Congress Helped Their Businesses During the Pandemic. Then They Attacked the Capitol.

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  tessylo  •  3 weeks ago  •  6 comments

By:   Matt Fuller, The Daily Beast

Congress Helped Their Businesses During the Pandemic. Then They Attacked the Capitol.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T




Congress Helped Their Businesses During the Pandemic. Then They Attacked the Capitol.










Matt Fuller
Tue, March 23, 2021, 4:54 AM











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Stephanie Keith/Getty

Before Brandon Straka was storming the Capitol on Jan. 6, he was a hair-dressing, #WalkAway-tweeting MAGA influencer—taking in tens of thousands of dollars in government pandemic money.

According to The Daily Beast’s review of records from the   Project On Government Oversight’s Covid Tracker , Straka is one of at least nine individuals facing charges stemming from the Capitol riots who received special coronavirus funds through small business loan programs over the last year. And Straka is far from the only notable insurrectionists among the group.  Collectively, these business owners took in more than $227,000 from three small business relief initiatives—the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans, or Disaster Assistance Loans—and they are facing charges ranging from entering a restricted building to assaulting police officers with a deadly weapon.  In   Straka ’s case, he personally received   $20,800   in PPP funds and got an additional   $12,354   in PPP money for the WalkAway Foundation.

Straka, the founder of the #WalkAway movement that encourages Democrats to vote Republican, has more than half a million Twitter followers and claims to have been a devoted Democrat before Donald Trump’s election. But a 2019 review by  Gay City News  found that Straka—who is gay—never once donated to a Democrat and only once voted in a Democratic primary since 2004.

Straka is charged with impeding a law-enforcement officer during civil disorder, knowingly entering restricted grounds, and disorderly conduct with intent to disturb a hearing before Congress.

Another high-profile loan recipient,  Dominic Pezzola , is facing some of the stiffest charges of any insurrectionist. Pezzola, a member of the far-right Proud Boys,  broke a window  into the Capitol and was one of the very first rioters to breach the building. He also stole a police officer’s riot shield and is facing  11 charges , including obstructing Capitol Police officer  Eugene Goodman  from doing his job.  Pezzola, who is the owner of D Pezzola Flooring, received $12,502  in PPP funds. He potentially faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But Pezzola’s jail time may still pale in comparison to  Julian Elie Khater .  

Khater and another man are  charged with nine counts , including using bear spray against three officers. Among those officers is Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the Jan. 6 attack.   According to court documents, all three officers were temporarily incapacitated by Khazer using bear spray against them, with one officer reporting scabbing underneath her eyes for weeks. While Sicknick’s cause of death remains a mystery,  news reports  have indicated it may have been a result of the bear-spray attack, meaning Khazer could still face additional serious charges.   But before Khazer was a violent insurrectionist, he was the  former co-owner  of a smoothie and acai bowl franchise, Frutta Bowls, which received  $10,000  as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Another small business owner,   Scott Kevin Fairlamb —the owner of Fairlamb Fitness in New Jersey—also faces some of the most serious charges from Jan. 6. Fairlamb, a former ultimate fighter, is accused of   punching a police officer   in the head and is staring at multiple felony charges, including assaulting an officer and carrying a dangerous weapon in a restricted building.  On top of storming the Capitol, Fairlamb also has a   brother in the Secret Service   who once led Michelle Obama’s security detail. When their father, retired New Jersey State Trooper Preston “Jay” Fairlamb Jr., died in a   motorcycle accident in 2012 , the then-first lady attended Preston’s memorial service.  But before Scott Fairlamb was allegedly assaulting a police officer on Jan. 6, he received a   $53,300   Disaster Assistance loan, which he’s supposed to pay back, plus a $1,000 direct payment through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which he’s not.

Overall, the biggest loan recipient was Paul Westover, the founder and president of a tech headhunting company near St. Louis, Search Ingenuity. Westover took in $78,000 through a Disaster Assistance loan, $19,300 in PPP funds, and $2,000 from an EIDL advance—in total,  $99,300 .  A bio on the Search Ingenuity website says Westover has generated approximately $1.2 million in fees from tech recruiting, has six children, and has been married to his wife for more than 25 years. “Work hard, play hard,” his  bio concludes .  Westover is  facing four charges , including a felony count of impeding law enforcement officers. Also among the business owners who received PPP funds is the man responsible for one the most iconic images from the Jan. 6 riots: Richard “Bigo” Barnett .

Barnett was the man kicking his boots up on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and he is charged with seven counts, including disorderly conduct in a government building with a dangerous weapon. (Barnett had a cattle prod on him at the time of the insurrection.)

But before Barnett became famous for reclining in Pelosi’s chair, he got a  $9,300  PPP loan for his independent contractor work on windows.

The Daily Dot  previously reported on Barnett receiving a loan, and noted his rhetoric against socialism and big government didn’t square with the government handout he received.

Businesses may be able to have some or all of their PPP loans forgiven, as long as they spend the money on things like payroll, rent, supplier costs, and other qualifying expenses. Economic Injury Disaster loans are also forgivable, but the Disaster Assistance loans are supposed to be returned. However, there’s no guarantee these individuals will meet the terms of their low-interest, government loans and pay the money back—especially if they’re in jail for their roles in the Jan. 6 attack.

