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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, April 28, 2020

The biggest single recipient of COVID-19 bailout loans is a hotel chain controlled by the Dallas billionaire Monty Bennett -- the company received $46 million in loans this month.

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According to filings with the SEC, Bennett's three companies have secured $96.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans. And more may be on the way. According to a fact sheet produced by the three companies, they've applied for a total of $126 million in Paycheck Protection Act loans.

Will these funds be used to pay hotel employees? It does not appear that way. The loans will be forgiven by the government if 75% of the money is used for payroll expenses, up to a $100,000 annual salary for each employee. According to the companies' fact sheet, "it appears that we will only minimally qualify, and we will have to pay the balance back when it is due in 2 years." That suggests the bulk of the money will not be spent on qualified payroll expenses.

This seems to be a change from a few days ago when Bennett told the Wall Street Journal that "75% or more of the proceeds will be used to bring our employees back to work with the balance to be used to pay utilities, rent, and debt service to lenders." The companies have "laid off or furloughed 95% of staff."

Bennett, however, continues to do quite well. His total compensation in 2019 was $5,668,730, including a bonus $2,340,930. In March, as the pandemic devastated the economy, Bennett paid himself 75% of his bonus, or $1,755,697. The remaining $585,233 will be paid out, "promptly following" Bennett's "determination that the effects of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) have subsided, but no later than December 31, 2020." Bennett has also taken an unspecified "significant pay reduction" on his $950,000 base salary this year.

In March, the companies also awarded $10 million in "preferred stock dividends" to certain shareholders. As a result, "Bennett and his father, a shareholder in one of the Ashford companies, received more than $2 million." According to the company, the figure is "only" half of what they were entitled to as owners of "preferred" shares.


So where is the money going to go, or has it already gone down the rabbit hole, into the pockets of a bunch of 1%-er who have already been feeding at the trough set-up by Trump and Republican-controlled Senate.

OCU

#1 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-04-27 11:03 PM | Reply

Predictable pigs at the trough.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-28 08:44 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I realize it likely a foreign concept that many if not most of the companies applying for this relief are successful companies up to this point.

Most of them are probably run by conservatives. I mean, you'd have to be a real idiot not to already know that.

Who do you expect to apply for this aid? These people are in the hospitality business, which has been hammered by this disaster. They employ lower skilled folks who scrape by barely and need the help.

#3 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 09:04 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

"They employ lower skilled folks who scrape by barely and need the help."

But most of them aren't going to get the help even though their employers got those loans.

#4 | Posted by danni at 2020-04-28 09:06 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

really? how so?

#5 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 09:08 AM | Reply

go on...I'm waiting.

#6 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 09:28 AM | Reply

#3 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Oh. So you're giving up on trying to appear as a moderate as well?

#7 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-28 11:54 AM | Reply

So, the people who complain 24/7 about others who lie here sees someone lie, can't refute it, but won't criticize them because their political ideology trumps anything else. Then proceed to bite the ankle of someone who is NOT lying.

Rendering their complaining meaningless.........

#8 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 12:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Danni, if you can produce some evidence that backs up your claim "most of them aren't going to get the help even though their employers got those loans." I would appreciate it.

That's all I'm asking for. I know what's more important is whining that a trump supporter applied for and is receiving this stimulus benefit....but if you could manage to back that up.....or retract it, I'd appreciate it and move on.

#9 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 12:08 PM | Reply

And lets not forget that many of these people involved in the "hospitality business" are also real-estate investors (does that sound like someone else WE know) for which another part of the relief program is providing additional tax breaks which is putting millions into the pockets of people like Monty Bennett and his family.

OCU

#10 | Posted by OCUser at 2020-04-28 12:25 PM | Reply

Rendering their complaining meaningless.........

#8 | POSTED BY EBERLY

What "lie" exactly did I miss?

I'm betting it's not a lie...

#11 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-28 12:34 PM | Reply

It is funny watching you jump in the Idiot Trumper bag, though.

