The SBA Needs Some House Cleaning, Too

It appears that RJ Eskow of NightLight and I (see my post last night) are not the only ones who think that the SBA is poised to be the next FEMA and that it’s time for the of the SBA, Hector Barreto to be shown the door.

THE political hack who headed FEMA finally got sent to the sidelines Friday.

We have another nomination for a swift kick out the door: the head of the Small Business Administration.

The Associated Press reported Friday that the agency handed out hundreds of millions in low-interest, government-backed loans meant for businesses hurt by Sept. 11 to perfume shops, hair salons, dentists and other recipients across the nation with no conceivable connection to the terror attacks.

The agency actually encouraged lenders to make loans from a Sept. 11 relief account even if the recipients didn’t clearly qualify for the help. And it left banks, eager to make the lucrative loans, on an honor system for confirming the applicants’ eligibility.

Many of the loan recipients were unaware their loans came from the Sept. 11 aid program. SBA officials said they weren’t aware of the “mistakes” until the AP showed them its computer analysis of loan records.

When nobody’s minding the store like this, some heads should roll. — Tacoma News Tribune

The Noise Machine is already laboring to cover-up this faux pas from the SBA.

But, I learned today that “Senator Kerry pressed SBA Administrator Hector Barreto on this very issue at a hearing of the Senate Small Business Committee in February 2002” and this transcript from the hearing that I obtained today, clearly shows that Barreto was well aware of what he was doingsee the highlighted text in the PDF document.

For the record, as RJ Eskow reported on his blog yesterday, Hector Barreto was one the top Hispanic fundraisers for the Bush 2000 campaign. I guess that was all he needed on his resume.

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