Riiiiiiiiighhhhttttt. Suuuuuuuure it was “unrelated.” I believe that.

Don’t you believe that?

Twenty-five days before voting for a controversial payday lending bill last year, then-state Rep. Ron Sailor Jr. accepted tens of thousands of dollars from a lobbyist pushing the bill.

Sailor, who resigned last week after admitting to money laundering, received at least $80,000 in February 2007 from a company controlled by retired Denver Broncos football player Willie A. Green.

Green, a registered lobbyist for payday lending interests, said through his attorney Monday that the transaction was unrelated to the lending bill.

I believe the bill failed. Had it passed, I wonder if this revelation would have called into question the legitimacy of the bill. Or did it pass? If so, should we revisit it?

34 comments

  1. Bill Simon says:

    Erick,

    As I recall, Peach Pundit’s good friend, State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, was Chief Payday Lending Bill Reintroducing Officer on this bill.

    Ehrhart was as equally gung-ho on pushing this legislation (which was designed to bankrupt Iraq military veterans starved for cash because their Commander in Chief is all talk and no action) as Mark Burkhalter was on pushing the natural gas pipeline.

    Ron Sailor, Jr. is easy pickings…I want to know what Master Earl was getting and what kind of bonus would he have received had the payday bill gotten passed?

  2. gawatch says:

    House Bill 163 failed twice. The first time, it was seven votes short of a constitutional majority, failing 84-84. Chairman Ehrhart moved to reconsider, and one week later, the bill failed again by nine votes.

  3. saltynuts says:

    I can’t believe Earl Ehrhart gained anything from this bill. It would have taken too much time away from his hobbies, like harassing poor little Senate interns in online forums.

  4. Georgia Republicans have mostly adopted a McCain like approach: They are for all the stuff lobbyists are for already so they merely consider lobbyists “friends” who want to give them advice and money. Which really begs the question of Georgia voters – why keep sending these drunks back to the bar?

  5. Mother Goose says:

    Bill Simon – Since you are clearly a genius, can you explain to my how the payday lending legislation was “designed to bankrupt Iraq military veterans starved for cash?”

  6. Loren says:

    My favorite part of the article:

    The attorney, Morris H. Wiltshire Jr. of Athens, said Green loaned Sailor $80,000 with the expectation he would be repaid $120,000 five days later.

    If they want us to believe that was truly a loan, it was $40,000 of ‘interest’ in five days. That’s the equivalent of 3650% APY.

    Apparently, payday lenders gouge their friends even more than they gouge their customers.

  7. While I wouldn’t go so far to say that pay day lending was “designed” to bankrupt military men, women, and their families, the fact of the matter, that’s what happened to a lot of them.

    I was working for Oxendine when push was on to outlaw pay day lending under the Georgia Industrial Loan Act (GILA). I was present at numerous hearings across the state where our military families testified how pay day lending had destroyed their lives. I personally heard the base commanders as they testified how pay day lender had sprung up outside of the bases like parasites to feed on our military families and that the large number of pay day lenders were becoming an issue that BRAC was considering in its review of Georgia bases.

    But I would say that pay day lending also aggressively targeted Latinos (mostly those here illegally), and the working poor of all races and persuasions. Pay day lending institutions were also very prevalent in inner city areas with high populations of minorities.

    There are philosophical reasons on both sides where conservatives can disagree. Earl’s argument was basically one of cavet empor and a laissez-faire approach to the market. The question that conservatives can disagree on is, “How much interference is too much interference in the private market to protect people from themselves?”

    On a side note, harassing senate interns is great sport. Having been a senate intern/staffer/whatever, I had to learn the pecking order…Senators harass House members, House members harass Senate interns, Senate interns harass House freshmen, House freshmen harass House interns, House interns harass pages (so long as they don’t make the pages cry), and House pages harass lobbyists. Lobbyists harass the rest of us.

  8. bowersville says:

    “Pay day lending… bankrupt[s] military men, women, and their children”…then the military folk lose their security clearance for failing to be financially responsible. After failing a security clearance, what happens to our military personnel? Undesirable discharge? You expect lobbyist or payday lenders to give a sh*t?

    And then what happens, a kick back or outrageous usery fees for a few due to Georgia law? Get real.

  9. bowersville says:

    Besides that Lt Colonel Aide De Camp means diddly squat, I have three of them on my outhouse wall.

