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Kodak boosted lobbying efforts during the months leading up to the loan



(Bloomberg) – Eastman Kodak Co. significantly increased its spending to put pressure on the federal government in the months leading up to the Trump administration to announce a $ 765 million loan to the besieged camera company.

Kodak spent $ 870,000 putting pressure on Congress and federal agencies between April and June, according to publications published in Congress. The New York-based Rochester-based company is reportedly not spending money on pressure exercises as it spent less than $ 5,000 in the first quarter of 2019.

The recent lobbying could have helped get a letter of interest from U.S. International Development Finance Corp., announced on July 28, that would give Kodak a $ 765 million loan to manufacture pharmaceutical materials. When the news of the loan offer was announced, Kodak shares rose and rose more than 2,000% at one time. This increase helped trigger federal investigations into possible stock law violations and stock options granted to Kodak executives days before the announcement.

“Now, all of a sudden, in this particular quarter when the government was studying this loan, they suddenly spent more money in the quarter than in any calendar year since 2011,” said Gabe Lezra, Citizen Policy Adviser for Responsibility and Ethics. , a government vigilante. agency in Washington, which marked the increase in pressure. “That for me jumps simply because it’s such an important change in the ways they interacted with the government.”

Three of Kodak’s executives, including Chief Financial Officer David Bullwinkle, lobbied the Department of Defense, the Food and Drug Administration, the White House and the Oversa Private Investment Corp. during the three months, according to reports. Kodak lobbied specifically for Covid-19 programs that referred to the “manufacture of specialty chemicals,” as well as the CARES Act and another coronavirus relief bill.

The Daily Beast previously reported on Kodak’s lobbying spending.

“With the advent of Covid-19, Kodak, like many companies across the country, explored federal support for the company and our workers, as well as opportunities to help the government, at the state and federal level, in response to the pandemic, “a company spokesman said. “This included our federal loan application to support the launch of Kodak Pharmaceuticals with the intent of strengthening the domestic response to Covid-19.”

Since then, the federal agency that offered the loan to Kodak has launched the deal. House Democrats have requested all communications about the loan.

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