TV Ad Blitz Hits South Florida Demanding Wasserman Schultz Drop Support for Payday Lenders

Allied Progress Announces Six Figure Weeklong Network and Cable Ad Blitz on Eve of CFPB’s Expected June 2nd Rule Announcement 

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – Today, television viewers in Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s South Florida district will begin hearing directly from their Congresswoman why she supports predatory payday lending thanks to a new ad campaign by Allied Progress. Airing on network and cable, the ad features Wasserman Schultz’s own words from a recent appearance on CBS Miami’s Facing South Florida with Jim DeFede where she called payday lending “unfortunately… necessary.”

What’s truly ‘unfortunate’ is that Debbie Wasserman Schultz is still refusing to put her constituents and millions of vulnerable Americans ahead of an industry that has given her more than $68,000 in campaign cash,” said Allied Progress executive director Karl Frisch. “The average borrower in Florida pays more than 300% interest and ends up taking out 9 loans each year. They find themselves trapped in a cycle of debt while payday lenders rake in piles of cash they then turn around and donate to powerful politicians like Wasserman Schultz. How anyone could describe this racket as ‘necessary’ – unfortunate or not – is beyond me.”

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is expected to announce new national rules reining in the worst abuses of the payday lending industry during a field hearing in Kansas City, Missouri on Thursday, June 2. Allied Progress will be watching to see how Rep. Wasserman Schultz and other members of the Florida delegation respond to the announcement – whether they endorse the tough new rules or continue standing with predatory payday lenders.

Frisch continued, “In just a few days, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is expected to announce tough new national safeguards reining in the worst abuses of predatory payday lenders. It’s time for the Congresswoman to abandon her support for this unsavory industry and instead throw her considerable political capital behind the CFPB’s effort to end the debt trap once and for all.”

In addition to taking tens-of-thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from payday lenders, Rep. Wasserman Schultz, like many of her Sunshine State colleagues, is a co-sponsor of H.R. 4018, legislation that would delay the CFPB from cracking down on the industry and instead encourage other states to adopt the disastrous “Florida model” of payday lending, where the average borrower pays more than 300% interest and takes out 9 loans each year. Worse still, nearly 1/3 of Florida payday loan customers take out a dozen loans each year.

Allied Progress is making an initial investment of $100,000 to air this ad on network and cable television beginning May 31 and running for at least a week.

“Necessary” 30-Second Ad Script (Watch Here)

Voiceover: “Debbie Wasserman Schultz on her payday lending bill…”

Wasserman Schultz: “Payday lending is unfortunately… necessary.”

Host: “High interest rate, upwards of 300%… The NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center…”

Wasserman Schultz off screen: “Hold on a second.”

Host: “Florida Legal Services, all are opposed to this bill.”

Wasserman Schultz: “Payday lending is unfortunately… necessary.”

Voiceover: No, Congresswoman, it’s predatory.

Voiceover: Tell Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stop siding with payday lenders.

Additional Background

In March, Allied Progress launched its payday congressional accountability campaign the with a television ad targeting Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in her South Florida district and an online petition at calling on her to “stop sabotaging President Obama’s hard work to hold payday lenders accountable.” Wasserman Schultz has received more than $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. Earlier this month, Allied Progress released a report detailing how Florida’s political establishment had received more than $2.5 million since 2009.

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Allied Progress uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold powerful special interests accountable and empower hardworking Americans.



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