While Democrats and the mainstream media have blasted the Trump administration for allowing funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to go to “friends” of the president, Democrats and their associates have also received substantial amounts of coronavirus bailout cash.
A Salon story is one of many that illustrates the Left’s criticism of President Trump, pointing out that organizations with ties to Trump were cleared for PPP loans.
A hydroponic lettuce farm backed by Trump’s eldest son, Donald Jr., applied for at least $150,000 in Small Business Administration funding. Albert Hazzouri, a dentist frequently spotted at Mar-a-Lago, asked for a similar amount. A hospital run by Maria Ryan, a close associate of Trump lawyer and former mayor Rudy Giuliani, requested more than $5 million. Several companies connected to the president’s son-in-law and White House adviser, Jared Kushner, could get upward of $6 million.
Yet Democrats have had their own eyebrow-raising involvement with PPP. That includes entire state parties.
The Florida Democratic Party accepted at least $780,000 in small business loans — even though chairwoman Terrie Rizzo called PPP a “disaster” that funneled money to big corporations. The revelation sparked outrage from the party’s own lawmakers. “Forget the legality for just a second and consider what should have been a huge ethical dilemma,” said Democratic state senator Jason Pizzo. “They are taking financial resources from someone who might have food or housing insecurity in the middle of a pandemic. I don’t know who possibly thought that was a good idea.”
Congresswoman Donna Shalala (D-Fla.) told Rizzo to return the money and said she would not participate in a new conference pushing back against President Trump’s proposed visit to Miami.
Juan Penalosa, the Florida Democratic Party’s executive director and a member of Joe Biden’s Florida team, was involved in the decision to take the loan.
Leaders from both sides of the aisle have called on Rizzo to resign. The party has said it will return the money, but in a statement placed the blame on the Small Business Administration for approving the loan: “The bank, the loan processor and agents of the Small Business Association approved the funding. It now seems they made a mistake in approving the funding so we are volunteering to return it.”
Yet PPP guidelines made clear that political organizations were not eligible to apply for these funds, and it is a federal crime to lie on the application.
The Ohio Democratic Party is in a similar situation, having received a $334,000 loan — also after criticizing the program.
The Ohio Republican Party, which did not accept PPP funding, reproved its counterpart:
We did not need to apply for these funds. Under the leadership of Chairman Timken, our financial situation is strong, and we were never at risk of not making payroll.
The ODP took these funds to use for campaigning which could have gone to small businesses, but at the same time publicly lamented against the program. [Ohio Democratic Chairman] David Pepper is a hypocrite and should pay back these loans immediately.
Ohio Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirstin Alvanitakis fired back: “The purpose of the Paycheck Protection Program is to help organizations cover payroll and benefits, and that’s precisely what it has been used for — to ensure our entire team continued to work and earn a paycheck and retain their health coverage during an unprecedented public health crisis.”
Many Democrat political consulting firms also took PPP cash, including firms working for Joe Biden’s campaign — despite the fact that this is a presidential election year, meaning it’s already a lucrative season for such companies.
Anzalone Research, for example, took in between $350,000 and $1 million in April. Belardi Wong ALC and Chapman, Cubine, and Hussey Inc. each took in between $1 million and $2 million. According to FEC records, both Anzalone Research and Belardi Wong have been paid more than $400,000 by Biden’s campaign. Chapman, Cubine, and Hussey, meanwhile, has been paid over $1.7 million by the former vice president.
FEC records also reveal that the three firms earned more from their campaign work in the current election cycle than in 2018. Anzalone Research, for example, made $2.8 million between January 2019 and May 2020, up half a million from the same period between 2017 and 2018.
Chapman, Cubine, and Hussey quadrupled its campaign income, from $1.4 million to $6.3 million.
Image: ricardoreitmeyer / iStock / Getty Images Plus
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.