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For instance, the Post has denounced payday lenders as “parasites” that “prey on vulnerable Virginians” by “offering quickie loans at usurious interest rates.” Critics of payday loans misleadingly exaggerate those rates, but that’s a story for another time. The point is that the Post has called on Virginia legislators to reassess their decision to let payday lenders operate at all.
Democratic candidate for governor Terry McAuliffe has been even more emphatic: Four years ago, he vowed to “establish a total ban on payday lending.” He’s being more circumspect this time around, probably because of campaign contributions from the payday industry. But campaign representatives say his official policy has not changed: Storefront lending should be verboten because, in his view, it is neither desirable nor in the public interest.
If McAuliffe doesn’t win the election in November, perhaps he should run for office in Bloomington. He would fit right in.