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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

OH-O5 Steve Buehrer: Payday Lenders Now Sending $$$ His Way

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (TDB) -- A campaign finance report filed this week with the Federal Election Commission shows major players in the payday lending industry have started making contributions to State Sen. Steve Buehrer's GOP primary campaign. The Daily Bellwether noted $6,000 came in Monday in three separate contributions from two executives and a Kansas PAC.

Payday lenders have been tarred as preying upon low-income Ohioans. State lawmakers are considering measures that would place new limits on the industry, which has a growing reputation for gouging its customers.

Now Buehrer has found backers in the industry. A. David Davis of Cincinnati is listed as the executive vice president of Check N Go. He gave $2,000. So did Steven Scroggins of Cleveland, who is listed as the CEO of Check Into Cash. The PAC from Overland Park, Kan., is affiliated with QC Holdings.

Buehrer is a conservative Republican running for the GOP nomination in a Nov. 6 primary against State Rep. Bob Latta. Ohio's 5th Congressional District has been vacant since the death of U.S. Rep. Paul Gillmor last month.

[UPDATE: The race on the Republican side is rancorous and sharp-elbowed. Here's Right Angle Blog with news of the National Taxpayers Union endorsing Buehrer, a candidate who is running to the right of Latta and portraying him as a Bob Taft ally. And here's Buckeye State Blog with a new Latta ad that describes Buehrer as misrepresenting the state rep's record on tax votes in the legislature. No doubt about it, OH-O5 is political mudwrestling. Or a barnburner in a section of the state, NW Ohio, where there still are a lot of barns. RAB and BSB are lighting the fires in the 'sphere.]

Payday lending is under increasing scrutiny in Ohio because the short term loans can become quite costly if they are not paid off quickly. Earlier this month, a bill was filed in the Ohio House with 28 co-sponsors that takes aim at reported payday lending consumer abuses, and it includes a cap on interest rates. This Cleveland Plain Dealer editorial says legislators must act to clean up the industry, an industry that now seems to be in process of trying to purchase a seat in the U.S. House.

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