El Paso Times: Utah lawmaker attempts comeback after suffering secret payday lender-funded attack

May 12, 2014

Brad Daw is incredulous that a payday-lending executive is allowed to oversee regulation of Texas’ massive payday-lending industry.

Daw, a conservative Republican from Orem, Utah, lost his seat in the Utah House in 2012 after becoming the target of an intensely negative campaign that was secretly funded by payday lenders. One of those lenders was Fort Worth-based Cash America, whose vice president is chairman of the Texas Finance Commission.

A Utah investigation exposed the secret funding in Daw’s race and that of former Attorney General John Swallow, who resigned in 2013 after less than a year in office.

Now Daw is running for his old seat — and he’s demanding more regulations for payday lenders and more transparency in politics.  

Texas and Utah have some of the loosest payday-lending regulations and some of the highest costs for customers, according to the Pew Charitable Trusts, which studies the issue.

Critics of the industry — including Daw — say that large payday lenders trap low-income borrowers in a cycle of debt by giving them loans they can’t afford to repay and often carry annual interest rates well in excess of 500 percent.  Read more here.