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Hildebrand: Payday Lenders Attacking Cafe with Fake Preacher and Disruptive Customers

The predatory payday lenders dirty tricks multiply faster than the interest their victims have to pay. Steve Hildebrand, one of the leaders of the petition drive to put a 36% interest rate cap on the 2016 ballot, reports that the payday lenders have sent a fake missionary from Atlanta to disrupt Hildebrand’s business, Josiah’s Coffeehouse and Café, in Sioux Falls:


I honestly can’t believe I’m writing this post. I need your help. Many of you have been in Josiah’s over the last two weeks witnessing so-called missionaries bringing in upwards of 50-60 supposed homeless people.

As it turns out, the so-called missionaries were here to target my business – and they were here doing business for the predatory lenders.

Most of you know that I’ve been co-chairing the effort to curb payday lending and car title loans in South Dakota – an effort that is deeply important to me as I so strongly believe that low income South Dakotans deserve a better chance in life than the 574% these companies charge on small loans.

On June 23, a man by the name of Rod Aycox came to Josiah’s. He lied to our staff that he was an old friend traveling through town and would the staff give him my cell phone number. He called me and demanded I meet with him that day. Rod Aycox is the CEO of North American Title Loans and lives in a mansion in Atlanta. He owns the largest predatory car title company in the nation. And, that day, he worked to try to talk me out of our efforts to cap the interest rates on predatory lending.

Shortly there-after, these so-called missionaries showed up in Sioux Falls – and specifically at Josiah’s, with a shameless cover story that they wanted to feed homeless people. Each day for two weeks, they brought upwards of 60 people into Josiah’s – and multiple times each day. The people were disruptive to our staff and to our guests. Their ring-leader was a man who goes by Deacon Pete. His real name is Floyd Pickett – and yesterday I filed trespass orders to keep him off our property here. Mr. Pickett – a so-called missionary – lives in Atlanta and works for Rod Aycox at North American Title Loans.

Mr. Pickett had one mission in South Dakota and that was to disrupt and attempt to hurt my business and me specifically.

Now that we finally have proof that these folks are fakes and phonies and pawns of the predatory lenders, we can deal in a more direct way with authorities to keep them away from Josiah’s for good.

As I said at the beginning of this post, I can’t believe I’m writing these words. I’ve proudly made Josiah’s a great place to hang out and enjoy family and friends in a drama-free environment. It’s time to get back there.

That’s where you come in. I could sure use a lot of familiar and friendly faces to come by – today, tomorrow and in the days ahead. This is YOUR coffeehouse – NOT THEIRS. You are the ones who made this the special place it is today in our community. And I need to see your smiling faces and a few hugs. I’ve said a hundred times, the best part of my life at Josiah’s is all the wonderful people who I’ve come across. I love our customers and I love being here with you.

I’m so sorry that these bad folks have crossed this threshold. I hope today, we can move things forward.

I love you all a lot. And, I thank you for giving us the chance to serve you [Steve Hildebrand, Facebook post, 2015.07.28].

Hildebrand called the cops today, but Floyd Pickett isn’t backing down; he says he’ll bring 150 people to Josiah’s tomorrow.

Father Timothy Fountain, a well-known clerical opponent of usury, finds the payday lenders masquerade appallingly un-Christian:

It is one thing to mount a protest, but these disgusting, idolatrous money grubbers added mockery of Christ himself to the mix [Timothy Fountain, “Pay Day Lenders From Atlanta Send Fake ‘Christian’ Ministry to Harass South Dakotans,” Stand Firm, 2015.07.28].

The payday lenders are committed to protecting their predatory profits by any means necessary. They have filed a frivolous lawsuit delaying Hildebrand’s petition. They are threatening to deploy their own decoy petition. And now Hildebrand says they are disrupting his business.

Boy: whatever happened to just fighting things out democratically at the ballot box?

