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Video Documents Success of 36% Rate Cap on Payday Loans in South Dakota

Even elitist Republican Speaker G. Mark Mickelson admits that the initiative and referendum process is “very cool.” It certainly was cool in 2016, when it helped South Dakota consumer advocate David beat payday-loan Goliath and pass Initiated Measure 21, the 36% cap on payday lending annual rates.

South Dakotans for Responsible Lending and the national Center for Responsible Lending (the nice out-of-state allies whom Mickelson is trying, weakly, to unconstitutionally ban from helping South Dakotans defend themselves from economic and political predators) have posted this pleasant little documentary of their success here in South Dakota:

The success of IM 21 in 2016 is the perfect example of why we don’t need Mickelson’s IM 24. Payday lenders from Georgia and elsewhere outspent local reformers 19 to 1, but South Dakotans still read IM 21 and did the right thing. Our initiative process and our voters are cool enough that we don’t need Mark Mickelson’s unconstitutional interference.


  1. Donald Pay 2018-11-05 09:44

    Banning out-of-state money in initiative and referendums is unconstitutional, according to the righties on the US Supreme Court. Corporate and billionaire free speech beats out the 10th Amendment every time. Righty jurists know who pays their bills. And so, if you believe in precedent and the rule of law, even if you think all those cases have been wrongly decided, I guess you say IM 24 is doomed, even if it passes. Besides, !M 24 has all sorts of loopholes that will allow out-of-state billionaires to keep playing in the South Dakota electoral sandbox.

    South Dakotans, going back to territiorial days, have always cast a wary eye on out-of-state interests. They particularly didn’t like large corporate interests, railways and the grain behemoths, that controlled if and how the state developed. Much of the development of the regulatory apparatus of early statehood was directed at these out-of-state interests, and that was true throughout the Midwest. So, Mickelson’s effort has some South Dakota roots, and it has some chance to pass. But it has zero chance to survive the righties on the US Supreme Court. Certainly the Kavanaugh appointment was the final nail in the coffin for IM 24.

    Still, I could vote for a more stringent version of this initiative, if the loopholes were closed and if it were proposed in a more general approach to good governance and anti-corruption. IM 24 does not pose a clear enough contrast with current practice, and does not have the proper findings that would make justices think about the corrosive nature of the preponderance of money on speech and governance.

  2. 96Tears 2018-11-05 11:22

    Mark Mickelson is a disappointment, and not because he stands up for the 1 percent (who don’t need anyone’s help) and filthy factory farms that will make life for the rest of us miserable. It’s just that he is outwardly cold-hearted and calculating. You’re right, Cory. He really is an elitist, and not in a good way.

    I listened to his soundbite on an ad, and he does have his father’s booming, authoritative voice, but with none of the nuance that there is a real human being under all that political gloss. If there is any flexibility in this guy, it’s his ability to bend toward goofy right-wing ideology and piss poor legislation. That kind of inflexibility makes him seem shallow, and I hate to say that but that’s the word. Shallow.

    I’d like to see a state Republican Party that resembles itself from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Despite my Democrat leanings, I would have liked to have seen someone with Mark’s lineage help return the state GOP closer toward the center. That’s the zone where good things for the entire state can happen.

  3. happy camper 2018-11-05 14:30

    Congratulations seem to be in order for all those who worked on this effort. My only hesitation is the gentlemen who said lending would go back to the way it was before which would include illegal lending, kneecap breakers and loan sharks. This was strictly a feel-good documentary but there must be at least some negative consequences, to some degree as those with even lower standards move in to fill that niche.

  4. Debbo 2018-11-05 16:15

    It seems like when SD does have a real feel good story it comes from citizen action, not the legislature. Doesn’t say much for the SDGOP.

  5. happy camper 2018-11-05 17:26

    That depends on what makes you feel good Deb. One of my old acquaintances came back to town, someone I’ve always been fond of, when I asked why he wasn’t still making the loans on the reservation he said because of the new law. I hadn’t realized he was part of that exploitation in the next two seconds I heard myself saying we put you out of business and probably started a lecture of some sort he said don’t talk to me I’m still pained he was doing that.

  6. Debbo 2018-11-05 19:41

    HC, he went out of business because he could Only charge 36% interest?!? That’s still pretty steep and doesn’t seem like something to cry about. I guess he has to join the millions of others looking for a new line of work.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-05 22:32

    Porter! Hooray! Let us know if Colorado votes right! Nice to see South Dakota ahead of the curve on at least one issue.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2018-11-05 22:33

    “there must be some negative consequences”—it seems logical, but tell me: what evidence do we have of widespread harm to South Dakotans resulting from the closing of the payday lending shops?

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