Really, two companies that made a combined $2.2 billion last year alone are justified in taking small business loans? C'mon. You're trolling.

#12 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-28 12:36 PM | Reply

Hey Eberly, what's your take on the Lakers getting PPP loans?

#13 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-28 01:19 PM | Reply

It's fair game to scrutinize any company that receives Federal support by going back to who they support politically.

"56 public companies paying their CEOs millions while collecting taxpayer money intended for struggling small businesses"

Shall we investigate each of these companies to see who they support? I'm not....it's a rhetorical, of course.

Again, it's all fair game but it won't get any real traction. Their support wasn't a quid pro quo as if anybody expected a pandemic to generate a bailout they could benefit from.

I don't think political leanings and support matter in the application process.

Is it sleazy for the CEO to make $5 Million and then apply for this help? yes....no doubt.

#14 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 01:39 PM | Reply

But most of them aren't going to get the help even though their employers got those loans.

#4 | POSTED BY DANNI

really? how so?

#5 | POSTED BY EBERLY

They don't expect to have the loans forgiven, so 75% of it is not going to paying workers.

What is it going to (that helps workers) if not going to paying those workers?

#15 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-04-28 07:42 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

Their support wasn't a quid pro quo as if anybody expected a pandemic to generate a bailout they could benefit from.

#14 | POSTED BY EBERLY

A lot of people who applied for loans DID NOT GET THEM because the money ran out. The argument could be made that the ones who did get it (or the ones that got the big payouts) were ones who were politically connected. Was it a direct "quid pro quo" (we will support you if you give us money during a pandemic no one knows will happen)? Of course not. But, did they support him and other conservatives knowing that if they did they could expect to be at the front of the line if something did happen? I think that is very likely.

Do I know that they got preferential treatment, or that the bill was designed to make the process give them preferential treatment? No. I have not investigated this enough, don't have enough facts, to state that for sure. But, based on past behavior and current results, I think it is likely. Which is why people should definitely look into it.

#16 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-04-28 07:48 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

The Banana Republic of Trumpistan continues apace.

#17 | Posted by e1g1 at 2020-04-28 08:16 PM | Reply

Danni, if you can produce some evidence that backs up your claim "most of them aren't going to get the help even though their employers got those loans." I would appreciate it.

I can't make an argument writ large for all PPP businesses, but it seems as it regards Bennett's companies it's a given - the evidence is right in the story:

The companies have "laid off or furloughed 95% of staff."
If 95% of the staff is already off the payroll, then in no way is 75% of the $126 Million going to pay salaries for 5% of the workforce, all making less than $100G.

The following sentences make this clear:

According to the companies' fact sheet, "it appears that we will only minimally qualify, and we will have to pay the balance back when it is due in 2 years." That suggests the bulk of the money will not be spent on qualified payroll expenses.

#18 | Posted by tonyroma at 2020-04-28 08:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

15,16,18

All fair points. It's what I was asking for.

Danni hadn't read the article, clearly.

That kind of comment from her when made by a conservative gets folks like JPW all upset accusing them of being liars.

And by god, he's sick of it.

Well, he's not. He's just feigning faux outrage.

#19 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 08:36 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

I like how Eberly is running around here a like fkkking idiot not seeing issues with Trump's millionaire buddies getting all the money intended for small businesses.

Eberly didn't vote for Trump. So he's excused for not paying attention to anything Trump is doing.

Besides. "it's all fair game..."

Keep up the insouciance. It's a delightful approach to seeing the world.

#20 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-28 08:43 PM | Reply

Clown, you have approached the level of snoofy.

Sniffing my ass from thread to thread trolling assigning false positions begging for a response

You're plonked. I hate to do it because I enjoy abusing you.

But you got nothing. You bring nothing. You just troll

#21 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 08:58 PM | Reply

He's just feigning faux outrage.
#19 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Feigning outrage we can understand.
But feigning faux outrage?
Five dimensional chess.

Well played, Eberly.