Update 13:51 CDT: This January 21, 2012 Peoria Journal Star article links a Floyd Pickett, formerly of Peoria, now of Atlanta, with Rod Aycox, the payday lending CEO who paid that curious visit to Hildebrand last month, and Select Management Resources, and Select Management Resources, the company run by Aycox and VP’ed by Erin Ageton, who filed the failed dilatory lawsuit against the Attorney General’s explanation of the interest-rate-cap ballot measure in June.

The owner of one of the country’s largest title lending companies has donated $25,000 to the George Washington Carver Community Center.

Atlantans and former Peorians Floyd and Elois Pickett arranged for the $25,000 gift from the Rod and Leslie Aycox Family Foundation, the charitable arm of Rod Aycox’s Select Management Resources, which operates title loan companies under the name of Loan Max, North American Title Loans, and, in Illinois, Midwest Title Loans.

“I know this is not going to be the last donation,” said Pickett, who does contract work for Georgia-based Select Management Resources.

Pickett said he and his wife have helped the Aycoxes arrange charitable donations for other organizations throughout the United States. On a recent trip to Peoria, he learned Carver was struggling financially.

“We’re in a position to help people throughout the country,” Pickett said, “what about my hometown?”

…Pickett acknowledged the controversies surrounding title loan companies. But, he said, most people don’t know about Aycox’s philanthropy. “This man gives and expects nothing in return”[Pam Adams, “Title Lending Company Donation Will Help Carver Center,” Peoria Journal Star, 2012.01.21].


  1. Mrs. Nelson 2015-07-28 13:34

    They’re getting pretty desperate if this is their new tack. It’s… Really really low. Amazing what tactics Big Money will resort to, to kick down those who push against them.

  2. El Hefe 2015-07-28 13:41

    Semi-serious question: what’s the problem? “Deacon Pete” is giving these homeless people $40/day and taking them to Hidebrand’s coffee shop, where they’re spending that money. Why is Hildebrand complaining about additional business? He never once said they’re loitering or not buying things. He claims they are “disruptive” but doesn’t provide any examples. This almost sounds to me like a *gasp* dirty trick on behalf of the payday lender protesters. Both sides play the game.

  3. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-28 14:05

    El Hefe, as I understand it, if you’re bringing a large group to a restaurant, you usually call ahead so staff can prepare for the influx.

    I’d also question the intentions of a “deacon” who thinks he’s helping the homeless by taking them to a coffee shop. If I gave five bucks to a homeless guy, and he used it to get an over-priced latté instead of a loaf of bread, a jar of peanut butter, and a couple bananas, I’d be unhappy. Taking people to Josiah’s is not a homeless improvement plan. It’s a put-up job by someone who’s exploiting the poor… which fits with the payday lending business model.

  4. Sam@ 2015-07-28 14:06

    One more reason to vote for the elimation or lowering of interest rates for pay day loans. These people have been ripping off people for years. Now they do not seem to like it when someone stands up for the victims.

    I guess there is a double standards here.

    Deacon Pete should file a complaint with the department of labor. I doubt he is getting minimum wage

    They do not even treat their own fairly

  5. Craig 2015-07-28 14:25

    El Hefe – who mentioned that the ‘homeless’ people were given $40 a day? Did you pull that out of thin air, or do you have a source?

    Fact is, if they are bringing people in they are doing so to disrupt business. They can each buy a coffee and take every seat available where they can sit for hours. Any real customers that want to come have a beverage and perhaps a breakfast or lunch may look around and realize there is no place to sit – or they may see the crowd out front and go elsewhere. That not only costs him profit today, but it might turn away a regular customer which harms profits tomorrow.

    If they were just regular paying customers I’m sure it wouldn’t be a problem, but they are on the payroll of the Payday lenders for a reason… and it isn’t to increase the profits of Josiahs. It is to disrupt business and make a scene.

    These people have no shame. I can’t wait to vote for this Interest rate cap and force these predators out of business once and for all.

  6. Jason Sebern 2015-07-28 14:32

    Aycox’s philanthropy makes me sick. He bleeds the poor and then acts like he is some kind of savior by donating to charity. The solution to the Aycox’s of the world is more democracy. Steve Hildebrand’s petition drive is the antidote to our corrupt financial system. Sign his petition ASAP!

