This is everything that’s wrong with our political system

Posted in 83rd Legislature, Money In Politics, The Lege at 12:57 pm by wcnews

Via Texans for Public Justice, Lobby Watch: Eighty-two Payday Lobbyists Out to Kill Reforms.

Twenty-four predatory lenders are paying 82 lobbyists up to $4.4 million to kill a bill to impose consumer protections on payday and auto-title loans. A tenth of the industry’s lobbyists are former Texas lawmakers. Georgia-based auto-title lender Rod Aycox is the biggest lobby spender in Texas, which let lenders repossess the vehicles of 35,000 Texans last year.

If they’re spending that much to kill the legislation, it should make everyone wonder exactly how much money are they making preying on Texans?

Of the 16 states that fail to regulate predatory lenders, Texas is by far the fattest bonanza. The predatory lenders who have given $4 million to Texas politicians in recent years are spending up to $4.4 million on lobbyists this session to keep the staggering profits flowing. The cowing,legislative deference that this money commands has sparked unusually blunt statements about lawmakers selling themselves to special interests.

Apologizing in early April for the modesty of the reforms he initially proposed, powerful Senator John Carona confessed that Texas legislators work for the special interests that pay their bills. “This is the only version that will pass this session,” Carona said. “I am convinced the industry has given as far as it intends to go.”

This month Texas House members will decide whom they most represent. Is it the more than 35,000 Texans who had their vehicles repoed bypredatory lenders last year? Or is it the two dozen, mostly out-of-state predatory PACs and executives who gave current House members more than $1.3 million?

What sayeth thou, Mr. Speaker?

Kuff posts that Payday lending prospects look grim in the House.

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