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Air America Loan Controversy Continues

Yesterday Michelle Malkin and Brian Maloney reopened the Air America story in a massive way, showing that contrary to previous public statements Al Franken and the current network owners knew of the $875,000 in suspicious loans Air America received from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club. Those loans are under investigation by New York officials since the majority of Gloria Wise's operations were financed by state and federal grants.

The New York Post reports today that the network owners have agreed to repay the entire $875,000 the network received from the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club into an escrow account (something we recommended from the beginning), no doubt a direct effect of Malkin's and Maloney's reporting.

I read though the secret agreement Malkin linked to and came to a different conclusion about he Wise loans. While it's instructive that the loans are listed, the agreement doesn't spell out an obligation to the new owners of the network.

In an update to a Sept. 7th New York Sun article, they issued this important correction:

A settlement agreement signed by Al Franken, Evan Montvel Cohen, and other parties acknowledged that the Gloria Wise Boys & Girls Club had claims totaling $875,000 against the Air America radio network, but did not commit any party to the payment of those claims.
I read through the 60+ page confidential agreement and I have to say that was my impression as well. Piquant LLC (the current owners) agreed to purchase the assets of Air America (as we reported), specifically to avoid the liabilities.

Today Michelle updates the story with a quote from New Yorks Department of Investigation. Air America's repayment of the loans is less straight forward than they wanted the press to believe it was.

Comments (4)

Um, having Franken's signat... (Below threshold)

Um, having Franken's signature on a document that he says he knew nothing about proves quite a bit. Insert comment about wet feet & looking at the pyramids...

Can you imagine if t... (Below threshold)

Can you imagine if this was about Limbaugh or Savage? It would never have left the front page.


Riddle me this one, Batman.... (Below threshold)

Riddle me this one, Batman. Franken is running for the US Senate as a Democrat. And he signs a legal document without knowing what was in it??? Is that the kind of representation that Minnesota needs?

But now that I think about, he's perfect for a Democratic Senator. For a long time now, they've been signing things without knowing what they were doing.

What is important about the... (Below threshold)
Tom C.:

What is important about the "confidential document" is not only what it says - but how it says it.

Why would Piquant, et al, acknowledge those liabilities (remember this is late '04) in the first place if they thought they had nothing to do with them? And, they are listed as "liabilities of AAR"? Seems to be I can draw a very good inference that whoever had AAR also had those liabilities, there's certainly nothing that disavows them.

What right would I have to talk about (and deal) liabilities that weren't mine?

My sense was that the executors of that document were accepting and treating those amounts as bona fide debts.






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