  7. El Hefe 2015-07-28 14:36

    Don’t mean to start an argument here, legitimately curious as to the harms this is causing him.

    Cory-So it’s more a matter of poor manners and falsely pretending to be a man of the cloth? If it weren’t for Hildebrand’s facebook post, I wouldn’t have heard about this at all so I’m not sure who it serves for Pickett to refer to himself as a deacon.

    Craig-KSFY quotes Hildebrand for the $40/day piece.

  8. El Hefe 2015-07-28 14:49

    I should rephrase that to say “legitimately interested in understanding the harms he’s facing, from Hildebrand himself.” Nowhere in his missive did he really address how this is hurting him. I think a lot of us can speculate but it doesn’t do a lot of good since we didn’t experience it. I’d really like to hear from Hildebrand exactly how this hurt his business.

  9. Rorschach 2015-07-28 15:17

    Sounds to me like the payday lending folks are trying to set up Hildebrand for some sort of lawsuit. Will they pay someone to say he/she was refused service because they’re gay? (I doubt if they are below making this claim against Hildebrand). Or black? or female? Hildebrand may make a few dollars on coffee, but I suspect the goal is to cost him thousands in attorney fees at some point.

  10. Craig 2015-07-28 15:24

    Well maybe you should reach out to Steve via his Facebook page or head down to the coffee shop yourself and ask him. The stories being reported talk about these people disrupting businesses and interfering with other customers and staff members… but if that isn’t the answer you would like, then by all means contact Steve directly.

    Rest assured if it wasn’t hurting his business there would be no reason for him to complain nor would there be any reason for Aycox to pay these people to be there. Their game plan is to strong-arm anyone who is against them into compliance and this just shows how low they will go.

  11. Craig 2015-07-28 15:27

    Prior comment was in response to El Hefe.

    @ Rorschach – the ‘Deacon’ has already made accusations of racism because he is pointing out that many of the ‘homeless’ are black. So yes… the seeds are planted and we seem to know what type of fertilizer he is using (bull$hit). It won’t work – but nice distraction by the trolls.

    Looks like I know where I’m getting my coffee tomorrow.

  12. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-07-28 16:17

    Shameless greed on full display, made even more shameless, if that’s possible, by pretending to be doing a good deed for people in need. In fact, it’s no different from their “charitable” donations.

    They take advantage of people who are desperate or ignorant or vulnerable in some other way, for millions of dollars. Then they donate a fraction of a percent of that ill-gotten lucre and think they ought to be regarded as heroes. Quite likely a part of that “donation” goes to someone they scammed to minutely reduce the misery they created. Makes me want to take a shower just thinking about them.

  13. Joan Brown 2015-07-28 17:46

    Do we even know that they are local homeless people or are they being bused in.

  14. Eric Leggett 2015-07-28 18:41

    If it helps, I drove by today about noon. There were about 7 people, a couple holding signs declaring Josiah’s is a racist establishment.

  15. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-28 18:54

    Racist?! Eric, send us pictures!

    Now we see where this put-up job is really headed. Same as with hiring people to shout over the shoulder of petition circulators in Missouri: create a scene that is borderline legal, does the damage now to intimidate the political enemies but doesn’t offer a sufficiently clear case for immediate legal punishment but would require a long and costly legal battle to prove… a battle that would divert resources from the petition drive and the campaign. Such tactics are how you scare many folks away from participating in democracy.

  16. David Newquist 2015-07-28 18:56

    This crew is exploiting the homeless for propaganda just as it exploits the poor and desperate with 500% loans. Steve Hildebrand established the connections and the vicious dissembling they do to achieve their purpose. The entire affair is a definitive revelation of the character and motives of the people involved in the title loan business.

