So Much Deception from the "No" on Ohio Issue 5 Campaign
I thought Bill Faith of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio did a good job in laying out the reasons Ohioans need to vote yes on Issue 5 at the City Club debate on Friday. I was surprised that a son of the civil rights movement, Niger Innis, was supporting this initiative. Mr. Innis is a conservative and son of Roy Innis, a libertarian campaign manager for Alan Keyes with a history in the Congress on Racial Equality. The bottom line is that a yes vote will bring down the fees paid by consumers to take out a short term loan. Why are the "No on Issue 6" campaign advertising so dishonest? The pitch that this will cost Ohio 5,000 or 7,000 jobs was a loser so they switched to move the debate on the privacy concerns of a database. I thought Bill Faith did a good job in pointing out that the database issue was not even on the ballot. If it is such a horrible idea to put this information in a state monitored database, why did they not put it in the ballot language? It is hard to run on a platform that if we reduce your interest rates there will be 5,000 fewer people in the state assisting in the breaking your financial kneecaps. NEOCH and most social justice groups support a yes vote on issue 5 to bring down the current highway robbery rates in payday lending industry.
It is the only rational vote to vote yes on Issue 5 to keep down the interest rates, and that is why nearly every elected official is urging a yes vote. When have we had all five living Ohio governors, all the leaders in the Ohio legislature, and every major newspaper in Ohio all on the same page? It is clear choice to vote Yes on Issue 5.
One word of caution on Issue 5. The real problems with this legislation that got very little attention is what happens on the day after the rates come down and the payday lenders leave? There needs to be bank regulations to limit the fees they charge poor people and regulate banks so that they return to the inner cities. Who is going to lend to poor people if there are no payday lenders? Are we going to return to the loan shark using ex-boxers or semi automatic weapons to enforce lending regulations? Will we long for the days of 391% interest from a payday lender? The state and federal legislature need to reign in the banks and pass a borrowers/bank patrons bill of rights. The CRA needs expanded to protect poor people from these alternative lending institutions. Also, I predict that based on the payday lending and their deceptive campaign they will try everything they can to stay in business. I feel like with all the money they have made in Ohio, we will have to go to court to finally kill this industry.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.