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August 07, 2006

On special interests and special interests...

The phrase "special interest" is much over-used these days, slung about as a pejorative by politicians and the media and aimed blunderbuss style at just about everyone.

Actually, a good many of groups derided in some quarters or another as "special interest" would be more accurately described as "general interest" -- that is, they represent and argue the views of a great many people.

An excellent example are the advocacy groups working both sides of the abortion issue. Whichever side they take, they are making the arguments and supporting the candidates that represent the views of millions of people. Same's true for lots of advocacy groups on lots of issues -- they represent some considerable general interest among voters.

A true "special" interest has a much narrower base. Let's consider the case of the Consumer Lending Alliance of Tallahassee and/or Crawfordsville, Fla. It's very special interest is protecting the payday loan industry from legislative crackdowns on the outrageously high and rapidly compounding loan rates extracted from people desperate for a few bucks to get by until, well, until payday.

Curiousity about the Consumer Lending Alliance was prompted by the fact it gave money to two Q-C legislators --$1,000 to Sen. Mike Jacobs and $250 to Rep. Pat Verschoore.

But that ain't nothing -- since 2000 the group has made 266 contributions of Illinois political candidates, in the aggragate amount of $170,000.

Besides its narrow base, Consumer Lending Alliance displays two other classic symptoms of the "special" interest: No. 1., it gives money freely to candidates of both parties, and No.2, gives it most freely to the power-brokers of each party.

Thus the Consumer Lending Alliance has given $15,000 to Gov. Rod Blagojevich; $4,200 to Sen. President Emil Jones (D) and $7,750 to Senate Minority Leader Frank Watson; $3,000 to Democrat Leader Mike Madigan (D) and $13,500 to GOP House Leader Tom Cross. Covering the bases, you see.

I wasn't able to find a website for Consumer Lending Alliance, but if you put the phrase in"" marks and google it, you'll find lots of references to it in lots of states -- Illinois is hardly the only legislature under pressure to do something about the predatory lending rates charged by the payday loan companies.

(To see the full list of the alliance's contributions to Illinois politicians, go to this page on the SBOE site and enter "consumer" in the first field and "tallahassee" in the city field. Repeat the operation with "crawfordsville" in the city field.

Whilst poking about, I also took a look at Partidos Del Internet, which with a $5,000 contribution is Sen. Jacob's single largest donor this year. Among other things I found out that Sen. Jacobs' father, the former Sen. Jacobs, is a registered lobbyist for the company, listed at a Schaumberg address in the disclosures.

I also found Poker Lover, which says on its site that Partidos Del Internet Ltd. is its software development partner, and all pages on the site are copyrighted by Partidos Del Internet S.A.

The site says Poker Lover is a Costa Rican business. So I guess it's fair to wonder why the Illinois partner of an off-shore internet gambling operation is being so generous with the Q-C's senator.

Posted by jcb at August 7, 2006 09:27 PM

Comments


Groups that donated $5,000 or more to Jacobs' Campaign this year are: IPACE, the Illinois Medical Society , Personal PAC and PartPartidos Del Internet Ltd 9.

In addition, you should inform readers that Jacobs voted to reduce the rates lenders are able to charge customers.

As well, you should notify readers that you (Beydler) endorsed Jacobs' primary opponent and were spotted recently dining with Jacobs' general election opponent.

Sometimes what you don't say jcb, is more important than what you do say. Does anyone else besides me think a News Editor should check facts, not make them up?

Your story is innacurrate. This year four groups made donations of $5,000 or more to to Illinois Senator Mike Jacobs' Campaign, not one as you erroneously claimed.

Groups that donated $5,00 or more to Jacobs' Campaign this year thus far are: IPACE, the Illinois Medical Society , Personal PAC and PartPartidos Del Internet Ltd 9.

In addtion, you should inform unsuspecting readers that Jacobs voted to reduce the rates lenders are able to charge customers.

As well, you should notify unsuspecting readers that you (Beydler) endorsed Jacobs' primary opponent and were spotted recently dinning with Jacobs' general election opponent.

Sometimes what you don't say is more important than what you do say. Does anyone else think a News Editor should check facts, not make them up?

Posted by: KateNelson at August 8, 2006 12:17 AM

Because they support Mike's effort to make Illinois a better place to live and grow. They know self-appointed media elites are spending a lot of enery and time assassinating Sen. Mike Jacobs character.

