Source of Stanton opponent’s campaign loan unclear

Cooper, a Marine Corps veteran, is a restaurant owner whose holdings include Melting Pot franchises in Arizona as well as BKD’s Backyard Joint in Chandler, Arizona. He has made economic issues an integral part of his campaign, along with border security.

“Successfully managing businesses during the pandemic has provided Cooper with an understanding of the struggles felt by American citizens and the opportunities for betterment in government,” his campaign said. said in a statement to local media, the Queen Creek Sun Times, in January. “He has hired and managed thousands of employees since opening his first restaurant in 1999, wrote 100 paychecks every two weeks for more than a decade, managed operating budgets of $5 million, served as President of National Melting Pot Brands and true to his values ​​donates to local charities each month from each restaurant and is committed to distributing toilet paper during COVID closures.

Cooper Restaurants received about $500,000 combined in Paycheck Protection Program loans and government bailout funds to help businesses survive when they were mandated to close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Craig Holman, a lobbyist who focuses on ethics and campaign finance for the liberal group Public Citizen, said partnerships can be problematic as disclosure forms don’t give precise percentages of ownership in many areas. such companies. But, he added, if there is ownership, it must be disclosed.

“It’s hard to discern what’s going on with Kelly Cooper’s finances from the personal financial disclosure report,” Holman said. “Judging by what he’s bringing in, there’s not $1.3 million available to loan out his campaign.”

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