  17. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-28 19:00

    One aspect of campaign finance law that will make it hard to track this ploy: ballot question committees don’t need to file any further paperwork with Secretary of State Krebs until the year-end filing due at the end of January next year. We won’t be able to look for the names of Floyd Pickett, Lamont Banks, or Richard Ready on the filings from the payday lender front committees for at least six months… and even then, they might not even bother to itemize their expenses.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-28 19:03

    The proper response, of course, is for everyone who finds the payday lenders’ tactics despicable is to bring friends by the coffeehouse this week and sign Hildebrand’s 36%-interest-rate-cap petition… and see if any of these bribed protestors try to get in the way of that signing. Better yet, ask the homeless folks if they’d like to sign. Explain the issue to them. Explain the exploitation taking place. See what they say.

  19. grudznick 2015-07-28 19:19

    There are just some people who don’t know any better and somebody else has to tell them where they should buy their coffee. Heck, maybe they should be banned from coffee at all and be putting that $5 latte money into a coffee can to save up for a home or good sandwich.

    There are some other people who don’t know any better and somebody else has to protect them from taking pay day loans.

    We just can’t let these people make their own decisions.

  20. Dave 2015-07-28 22:01

    El Hefe — here’s the last couple graphs of that Sioux Falls paper’s report on what’s happening at the coffee shop:
    “Former Mayor Dave Munson, one of the regulars, said the groups have “inundated” the restaurant over the last couple of weeks.
    “It really made it tough if you wanted to order,” he said.
    Roger Koch, who owns a nearby business, said it’s apparent that somebody is orchestrating the groups. He has seen the people gather in groups before they walk over to Josiah’s. He came down Tuesday to support Hildebrand.
    “You can have a difference of opinion, but you don’t do things like this,” he said.”

  21. jerry 2015-07-28 23:03

    This is a traditional mafia shakedown. Very rare to have ever seen it this far in the middle of the country, but in the east, it causes a business to pay the ransom. Of course, the local police in Sioux Falls are to dumbfounded to be able to see the criminal aspect of it, but it is a shakedown.

  22. Jeff Barth 2015-07-28 23:06

    Jerry has a reasonable theory.

  23. Roger Cornelius 2015-07-28 23:20

    The borrowers from these payday lenders that have had their financial lives ruined need to protest in front of every payday loan operator in the state.

    You probably wouldn’t have to pay them anything.

  24. grudznick 2015-07-28 23:21

    If you assume these people, 90% of whom are clearly libbies, shouldn’t just be enjoying a latte because you don’t want them to, that’s fine.

    If it’s some nefarious action, you have to admit it is just a little bit amusing. Can you imagine the fun the minds behind this sort of thing will cook up in the coming months?

  25. jerry 2015-07-28 23:21

    The payday dude has been schooled by some serious goons that do not want their gravy train disrupted. Maybe a visit from Marty to the feller would be in order. If all else fails, there is always RICO. Should be interesting as it does cross state lines so it may be something for the FEDS to perk their ears up on.

  26. Timothy L Fountain 2015-07-29 06:41

    Pickett says that his boss “gives and expects nothing in return.”

    That’s because he’s already taken. He doesn’t need to ask since he’s living large in Hot-lanta on money sucked out of South Dakota’s and other states’ economies via excessive interest and property taken from poor and vulnerable people.

    It’s the old Mafia thing: donate a portion of ill gotten gain to some shiny new civic bauble and you must be a great guy.

  27. Timothy L Fountain 2015-07-29 06:56

    Oh and if Josiah’s is crowded (God willing with real customers and folks who want to sign petitions), I can’t offer superior coffee and food, but I have petitions, too. Contact at the website – click on my name. Voicemail available if I’m not there.

  28. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 07:22

    Grudz, your smallness on this issue is disturbing. As Jerry says, this action is clearly a politically motivated shakedown, intended to stop South Dakotans from exercising their democratic rights.

    Roger, some of the people whose lives have been ruined by payday loans may be at the homeless shelter, waiting to get on the Pickett/Aycox bus to harass Hildebrand.