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 09:07 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

You're plonked.
#21 | POSTED BY EBERLY

I don't know why this matters to me. Plonking isn't a punishment. It you crying. Loud and clear. For everyone to hear.

Regardless. Your mentality that "it is what it is." Is what's wrong with America.

These millionaires who are running successful businesses. Who have made fortunes in just the past year. Amounts most actual small businesses owners will never see their entire lives. Are getting the money which was intended for actual small businesses. Because they donated money to Donald Trump.

The fact you don't care. Is in fact, you condoning this theft.

Your attitude is why Donald Trump was able to become president. Because people like you. Who believe Trump is bad for this nation and our future. Just don't care enough to actually do anything.

If everyone cares that Donnie was stealing from Americans, through his tax cuts and embezzlement. Oops. Not embezzlement. Simply giving contracts and commodities to his friends, colleagues, and donors.

You don't see what's wrong with that. After all. You would probably do the same. Look out for you and yours. At the detriment of everyone else.

#23 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-28 09:43 PM | Reply

If everyone cares that Donnie was stealing from Americans, he wouldn't be able to do so.

#24 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-28 09:45 PM | Reply

"Plonking isn't a punishment."

I remember wanting this feature simply because of Afkababbles.
But I have never once used it, and come to realize it only keeps people safe in their babbles... I mean bubbles.
I think I'd like it to go away, but barring that, make it be a two-way street. If someone has plonked me, then I don't see them either.

That would really separate the men from the boys.

#25 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 09:46 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

-Your attitude is why Donald Trump was able to become president. Because people like you.

People like me voted for his opponent

-You don't see what's wrong with that. After all. You would probably do the same. Look out for you and yours. At the detriment of everyone else.

You are actually worse than snoofy. I should unplonk him and talk to him you can replace him.

In fact, that's what I'm going to do....I'm going to unplonk who used to be biggest troll in the history of the internet and make you wear his dunce cap.

What a ------- ------.

#26 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 09:50 PM | Reply

"People like me voted for his opponent"

So did JeffJ.
Well, one of them anyway!
LOL!!!

#27 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 09:51 PM | Reply

Hi snoofy....what's shakin...

#28 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 09:53 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

You are actually worse than snoofy. I should unplonk him and talk to him you can replace him.
#26 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Try not to use up all your faux outrage in just one post, Eberly!

#29 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 09:55 PM | Reply

People like me voted for his opponent

I pointed that out in #20.

Just cause you voted for Hillary can't be your excuse for looking the other way while he and the rich keep stealing from everyone else.

He absolutely shouldn't have been able to hand out the money. He shouldn't have had anything to do with it.

This should be an act of Congress.

Not emperor orange.

#30 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-28 09:58 PM | Reply

Ex-Republican nails GOP's hypocrisy as Trump blows off oversight of stimulus funds: They called Obama an emperor'

www.rawstory.com

#31 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2020-04-28 10:35 PM | Reply

He's just feigning faux outrage.
#19 | POSTED BY EBERLY

Feigning outrage we can understand.
But feigning faux outrage?
Five dimensional chess.

Well played, Eberly.

#22 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 09:07 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ha!

What if you pretend to feign faux outrage? Then it's back to certified real fake, right?

#32 | Posted by cbob at 2020-04-28 10:53 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

I deserved that with my fake fake thing....

#33 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 11:04 PM | Reply

You deserve it for dismissing every complaint you don't like as being phony.
You're the phony.
It's obvious as hell.

#34 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 11:06 PM | Reply

Actually what your ------ attitude really reminds me of, Eberly, is how unscrupulous insurance companies simply deny a claim the first time 'round, hoping the claimaint will just go away.

#35 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-28 11:15 PM | Reply

There it is. Been holding that one in for a awhile.

Feel better?

Probably not. But that lasted long enough.

#36 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 11:36 PM | Reply

Compare to whom do i have a ------ attitude?

You, clown?

Whatever.

You're pissed I don't have a BAD enough attitude.

You're pissed I'm above all that and you're not.

----

Off.

