Payday Industry Front Group’s “Voices of Support” Took at Least $492,000 from Payday Lenders

The shadowy payday lending industry front group Floridians for Financial Choice prominently displays a link to “Voices of Support” on its website. According to an Allied Progress review of campaign finance data, the elected officials listed on this page have accepted at least $492,300 in campaign contributions from the payday lending industry.

Furthermore, Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer worked for payday lender Amscot Financial prior to taking office. Amscot Financial and the Florida-based MacKechnie family which runs the company have contributed at least $970,050 to Florida elected officials since 2010. In 1998 Amscot Financial plead guilty to civil racketeering charges and as part of the plea agreement stemming from these charges, the company’s founder, Ian MacKechnie, Sr., was banned for life from selling auto insurance in Florida.

In addition to the elected officials listed on its “Voices of Support” page, Floridians for Financial Choice also feature former Rep. Kendrick Meek prominently throughout its website. Even though Meek hasn’t been in office for more than half a decade, he has still taken more money from payday lenders ($119,150) than any of Florida’s other members of Congress.

Florida Congressional Delegation

  • Rep. Gus Bilirakis – $18,800
  • Rep. Corrine Brown – $12,000
  • Rep. Vernon Buchanan – $1,000
  • Rep. Kathy Castor – $17,000
  • Rep. Ander Crenshaw – $22,900
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo – $1,000
  • Rep. Ron DeSantis – $7,700
  • Rep. Ted Deutch – $14,500
  • Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart – $4,500
  • Rep. Lois Frankel – $10,000
  • Rep. Gwen Graham – $7,700
  • Rep. Alan Grayson – $10,300
  • Rep. Alcee Hastings – $117,950
  • Rep. David Jolly – $3,000
  • Rep. Jeff Miller – $4,000
  • Rep. Patrick Murphy – $63,900
  • Rep. Richard Nugent – $12,200
  • Rep. Bill Posey – $27,500
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen – $2,500
  • Rep. Dennis Ross – $31,850
  • Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz – $68,100
  • Rep. Daniel Webster – $21,100
  • Total: $479,500

[Center for Responsive Politics]

Mayors Listed by Floridians for Financial Choice

  • Tarpon Springs Mayor David Archie – $0
  • Winter Haven Mayor Nathaniel Birdsong – $500
  • Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn – $4,500
  • Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer – $4,300
  • Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez – TBD
  • Apopka Mayor Joe Kilsheimer – $2,000
  • Bradenton Mayor Wayne Poston – $1,500
  • Total: $12,800

[Tarpon Springs City Clerk; Winter Haven City Clerk; Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections; Orlando City Clerk; Apopka City Clerk; Manatee County Supervisor of Elections]

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