Sunday, November 11, 2012

WI ALEC Members - Preying on the Working Poor

Here’s a nasty little tale about the benefits of being an ALEC legislator.

It is a nasty little tale about how ALEC legislators – do a little something, something for the ALEC Corporate Profit Sector members – which hurts the real constituents – the public, who pay the salaries of the ALEC legislator. Increased revenues for the ALEC corporate profit sector members by preying on the working poor.
ALEC Legislators - supporting legislation that preys on the working poor.
ALEC Profit Sector Members - Increasing revenue by preying on the working poor.

It’s a truly nasty little story that reeks of ALEC free-market quid proquo (you give me this - I'll give you that) and the American Legislative Exchange Council members.

Officials with LoanMax, a Georgia-based firm with branches throughout Wisconsin, poured $24,000 into the campaign coffers of more than a dozen Republican Assembly candidates in targeted districts during the past year.

More than three-quarters of the campaign cash came in the final weeks before Tuesday’s election.

Donations to Assembly candidates are capped at $500 per person.

Wisconsin had barred all loans secured with car titles because they were considered predatory. Low-income individuals with poor credit risk losing their vehicle if they are unable to pay off the debt.

But Assembly Republican leaders successfully led the effort last year to lift the ban on these loans and to ease state restrictions on payday loans — short-term deals with high-interest rates for which borrowers offer no collateral.

State Sen. Bob Jauch, a Poplar Democrat, said there’s no doubt LoanMax officials are mailing checks to Wisconsin as a small reward for last year’s legislative action.

Despite the criticism of the industry, Rep. Robin Vos — co-chairman of the Joint Finance panel and the likely Assembly speaker — said he submitted the amendment to the budget bill as a way to help consumers.
Robin Vos – the State Co-Chair for ALEC – that Robin Vos?
Wonder if his amendment looked anything like this ALEC “Model Legislation”

   This Act will provide for statewide licensing of title pledge lenders,
   including examination standards. The goal of this legislation is to
   reinforce title pledge lenders’ financial responsibility to the public.

Since 2006, LoanMax officials have given $55,500 to dozens of state lawmakers, nearly all of them Republicans.

But the Aycox clan and Kenneth Wayco, the president of LoanMax, picked up the pace of their donations late last year.

Since late December, the Aycox clan and Wayco have given a total of $24,000 to 14 Assembly Republican candidates, most of whom faced tough election fights. Of that, $18,500 arrived in their campaign coffers since the middle of September.

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