Business and labor are working together to ensure "Big Mike Jacobs" is returned to the Illinois Senate. What's more, they are working right now to raise even more money so narrow minded, do nothing media elties are unable to drive America into the ground.

During your research, did you see that Mike Jacobs has the highest AFL-CIO rating in the Quad Cities? Did you see where Mike Jacobs was designated by the Illinois Farm Burea as the single most supportive legislator of agriculture issues in all of Illinois.

Posted by: More at August 8, 2006 09:22 AM

John, you better be neic and stop digging before Kaet Nelson gets mad at you!!!! :-P

Nice info. Heard any news on the Hare-Zinga front??? For an open seat it sure is quiet.

Any thoughts on the Connecticut primary today? Think Lieberman is indeed going down?

Posted by: Robbie at August 8, 2006 09:24 AM

Kate -- yup, the sentence should have said Partidos Del Internet's $5,000 was tied with IPACE (Illinois Education Association political action arm) and the medical association for largest single contribution.

Personal Pac gave Jacobs no money -- it spent it's $27,000-plus on telemarketing services.

Do you happen to know the the number of the bill that the senator voted for that would have reduced payday loan rates? Not saying that he didn't, understand. Just asking if you know the bill number.

Most all readers here know I "endorsed" Paul Rumler, though the piece was actually more of a rant against politics as usual than it was an endorsement. Here's a link, for those who may have missed it.

And I was not spotted dining with Mr. Beals, for the simple reason that I've never dined with Mr. Beals.

BTW, what's with repeating everything in the comment twice?


Posted by: jcb at August 8, 2006 09:40 AM

John,

If you get the chance, take a look at Arizona's "Clean Election Law." Its been in place for a few years now.

The law allows candidates to opt into a publicly financed campaign system by gathering $5 contributions from a certain number of voters. The number of contributions a candidate needs depends on which office one is seeking. Once the threshold is reached, public financing kicks in and candidates receive campaign money from public coffers. For example, for the Republican primary for Governor, a candidate needs to submit 4,200 verified individual $5 donations from registered voters to recieve the public funds.

If you go this route you cannot accept private funds. One can also completely opt out of the public system if they want to fund their campaign with entirely private funds.

It allows public funding, but does it in such a way where only credible candidates can take advantage of it. It has also been very successful in preempting this nonsense that we are all fed up with in Illinois.

Posted by: ILDC at August 8, 2006 09:54 AM

Robbie -- Kate's always mad at me; kind of a condition of life.

Have heard nothing re: Zinga-Hare recently, though I'm sure both are busy doing something.

Have read nothing but headlines on Lieberman race...

Posted by: jcb at August 8, 2006 10:08 AM

jcb, After talking to Senator Jacobs I have taken it to check things out for myself. After a little work I found out what I am sure that you already know. The Senate Sponsor for the Payday Loan Reform Act was the above mentioned Senator Mike Jacobs. I know that you were a reporter so I will asume that you knew this. I know that a lot of people would have an issue with taking someones money, listening to their position and then going against their interest. It takes strong leadership to do the right thing and maybe that is what you were getting at with this blog entry.

Thanks!
I hope it helps.


PAYDAY LOAN REFORM ACT

Public Act 94-13 (H.B. 1100) codifies new consumer protection for those who enter into payday loans and establishes new regulations for lenders of payday loans. The Act defines a payday loan as one which has a minimum term of at least 13 days and does not exceed a term of 120 days and which has a finance charge exceeding an annual percentage rate of 36%. A payday loan by definition involves a lender accepting one or more checks dated on the date of the loan and agreeing to hold these checks for a specific period of time before deposit or presentment; the lender accepts an authorization to debit a consumers bank account; or the lender accepts an interest in the consumers wages, including a wage assignment.

Significant new consumer protections include:
(1.) A prohibition on loans that would result in a consumer being indebted to one or more payday lenders for a period in excess of 45 consecutive days. In addition, the Act establishes a cap on payday loans if the total of the principal proposed loan amount, when combined with all of the consumerís outstanding payday loans exceed the lessor of either $1000 or 25% of the consumerís gross monthly income;
(2.) A prohibition on new payday loans involving any consumer who has a balance on 2 exiting payday loans;
(3.) A prohibition against the payday lender taking any interest in the consumerís personal property to secure the payday loan;
(4.) A prohibition against any charge that exceeds $15.50 per $100 loaned; and
(5.) A prohibition against rollover of payday loans.

