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Payday Loan Lenders Endorse Mitt Romney

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The super PAC Restore Our Future received a total of $162,500 from seven large payday loan companies in February of this year. All of the donations were reported to be made in the first week of the month in multiple installments ranging from $2,500 to $35,000, according to LoanSafe.org

The largest payday loan lender to donate money to Romney’s support group refused to comment on their donations.

Jamie Fulmer, vice president for public affairs at Advance America, has a similar response. “We don’t discuss any details related to political contributions.”

Advance America donated $25,000 to Restore Our Future on Feb. 6.

All of the payday loan lenders who donated money to the super PAC used their own name except for one: Moneytree. Moneytree instead gave their donation through a straw man company called Katsam LLC, which is registered to Dennis and Davis Bassford, Moneytree’s co-founders. Katsam LLC’s address is listed with the Federal Election Commission as the same as Moneytree’s.

The super PAC refused to comment on the donations or their concurrent timing, but some believe Romney’s promise to repeal the Dodd-Frank act if elected could play some part in motivating payday lenders to donate money to candidate.

While payday loans have been long debated, they have come under recent attack as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), established by the Dodd-Frank act, has vowed to increase oversight of the industry.

The CFPB recently had its director, Richard Cordray, recess appointed by President Obama. The recess appointment threw Republicans into an outrage as they questioned the constitutionality of the appointment.

Restore Our Future is a super PAC set up by former aides to the Romney when he served as governor of Massachusetts. The support given to the GOP candidate by Restore Our Future has primarily been in the form of direct mailings, phone banks and ads attacking another GOP candidate, Rick Santorum.

The super PAC spent $12.2 million in February on those marketing tactics.

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