At a January 15th candidate forum, he said “I am one hundred percent against bailouts of any type, shape, or form. Of all the companies I run, not one time has anybody, including the government, come through that front door and said ‘Wink, you screwed this thing up but I want to write you a check anyway.’”
Contradicting Hartman’s claim is his 1987 personal bankruptcy filing. It qualifies as a bailout. It’s true that during the process no one wrote him a check, so his claim in the forum is correct on a certain level. But when debt is canceled, it’s just like someone wrote a check. It has the same economic effect for the debtor.
And while Hartman said that no one — and emphasizing the government — has written a check, it’s government debt that was canceled, according to bankruptcy court records. Both the federal government and the State of Kansas received only 12 percent of their claims against Hartman for taxes owed.
Investigations by myself and others indicate that Hartman may have repaid some of his creditors, but not all. It’s difficult to tell, as the bankruptcy filing was 23 years ago.
But even if Hartman did repay all creditors, the government, through the bankruptcy laws, stepped in and gave him the reprieve of time. That’s a bailout, by any measure.
The candidates for this nomination and their campaign websites are Wichita businessman Jim Anderson, Wichita businessman Wink Hartman, Wichita businessman Mike Pompeo, Latham engineer Paij Rutschman, and Kansas Senator Jean Schodorf.