Payday Lender Bill Stalls as Money Flows

In this update: 1. Payday lenders lubricating legislative machinery 2. Shareholder consent bill to get hearing Payday Lender Bill Stalls as Money Flows

Email date: 3/1/10

In this update:
1. Payday lenders lubricating legislative machinery
2. Shareholder consent bill to get hearing

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Payday lenders lubricating legislative machinery
A preliminary glimpse into the campaign giving by payday lenders in the last half of 2009 shows that three-quarters of the industry’s donations to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee were made on two days – one being the day before Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan had a change of heart about supporting an interest rate cap on the industry’s transactions and the other being about three weeks after his announcement that a 36% interest rate limit on payday loans went “too far.”

On February 16 the Assembly passed a stripped-down bill without any interest rate limit. Payday lenders routinely charge interest rates of 500% or more on their cash advances and other such transactions.

The Democracy Campaign’s analysis focuses on recently filed reports showing donations made to four campaign committees controlled by legislative leaders. There are 132 individual legislators whose campaign committees filed fundraising reports at the same time. We are in the process of incorporating all the donations given to those committees into our searchable database, and we expect to be able to analyze that activity within about two weeks.

For audio commentary on WDC’s findings, check out our Big Money Podcast.

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Shareholder consent bill to get hearing
Legislation drafted in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling allowing unlimited corporate spending on elections will receive a public hearing in a Senate committee on Wednesday, March 10 at 10 a.m. The bill requires corporations to receive explicit permission from their shareholders before doing any election spending.

It’s still not too late to sign our petition protesting the Supreme Court decision.