If you are one of the many who are struggling to make ends meet as we enter a second – or is it the third spike in the Covid-19 pandemic you have to check out Dan Mihalopoulos’ great reporting at Chicago’s public radio, WBEZ.
The story is all about the scandalous misuse of federal dollars that were intended to help out small businesses, like the struggling bars and restaurants that are now closed, many permanently. And help for those who worked for these businesses, and they weren’t all bars and restaurants, now who are out of work with no prospects.
Maybe that’s you.
For sure, it ain’t the notorious Chicago Palumbo brothers.
And it ain’t Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
As Mihalopoulos reports, they were among the friends of Donald Trump that knew how to scam the Paycheck Protection Program and the Cares Act, which represented the limited federal response to the pandemic.
The Palumbo family should have been barred from receiving any funds because of their criminal background.
Joseph Palumbo went to federal prison two decades ago for fraud involving his family’s century-old construction business, which at the time had a hand in building virtually every major expressway in Chicago.
The Palumbo brothers were back in the corruption news just recently with their connection to indicted State Senator Martin Sandoval.
According to the indictment, political operative William Helm paid off then-Democratic state Sen. Martin Sandoval in 2018 in exchange for his help advancing a development in East Dundee on behalf of an unidentified construction firm referred to only as Company A.
Company A is the Palumbo family business.
And then there is Betsy DeVos.
DeVos, the federal education secretary, hardly fits the description of a struggling small business owner.
Her net worth was estimated at $2 billion, which meant she had twice as much money as the rest of Trump’s cabinet secretaries combined, according to a 2019 report in Forbes magazine.
The daughter of a successful business owner from Holland, Mich., DeVos married into the family that runs Amway, the multilevel-marketing company headquartered near Grand Rapids, Mich. Her father-in-law was a founder of Amway and her husband was its chief executive.
How does DeVos qualify for federal assistance designed for small businesses and employees of small businesses?
You need to ask?