  29. Lynn 2015-07-29 07:56

    Josiah’s menu looks scrumptious and is priced very reasonable

    I’d be happy to drive over to Sioux Falls to stand in line whether it’s 150 people in front of me and enjoy a tasty treat, coffee and sign a petition. Sit on the sidewalk or curb and enjoy the failed attempt by payday goons if regular seating is not available. Purchase some goodies to bring back for family members and friends. :)

  30. El Hefe 2015-07-29 08:34

    Cory, Dave-Thank you both for providing some examples. I couldn’t picture the end-game or how it would ultimately be disruptive, so thanks for clarifying.

  31. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 08:56

    Thanks for your patience and curiosity, El Hefe. That’s the tricky thing here: the payday lenders engage in tactics that, to the casual observer, may not appear to be illegal or nefarious. The payday lenders aren’t stupid; they aren’t just going to throw bricks through windows. They spend their money in ways that maximize hassle for the target while minimizing their own risk.

  32. jerry 2015-07-29 09:05

    I am wondering when Rev. Hickey’s place is gonna get the paid congregation. That would fill the collection plate to overflow. Oh wait, that is now how extortion works. Because I am kind of an evil sort of feller, I would take pictures of all of these guys and post them. I am sure there is someone they owe a little coin to that would love to see them raking in some cash so they could pay them back. Maybe the State of South Dakota is paying them unemployment or disability because they cannot stand. Looks like they are being 1099 employee. If they follow direction for payment, they should be getting Obamacare and paying Medicare.

  33. 96Tears 2015-07-29 09:23

    Typical loan shark mobster behavior. “You mess with me, I break your legs.”

    This is an effective and brutal tool if people turn their backs and ignore it. Fortunately, Hildebrand put the spotlight on these imported cockroaches. They won’t go quietly, though. Perhaps it’s because of South Dakota’s reputation as a state with a heavy handed Attorney General who bends over backward to cover up for his pals. You know, like Mike Rounds and Joop Bollen fleecing the EB-5 program and getting away with it. The loan sharks pay the pipers in Pierre. They expect service in 2016.

    I heard some chatter yesterday about some of the people lined up to help the loan sharks in 2016. Apparently, it’s going to be a multi-million dollar gravy train for the more thuggish operatives in the state GOP.

  34. Porter Lansing 2015-07-29 09:36

    Any protester vehicles should be required to obtain South Dakota license plates as they are being paid and doing business in the state. It’s doubtful they are actually homeless. Posting photos of them nationally on social media would surely expose their residencies …. probably in Atlanta. This is a case of an out of state pay-day lender trying to play South Dakota voters as a bunch of haybillies whom have no idea what’s really going on. ps: Follow the buses. It’s not like there’s a pool of homeless people somewhere that you can just round up every morning. They’re staying somewhere while in SF protesting.

  35. Don Coyote 2015-07-29 09:47

    @Lynn: Don’t bother. I’ve been there several times and found the food mediocre, the service ungodly slow and the place totally lacking any seating instead depending on a common seating area in the lobby of the building or sitting outside. Hildebrand was totally unrealistic when he rented this cubbyhole.

    His lattes sucked too. Little to no espresso flavor and under heated milk. If I had wanted a cold latte I would’ve ordered one.

  36. jerry 2015-07-29 10:06

    One thing about Don the coyote, if you do just the opposite of what he is trying to spew, you will be fine. If he says the service is crap, count on it to be good. If he says the traitor flag is good, well, you get the picture, he is consistently so wrong, you can bet on it by doing the opposite.

  37. mike from iowa 2015-07-29 10:14

    Hildebrand’s website would prolly be the correct place to critique his service and wares.

  38. Jeff Barth 2015-07-29 10:34

    I did see people sitting in their cars with out of state plates.

  39. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 10:44

    Get photos, Jeff! You can bet they were taking your picture!

  40. Daniel Buresh 2015-07-29 10:45

    I would expect opposition only to get even bigger. This isn’t just a cap on payday loans, this is a cap on all financial institutions that operate in SD. When you consider most overdraft fees and other ancillary services have fees in excess of the 38% cap, it is going to affect the revenue streams of every bank, credit union, credit card processor, and financial services business in the state. This could essentially set the stage for a huge number of jobs to be moved out of state.