  10. Bill Simon says:

    Mother Goose,

    On the heels of what Sheppie said: (“I personally heard the base commanders as they testified how pay day lender had sprung up outside of the bases like parasites to feed on our military families and that the large number of pay day lenders were becoming an issue that BRAC was considering in its review of Georgia bases”), I read about these payday shops doing exactly this kind of squatting for the easy pickings of veterans who sacrificed their family lives, their jobs, and their financial standards, all for Bush’s f*cked-up war games.

    A lot of them LOST THEIR JOBS to go fight for Stupid-Ass George and Dick’s ego-enhancing (“bring it on!”) activities.

    Hey, but, Mother Goose, you make sure you hide behind your little anonymous screen name as you will (no doubt) do the following: 1) accuse me of being a “liberal”, and 2) launch into a tirade about how those soldiers wanted to go to war, wanted to leave their families and wanted to die for their country, all so YOU can blog on a wesbite like this in the anonymity of your own home.

    Say, MG, just how much does Earl pay you these days to handle his campaign affairs?

  11. fishtail says:

    Nice to see that Roy Barnes and Bowersville agree on payday lending evils. These payday lending vultures prey on the weak and gullible. They are scum, whether or not they drive a Mercedes. Legislative Democrats and Republicans alike should be exposed for sucking up to their lobbyists/gift bearers.

  12. bowersville says:

    Fishtail, close to the fish vent, let me tell you something, you want to complain about Barnes, then have at it.

    If you want to call our soldiers weak and gullible for falling prey to payday loans, have at that also.

    If you want to come out from your disguise as a Republican and call yourself a conservative capitalist, by all means do so.

    Personally, I think you are an evil prick. All out for money, d*mn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

  13. Yes Bowersville, the Lt. Col. Aide de Camp means very little expect for a nice certificate suitable for framing, but did I ever say it meant anything more than that? My Kentucky Colonel means slightly more because the Colonels have a big party every year the eve of the Derby and we have our own KY Colonel store online and we actually do charity work.

    Please refer back to some of the other posts in other threats to understand the inside joke behind the whole “Lt. Col. Sheppie.”

    Also, I’m not sure if you are for pay day lending and therefore disagree with much of what I said or you are against pay day lending.

  14. bowersville says:

    Touche Shep on the Lt. Colonel.

    Dang sure against the payday lending, too many soldiers taken advantage of.

  15. On another note about payday lending that doesn’t involve name calling, most military personel who fall victim are between 18-24 year olds who entered the military right out of high school and would have done so war or no war. Most of them come from lower income families where their parents did not have the skills to teach their children financial management. Most of them are completely naive about money issues and don’t have the socio-economic or educational background to make informed choices.

    The military’s job is to teach them how to break things and kill people, not how to be successful financial managers.

    This is not a Democrat-Republican issue.

    Tyrone Brooks was just as much opposed to the legislation that kick payday lenders out of Georgia as was Earl.

    All I said in my original post was that there are reasonable arguments that can be made for both sides. I think, from what I have personally heard and witnessed, that the right decision was made, not just for the military folks stationed here in Georgia, but the thousands of Georgia citizens who saw what little they had taken away because they went to a payday lender to get a car repair so they could go to their minimum wage or less job.

    It’s hard to give someone a hand up with one hand when picking their pocket with the other.

  16. bowersville says:

    “Most of them come from lower income families where their parents did not have the skills to teach them financial management.”

    Bullsh*t Shep. What is Georgia going to teach the soldiers? Sorry, your parents didn’t teach you and so we Georgia Republicans are going to take advantage of your ignorance for serving our country. While Georgians are going to the mall and making money off you on these payday loans you risk dieing at your own peril because your parents failed to teach you better?

  17. bowersville, are we missing each other? We’re on the same page here. Really, the credit card companies that stalk college kids are just as bad. Here’s free t-shirt that will cost you more than your student loans when you get down with college.

    As long as we keep dumping down our schools (nationwide problem) and parents shurk their responsibilities in teaching their kids to mange money and save, then it unfortunately falls on the government to protect people from those who would use their ignorance or need to take unfair advantage.

    On the otherside, the pay day lending industry may still be in business if they practiced good governance within their own industry.

  18. bowersville says:

    “may still be in business if they practiced good governance within their their own industry.”

    Well they don’t have good governance.

