The Huffington Post reports today:
Facing the prospect of imminent oversight by a newly created government regulator, the much-reviled payday loan industry’s lobbying machine surged into action.
The campaign to blunt the power of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau included the usual monetary contributions to key lawmakers and hiring of well-connected lobbyists. But one little-known nonprofit connected to a network of online payday loan companies also leaped into the new world of influence-peddling post-Citizens United.
The Supreme Court's 2010 ruling led to the creation of super PACs and nonprofit groups so closely tied to congressional leaders that they regularly receive large contributions from those seeking a foot in the door. Online Consumers Network, an arm of the online payday loan empire run out of Missouri and Colorado by brothers Cole and Del Kimball, was one who came knocking.
In 2012, at the height of the payday loan industry’s lobbying campaign to push back the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Online Consumers Network contributed $100,000 each to American Action Network, a nonprofit closely connected to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), and YG Network, a nonprofit linked to then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.). Both of these dark money groups spent millions on the 2012 election without disclosing their donors.