Brad Daw is an Orem Republican who served in the House for eight years until he was brought down in 2012 by a dishonest and anonymously funded mud-slinging campaign.
Daw, and everyone else, suspected the mailers were paid for by the payday loan industry in revenge for bills Daw had sponsored that would limit some of the industry's more insidious practices. Those suspicions were confirmed last week when the House committee investigating Swallow issued a report that outlined that high rollers in that industry not only were among the most generous contributors to Swallow's various campaigns, but that they worked hand-in-glove with Swallow's campaign operation to drop tens of thousands of dollars into the anti-Daw effort.
Now Daw is rightly seeking payback on the payday lenders. And at least one current member of the House, West Valley City Democrat Larry Wiley, is preparing to push some of the same ideas that brought the wrath of the predatory lenders down on Daw. Those ideas include a limit on the number of high-interest loans any person can carry at a time, or take out in the course of a year, as well capping them at a percentage of a borrower's take-home pay that can be borrowed.
These businesses need to be brought to heel. According to a recent state report, there are 565 payday loan and title loan stores in Utah. That's more than 10 times the number of liquor stores found in the whole state, despite the fact that payday lenders, charging interest rates of 300 percent to more than 1,000 percent, are more of a danger to the lives of desperate low-income households.
If any individual or corporation in the predatory lending industry are found to have broken any campaign finance laws, they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Or, as they may say around the shop, paybacks are hell.