Monday, June 05, 2006

Common-sense Georgians love usury.

Georgia House Republicans have outraised Georgia House Democrats by quite a bit. Here's how:

House Minority Leader DuBose Porter (D-Dublin) said Republicans have created a system of "not necessarily corruption but of obligation."

Much of the additional money, he said, comes from "specific industries that these people have basically taken care of."

Title pawn companies, for example, dramatically increased their political giving after the Journal-Constitution reported that, without state oversight, the industry routinely charges annual interest rates as high as 300 percent.

Just before the Legislature took up bills this year to regulate the industry, one Atlanta title lender sent contributions to 26 lawmakers. Twenty-five were Republicans.

The lender described the disproportionate giving to Republicans as coincidental.

By the end of the session, all of the title pawn bills had died.

"What they do and what they say are two different things," Porter said of the Republicans. "This is the perfect example of that."

Rep. Barry Fleming (R-Harlem), the House majority whip, countered, "What they call playing toward special interests is really playing toward what common-sense Georgians want."

Yep, we common-sense Georgians want title lenders to charge the poor sky-high interest rates on small loans. That is, when we don't want to ban same-sex marriage.