Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Jonathan "Payday" Paton has frequently bristled at being a lobbyist for the Payday Loan industry. He even recently got some assistance in this regard from Arizona Republic(an) columnist apologist Laurie Roberts who wrote Payday Paton ads factual, but are they true? Spoiler alert: according to Ms. Roberts, because Paton was not an obscenely paid lobbyist this somehow makes a difference. That's some situational ethics you got there, Ms. Roberts.

This subsequent reporting in the Arizona Republic begs to differ. Paton tied to payday lending.

Let's hear from someone in the trenches who has had to actually deal with the consequences of Payday Lenders exploiting people in dire financial circumstances, Navajo County Attorney Brad Carlyon, who sent this e-mail today on behalf of the Ann Kirkpatrick campaign:

Character matters.

That’s why I find it especially galling that Jonathan Paton, a lobbyist who worked for the payday-loan industry – a man who fought to keep an exploitative industry alive — is flooding our airwaves and mailboxes with character attacks on Ann Kirkpatrick.

As the Navajo County Attorney, I know how bad the payday-loan industry was for our communities. The voters agreed with me, and in 2010 they voted by an overwhelming 2-1 margin to end predatory payday loans in Arizona – forever.

The initiative they voted down was known as Prop. 200. At the time, a lobbying firm called Copper State Consulting was being paid to run the Prop. 200 campaign in hopes of keeping the payday-loan industry alive in perpetuity. Their strategy? Call it “reform.”

But editorial boards across our state called it what it really was: A “cruel hoax.” “Shameful.” And plenty more.

And here’s where things get awfully sketchy: As a sitting lawmaker, Jonathan Paton was also on the payroll of Copper State Consulting. He even wrote a ballot argument in favor of Prop. 200. In other words, Paton fought for this “cruel hoax” under the guise of "reform." All to help his old payday-loan bosses.

And now those payday-loan bosses are returning the favor. This past weekend, The Arizona Republic wrote a story with the headline: “Paton tied to payday-lending industry  – Says he didn’t lobby for industry but records show payday money has been a fixture of his career.”

The story revealed that Paton’s campaign “has collected at least $28,500 this year from people and organizations connected to the payday-lending and auto-title-loan industries.”

Character matters, and Jonathan Paton gave voters a glimpse of his own character when he fought for an initiative aiming to trick voters and line the pockets of predatory lenders. He showed us exactly where he stands.

As for me, I stand with Ann.  Please join me.


Brad Carlyon,
Navajo County Attorney