Group Behind “Debt Trap Debbie” Ads, Billboards Seeks Input From Public on Which Congressional Payday Pal to Expose Next
Votes Being Cast at AlliedProgress.org/WhoIsNext
WASHINGTON, DC – After nearly two months of heavy pressure on Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Allied Progress today announced an expansion of its campaign to shine a spotlight on the cozy relationship between key Members of Congress and payday lenders. The advocacy group is asking the public to help select its next target from a group of seven members of Congress who have worked to sabotage President Obama’s efforts to rein in predatory payday lenders and taken thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from the industry.
Those up for consideration include: Rep. Corrine Brown (FL-5), Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14), Rep. Lois Frankel (FL-22), Rep. Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Rep. Patrick Murphy (FL-18), Rep. Bill Posey (FL-8), and Rep. Dennis Ross (Fl-15). Each has received at least $10,000 in campaign contributions from the payday industry, signed a letter encouraging Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) director Richard Cordray to adopt the disastrous “Florida model” of payday lending reform, and either sponsored or cosponsored H.R. 4018 which would gut the CFPB’s upcoming payday loan regulations by delaying those new rules in favor of states with Florida-style laws.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our campaign calling on Rep. Wasserman Schultz to stop sabotaging President Obama’s effort to rein in predatory payday lenders,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress. “We are now asking anyone concerned about the cycle of debt that payday loans trap too many American families in, to help us decide which of the payday industry’s pals in Congress we should expose next. Any member of Congress who chooses to stand with these payday loansharks, especially those pushing the disastrous ‘Florida model,’ should be on notice that they could be next.”
Allied Progress will announce its next target on May 10.
In March, Allied Progress launched the “Debt Trap Debbie” campaign with a television ad in Wasserman Schultz’s South Florida district and an online petition at DebtTrapDebbie.com calling on her to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.” Wasserman Schultz has received over $68,000 in contributions from the industry while in Congress and is a co-sponsor of a bill that would delay protections for borrowers while paving the way for payday lenders to continue preying on vulnerable Americans. In April, Allied Progress sponsored two billboards in Wasserman Schultz’s district and a mobile billboard in the nation’s capital. She has been aggressively challenged on her payday lending stance in local and national media subsequent to the campaign’s launch.
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