  41. Dicta 2015-07-29 10:46

    Talk about the mother of all backfires. Josiah’s was absolutely swamped this morning. I didn’t see any protesters there either, so maybe the attention has caused a little more backlash than anticipated.

  42. Daniel Buresh 2015-07-29 10:46


  43. Flipper 2015-07-29 10:47

    I’m sure Chuck Brennan is watching this shameless and disgusting exploitation of homeless people, along with the attempt to destroy Hildebrand’s business, and laughing his overly large butt off.

  44. 96Tears 2015-07-29 11:00

    Dan – Loan sharking is the target, and if mainstream banks get their wings clipped for their own predatory fees, all the better. I don’t give a rat’s ass if they move out of the state. Good riddance to bad rubbish, and I hope South Dakota leads the nation in sweeping the predators out of the lending industry. Congress set the stage by allowing banks to become more predatory, and now it’s time citizens shove it back at them and their fat cat lobbyists.

  45. Daniel Buresh 2015-07-29 11:26

    Predatory fees…..and here a i thought a $20 charge for writing a bad check seemed pretty fair considering the implications. Loan sharking may be the target, but that is not the only thing going to take a hit. Honestly, I hope all free banking services go away and they start charging membership fees. That will really help the low income and poor. There is no reason banks should be doing things for people for free. Start charging for every service and the fees will be minimal and within reason, but they will tied to everything. I can already see the work piling up for banks wanting to automate those fee assessments.

  46. 96Tears 2015-07-29 11:50

    Point well taken, Don. I was referring to the laws passed by Congress in the last 12 years on banking laws that were labeled reforms but led the over extension of credit and the installation of more punitive penalties that became a slippery slope to destruction for middle class families.

  47. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 13:12

    Hold on, Daniel: the Hickey-Hildebrand 36% interest-rate cap does not affect all financial institutions. See my July 13 post on the payday lenders’ decoy petition, per the AG’s explanation: “The Hildebrand-Hickey initiative caps interest rates for payday, title, and short-term lenders, not for state and national banks, trust companies, and other federally insured financial institutions.” Your job loss disadvantage applies only to the payday lenders… and frankly, we can do without those jobs.

  48. Scott 2015-07-29 16:14

    I witnessed something very cool today. After this story came to light yesterday, I saw a number of people stating that they planned to visit the shop today to show support for Steve. I made it in about 8 or so, and the line was out the door with real customers. Over the course of the next hour ,that line never wavered despite some extremely quick service times by his crew. I’d never been in there before, nor had many that I talked to. I guess instead of hurting Hildy, these despicable tactics from that industry ended up doing the exact opposite of their intentions.

  49. Joan Brown 2015-07-29 17:45

    On the news last night I saw some of these allegedly homeless people being interviewed and the ones that I saw were white and extremely clean and well groomed. They had on white t-shirts and the shirts were sparkling white. They were also blonde and had nice short hair cuts, no beards. I have never seen any of the local homeless people that appeared to be that clean and well groomed.

  50. mike from iowa 2015-07-29 18:21

    Maybe they were bussed in from Atlanta where they own homes,but are homeless in Soo Falls.

  51. grudznick 2015-07-29 18:45

    Goodness, that seems a bit like judging a book by its cover, Ms. Brown. Are you saying homeless people can’t be white and clean and combed? I, myself, have met a number of white, clean, and well-coiffed homeless people. Including children.

  52. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 19:27

    See, Joan? Grudz shows us the kind of fishing Floyd Pickett’s paid protestors are paid to bring up. They are out to solicit responses that can be interpreted as racist, classist, sexist, whatever, anything that will allow them to throw up a smokescreen of protest that hurts Hildebrand, his business, and his supporters and makes the news cycle focus on personalities and other distractions instead of the core policy issue: that payday lenders exploit the poor and that a 36% interest rate cap would protect the poor.

