Archive for May 29th, 2010

by problembear

i know i haven’t posted in awhile and i have tried to stay away but Mt initiative I-164 is just too important to ignore. if we are to get this citizen’s referendum up for a vote this november we have until June 18 to do it.

if you are reading this and if you or someone you know has been hurt by payday lenders please leave a comment here and tell us your story. i have been fired up about this ever since finding out what a crooked title loan place did to my daughter’s credit many years ago. up until then, i never imagined that a state licensed business could be allowed to treat people as they do in this shady predatory lending industry. i thought only the mafia acted this way in dark alleys. but, in less than ten years these places have sprouted like toxic weeds accross Montana. in fact, since 2001, predatory lenders have multiplied so much that they actually outnumber starbucks in this country.

Montana state law currently allows payday lenders to charge 650% interest per year and auto title loan businesses are allowed to charge 300% interest per year. these interest rates are unconscionable to any thinking fair-minded citizen which is why Montana’s citizens are stepping  up in the next three weeks to gather signatures so that we can get this referendum on the ballot this November and protect our most vulnerable working families from this greedy destructive bloodbath. many states such as oregon and ohio have already enacted citizen sponsored legislation which protects their working poor from these loan sharks. we must do the same. if you wish to help please contact Erin at Montana Women Vote and gather some signatures so that we can at least regulate this industry to a reasonable interest rate of 36% per year.

Montana Women Vote has a lot of good information about these predators and they are a lot smarter than me. please consider helping them to gather signatures for this important petition initiative and contact Erin. if you cannot gather signatures please seek us out and sign your name to the petition along with the growing thousands of montanans who want our state to treat our working poor with more fairness.

and thanks for having the patience to listen to a bear of very little brain once again.

by Pete Talbot

The federal deadline for the final campaign finance reports before the primary election was yesterday and there are some interesting numbers.

In the congressional contest, the far right and the far, far right did pretty well.

Of course, Republican incumbent Dennis Rehberg has an obscene amount of net receipts: $913,941.

Next up on the Republican side is Mark French at $58,068. That’s a nice chunk of change for a guy who makes Mussolini look progressive.

The moderate in this race, A.J. Otjen, raised $23,013.

On the Democratic side, Dennis McDonald has the highest net receipts but Tyler Gernant isn’t too far behind: McDonald, $167,716; Gernant, $124,565.

Sam Rankin of Billings made a showing at $8639.

Unfortunately, Melinda Gopher didn’t report, so she either didn’t raise the $5000 needed to require a report or she just didn’t report. Neither of these is a good sign for her campaign.

This is too bad. For a while there I was leaning toward Gopher but unfortunately a candidate needs more than passion and a progressive platform to take out the likes of Denny Rehberg.

Sam Rankin seems like a decent guy but like Gopher, his campaign lacks the organization it will take to give Rehberg a run.

Gernant seems to be gaining momentum while McDonald looks to be treading water. Add to that McDonald’s nebulous stand on coal development … well, unless something new breaks, I guess I’m leaning Gernant.

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