By Geoff Colvin and Ryan Derousseau
June 10, 2016

Updating four important leadership stories we’ve been tracking:

Donald Trump, deadbeat? Stories have circulated for years that Trump routinely stiffs contractors who work on his projects, in some cases supposedly telling them that though he’s not paying them, they’ll make money just by being able to say they worked on a Trump building. Those stories had gone largely unreported because no news organization had done the necessary voluminous reporting. Now the WSJ this morning and USA Today yesterday have documented hundreds of such cases – lawsuits, liens, judgments, and other filings. Trump responds that when contractors don’t do their work satisfactorily or on time, he docks their pay – “and that’s what the country should do.” But in several cases, the newspapers show, the general contractor had approved the work, and in some cases Trump later rehired or tried to rehire contractors who had sued him for non-payment.

USA Today reports that Trump has been involved in an extraordinary 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades. That’s a lot publicly available documents. Expect them to be a rich trove of material for the media and for Hillary Clinton.

Bob Iger plays offense. With Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and even Trump lambasting big companies, few CEOs want to speak up in defense of corporate America. But Iger, CEO of Walt Disney, is willing. Yesterday he told CNNMoney that U.S. companies are paying too much tax, that the tax system is “ridiculously complex,” and that “the tax base should be lowered, and the loopholes should be closed.”

After Sanders ripped into Disney two weeks ago in a campaign speech near Disneyland, Iger ripped into Sanders with a biting Facebook post. “He picked the wrong company to criticize,” Iger told CNNMoney yesterday. We’ll see if Iger has reason to regret putting his head above the parapet. I bet he won’t.

Rodrigo Duterte will pay you $108,000 to kill a drug lord. If that offer came from another drug lord, no one would be surprised. But it comes from the president-elect of the Philippines. The legal process is too slow for Duterte, who promised voters he would clean up crime by doing whatever it takes. As mayor of Davao, he was widely believed to have encouraged free-lance squads to kill criminals. In response to his recent bounty offer, says the incoming chief of the national police, drug lords were offering bounties of $1.1 million to anyone who kills Duterte or the police chief. The chief’s response to the drug lords’ bounty offer: “Bring it on. When we assume office on June 30, let’s see if you can still pay for our assassination.” This is getting ugly fast. And Duterte hasn’t even been inaugurated.

Bill de Blasio’s scandal problem gets worse, again. On Wednesday the FBI arrested the head of New York City’s correction officers’ union and charged him with fraud. Through a web of connections too Byzantine to detail here, this could lead back to the mayor. Already at least five investigations are underway by six agencies or prosecutors, most of them related to fundraising by de Blasio or organizations connected to him. I keep updating this situation because it’s a textbook example of a leader facing a mushrooming problem and trying to regain control of the narrative. De Blasio still hasn’t done it.

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