Tuesday, April 08, 2008

You're Killing Me Here, Joyce

Openers mentions in a piece today that:

In 2007, State Rep. Beatty surprised political observers by urging members of the Democratic caucus she leads to not support a payday lending bill ...

As someone who fits the generic description of "political observer," I suppose that in some small way that sentence refers to statements of mine like this one:

Ms. Beatty, have you ever had an addict call you and say "I go to a smack dealer, and I think you should close them down?" I know you're on our side, Joyce, but you're taking the morally wrong position on an issue that also happens to be the politically unpopular one. What gives?

Well it turns out that Joyce has publicly taken the more popular position, but is continuing, according to some of her colleagues, to quietly impede progress on payday lending legislation. And now it turns out her husband is a lobbyist for CheckSmart, nee Buckeye Check Cashing, a large, locally-owned, and politically active payday lending company.

It's supposedly technically above-board. Even if it is set up as an unambiguously ethically spotless arrangement, it is ugly and smells like a dead rat. About the only thing that looks good in this arrangement is that one has a hard time believing that if Ms. Beatty actually did coordinate with her husband in any way, she would have allowed herself to appear in such a horrible political scenario.

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