January 18, 2006
Another one to be bottled
Utah congressman Chris Cannon loaned nearly $100,000 to the president of a Nebraska bank who extended at least $250,000 in credit the following year to the representative’s business venture in the state, RAW STORY has found.
Cannon’s office confirmed that the congressman had extended a loan of between $50,000 and $100,000 to First National Bank of Gordon, Nebraska president Gary Ruse in September 1996. The following year, the Utah Republican’s kosher beef-packing plant, Premium Beef, received a $250,000 to $500,000 loan from Ruse’s bank.
A person familiar with the transaction asserts that Cannon’s personal loan to Ruse was intended to ensure he received a loan for his troubled beef-packing plant.
… “It was a loan of a personal nature,” Cannon spokesman Charles Isom said of the congressman’s loan to Ruse. “It’s absurd to think the insinuation there being that the loan was made as a bribe.”
… “Mr. Cannon’s loans were made by the board of directors,” Ruse said Monday. “I recused myself from that.”
… [But] the individual who alerted RAW STORY to the loan believes Cannon’s and Ruse’s responses don’t hold water.
“Here you have a gentleman who’s pursuing a federally backed loan, a Small Business Administration loan for one of his companies, and who makes a loan to a person who at the very least would have some influence on the loan,” this person said.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if you’re a Bush Republican.
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