TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Despite repeated calls from news organizations and the GOP, the Florida Democratic Party has so far refused to release its Payroll Protection Program loan application.
Political parties were supposed to be excluded from the PPP loan program, but somehow Democrats got at least $780,000. Now, the GOP is calling for the Small Business Administration to release that information.
An ad running on the Fox News Channel in the Washington D.C. region asks a blunt question: “How did all that taxpayer cash flow to Democrat campaigns?”
Among other things, the ad also calls on the Small Business Administration to release the PPP loan application that resulted in the Democratic Party receiving funds that were supposed to go toward small businesses.
U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla. said he and others are pushing for the release of those details. “Who filled out the application, who circumvented the law?” Waltz wondered.
This week, we asked Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, the lone Democrat who was elected statewide, whether or not that application should be released.
“I do feel satisfied with the information that has been given to me,” Fried said.
Fried dismissed the calls for additional information.
“Political tactics being used by the Republican Party, and that’s all that it is at this point,” she said.
“Apparently, it went through a building fund,” Waltz said.
The ad claims the building fund has no employees. It then suggests Democrats listed party employees, which it characterizes as being illegal.
“I’m certain that Nikki Fried would be demanding the same if a Republican political entity had done the same," Waltz said. “Bottom line is there needs to be accountability and there needs to be transparency.”
There are also calls for an investigation by the Small Business Administration into the loan and whether or not it’s actually been repaid as Democrats have said.
In documents, Democrats show repaying the money to a different bank than the one that issued the loan.
We asked the SBA for status of the loan, but didn’t hear back. We also asked the Florida Democratic Party why it isn’t releasing the application, but we’ve yet to hear back from them.