Cleaver's car wash conundrum
The Kansas City Star
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver hates it when people talk about the financially troubled Grandview car wash linked to him and his wife.
He keeps saying - as he did again Friday - that this is a “personal business matter.”
Yes, it is. But it’s so much more, and that’s where the trouble starts.
It’s a car wash with money problems. Specifically, Bank of America wants a U.S. congressman and his wife, Dianne Cleaver - a KC civic leader herself - to fork over $1.6 million in connection with outstanding debt, late fees and interest costs for a loan used to buy the car wash.
And it’s a car wash backed by money from the federal government - the same federal government that Cleaver works for as a congressman.
The Star has repeatedly noted that, as it did again today, “if the loan goes into full default, the (Small Business Administration) and taxpayers could be responsible for more than $1 million in repayments to the lender.”
Cleaver doesn’t want to be perceived as an irresponsible businessman. Or irresponsible congressman.
He really, really does not want to give his harshest critics on the right the satisfaction of looking like a deadbeat politician who cavalierly spends U.S. tax dollars in Washington - then wastes them on an unsuccessful car wash back in the area he represents.
I get that a trial in this is possible, and that the Cleavers could be found to owe little or no money for the loan.
But this financial deal gone awry needs to be settled as soon as possible so people have a clearer idea of what this whole mess was really all about.