The Payday Loan Reform Act establishes procedures for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, (IDFPR) to certify one or more consumer reporting services. These consumer reporting services will be used to verify that a proposed loan is permissible under the Act.

The Act also establishes a record keeping and reporting requirement upon all payday lenders who provide loans to Illinois consumers. Beginning the second year after the Act becomes effective in Illinois, IDFPR is required to publish a biennial report, available to the public, the Office of the Governor, and the General Assembly that contains a compilation of the aggregate data submitted by payday lenders regarding their operations with Illinois consumers.

Although the Payday Loan Reform Act specifically exempts lenders that are Illinois state chartered banks and thrifts, national banks or out of state banks authorized to conduct business in the state of Illinois, it does require the IDFPR to promulgate rules regarding the issuance of payday loans by these financial institutions with respect to Illinois consumers. These rules are required to be promulgated within six months of the effectiveness of the Act.

The provisions of the Payday Loan Reform Act become effective on December 6, 2005.

Posted by: Seeking the truth at August 8, 2006 12:12 PM

the payday loan bill

John, can you make this a link? You'll notice that Jacobs jumped on late as an "alternate co-sponsor" along with nearly every member of the Illinois General Assembly (seriously, dozens and dozens of Senators are listed). "Seeking the Truth" was a little misleading with their implication that Jacobs had anything to do with this bill...other than jumping on when it became obvious that it was going to pass.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 8, 2006 02:24 PM

I have to pick a nit, JCB. I disagree with your categorization of the payday loan people as special interest and the pro-life/pro-choice folks as general interest.
I don't see the distinction. Both represent like-minded people with one common interest: for pay-day loan people its ensuring they can legally continue to gouge poor people.
For pro-lifers it's trying to overturn Roe v Wade. For pro-choicers, it's protecting RvW.
Each operates with a special interest in mind.
Where's the difference?

Posted by: Barb I at August 8, 2006 02:25 PM

Mr. Beydler,

You claim to speak for the people, but you are only interested in attracting more advertisers and satisfying your Republican pay-masters (Dispatch/Argus. You, not Senator Mike Jacobs, are the special interest.

Everyone knows what you and you pay-masters did to Congressman Lane Evans, and now you are doing the same to Senator Mike Jacobs. What is it with Republicans that they think they can trash rising Democrat stars and we are not going to notice what they are doing?

Ever since Mike Jacobs won the appointment process, you have relentlessly attacked him. Regardless, Jacobs won the primary and will win the genral election. Why? Because Mike Jacobs shares our traditional values. He is a strong supporter for education, teachers, farmers, labor and job creation. Mike is also working to keep violent video games out of the hands of our children.

Don't worry about haters Mike, you are doing a great job. We are going to show-up on election day and ensure another politcal victory. Go Mike, go!

Posted by: MaryAnn146@yahoo.com at August 8, 2006 04:18 PM

MaryAnn -- I've never claimed to speak for anyone other than myself.

As for your blather about Republican paymasters and ads, take a took around. You see any ads?

The PP is a personal site, a hobby if you will. If the whole world visited here every day, it would make neither the D/A or me a single penny.

Posted by: jcb at August 8, 2006 05:12 PM

Anonymous at August 8, 2006 02:24 PM, are you saying that Senator Jacobs is the wrong kind of sponsor for this bill. This is the bottom of the barrell. It sums up about everything from this Mike Jacobs witch hunt that is being played out here.

What a joke!

He voted for it and was a sponsor but not the right kind of sponsor.

I hope this anon doesn't speak for you jcb.

Posted by: Seeking the Truth at August 8, 2006 05:40 PM

I want top know since Mr. Beals brought up that he is anti Pro-choice, if he is for making young women that are pregnant from rape or incest be forced to have these babies. The fun doesn't stop there, then the girls have to decide whether to keep the babies or give them up for adoption.

Please advise Mr. Beals

Posted by: I am woman here me roar at August 8, 2006 09:44 PM

Seeking the Truth ... just as I speak for no one else, no one else speaks for me.

The bill had 19 co-sponsors through May 18, when Senate amendment 3 was adopted and the bill placed on the calendar for third reading on May 19. On that day, 16 additional senators signed on as co-sponsors.

