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Corporate Power

Clay Lacy Aviation, founded by a GOP donor, got $27 million in bailout

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

An Omaha, Nebraska-based private jet company whose principal owner donated generously to Donald Trump and Republicans ahead of the 2016 election received $20 million in taxpayer aid from the federal bailout package passed in March.

Jet Linx Aviation, which caters to well-to-do CEOs and executives, was the second private plane company founded or owned by Trump donors to receive federal funds designated for the airline industry under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. CNBC reported on Thursday that Clay Lacy Aviation, a Van Nuys, California-based private jet company whose founder has given nearly $50,000 to the Republican National Committee and Trump, got $27 million in federal funds.

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Image source: Twitter

Monty Bennett was just another faceless right-wing millionaire on the long list of high-dollar donors to Donald Trump — until he suddenly surfaced in April as the nation's biggest bagger of government cash in the emergency Paycheck Protection Program.

The PPP is the $660 billion rescue package for America's thousands of small businesses, helping them keep people employed during today's shutdown of the U.S. economy due to the coronavirus pandemic. Bennett was among the first in line for payroll relief, applying for $126 million and immediately getting about 55 percent of that. But wait. There's nothing mom-and-popish about Monty's business. Operating through a maze of tightly interwoven financial trusts and corporate subsidiaries, he runs a sprawling Dallas-based conglomerate named Ashford Inc. that owns and operates 130 hotels and luxury resorts across the country including the Marriott Beverly Hills and the Ritz-Carlton in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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