A new analysis from Sludge Magazine shows that Washington nepotism is just as unsurprisingly nepotistic and grossly disappointing as ever:
18 congressional Republicans and one Libertarian have received $21.7 million for 38 businesses with which they are associated. Nine Democrats received $6.1 million for 11 of their own businesses. An additional roughly $54 million went to nonprofits, think tanks and policy institutes, congressional caucuses, and higher education institutions tied to members of both parties.
• Dean Phillips (D-Minn.), net worth $77 million, received a $135,800 loan for his Geniecast, LLC.
• Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), net worth $73.9 million and the fourth-richest member of Congress, received $2.8 million in loans for four of his 27 companies.
• Kevin Hern (R-Okla.), net worth $60.9 million, received a loan of $1,070,000 for his KTAK Corporation. Hern, who owns 97 percent of the company, estimated its value at between $5 and $25 million last year.
• Norman, net worth $43.4 million, received $306,520 for four of his 20 companies.
• Mitch McConnell and wife Elaine Chao, with a combined net worth of $34.4 million, are tied to a loan for the Chao-family owned Foremost Maritime Inc. of $417,700.
• Roger Williams (R-Texas), net worth $27.7, received $1,430,000 for his JRW Corporation. Last year, he valued the company at more than $50 million.
• Greg Pence, net worth $12.6 million, received a loan of $79,441 for his Pence Group, LLC, which he valued on his financial disclosure as worth between $5 and $25 million.
• T.J. Cox (D-Calif.), net worth $11.8 million, received $609,825 for two of his 26 businesses.
• Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), net worth $10.9 million, is tied to a loan of $1,100,000.00 that went to her husband's law firm, Lowey Dannenberg P.C.
• Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), net worth $10.4 million, received $974,100 for four of his car dealerships.
• Ralph Abraham (R-La.), net worth $4.8 million, received loans of $38,300 for two of his four companies.
• Earl Blumenaeur (D-Ore.), net worth $4.5 million, received $432,734 for his two companies.
• Vicki Hartzler (R-Mo.), net worth $3.8 million, is tied to $451,200 for her husband's Heartland Tractor Company, which she valued at between $1 and $5 million and from which he claimed as much as $1 million in income last year.
• Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), net worth $3.7 million, received $988,700 for his two family plumbing businesses.
While this kind of nepotistic corruption is always bipartisan, it is frustrating to note that Republicans were twice as likely to partake in such behavior. And of course, many of these same people also voted against giving more than $600 to citizens in the most recent round of COVID relief efforts, even after voting to provide immense relief to big businesses instead of smaller mom-and-pop shops.
Anecdotally, I've noticed that a lot of the conservative and Libertarian pundits opine about COVID relief being the single largest transfer of wealth to the already-wealthy and powerful. I agree with this assessment, and I agree that it's a problem. But I can't fathom how continuing to oppose any form of government relief and forcing businesses to resume as normal would help that either. It seems to me the problem rests with the same politicians who get voted into power on a platform of "The government is evil and corrupt!" who spend their entire lives trying to prove that prophecy true (and then somehow still get re-elected).
Members of Congress Profited From COVID Bailout While Small Businesses Were Shut Out [Justin Glawe and Jeremy Borden / SLUDGE]
Image: Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons