In yesterday’s post I pointed out that Rep. Ryu claims to want to help renters, but that she accepted money from a group devoted to helping landlords. In today’s post I want to point to one other group that the Representative admits is hurting consumers, but who she will gladly accept money from, payday lenders.
In both the voter’s pamphlet and her statement to the Everett Herald, Rep. Ryu claims that she will “…protect…consumers from predatory lenders.” These are the business who will loan you money until your next payday at an interest rate than can be in the quadruple digits. And their entire business model relies on a borrower’s inability to pay, so that they can make more money from the borrowers in fees.
In 2013, CashAmerica was fined $19 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for practices that harmed consumers generally, and military families in particular. Everyone can agree that the practice is harmful to consumers, but nevertheless Rep. Ryu decided that she wanted to accept a contribution from CashAmerica, the nation’s second largest payday lender. A contribution that is undoubtedly financed by the extraordinarily high fees that Rep. Ryu speaks out about in public, and that hurt low income families. Sadly, Rep. Ryu did not turn CashAmerica’s money away from her campaign.
Even Rep. Ryu is disgusted by those who accept money from payday lenders. After State Representative Marko Liias sponsored a bill that would roll back some regulations on payday lenders Rep. Ryu was quoted in a 2015 Everett Herald article as saying, “If you know Marko Liias, go slap him up the side of the head… There are all sorts of rumors going on that he is running for higher office, that he got money from the Moneytree folks.” Rep. Ryu took money from a company that does the same thing as Moneytree. That level of hypocrisy can only be found in a career politician. What’s more, her statement against Rep. Liias is just an allegation based upon rumors. We want representation that relies on facts, not a rumor someone heard, and I have the fact that Rep. Ryu accepted CashAmerica’s money.
Unlike Rep. Ryu, I will not ask you to “slap [someone] upside the head” for taking money from payday lenders, or any other special interest group. Instead we need to slap her off of the ballot. There is no way that she can be impartial the next time a payday lender bill comes up for debate, she is already in their pocket. As a candidate who is self-funding my campaign, I can promise you that I will go to Olympia without a special interest in mind. The only people that I will need to answer to are my constituents, not some big business looking to make a profit.