The cynical -- Anon 02:24 PM for example -- would describe the last minute rush as he/she did.

Before I'll agree with that I'll have to read Senate amendment 3, and figure out what it added or subtracted that suddenly made the bill more palatable to more people. Will get around to it, maybe tomorrow.
Here's the link again, if somebody wants to go exploring.


Posted by: jcb at August 8, 2006 11:22 PM

Ms. Hear me Roar,

I support Hillary Clinton and she is pro-life or as you have so poorly labeled people that believe this as anti-pro-choice.

James Beals also mentioned he was pro-life.

I will vote for Mr. Beals in 2006 and I will vote for both of them in 2008. I am confident that Hillary will win her primary, regardless of the other anti-pro-life Democratic candidates.

If you want to allow the murder of innocent children, vote for Mike Jacobs.

Posted by: Hillary for President at August 9, 2006 12:17 PM

What a bunch of crap Hillary. If you had an 11 year old daughter who was raped and pregnant as a result I suppose you would have that child have the baby and raise it. Thank God for CHOICE then.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 9, 2006 03:14 PM

Since when is Hillary "pro-life"?

I must have missed her "Road to Damascus" moment.

Posted by: paladin at August 9, 2006 04:23 PM

On television, I saw some reporters matching up Hillary versus Rudy in 2008.

The ironic thing was Rudy, a Republican, was pro-choice, and Hillary, a Democrat, was pro-life.

I will always be a Hillary fan and will do what I can to elect her as our first female President!

Posted by: Hillary for President at August 9, 2006 05:24 PM

Hillary for President, the point is we don't know if Mr. Beals is pro Choice or anti-pro choice. He had his blanket statement but I haven't heard if he believes children of rape of incest should be allowed to have the choice to terminate. If he does believe this then he is pro choice.
This is the way the lines are drawn.

You need to know where Mr. Beals stands on this issue before decide where you stand.
Maybe you are pro choice also and don't know it.

Posted by: Hear me Roar at August 9, 2006 06:03 PM

(This comment transferred to The Abortion question

Please use that string if your comment concerns abortion.

Posted by: Hear me roar at August 9, 2006 10:25 PM

The hysterical reaction of Jacobs and supporters here and elsewhere everytime some fact is revealed that looks bad about the boy wonder is something to behold.

The amazing venom, the twisted reasoning, the personal attacks, the strained attempt to ascribe profit motives to others, and on and on.

And when they do try to actually refute the unfortunate truths, they routinely fall on their face, are shown to be graspiing at straws, and distorting things at best.

The facts as reported here and elsewhere are never proven wrong, so they resort to unhinged personal attacks and then attempt to say that anyway, even if whatever unflattering fact of the moment has been revealed, it all doesn't matter anyway because the Senator supports education and farmers, or something and does some good things for people. (which is no doubt true)

This knee-jerk reaction is by now so predicable as to be truly laughable, were it not so sad and frustrating.

A direct link between the Senator and the multi-billion dollar offshore on-line gambling industry is most definitely of interest to his constituents, as it should be. Ironic as well, seeing as how congress recently held hearings to investigate ways to regulate and restrict it.

Perhaps Big Mike Jacobs can now be counted on as an "in the pocket" guy should any state effort be made affecting this hugely profitable industry.

And John, you're very charitable towards the senator. When one of the usual gang puffs out their chest and boasts, "The Senate Sponsor for the Payday Loan Reform Act was the above mentioned Senator Mike Jacobs.", I think it's more than fair, as another commenter did, to note that the above statement is a gross attempt to mislead, if not an out and out lie.

It clearly states that Jacobs was "THE senate sponsor", as if he were the only one.

Not only was he not the only sponsor of course, but he wasn't the lead sponsor, and only jumped on the train when it was pulling out of the station.

And "seeking", one of the gang, had the nerve to whine that this was unfair and suggest that the person who pointed this out was petty, suggesting that the commenter was upset because Jacobs was "the wrong kind of sponsor".

Nope.... Nice try. It wasn't that he was the "wrong kind" of sponsor, but that Jacobs' crew were willfully trying to deceive people in their attempt to bail out their guy on the issue.

Perhaps I shouldn't even dignify this stuff by responding, as by now, I trust that everyone can see it for what it is without my needing to point it out.

