Jonathan Paton, also known as “PayDay Paton”, is running for the US Congress as a Republican in CD-1. Paton is a lobbyist for the Payday loans business. In 2004, Jonathan Paton worked for the Community Financial Services Association, a payday lending alliance. Paton supported an industry-written ballot initiative allowing payday lenders to remain open indefinitely, overriding a law which required them to shut down in 2010. His efforts would allow payday lenders to “continue to be allowed indefinitely making short-term loans with fees that are equal to 390 percent annual interest, but with new restrictions on how they deal with customers.”
Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard dealt a serious blow to payday lenders who attempted to skirt a ban on their day-to-day functioning with “Operation Sunset” . Goddard notified Arizona payday loan companies that he would enforce the legislated ban on usury and prosecute any attempts to evade the law.
A resident of Tucson, Arizona, Paton announced his candidacy for CD-1 but must move into that district, in order to be a qualified candidate. Yes, that’s correct, he did not live in CD-1 when he filed to run for office and this instantly brings to mind questions of his personal ethics. Arizona voters in the 8th District already rebuffed Paton’s 2010 campaign, and it is hoped that CD-1 voters will follow suit. According to the Arizona Secretary of State Lobbyist System, Paton is currently a registered lobbyist. Amber Moon, of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, publicly stated, “Arizonans need a Representative who will fight for them in Washington, not a payday lending lobbyist like Jonathan Paton who places special interests above the middle class. Arizona voters in the Eighth District rejected Jonathan Paton in 2010, and voters in the First Congressional District won’t trust a lobbyist carpetbagger in 2012.”
Remember Wes Gullet, the lobbyist who lost to Greg Stanton in the recent Phoenix Mayoral race? Gullet publicly admitted that he intended to continue his lobbying efforts if he was elected Mayor of Phoenix. Wes Gullett was Chief of Staff for Arizona Governor Fife Symington, from July 1993 to April 1996, and his tenure coincided with Symington’s failed attempted takeover of Grand Canyon National Park, to make it a State Park under his control. Symington had a long term cozy relationship with mining interests, who would have begun uranium mining at the Grand Canyon upon Symington’s taking it over. Considering the current attempt to institute uranium mining at the Grand Canyon, one wonders if this might not be déjà vu on several levels.
Two other Arizona men who currently work behind the scenes, simultaneously bankrolling candidates, are Mario Diaz and Stan Barnes. Diaz runs Mario E. Diaz & Associates, a full-service government relations and public affairs firm in Phoenix, Arizona. Among his affiliations is retired US Senator Dennis DeConcini, currently a board member of the Corrections Corporation of America, and formerly linked to the Keating Five scandal. Stan Barnes is the founder and President of Copper State Consulting Group which is also “a full service government relations and public affairs firm in Phoenix Arizona.” In short, Mario Diaz and Stan Barnes are lobbyists. Diaz and Barnes are two of the biggest Payday Loan lobbyists in Arizona.
Who has Payday Loan lobbyist Stan Barnes contributed to?
$6,500 to the Arizona Republican Party
$8,925 to John McCain
$4,575 to Jon Kyl
$6,200 to David Schweikert
$1,500 to Paul Gosar
$1,450 to Trent Franks
$500 to John Boehner
Obviously, Stan Barnes has donated heavily to influence conservative legislators. It is clear where his sympathies lie. Barnes has also contributed $4,400 to Jonathan Payton.
Mario Diaz gave money to numerous Democratic candidates, and has donated $7,600 to the Arizona State Democratic Central Executive Committee, alone. Playing both ends against the middle, Barnes has also contributed to the Arizona State Democratic Central Executive Committee, in the amount of $3,000.
In addition to Barnes’ contributions to “PayDay Paton”, both lobbyists have contributed to the campaign of Ann Kirkpatrick. Diaz has contributed $8,246 to the Kirkpatrick campaign. Barnes has contributed $2,500.
A total of $10,746 has been contributed by these two Payday Loan lobbyists to Ann Kirkpatrick! This is, of course, $6,346 more than the amount contributed by Stan Barnes to Payday lobbyist Jonathan Paton.
What is the price for this loyalty? Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard struck a blow against loan sharks, yet these Payday Loan lobbyists continue to peddle their influence on candidates in both parties. These lobbyists, it seems, have spent more on the candidate endorsed by the Arizona Democratic Party, than on their own lobbyist candidate, and one can only wonder why. The Arizona State Democratic Central Executive Committee has received $10,600 and candidate Ann Kirkpatrick, $10,746 from two of the biggest Payday Loan lobbyists in Arizona. What will be the price for such loyalty?
Arizona Capitol Times, 4/02/10; 1/25/12.
Arizona Daily Star, 6/6/10; 9/25/08; 10/19/08.
Arizona Secretary of State Lobbyist System.
- Unregistered Payday Loans in Utah May be Voided (loans.org)
- Banks Attract Scrutiny For Tapping Into Payday Loan Market (thecrimsoncrow.com)