Payday-loan allied group ponies up another $250,000
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 6, 2012 - Allies of the payday loan industry are beefing up, moneywise, as they continue to prepare for a possible battle at the ballot box against those who seek to limit how much interest can be charged on such loans.
On Thursday, Missourians for Responsible Government -- a fiscally conservative, free market group founded by activist Patrick Tuohey -- contributed $250,000 to Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity, the chief campaign group set up by the payday industry to fight the possible ballot initiative.
The hefty contribution will not be included on the soon-to-be-filed reports, due January 15, which cover the last three months of 2011.
The last campaign report, filed Oct. 15, showed Missourians for Equal Credit Opportunity to have $246,633 in the bank. The only contribution listed was an earlier $250,000 from Missourians for Responsible Government -- which as a non-profit does not have to report its donors.
All told, Missourians for Responsible Government has given $850,000 to the Equal Credit campaign group.
The upshot: the real contributors to the opposition campaign remain largely unknown.