  53. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 20:00

    Very interesting observation, Scott… and perhaps instructive for every South Dakota voter and activist. The payday lenders played on exactly the fear that I hear from some shy blog readers, anonymous sources, potential petition signers, and potential candidates: “I support what you’re doing, and I’d like to help, but I’m afraid that if I get involved, it’s hurt my business.” The ploy turned into a demonstration that standing up for one’s political beliefs might actually be good for business. The payday lenders wanted to hurt Hildebrand’s business, his profits, and his brand; instead, they may have strengthened it, and they revealed the willingness of hundreds of South Dakotans (I hear the counter was non-stop busy all day) to stand up against such intimidation tactics.

    But notice that to be protected from such sneaky intimidation tactics, you have to shine the light on that intimidation. You have to say (and be able to substantiate) in the press that John Smith or Acme Inc. is trying to strong-arm you for your political activities. If people see the strong-arm tactics, they’ll help you fight back.

    This incident does make clear that we can fight back against big-business bullies with publicity, patronage (i.e., patronizing businesses who are being bullied), and petitions.

  54. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 20:06

    Such intimidation tactics may also turn people against the payday lenders. Check out what KELO-AM’s Greg Belfrage wrote today:

    I wouldn’t have signed the petition prior to recent events.

    However, I’ll sign it now, if for no other reason than send a message to those responsible that such despicable tactics are unwelcome here.

    I may not agree with Mr. Hildebrand’s politics and often inflammatory rhetoric, but I fully support and defend his right to participate in the process without fear of harassment [Greg Belfrage, “Harassment Has No Place in Payday Loan Debate,” KELO-AM: The Daily Dose, 2015.07.29].

    I hear circulators at Josiah’s may have collected a thousand signatures today. That’s a State Fair-level daily signature count, and that’s at one little coffeeshop.

  55. Roger Cornelius 2015-07-29 20:07


    KSFY did a good report on Josiah’s and the traffic it generated.

  56. Douglas Wiken 2015-07-29 20:20

    KELO or KSFY indicated how much money that payday loan thug had put into Iowa politics to kill limitation there. Something like $150,000 in “contributions” and perhaps if I saw it right, $800,000 on lobbying. That he can dump that much into buying votes, strongly suggests the payday lenders are making far too much money and could well survive with less.

  57. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-29 21:10

    Thanks, Roger for pointing us toward KSFY’s story. The lead from KSFY’s story: “Steve Hildebrand of Josiah’s Coffeehouse took back his business Wednesday.” Wow! That’s reporter Tess Hedrick putting the stamp of approval on Hildebrand and people power and dismissing the paid infiltrators as bullies.

  58. jerry 2015-07-29 23:45

    Ole Rod, the nimrod will not go easily, but go he shall. The one thing cockroach’s cannot stand is the light of day. I hope the fake preacher man gets an interview as well. To snare him in the act of denying a working relationship between themselves, will be the icing on the cake that will be used in the future to sink them both. Paybacks to the payday lenders, life is funny.

  59. Keri 2015-07-31 12:08

    The real problem is that too many financial institutions simply refuse to serve poor people. Hildebrand’s cafe is an excellent metaphor. They poor need something for themselves that isn’t a handout, but they’ll just have to go somewhere else for it because it offends the regulars. Nice.

  60. caheidelberger Post author | 2015-07-31 12:56

    No, Keri, I don’t think that is the real problem. Financial institutions won’t serve fifty people who show up unannounced all at once demanding a mortgage. Restaurants generally don’t serve large groups who show up daily for over two weeks, ignoring the owner’s request that the group call ahead so the owner can have enough staff and supplies available to serve them and other customers effectively. The real problem (for the loan sharks, not for decent South Dakotans) is that the loan sharks have demonstrated their brazen willingness to exploit poor people and use lies and incivility to hurt whoever stands between them and their prey. Their attempt to sabotage Steve’s business as punishment for engaging in open political activity. The payday lenders’ dirty tricks squad has provided us with the perfect metaphor for their own disreputability, which in turn has motivated even more people to sign the 36%-rate-cap petition before the payday lenders can get out the chute with their decoy petition. The payday lenders evidently can’t play well, so they try to compensate by playing mean. Next.

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