Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Late Start to the Week

Some thoughts:

1) The Payday Lenders have a new ad up, claiming that HB545 gives the government Big Brother-like oversight of your financial activities. I will admit that it burns me up every time the pharmacist has to write down my Driver's License number in order to let me purchase Advil Cold & Sinus, so this could in fact be a more resonant angle. Unfortunately, as the Dispatch points out, the ad implies much broader oversight than the bill actually allows, and that oversight would only take place if customers could get payday loans, which the lenders say will be impossible if Issue 5 passes. What the Dispatch doesn't make explicit is the related, but even more bizarrely disingenuous facet of the ad - Issue 5 will not affect the database/oversight portion of HB545 at all. The referendum only deals with the portion of the bill (Section 3 of HB545) that changes maximum loan amounts, interest rates/fees, and repayment periods. Voting 'No' on Issue 5 would do NOTHING to protect your privacy or change the number of permitted loans (dealt with in Section 1 of HB545, which is not affected by the referendum), at least as I understand things.

2) Apparently, the operators of a casino located just outside of Ohio are going to pump money into a campaign to defeat Issue 6, authorizing a casino in SW Ohio. At this point two years ago, the press and the blogosphere were in high debate over the merits of ballot measure that would have brought casinos to Ohio, a measure that suffered a solid defeat. My idle and under-informed speculation is that Issue 6 has a much better shot this year because: A) The pro-casino campaign was focused on education money, a blatant attempt to gain votes by stealth. Voters didn't like that at all, and this year's campaign has seemed fairly straightforward. B) The groups typically working against gambling are more invested in the fight to regulate payday lenders.

I could be wrong, but if the idea that the biggest source of financial support of Issue 6 opposition is a company that operates a casino that exists in part to siphon money from SW Ohio into Indiana, expect Issue 6 support to go through the roof.

3) I've been getting several emails from readers lately, very nice emails that I should have responded to but haven't. I appreciate them, and do plan to get back to you.

4) There's been a lot of discussion in the blogosphere lately about people who want to show their support of candidates through display measures only - yard signs and bumper stickers. These folks are generally held in contempt. I agree up to a point - but as blogging is barely a step up from yard signs and stickers, I'm a little reluctant to climb on a high horse. I'd echo the sentiment that if you want to get Obama elected badly enough to publicly complain about paying for a yard sign, you'll have a much more sympathetic audience after you've spent a couple of evenings doing the much more effective canvassing or phone-banking. On the other hand, if you really want to make a difference with little effort and let your neighbors know where you stand, contact a down-ticket race about putting up a yard sign. May I suggest David Robinson, Nancy Garland, or even John O'Grady? Many, if not most, of your neighbors don't know any of these names. I've had at least one neighbor ask me about David Robinson after seeing my yard sign, and at least one person tell me that they recognized Garland's name from driving past one of her signs daily. Links to each of those campaigns can be found in the left sidebar at the top of this page.


WCRX-LP Editorial collective said...

See Agent of Currency proposal for a Bexley centennial casino. Entry is at September 16, 2007. That is 2007.


Frank said...

I agree with your assessment of the inaccuracy of the payday lender's new ad. This is just another scare tactic from the industry that can't be backed up. For one, the industry wasn't opposed to the idea of a database during the legislative process and as you've pointed out - Section 3 that they want repealed leaves the database in place. Additionally, the purpose of the database is to ensure that the payday industry actually complies with the law! Most payday lenders don't care about borrowers ability to repay and keep lending irrespective of how much money a borrower has in their account!

Vote yes on issue 5! We need to end predatory lending in Ohio and restore accountability to the lending industry.

Ryan said...

Speaking of yard signs, how the hell did Bexley all of a sudden explode with McCain Palin yard signs? Is there really enthusiasm for for that lame-ass ticket? I thought Bexley folks were smarter than that.

bonobo said...


I've been wondering the exact same thing. The first one that went up on my block elicited the same response from my wife and I:

"Um, Seriously?"

There's a second one on our block, that says 'Democrats for McCain." It is sitting next to a Tiberi sign and a McGregor sign. I want to offer them a sign that says 'Democrats for a Straight Republican Ticket' to help them reduce the clutter.

But as to your question... I don't know. I find it strange as well.