Report: Cal Cunningham criticized, then used PPP funds

A report from the Washington Free Beacon on Tuesday reported that WasteZero, a Raleigh-based environmentalist trash service, obtained between $1 and $2 million in PPP funding on May 3, data released by the Small Business Administration on Monday show.

Democratic Senate nominee Cal Cunningham served as the company’s general counsel and vice president. He has repeatedly criticized the federal program in campaign statements, which aims to support small businesses struggling with coronavirus shutdowns. Just two months after Senate Democrats blocked a Republican effort to bankroll the depleting fund in April, Cunningham called the program “unacceptable,” saying it “harms communities.”

“For PPP loans to have ‘generally missed the industries and areas most heavily impacted by COVID-19′ is unacceptable,” he said in a tweet. “Leaving behind small businesses—and disproportionately those that are Black- and Latino-owned—harms communities.”

Cunningham told reporters that he was still working for the company in February this year but has since been removed from WasteZero’s website and the company does not publicly acknowledge any legal representation on its site. Neither Cunningham nor WasteZero responded to requests for comment about PPP or the candidate’s role in the company, according to the Free Beacon.

“Many small businesses, especially minority-owned businesses, are still waiting to receive funds, while the PPP ‘sent money to companies that did not critically need financial aid,'” he said in a June press release.

“Cal Cunningham has spent this entire race saying one thing and doing another in order to fall in line with his liberal benefactors in Washington,” said Sen. Thom Tillis campaign spokesman Andrew Romeo. “If Cunningham can’t be honest about where he stands on a program that has saved over one million North Carolina jobs, voters shouldn’t trust him when he pretends he won’t be just another vote for Chuck Schumer’s extreme agenda of tax increases and job-killing policies.”