High-cost loan industry ally defeated
Pinpointing THE one thing that did in conservative Democratic state lawmaker Jim Crawford in yesterday’s election is tough given the long list of progressive causes the Granville County state rep has angered through the years.
But here’s one issue that was clearly a significant factor: Crawford’s longstanding opposition to tougher consumer protection laws in the predatory lending arena.
For several years, Crawford has been one of the high-cost loan industry’s “go to” friends on Jones Street. Last year, he joined with Republicans to help pass industry-drafted legislation that would jack up already exorbitant interest rates (currently already above 50% per year) on consumer loans made by storefront lenders. The bill is pending in the state Senate.
Now, it appears Crawford’s close relationship with high-cost moneylenders has finally come back to bite him. Crawford’s opponents apparently distributed thousands of copies of a mailer during the latter days of the campaign connecting the dots (accurately, it turns out) between Crawford and the sharks.
Going forward, it will be interesting to see if Crawford’s demise has an impact on any of his soon-to-be former colleagues.