Monetary loan

Ill. GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey secured $231,475 federal payday loan in February | Illinois

CHICAGO — Last July, Republican Illinois gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey took to Facebook to denounce both the extension of federally enhanced state unemployment benefits and the Democratic President Joe Biden’s visit to Crystal Lake to promote his coronavirus relief package.

“Here’s the slippery slope we’re on in America,” the southern Xenia state senator and farmer said, while discussing Biden’s visit. “That’s exactly what we heard: free stuff. Documents. Don’t worry, the government will take care of you.

“Friends,” he said, “is socialism.”

But a few months earlier, on February 26, Bailey had received the latest in a series of payments from the federal government’s coronavirus paycheck protection program under the Small Business Administration – $231,475 to support 11 jobs. on the family farm he owns with his sons.

Less than a month later, on March 22, Bailey reported a $150,000 personal loan to his gubernatorial campaign, listing “Self-Employed (Bailey Family Farms)” as his employer on the disclosure form. campaign finance required by the state.

In total, records compiled in a database produced by investigative news agency ProPublica show that Bailey’s family farm and two other entities he owns, Bailey Family Freight and the Christian school Virtue House Ministries run by his wife, received $569,045 in so-called PPP loans starting in April. 2020 to February 2021.

Additionally, Bailey Family Farms received $282,424 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program in 2020 to compensate farmers for COVID-19-related losses.

As was the case with most PPP loans, Bailey’s loans were forgiven.

Bailey’s campaign said Bailey and his farm, “like millions of hard-working people in Illinois,” have been “extremely impacted by the government’s enforced shutdowns and the resulting economic downturn.”

“Like several businesses in Illinois, the Bailey Family Farm participated in the programs and complied with all relevant rules,” Bailey’s campaign said in a statement.

In addition to PPP and Coronavirus Food Assistance payments, Bailey has received $2.1 million in federal corn, soy, wheat and sorghum farming subsidies for his five-county farm since 1995, according to a database. of data compiled by the Environmental Working Group, an organization backed by Progressive Money.

Bailey’s campaign said U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidies are determined by the federal government because of market factors, including the influence of agricultural imports and exports. Bailey Family Farms, according to the campaign, receives less subsidy per acre than the average Illinois farm.

Bailey’s rhetoric about socialism in his July Facebook post was consistent with comments he made opposing big government control – particularly on efforts to deal with the pandemic. He has repeatedly accused Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker of being a “tyrant” on business closings and masking and vaccine rules and mandates.

Bailey unsuccessfully challenged Pritzker’s executive authority in court, and in May 2020 was kicked off the house floor for not wearing the required mask. He declined to disclose his vaccination status.

A member of the so-called Eastern Bloc of ultraconservative downstate lawmakers, Bailey co-sponsored legislation to create a “New Illinois” state, separate from Chicago and its political influences on the region, while also recognizing that it is not practical to carry out.

Bailey isn’t the only Republican gubernatorial candidate to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Gary Rabine, a Bull Valley businessman who owns a Schaumburg-based paving and construction group of companies, received nearly $2.7 million spanning seven different entities for 104 jobs in April 2020, according to the ProPublica database.

Jesse Sullivan, a Petersburg entrepreneur, received $67,545 for his company Alter Global to cover four jobs in May 2020.

Paul Schimpf, a lawyer and former state senator from Waterloo, did not appear in the database.

But it’s the timing of Bailey’s latest PPP loan that raises questions. Bailey announced his candidacy for governor on Feb. 22, four days before receiving the second PPP loan for his farm operation, and exactly one month before lending his campaign $150,000. Typically, candidates donate money to their campaigns at the same time they announce they are demonstrating the financial means for the upcoming campaign.

Rabine announced his candidacy nearly a year after his last PPP loan while Sullivan’s candidacy came 16 months after his PPP loan.

Under SBA rules for obtaining a PPP loan, borrowers “must certify in good faith that their PPP loan application is necessary” and “carefully consider the certification required that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan application necessary to support the applicant’s ongoing operations”. .’ ”

“Borrowers must make this certification in good faith, taking into account their current business activity and their ability to access other sources of sufficient liquidity to support their ongoing operations in a manner that is not materially detrimental to company,” the SBA said.

When asked why Bailey’s farm needed the PPP loan if he personally had the money to donate to his gubernatorial campaign, Bailey’s campaign did not directly answer the question.

“Every penny was accounted for and reported accordingly. There is no connection to these things and only the liberal press claims there is,” Bailey spokesman Joe DeBose said in a statement.

While Bailey criticized Biden and the government documents in his July Facebook post, DeBose said the main message was to oppose Pritzker’s decision to extend additional federal unemployment benefits, saying it “unduly incentivized people.” workers to stay home, which has created an economic mess that continues to devastate local businesses and families as inflation soars.

Extended federal unemployment benefits ended in Illinois on September 11.

DeBose said Bailey and his office have and continue to “help Illinois people apply for and receive the help they need,” including pandemic-related business grants and loans as well as unemployment benefits. from the state Department of Employment Security, which has had repeated problems responding to a flurry of requests for help due to the pandemic.

“Elite and fake news media may try to mislead people, but Illinois voters and working families know better” about Bailey, he said.