Phoenix, AZ – Lobbyists were counting on the votes of not just Republicans but
also that of Democrat Cloves Campbell. He had previously
indicated he might be willing to continue the special law that
allows lenders to charge what amounts to an annual rate of 400
percent on two week loans. Campbell said that's too high. But he
also said the lenders didn't care about -- and only wanted to
take money from -- his largely minority constituency until they
needed his vote.
(This is something they should have been doing a long time ago.
And when you start thinking about knee-jerk reactions, when it's
time for you to lose business, all of a sudden you find a new
crop of friends. And that's what we turned out to be: a new crop
Republican Andy Tobin who is carrying the bill for the industry,
said he won't push it until he's sure of some Democratic support
-- especially since a nearly identical measure was trounced at
the polls in 2008.
(This is a bipartisan effort. The voters had spoken on this once
before. We thought that by putting more into this, more
regulation, we would be protecting jobs. But clearly there's been
a shift in the minority support for this bill.)
Tobin's desire for Democrat votes goes beyond seeking political
cover for resurrecting the plan. Several Republicans already have
said they won't support his bill and the payday lending industry
should die. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.