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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

State Republicans Receive "Best Buy" Rating From Payday Lobbyists

Some numbers regarding "donations" to Wisconsin state legislative committees show the bargain the payday loan industry got from Republicans...
JS Online Excerpt:
Payday lenders and their lobbyists gave four campaign committees controlled by legislative leaders $28,350 in the second half of last year, the Democracy Campaign said - $13,900 to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee, $7,600 to the Committee to Elect a Republican Senate; $3,850 to the State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee, and $3,000 to the Republican Assembly Campaign Committee.
The Wisconsin State Assembly eventually voted 56-41 to kill what the predatory lenders fought hardest against - the interest rate cap amendment that Sheridan stands accused of changing his position on. Of that roll call, Republicans voted 34 - 10 to reject the interest cap amendment, while Democrats failed to reject the cap by a 22 - 31 margin. Yet the industry "donated" $17,750 to Democratic committees and only $10,600 to Republicans. At that rate the industry paid members of the Republican bloc $312 each for their majority "kill the cap" votes while paying a Democratic "minority" $807 each for their industry favored votes.

Controversy aside, along with the obvious detrimental influence lobbyists carry in Madison, if the payday industry depended only on Assembly democrats to shut down the rate cap, it was an extremely poor investment.

In a few weeks, The Democracy Campaign plans on calculating how much money the payday industry gave to individual lawmaker's campaigns between July 1 and Dec. 30. It'll be doubly interesting finding out how much each legislator received from the industry correlates to which way they voted on the interest cap amendment. Stay tuned for that one.

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