Opposition to the citizen-led drive to regulate short-term lending in Missouri is diversifying. Or maybe not.
A second well-funded group has set up shop to oppose efforts by a coalition of faith-based and civic groups to regulate Missouri’s thriving payday loan industry through a statewide vote.
The first group, cleverly called Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity, has received $600,000 in stealth money and is busy hiring the usual cadre of consultants who enrich themselves by supporting or opposing ballot issues in Missouri.
All of the funding for Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity comes from a non-profit set up by Kansas City communications specialist Patrick Tuohey, which is somewhat comically named “Missourians for Responsible Government.” Comical, because there’s nothing responsible about an entity that exists to hide the original source of money flowing into Missouri elections. As a non-profit, Missourians for Responsible Government doesn’t have to disclose where its money comes from. The payday loan industry is a good bet.
I remember reading that some of the heaviest areas for payday loans are military towns. I suspect they're right-most of the newer businesses in my town the past few years have been payday and short term loan companies. There's no reason for a town of 25,000 to have 10+ places like this. (And those of the ones I can think of off the top of my head!)