he’s a millionaire real estate developer from Alabama — and an ardent supporter of Sen. Marco Rubio.
“Donald Trump is embarrassing to the country, and he’s embarrassing to me,” said Stan Pate.
“There’s no place for him,” Pate said. “He needs to go back to one of his tall towers and build buildings and whatever else he does. He’s a despicable man.”
— Mario Ramirez (@MarioFOXLA) January 1, 2016
The skywriting displayed messages such as “AMERICA IS GREAT, TRUMP IS DISGUSTING, ANYBODY BUT TRUMP” above the annual parade held before the Rose Bowl football game between the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Stanford Cardinals.
The messages pointed viewers to to a website anybodybuttrump.us, claimed by the “We The People Foundation” in Tuscaloosa, Ala. As of Saturday, the site, registered to Pate, is only showing just over 22,000 views.
Airsign, the Florida-based firm hired for the publicity stunt, confirmed that Pate ordered the skywriting over Pasadena, along with similar, but smaller, messages over Orange Bowl, the Cotton Bowl and the Sugar Bowl.
“This is not over,” Pate told CBS News. “This is just beginning.”
Pate donated $7,700 to Rubio’s campaign, starting in January 2015, before the candidate had even announced, according to Federal Election Commission records. The Rubio campaign returned $5,000 which was over the legal limit of $2,700 in personal giving.
In previous elections, Pate has been a staunch supporter of GOP establishment candidates, contributing to Sen. John McCain’s run in 2008. Pate has even given to Democrats, supporting South Carolina’s John Edwards and Connecticut’s Chris Dodd.
The Trump campaign has not responded to the stunt, but Twitter was abuzz with viewers and responses.
Anti Donald Trump skywriting over Rose Parade pic.twitter.com/o2COB2JJTR
— Steve Futterman (@sfutterman) January 1, 2016
— Kerry Dolan (@KerryDolan) January 1, 2016
Spacing and punctuation count.
— Mike Wiese (@WieseNYC) January 1, 2016
— Rob Smith Jr (@RobSmithJr) January 1, 2016