#37 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 11:38 PM | Reply

Take your never had a job so you're lying about being on unemployment ass and get back to the basement, boy

#38 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 11:38 PM | Reply

OK... who peed on the autographed letter Trump sent Eberly with his stimulus check?

He was going to frame that ya know!

#39 | Posted by Corky at 2020-04-28 11:41 PM | Reply

39

FF

#40 | Posted by eberly at 2020-04-28 11:47 PM | Reply

You're pissed I'm above all that and you're not.

You're so above it.

Floating on a cloud of your own farts.

#41 | Posted by ClownShack at 2020-04-29 12:10 AM | Reply

#40 |

Good for you, Eb. I hoped you would take it that way.

ROC has his head so far up Trump's "---" he can't hear any humor at all.

#42 | Posted by Corky at 2020-04-29 12:11 AM | Reply

"Compare to whom do i have a ------ attitude?"

The Eberly from before his daughter went off to college, or the Eberly who never stopped crying about the failed coronation, take your pick.

#43 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-29 12:24 AM | Reply

Good to see that you finally learned to spell "---" to avoid the automatic censor.

#44 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2020-04-29 12:26 AM | Reply

#44

The pussification of RoCheney Continues.

I was obviously just making (more) fun of you.

Which I shouldn't. It's like taking candy from a baby lawyer.

#45 | Posted by Corky at 2020-04-29 12:27 AM | Reply

You're pissed I don't have a BAD enough attitude.
You're pissed I'm above all that and you're not.
----
Off.
#37 | POSTED BY EBERLY

It's abundantly clear which one of us has the bad attitude.

I don't know why you're so mad, but it can't possibly be me.

Anyway, I hope you figure it out.
You seem a lot smarter than anyone else here whose profile says they're a Republican, which admittedly, might come off as an insult these days.

#46 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-29 12:40 AM | Reply

Ahh. There it is. Now we both feel better.

#47 | Posted by snoofy at 2020-04-29 12:44 AM | Reply

Jesus christ. It is like a middle school cat fight here.

Eb, I don't know why you are engaging. You must be a masochist.

You all getting all riled up on small ---- doesn't help anything. Less drama... more intelligent arguments please.

#48 | Posted by gtbritishskull at 2020-04-29 10:07 AM | Reply

All fair points. It's what I was asking for.

Danni hadn't read the article, clearly.

That kind of comment from her when made by a conservative gets folks like JPW all upset accusing them of being liars.

And by god, he's sick of it.

Well, he's not. He's just feigning faux outrage.

#19 | Posted by eberly

LOL what an idiot.

Calls danni out. Receives multiple replies showing exactly what he whined about is true. Still whines like a bitch about people calling it out.

It didn't take a genius to guess that large and/or connected companies were taking money from this fund.

But maybe I'm continuing to overestimate your intelligence if you honestly found that to be surprising when confirmed.

#49 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-29 10:15 AM | Reply

You're pissed I don't have a BAD enough attitude.

You're pissed I'm above all that and you're not.

----

Off.

#37 | Posted by eberly

LOL it isn't pissed, it's mockery that you go to great lengths to stay "above all that".

You know, it's almost like you're feigning faux middle of the road status.

#50 | Posted by jpw at 2020-04-29 10:18 AM | Reply | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

This was always Dotard's plan, he fired the IGs who Congress tasked with oversight of the program so that his regime could pick winners and losers. The winners are Drumpf donors, friends and red states. The losers are small businesses with no political stroke and blue states. Absolutely disgusting but completely expected.

#51 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2020-04-29 11:28 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

$46 million in one month for Trump's buddy to open an unused piece of useless garbage.

That would be enough to pay 23000 people, $2000.

I think the latter would be better for the economy.

#52 | Posted by BruceBanner at 2020-04-30 09:15 AM | Reply

How typically Trumpish and utterly shocking...(yawn)
Can you feel the sarcasm...(can you?) ;D

#53 | Posted by earthmuse at 2020-04-30 03:05 PM | Reply

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