Thursday, July 9, 2020
Contact:  RPOF 850-222-7920

Statement By:  RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters

“In May, Florida Democrats chastised President Trump’s Paycheck Protection Program.  But it certainly didn’t stop them from filing an application, when rules clearly state an organization like a political party were prohibited from receiving PPP.

“Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo and her team not only submitted an application, but they gladly accepted money from the program. Did Nikki Fried know the Florida Democratic Party applied? As the state’s highest-ranked Democrat and the head of her Party she too should bear responsibility for these actions.

“Of course, this all came to light after the release of the federal Paycheck Protection Plan database which revealed that the Florida Democratic Party Building Fund applied for and received a loan amount of $350,000 and $1 million. Their justification? Securing the jobs of 100 employees.

“Who are these employees? And why does a building fund even have employees? And if these employees are political staffers, the FDP now has an even bigger problem and a lot of explaining to do.

“This certainly raises many questions and it is becoming very clear that the FDP should never have attempted to apply for the PPP funds in the first place.

“I don’t believe this was a mistake. They knew what they were doing from the onset— but the one thing they never contemplated was that the data would be made public, shining a light on their actions.

“Of course, they are returning the loan – but only after public pressure mounted. They have yet to apologize and are placing blame on the bank instead of acknowledging that they should not have applied in the first place.

“The PPP eligibility language is very clear –that political organizations are not eligible for PPP loans.

“Like the rest of the public, we will be waiting for answers.”

# # #