US Representative Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, says that a TV ad aired by his Democratic opponent Betsy Dirksen Londrigan’s campaign is based on a lie because the small company presented never applied for a federal loan from the Payment Protection.
The announcement in the run for the House of Representatives of the 13th Congressional District of the USA shows Ross Richardson, who with his wife, Ann Laurence, owned the restaurant The Feed Store in downtown Springfield. In the ad, he talks about his inability to get a PPP loan.
Richardson said on Friday that he kept the ad text.
“There was no lie in that,” he said.
He also said that he never formally applied for a loan through the program because he was told by a representative of his bank in Springfield that he was not accepting applications from “multi-owner” companies at the moment. When he later considered seeking a loan to help reopen the business after an initial outbreak caused by the pandemic, he said he was referred by the US Bank, where he had initially asked about getting a PPP loan, to a smaller community bank, but he decided not to apply.
Richardson, in the ad, said the coronavirus pandemic “devastated our family’s businesses overnight.”
“The PPP loan program was supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses, but we had to turn around while politicians got the money first,” says Richardson in the ad. “So the funds ran out. Rodney Davis’s family came to the front for a million-dollar payment and he voted to keep it a secret while business like ours suffered. Rodney Davis is in it for himself.”
“It is sad that my opponent asked a small businesswoman to lie in a TV ad just so that she could win an election,” Davis said in a campaign statement. “Instead of debating issues, she defames my family and all small business owners helped by the bipartisan PPP program.”
The reference to the Davis family comes because his father and brother, owners of McDonald’s restaurants, obtained between $ 1 million and $ 2 million in PPP loans through a company called B.K. Davis, LLC. Rodebrad Management Co., another fast-food company of which his father is president, also obtained a PPP loan between $ 350,000 and $ 1 million.
Davis ‘campaign said there was no evidence that Davis’ family members had reached the front of any queue, or received any special treatment, for PPP loans. More than 5 million small businesses received help, including about 600,000 businesses in the first week of the program, the campaign said. Congressman Davis has no financial stake or involvement with the franchises and was not involved in the loan application through his local bank, he said.
Restaurants employ more than 300 people, and Davis says those jobs were saved by the loan.
As for keeping loans a secret, the Londrigan campaign points to the votes Davis made against a bill to create a committee to oversee loans and another to report certain loans. Davis’s campaign countered that a disclosure bill cited by Londrigan would reveal only loans of more than $ 2 million, which is higher than those his family received. His campaign also noted that the government has released information on all loans for more than $ 150,000 – including those for his brother and father.
In a press release on October 16, announcing Richardson’s announcement, the Londrigan campaign said he “wasted his time while applying” for a PPP loan.
On Friday, Londrigan spokeswoman Eliza Glezer said: “The owner of the feed store squirmed while trying to access PPP loans. … Instead of attacking its constituents, Rodney Davis should focus on overseeing of the tax-financed program for which you have repeatedly voted against much-needed transparency. “
The Feed Store closed in July, after almost 43 years on the market, but was sold to a new owner, David Stanks, who plans to reopen it using the same name and recipes.
Richardson, who with his wife Laurence retired, said that when he first asked about a PPP loan last spring, a banker from the US Bank said he was “not accepting any applications from companies with multiple owners now”. Richardson said his business was “a mommy and daddy” with only two owners. But he saw it on TV about a week after the initial money for the program was gone.
When he checked again when there was more money available, he said, he was told at the US Bank that thousands of applications were overdue and was referred to a community bank. But he said he decided not to take that step.
“I didn’t want to commit to money … if I didn’t know what I was responsible for,” he said. “We didn’t owe money at the restaurant, so paying off debt when we didn’t have any debt was a concern.”
A message left for comment at a US Bank facility in Springfield on Friday was not immediately returned.
Davis is looking for his fifth two-year term. Londrigan is making his second attempt for the job and lost a close race to Davis in 2018.
Contact Bernard Schoenburg: Bernard.email@example.com, 788-1540, twitter.com/bschoenburg.