As of 11:55 a.m., a search at the Associated Press’s national site on “Cleaver” returns nothing related to an April 6 story reported at the Kansas City star (HT Nice Deb via Gateway Pundit) that Bank of America has sued Missouri Congressman and Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver for repayment of a $1 million-plus loan relating to a car wash.
The KC Star didn’t exactly provide exemplary coverage in its report. One would think from reading the story’s headline and first two paragraphs that Bank of America and the congressman are having some kind of difficult conversation. In paragraph 3, we finally learn that there really is a lawsuit involved. It took the Star seven paragraphs to indicate that taxpayers may be on the hook and eight paragraphs to tag Cleaver as a Dem (impact-minimizing words in bold):
(headline) Bank wants Missouri Rep. Cleaver to pay $1.5 million on car wash loan
U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver’s car wash headache is raging once again.
The bank that loaned the Kansas City congressman and his wife $1.3 million in 2002 to buy the Grandview Auto Wash at 12204 Blue Ridge Extension is now demanding payment of more than $1.5 million, after the Cleavers repeatedly fell behind on repaying the loan.
The suit, filed last week in Jackson County Circuit Court, said the demand for repayment came after three attempts to delay foreclosure. Bank of America also is seeking attorney’s fees and a receiver to protect collateral.
“The Cleaver Company failed and refused, and continues to fail and refuse, to pay the outstanding obligations due and owing … under the note and other loan documents,” the lawsuit said.
In an email statement, Cleaver said, “This is a business dispute. The business has been run by an outside manager for years.” He said because it was a legal matter, he would have no further comment.
According to court documents, the outstanding principal totals $1.2 million with interest totaling $240,545 as of March 6. Late fees have reached $54,587. Both Cleavers had personally guaranteed the debts, according to the suit.
The loan was originally part of a Small Business Administration program. It was not clear Thursday how much money, if any, taxpayers will have to provide if the loan defaults.
The car wash became a hot topic when Cleaver, a Democrat and former Kansas City mayor, ran for the U.S. House for the first time in 2004.
Awww, the poor guy. He has a “headache” because a bank “wants” a loan to be repaid.
The Start never identified Cleaver as CBC Chairman.
Those who followed the run-up to the passage of ObamaCare in the House in March 2010 may recall that Congressman Cleaver was among those who originally claimed to have been spat upon by Tea Party-inspired protesters. Despite mountains of videos taken of the march through the protesting crowd by Cleaver and others, no definitive evidence supporting Cleaver’s claim ever materialized. A $100,000 pledge by the late Andrew Breitbart promised to anyone who could provide such proof was to my knowledge never claimed.
There is virtually no doubt that a Republican or conservative in similar circumstances would have had his or her party tagged early, would have had his or her congressional leadership capacity promptly identified, and would have been the recipient of national AP coverage.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.