Other insurrectionists who took money during the pandemic include:   Roberto Minuta , the owner of Casa Di Dolore Tattoo Parlor ($ 12,200   in Disaster Assistance loans and   $1,000   in EIDL payments);   Troy Ebert Faulkner , the owner of Faulkner painting ( $5,000   in EIDL payments); and   Edward Hemenway , who received $1,000 in EIDL money for an unknown occupation.

After his arrest, Hemenway   claimed a police officer shook his hand   after he entered the Capitol on Jan. 6.

“Sorry,” Hemenway said he told the officer.

‘It’s your house now ,’” the officer replied, according to Hemenway, offering him half of a hug.









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Tessylo
Professor Principal
1  seeder  Tessylo    3 weeks ago

Straka, the founder of the   #WalkAway   movement that encourages Democrats to vote Republican, has more than half a million Twitter followers and claims to have been a devoted Democrat before Donald Trump’s election. But a 2019 review by    Gay City News    found that Straka—who is gay—never once donated to a Democrat and only once voted in a Democratic primary since 2004.

Straka is charged with impeding a law-enforcement officer during civil disorder, knowingly entering restricted grounds, and disorderly conduct with intent to disturb a hearing before Congress.

Another high-profile loan recipient,    Dominic Pezzola   , is facing some of the stiffest charges of any insurrectionist. Pezzola, a member of the far-right Proud Boys,    broke a window    into the Capitol and was one of the very first rioters to breach the building. He also stole a police officer’s riot shield and is facing    11 charges   , including obstructing Capitol Police officer    Eugene Goodman    from doing his job.  Pezzola, who is the owner of D Pezzola Flooring, received   $12,502    in PPP funds. He potentially faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. But Pezzola’s jail time may still pale in comparison to    Julian Elie Khater   .  

Khater and another man are    charged with nine counts   , including using bear spray against three officers. Among those officers is Brian Sicknick, who lost his life the day after the Jan. 6 attack.     According to court documents, all three officers were temporarily incapacitated by Khazer using bear spray against them, with one officer reporting scabbing underneath her eyes for weeks. While Sicknick’s cause of death remains a mystery,    news reports    have indicated it may have been a result of the bear-spray attack, meaning Khazer could still face additional serious charges.     But before Khazer was a violent insurrectionist, he was the    former co-owner    of a smoothie and acai bowl franchise, Frutta Bowls, which received    $10,000    as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Another small business owner,      Scott Kevin Fairlamb   —the owner of Fairlamb Fitness in New Jersey—also faces some of the most serious charges from Jan. 6. Fairlamb, a former ultimate fighter, is accused of      punching a police officer       in the head and is staring at multiple felony charges, including assaulting an officer and carrying a dangerous weapon in a restricted building.  On top of storming the Capitol, Fairlamb also has a      brother in the Secret Service       who once led Michelle Obama’s security detail. When their father, retired New Jersey State Trooper Preston “Jay” Fairlamb Jr., died in a      motorcycle accident in 2012   , the then-first lady attended Preston’s memorial service.  But before Scott Fairlamb was allegedly assaulting a police officer on Jan. 6, he received a      $53,300       Disaster Assistance loan, which he’s supposed to pay back, plus a $1,000 direct payment through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which he’s not.

Overall, the biggest loan recipient was Paul Westover, the founder and president of a tech headhunting company near St. Louis, Search Ingenuity. Westover took in $78,000 through a Disaster Assistance loan, $19,300 in PPP funds, and $2,000 from an EIDL advance—in total,    $99,300   .  A bio on the Search Ingenuity website says Westover has generated approximately $1.2 million in fees from tech recruiting, has six children, and has been married to his wife for more than 25 years. “Work hard, play hard,” his    bio concludes   .  Westover is    facing four charges   , including a felony count of impeding law enforcement officers. Also among the business owners who received PPP funds is the man responsible for one the most iconic images from the Jan. 6 riots:   Richard “Bigo” Barnett   .

Barnett was the man kicking his boots up on Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s desk, and he is charged with seven counts, including disorderly conduct in a government building with a dangerous weapon. (Barnett had a cattle prod on him at the time of the insurrection.)

But before Barnett became famous for reclining in Pelosi’s chair, he got a   $9,300   PPP loan for his independent contractor work on windows.

The Daily Dot   previously reported on Barnett receiving a loan, and noted his rhetoric against socialism and big government didn’t square with the government handout he received.

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Expert
2  Hallux    3 weeks ago

Ah, the #WalkAway crowd ... they tried to flood NV. D4D was the chief moron of that muddle.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.1  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Hallux @2    3 weeks ago

Who is D4D?

 
 
 
Hallux
Freshman Expert
2.1.1  Hallux  replied to  Tessylo @2.1    3 weeks ago

He was a poster on NV ... Democrats4Donald.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Hallux @2.1.1    3 weeks ago

Sure that wasn't C4P by another name.....?  Sounds familiar somehow.

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
2.2  seeder  Tessylo  replied to  Hallux @2    3 weeks ago

I had forgotten all about the walkaway morons.  Another bunch of impotent right wing liars.  

 
 
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