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January 18, 2006

Another one to be bottled

A fine ruse:

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.

And as Raw Story points out, Cannon—whose former chief of staff was David Safavian—has experienced the occasional ethical lapse in the past.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, if you’re a Bush Republican.

Posted by Stephen at 10:56 PM in Politics | Permalink | TrackBack (0)

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