Don’t leave it to Cleaver: Car wash edition

We established beyond a reasonable doubt in our “Don’t leave it to Cleaver” series that Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver is one of the most reprehensible men in Congress. Cleaver and a few of his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus retailed the story that Tea Party protesters abused them with racial epithets while the protesters demonstrated against Obamacare on Capitol Hill on March 20, 2010. McClatchy News swallowed the story whole even though it was shown in short order to be nothing but a fabrication.

It turns out that Rep. Cleaver is not just a liar without a conscience, he is also a deadbeat (to borrow Glenn Reynolds’s formulation). The Kansas City Star reports:

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.

But wait! There’s more. Taxpayers are on the hook: “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.” Surely there must be some “stimulus” money left to help Cleaver out.

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