The payday lenders have adopted the same offensive, fact-free strategy as Pat Powers and the South Dakota Republican Party: when you can’t win a campaign on facts and policy, shout “Liberal!” For good measure, throw pictures of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the screen.
Such are the tactics in the video ad payday lender Rod Aycox is paying his ballot question committee “Give Us Credit SD” to run in our fair state to confuse voters into rejecting Initiated Measure 21, the real 36% rate cap on payday loans.
“Obama and Hillary—they’ve been lying for years,” says the video. “Obamacare, Benghazi, emails—” none of which pertain in the least to the 36% rate cap placed on our ballot by South Dakota activists Steve Hickey, Steve Hildebrand, and Reynold Nesiba.
“Now their allies in South Dakota are lying about Initiated Measure 21″—IM 21 sponsor Steve Hickey will take umbrage at being called an ally of Hillary Clinton. Hickey’s opposition to Clinton is evident from his comments on this very blog and on his Facebook page. Dale Bartscher and the South Dakota Family Heritage Alliance also revolt at the notion of a second Clinton Presidency, but they are supporting the 36% rate cap.
“Measure 21 does not provide protection from greedy lenders”—yes, it does. A hard 36% rate cap prevents Rod Aycox, Chuck Brennan, et al. from charging desperate low-income folks 574% interest and worse.
“It has huge loopholes benefiting special interests”—no, it doesn’t IM 21 applies to all payday lenders and other short-term loan sharks. IM 21 does not apply to normal banks, who don’t dare charge the payday lenders’ exploitative triple-digit interest.
“Under Measure 21, borrowers interest rates can skyrocket, leaving them under a mountain of debt”—no, payday loan interest rates cannot skyrocket. IM 21 caps rates at 36%. Period.
“Don’t believe the lies”—That’s the only useful sentence in this video, and it applies squarely to what Rod Aycox and the payday lenders are saying. Give Us Credit’s video is one big lie. If you don’t like Hillary Clinton, don’t vote for Hillary Clinton. If you don’t like lies, you can’t vote for Donald Trump, either; Gary Johnson is your only acceptable alternative. And if you don’t like lies, reject Rod Aycox’s propaganda, and vote to protect your South Dakota neighbors from loan sharks: vote Yes on 21 and vote No on U.
Related Reading: Greg Belfrage, also no friend of Clinton or Obama, reviews the radio version of Aycox’s liberal-Obama-Clinton swipe at IM 21 and calls this broad-brush red herring “beyond the pale,” “an insult to my intelligence,” and “ridiculous.” “I’m wondering,” says Belfrage, “if the misleading tactics used in this commercial are an indication of how the payday loan industry represents its loans to potential borrowers.” Belfrage is voting Yes on 21 and No on U.