Posted by: TID at August 10, 2006 02:09 PM


TID, Every time Senator Jacobs is in the news you fly off the handle with your wild envy.

It is sickening to see that you jump at the throat of the Senator every chance you get. You assert that Mike Jacobs supports off shore gambling. What kind of crazy attack is this?

Are you saying that Mike Jacobs is not a sponsor of the bill which reforms the way that Payday loans do business which benefits the consumer after taking a campaign contribution from them?

This string was talking about Sen. jacobs taking money from the payday loans people. This was a response from a Jacobsís supporter pointing out that you can take someoneís money and vote against them if you have a strong leader. Reading is a skill TID.

No one ever said that he was the only sponsor!
You are trying to twist the truth again in an attempt to smear the Senator!


Every time you make these wild accusations you are proven wrong. The obnoxious manner that you conduct yourself is very narrow-minded and shows the obsession that you have toward the Senator.

Furthermore, to attack John for being charitable to the Senator is a real stretch. This is John's site and I don't believe that he needs your help. Although now I am speaking for John which I don't believe that I should do either.

You also accuse paladin of not calling Sen. Jacobs. He says he did and I believe him.

I also believe that name-calling is a true way to detect a coward. "Boy Wonder".
That say everything now doesn't it.

Maybe you should get the courage to call him instead of ranting on these blogs all the time.

Posted by: Big Jim at August 10, 2006 09:23 PM

Big Jim, the irony here was unbearable...

From your post...

I also believe that name-calling is a true way to detect a coward.

The obnoxious manner that you conduct yourself is very narrow-minded and shows the obsession that you have toward the Senator.

(emphasis added)

Posted by: Robbie at August 11, 2006 08:10 AM

Get real Mike Jacobs and fan club.

What is all this talk about BIG MIKE JACOBS, BIGGEST DONOR, BIG this and BIG that

Usually people that need to lean on these words are severly lacking somewhere else.

I already can see that Mike has little or no opinion since he will not respond to his constituents.

He has proven that he is a BIG spender and the public will never see how se spent over 17,000 in anonymous amounts. That's ridiculous! That is more than most people spend on a house payment, car payment, and their kids in 6 months.

I would prefer to call you the appointed Senator, little mikey.

Posted by: GET REAL at August 11, 2006 12:23 PM

Robbie, we are talking about the manner in which TID is acting on this subject. Not that TID is a NARROW MINDED OBNOXIOUS individual.

And if you can not tell a sarcastic response that mirrors the original letter sent by TID than you may want to replace TID with Robbie.

You used the response unbearable irony not me!!

Posted by: Big Jim at August 11, 2006 12:49 PM

You people have way to much time on your hands. Go Senator Jacobs

Posted by: Anonymous at August 12, 2006 02:51 PM

The appointed Senator will need to have his dad find him another job after the election.

Go Mr. James M. Beals

Posted by: Anonymous at August 12, 2006 04:13 PM

Sen. Mike Jacobs won his primary bid in a landslide with the stink of the hog plant on him. He won the hog war.

Beals maybe you can find your way out of the courtroom long enough to anser the abortion question that you refuse to answer.

We are waiting.

Posted by: Anonymous at August 12, 2006 11:52 PM

Beals answered a question last night about his website. It would be nice to see him answer the rest of the unanswered questions posed to him?

Posted by: Anonymous at August 14, 2006 11:58 AM

I heard the Beals suit now a mortgage forclosure. There are many more defendents listed in the case. Will a business be closed down as a result of the incident where his jaw was broken?

Posted by: Anonymous at August 14, 2006 03:16 PM

Anon @3:16PM, I'm assuming that you got that info by doing a search on "beals" at this site and then choosing case# 2006L10 from the seven court cases listed under BEALS JAMES M. I'm no lawyer, so I can't say what it means, but it appears that whoever Beals is suing didn't show up for court back in May, so a default judgement against the defendant was entered. The rest of the names may or may not be defendants, they could be witnesses only. But you'll see that a second amended complaint was filed at Thursday's hearing. Who knows what's really going on.

Posted by: Huck Finn at August 14, 2006 07:33 PM

Why is Beals suing these folks? Up here when ya get beat up you moves on. We don't go round suing evrybody.

Posted by: SavannaSmiling at September 14, 2006 02:43 PM