by Jeff Sovern
[Rep. Stevan Pearce, R-N.M] suggested that data collection undertaken by the CFPB could be passed onto political campaigns.
"But I will say that the collection of data like you’re collecting has tremendous value in political campaigns and I worry that there might just be someone down the system who might release that information,² Pearce said.
I have not yet listened to this hearing, but the issue of the Bureau's data collection has routinely come up in other hearings, and Cordray has stated more than once that much of the data the Bureau receives about consumer borrowing comes without information identifying the particular consumer. It's hard to see how information that doesn't identify specific people would be of value in a political campaign. When consumers complain directly to the Bureau, the Bureau would know who they are–except that's information that consumers decide to provide the Bureau. Meanwhile, businesses collect plenty of information about consumers they can identify. I wish Representative Pearce cared more about the information businesses collect, which the businesses can use for their own purposes (and who knows if they sell it to political campaigns? Is that where Pearce got the idea?), as opposed to the information collected by the Bureau, which is supposed to be used only for the benefit of consumers.
Representative Pearce is also quoted in the article as saying that Cordray is waging war on the poor. Would those be the poor people for whom the Bureaus has secured refunds? Incidentally, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, commercial banks have given more to Pearce's current reelection campaign than all but three other industries and his fourth largest contributor is a bank.