One of the business owners starring in a Mitt Romney ad that attacks President Barack Obama‘s “you-didn’t-build-that” soundbite actually has received quite a bit of government aid in the past. Melissa Ball, the owner of Ball Office Products, appears in the Romney campaign’s web ad. Her Virginia company, though, has been the recipient of a $52,000 contract with the General Services Administration. And it has an exclusive contract with Virginia Commonwealth University, a public university.
The company also has an exclusive contract with VCU that makes it mandatory for VCU to purchase office supplies either from them or from Guy Brown Products.
From the VCU description of the contract:
All departments must purchase general office supplies, which include paper and toner, from Ball Office Products and Guy Brown Products. Non-general office supplies (printers, scanners, software, break-room supplies) may be purchased from Ball and Guy Brown, or they may be purchased from non-office supply vendors.
Specialty items that are not found in either Ball or Guy Brown’s Punch-Out catalogue may be purchased from non-office supply vendors. No purchases from any other office supply vendor are allowed. … All paper purchases must be made from Guy Brown or Ball, except for the purchase of palletized paper, when the pricing is lower for palletized paper on other established paper contracts.
In addition to the new web ad, Ball also appeared on a Republican National Committee conference call last week hammering Obama for his comments.
“Along with my partner, Jonathan, and our wonderful employees over the years, we built our office products from scratch,” Ball said. “Twelve years ago we took a big risk. We decided to start this business, we dedicated ourselves to work extremely hard, putting in extremely long hours in order to build a better future for ourselves, our families, our employees, and their families. So, when President Obama said in Roanoke that ‘if you’ve got a business you didn’t build that, somebody else made that happen,’ I was personally extremely insulted.”
Ball Office would be far from the first company that received government contracts and are still crusading against Obama’s comments in question. The company A.D. Morgan, which has received at least $150 million since 1999 for work on government buildings, participated in a Romney event pushing back against “you didn’t build that,” The Tampa Bay Times’ Michael Van Sickler reported.
Ball Office didn’t return an email seeking comment.
Watch the ad featuring Ball below:
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