By now it's a well known and established fact that Utah Senate candidate Tim Bridgewater isn't exactly the traditional small business man that he wants Utah voters to believe; rather, he's a lobbyist who specializes in getting taxpayer money for his own and for his clients' businesses – including overseas businesses like Indonesia Power.
But did Tim Bridgewater stoop so low as to secure a $3 million taxpayer-funded loan to an alleged Mexican drug trafficker in 2004?
Here are the facts. You decide.
As Chairman of the Board of Interlink Capital Strategies, Tim Bridgewater did in fact secure a $3 million OPIC government loan for a subsidiary of Canelos, Inc. The loan was to be used to buy land to build low-income Mexican housing.
Now I know some of you are probably asking yourself, “Why the @#^&%! is the government lending taxpayer money to build housing in Mexico?” Calm down and take a deep breath, because it gets worse!
The Chairman of Canelos Inc. is Alejandro Canelos. The federal government is deeply worried that Mr. Canelos may be involved in drug trafficking, potentially using his for profit corporation's sources of revenue to participate in drug trafficking. Consequently, Canelos has repeatedly been denied visas to the United States.
I know what you're thinking again, “Regardless of whether or not this Canelos guy was or was not involved in drug trafficking, shouldn't there be a law that prohibits the U.S. government from lending taxpayer money to a business owned by a foreigner who isn't allowed in the country?”
But wait, there's more. As far as I can tell, there's no evidence the money was ever used to buy land or build low-income housing. None. Zip. Zilch. Nada.
And finally, here's the real dilemma for Tim Bridgewater: After having made a career out of distributing taxpayer money out of the country, on what moral ground is Tim Bridgewater going to stand when Utah taxpayers need an advocate in the Senate to denounce foreign aid and corporate welfare? The answer is none.
He gave up that ground with every taxpayer loan he secured for his clients. And if he tries, the Democrats in the Senate will surely call him out for it.
By the way, if somebody can find proof that the loan was actually used to buy land and build low-income Mexican housing, please take a picture and send it to me – it might just replace that hole in my pocket with a warm fuzzy feeling in my heart.
But what would really make feel good is if you would give to Bridgewater's opponent, Mike Lee, a true conservative who believes in smaller, limited government and who has never been in the business of big government or funding possibly mythical houses in Mexico for suspected drug traffickers.