Wednesday, May 04, 2016

PolitiFact Looks At Patrick Murphy And The Payday Lenders


The crooked politicians who take money from the payday lenders have offered to sell their own constituents-- poor ones with little influence-- to the industry in return for campaign contributions. There has been a lot of talk about how Debbie Wasserman Schultz has bolstered the position of payday lenders and given them a green light for their predatory practices. Generally-speaking, though the payday lending industry goes to Republicans for support. Their 3 biggest backers since 1990 in the House are Kevin Yoder (R-KS-- $178,307), Jeb Hensarling (R-TX- $166,700) and Lynn Jenkins (R-KS- $158,000). Among current members of the House accepting bribes from the payday lenders, Wasserman Schultz-- nicknamed DebtTrapDebbie for her efforts on their behalf-- is the 14th most corrupt in Congress, having raked in $65,500. In fact, 3 Democrats have taken more than Wasserman Schultz from the payday lenders: Carolyn Maloney (D-NY- $129,050), Alcee Hastings (D-FL- $116,700) and Gregory Meeks (New Dem-NY- $108,900).

There are other ways of looking at the flow of bribes. Who do the payday lenders want to put into the Senate this cycle?

Of 15 Senate candidates running this year being supported financially by the payday lenders, only one isn't an incumbent: Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL). In fact, among the dozen Members of the House who have taken $15,000 or more in payday lending bribes, it's Alcee Hastings and Patrick Murphy who are the most corrupt Democrats, not Wasserman Schultz. This cycle she's only gotten $2,500 out of them so far. Much bigger amounts flow to Republicans and corrupt Democrats who vote on fiscal matters with Republicans-- Alcee Hastings (FL), Patrick Murphy (FL), Kyrsten Sinema and Tony Cardenas (CA).

And it's been Murphy who has worked most closely with the Republicans inside the House Financial Services Committee to push through the payday lenders' legislative agenda. It's Murphy who has been the least sympathetic to the interests of poor people forced to borrow from these low end vultures. And it's been Murphy who has defended the Florida payday lenders' law as a model for the nation. This week, PolitiFact exposed Murphy as a bold-faced liar in the payday lender debate.
The issue of payday lending has become one of the Florida-centric issues in Florida's U.S. Senate campaign.  Recently, Rep. Patrick Murphy, who's running for the Democratic nomination, conducted a conference call with reporters, and when the discussion of payday lending came up, Murphy told the press that Florida was one of the better states in the country when it came to consumer protection regulations, and that Florida regulations should be used as a model by other states.

On the conference call, Murphy said that Florida’s regulations on the payday lending industry are "stronger than almost any other state."  Our partners at PolitiFact took a look at this claim to see if it was true. PolitiFact reporter Joshua Gillin says that Murphy's claim rates FALSE on the Truth-O-Meter. Gillin said that there's a distinction between federal and state laws, and the effectiveness of each.

"We talked to a lot of consumer advocates and research groups when we started looking into the payday lending industry," said Gillin. "What we found was that the federal laws are best for consumers. State laws, on the other hand, are not as strict, and don't really live up to Murphy's claim."

Gillin noted the following:
In Florida, there is a cap on the amount of fees that you can be charged for this type of loan. That fee is capped at $35. Other states have different caps or no caps at all.
When it comes to the interest rate, Florida law leaves it completely unregulated.
The average interest rate on these loans in Florida is around 278% annually.
Gillin also said that those same consumer groups wanted to emphasize that the extrememly high interest rates are what they're fighting.  While Florida's payday law may be better that laws in other states, there's no evidence to show that it's stronger than almost any other state. Because of that lack of evidence, Muprhy's claim that Florida payday lending regulations are "stronger than almost any other state" is rated FALSE on the Truth-O-Meter.

Murphy has used his perch on the House Financial Services Committee to connive with the Republicans in pushing Wall Street banksters' interests above the interests of ordinary American working families. Wall Street has made him their #1 priority this cycle for the U.S. Senate. Of all the non-incumbent candidates for Senate-- from either party-- Murphy has taken more money from Wall Street than anyone else. So far this cycle, the banksters have doled out $1,105,850 to Murphy, even more than they've given to crooked Republican incumbents they support, like Richard Burr (R-NC- $1,056,100), Mark Kirk (R-IL- $1,034,310), Ron Johnson (R-WI- $1,030,935) and John McCain (R-AZ- $921,259). There are no otherDemocratic Senate challengers taking in even close to the volume of bribes Murphy is getting. He's proven himself over the last 3 years to be Wall Street's second best friend in Congress-- after Chuck Schumer. And now Schumer has promised Wall Street he will get Murphy into the Senate to balance out the impact of reformers like Elizabeth Warren and Jeff Merkley.

Schumer has waged an unrelenting and vicious war against Murphy's rival for the Florida Senate seat, Alan Grayson. Grayson is the last person the banksters want to see in the Senate and their wish, as always, is Schumer's command. Schumer, by the way, has taken $24,710,208 from the banksters during his sleazy career-- more than anyone else in American history other than 3 presidential candidates-- and more than double the bribes Wall Street has paid out to Mitch McConnell! But with all this onslaught of corrupt cash directed by Schumer and flowing to Murphy, Grayson sitll leads him in most polls. Please, if there's just one Senate race you invest in this cycle, make it the crucial Florida race between Grayson and Murphy... here:
Goal Thermometer

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