Shockingly, Lisa Furlong, the payday lenders’ stooge acting as sponsor of the fake 18% rate cap ballot initiative, emerges from Cheneyesque limbo to comment publicly on the Secretary of State’s rejection of my challenge to her shady petition.
Even more shockingly, Lisa Furlong has the gall to tell this bald-faced lie:
Lisa Furlong, the constitutional amendment’s sponsor, said she was glad, though not surprised that the challenge was unsuccessful, as the measure had tens of thousands of signatures.”The support for our cause of ending high-interest rate loans, while defending free market principles continues to grow and we are glad that South Dakotans will have the opportunity to voice their support once more when they go to the polls in November,” Furlong said in a statement [Dana Ferguson, “Payday Lending Amendment to Remain on Ballot,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.05.19].
Let me resist blog hyperbole and refer to the text of Furlong’s Amendment U itself:
That article VI of the Constitution of South Dakota be amended by adding new sections to read as follows:
- No lender may charge interest for the loan or use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing. No law fixing an annual percentage rate of interest for the loan or use of money is valid unless the law provides borrowers the right to contract at interest rates as may be agreed to by the parties.
- No law fixing a rate of interest or return for the loan or use of money, or fixing the service or any other charge that may be made or imposed for the loan or use of money, for any particular group or class engaged in lending money is valid. Any rate of interest or charge fixed by law shall apply generally and to all lenders without regard to the type or classification of the lender’s business.
If Furlong’s cause were really “ending high-interest rate loans,” her Amendment U would stop with its first full sentence: “No lender may charge interest for a loan or the use of money in excess of eighteen per cent per annum.” However, Amendment U continues with this important qualifier: “…unless the borrower agrees to another rate in writing.” Since every commercial loan involves some written agreement, Amendment U does nothing to end commercial high-interest rate loans in South Dakota.
If Furlong’s cause were really “ending high-interest rate loans,” her Amendment U would not include the subsequent clauses that will void any other genuine rate caps, like the honest 36% payday lender rate cap offered by Initiated Measure 21. Her Amendment U would also not be an amendment to the constitution, which makes makes it impossible for the Legislature to meaningfully cap interest rates. Only another ballot initiative could overturn Amendment U’s protection of the payday lending industry, and citizens would have to circulate petitions for another constitutional amendment, not just an initiated law, meaning they have to gather twice as many signatures to call for a public vote.
I’m won’t even try to come up with the verbal gymnastics necessary to qualify Furlong’s statement as truth, because I’m not being paid to come up with such sophistry. Lisa Furlong is lying on behalf of the payday lenders. Lisa Furlong wants to write the payday lenders’ lies into our state constitution. Vote against lies; vote against Amendment U.