    As far as a student loan, they have the rest of their life to pay the loan. A soldier that dies has none.

  19. “Well they don’t have good governance.”

    My point exactly.

    “As far as a student loan, they have the rest of their life to pay the loan. A soldier that dies has none.”

    True as well but a bad corporate policy is a bad corportate policy, regardless of who to is taken advantage of.

  20. bowersville says:

    “regardless of who is taken advantage of.”

    Sorry about my spewing. We are on the same page. My bad.

    I’m sensitive when it comes to veterans affairs.

  21. bowersville says:

    On a different note, Simon already accused me, Bowersville, of drinking.

    “ARE YOU DRUNK?” “Bowersville SEZ….”

    Do we have to go down that road again?

    Do we crank it up Simon?

  22. Trackboy1 says:

    “Jones sold the property in May 2007 to Higher Hope Outreach Ministries Inc. for $770,000. Jones said there was no indication at the time of the sale that Sailor had pledged the property as collateral; DeKalb property records contain no indication that Jones had agreed to use of the property as collateral.”

    How does a church with less than $25k in assets, Higher Hopes, with close ties to Vernon Jones confidant Eddie Long, buy a $770,000 “farm” property owned by Vernon Jones?

    HIGHER HOPE OUTREACH MINISTRIES INCORPORATED
    http://www.taxexemptworld.com/organization.asp?tn=1559167

    More comments here:
    http://broadcastatlanta.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8085&Itemid=2691#jc_allComments

  23. gatormathis says:

    On another note about payday lending that doesn’t involve name calling, most military personel who fall victim are between 18-24 year olds who entered the military right out of high school and would have done so war or no war. Most of them come from lower income families where their parents did not have the skills to teach their children financial management. Most of them are completely naive about money issues and don’t have the socio-economic or educational background to make informed choices.

    The actual problem isn’t lack of financial skills, it is the “lack of” period which drives this beast. It is hard for people who “have” to put themselves in these people’s shoes.

    They are just starting out, and usually have no property to mortage, or it is already mortaged, and you can’t just re-up everytime you need a few hundred dollars.

    They usually have little or no “credit”, so they can’t hardly just walk in and plop down a signature because they are so and so’s child, and walk away with the cabbage.

    With lower paying jobs or inherent risk factors included such as going off to fight a war, there is risk that the funds might not be paid back.

    And as my daddy used to always say.”Money is a helluva lot easier borrowed than it is paid back”. That is a sentiment I hear shared by anyone paying back loans. There’s always the hope of quick and easy payback, but it always seems to take just as long, and as much money, as expected.

    The banks don’t play the game anymore, so you are left with the “paydays” as a last resort. You can’t hardly get banks to cash checks anymore, much less loan little dabs of money. Add up a bank’s cost to borrow money, replete with the loan fee, interest, filing fees and all, and they carry a pretty steep fee if you could even get a small amount of money.

    The other problem is, these loans that the paydayers made, that don’t get repaid, add to their snowball. They charge a high fee and recoup from whoever pays, for those who don’t repay.

    Everybody loves credit these days, from the little payday borrower, up to the filthy rich who brag about how many “thousands” they have on first one card, then another.

    Funny thing you should mention “financial management”. For the life of me, as I hear people bragging about how much they “have” on their credit cards, I have a hard time figuring out how they refer to this debt, as if it were some kind of great “asset”. Maybe I missed something along the line in math class that allows this.

    And don’t worry about me getting on the high horse, I’m just as broke and over borrowed as the next person is…………..

    ……………but if my lottery ticket hits this week…….

  24. Tea Party says:

    Is the story here about payday lending lobbying improprieties, the impropriety of payday lending, or the fact the DeKalb CEO is now cuaght up in an unseemly tad of business prior to his Senate bid AND prior to the upcoming city of Dunwoody vote?

    Timing is everything, and y’all know that better’n most. So which is it?

    BTW, I left one thing out, is the story where you fascinating folks share a brew? Now, that’s a decent story.

  25. bowersville says:

    the military…”Most of them come from lower income families where their parents did not have the skills to teach their children financial management. Most of them are completely naive about money…”

    Ever hear this one, “I have 25 checks in this book so I can write them all.”

    That young soldier had no concept of the money balance in his account.

    But hey, the pay day lenders understand the concept. A sucker is born every minute.

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