The embattled boss of the state Democratic Committee quietly collected $6.1 million in federal pandemic relief loans for various ventures he runs — yet these businesses donated $54,000 over the same period to the campaigns of Govs. Hochul and Cuomo, records show.
Jay Jacobs — who is facing calls to resign from predominantly progressive members of his own party over state Democrats’ poor showing in last week’s elections — owns or is a top executive for at least 11 businesses, including several summer camps in New York and Pennsylvania, that secured $2,919,844 combined in Paycheck Protection Program loans for 2020 and another $3,194,596 last year, records show. The money was used to pay the salaries of hundreds of full-time staffers.
Despite seeking taxpayer help to operate during the pandemic, Jacobs’ businesses – which include Timber Lake Camp in upstate Shandaken, NY and Tyler Hill Camp in Pennsylvania — found enough disposable cash to donate $40,000 and $14,000, respectively, to campaigns of longtime allies Hochul and Cuomo in 2020 and 2021, state records show.
Some Democrats called on the US Small Business Association, which oversees the PPP program, to probe whether Jacobs misused the loans.
“If that’s true, it’s completely disingenuous,” said state Sen. Jessica Ramos (D-Queens). “If you’re really going through a hard time, then you don’t have money to donate to your favorite political candidates.”
Jacobs denied that any of the loan money went to campaign funds for his political pals.
“Any implication that PPP money was used for campaign contributions is provably and factually untrue — both as to the timing we received it, and the fact that the PPP loans were reviewed by the SBA and verified that they went for the purposes that they were meant to,” Jacobs said.