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Bailout billboard scam

Rogue Valley

Exordium and Terminus
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Gas station secured small business bailout money, then paid for Trump billboards

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8/28/20
The billboards began popping up along a desert stretch of highway in Arizona and California in early August — plastered with "Make America Great Again!" in large capital letters or an image of President Donald Trump looking up to the sky and giving a big thumbs up. The small company that funded the large billboards had just months earlier received a large cash infusion backed by the same administration now being celebrated, public records show. Jones 1 Inc. was approved for a loan of between $150,000 and $350,000 at the end of April through the federal government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was set up to help struggling small businesses save jobs during the pandemic. The company, which owns a small Shell gas station and travel center in Needles, California, went on to lease "six beautiful Trump billboards" near the border of California and Arizona, which a local group of Lake Havasu Republicans heralded — thanking "a generous Trump supporter."

Six political billboards could cost anywhere from around $10,000 for four weeks to nearly $30,000 depending on the location, according to average price estimates provided by Lamar Advertising, which leased the space to Jones 1 Inc. It declined to provide the pricing of the specific billboards. But if they stay up through the election, which the local Republican group that inspired the billboards said is the plan, the costs could range from around $30,000 to around $120,000. Joseph Jones, the owner of the business, told CNN the PPP money was used for payroll, not for the billboards.

So then, the owner of a small Shell gas station in Needles, California, claims he needed the government money for his payroll, but he had enough loose cash laying around to lease 6 highway billboards (costing up to $120,000) and use the billboard space as advertising for the Trump campaign.

Folks, this is yet another Trump/GOP scam. We don't need another 4 years of the Trump administration enriching their friends with your hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
 
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