WATCH: New Ad Calls on Sen. Murkowski to Oppose Repeal of Prepaid Card Protections

Ad Encouraging the Senator to Stand Up for Constituents, Not Predatory Prepaid Debit Card Co.’s, Begins Airing Monday in Alaska

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Allied Progress launched a television ad buy in Alaska calling on Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to stand up for her constituents by opposing an effort by Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Prepaid Rule.” The rule protects prepaid debit cardholders from predatory fees and penalties by providing them with some of the same basic protections enjoyed by traditional debit and credit cardholders.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Murkowski has received at least $14,000 in donations from the CFPB’s list of Most Complained About [Prepaid Card] Companies. Now is the perfect time her to show Alaskans that she will stand up for their interests rather than those of the predatory prepaid debit card industry. It is worth noting that just last year, one prepaid debit card company in Alaska was fined $25,000 after it was caught using customers’ cards to distribute illegal payday loans. A new report released last week found that nearly 8% of Alaska households and 23 million Americans nationwide use prepaid card.

The television ad, entitled “House of Cards,” will begin airing in Alaska on Monday, April 24, and will be paired with digital ad buys encouraging online viewers to visit PrepaidMurkowski.org to take action. Similar versions of this ad will also run in Maine, Nevada, and the nation’s capital.

Last week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that Sen. Perdue is using an obscure parliamentary procedure to roll back new rules on prepaid debit cards, a move that will harm millions of hard-working Americans while benefiting one of his major donors to the tune of $80 million. Sen. Murkowski may have an opportunity to vote on Perdue’s legislation as early as this week.

Sen. Perdue’s legislation is about one thing–letting a campaign megadonor continue to swindle its customers with shady fees and deceptive practices. This is swamp politics at its worst,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “Senator Murkowski has a simple choice: she can help predatory debit card companies rip off their customers or she can protect the pocketbooks of all Alaska families.”

The CFPB’s common-sense rule that Perdue is pushing to repeal is supported by industry trade groups like The Center for Financial Services Innovation and Green Dot, the largest provider of prepaid debit cards in the United States.

Netspend’s PAC and executives have given Sen. Perdue more than $33,000 in campaign contributions since 2014. The company has a troubling record of predatory practices. Just one day after Perdue filed his legislation to benefit Netspend, the company agreed to refund consumers $53 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it had “deceived consumers . . . about access to funds deposited on defendants’ debit cards.

Yesterday, Allied Progress filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obtain correspondence that could further expose efforts by Netspend, Perdue, and their Senate allies who are seeking to roll back the CFPB’s prepaid rule. Additional actions against Perdue’s legislation will be announced in the coming days.

To speak with Karl Frisch about ad campaign or the “Prepaid Rule,” please contact Charlie DiPasquale at 202-464-6916 or cdipasquale@skdknick.com.

Script for “House of Cards” – 30 Seconds

“Millions of Americans receive everything from hourly wages to Social Security payments on prepaid debit cards. Card companies nickel-and-dime them with hidden fees. And prepaid cards lack federal protections from fraud and mistakes. But new regulations could finally end “prepaid card gotchas” unless the card companies get their way in Congress. Call Senator Murkowski and tell her to keep pre-paid debit card protections in place to safeguard Americans from being played.”

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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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