The El Paso Times continues reporting on a controversy that has been brewing now for a number of days. First, the Times reported last Sunday that the Chairman of the Texas Finance Commission, as well as the Consumer Credit Commissioner, a man named William J. White, has extensive ties to the payday lending industry. Specifically, he is the Vice-President of Cash America, one of the largest payday lending chains. This type of cronyism, of course, is not an especially new move for someone affiliated with the Perry administration, but I digress.
The Times approached White a few weeks ago to talk about the possible conflict, and received nothing but abrasive and laconic retorts from the Commissioner. The article then went on to discuss the many excesses of payday lending and its sometimes usurious tendencies. Sagacious followers of Texpatriate will be very familiar with those excesses, so I will not discuss them here. Otherwise, read the article (it’s quite good).
Yesterday, the Times continued to report on the issue by noting that State Senator Wendy Davis (and presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee) has now called on the embattled White to resign.
“Texans are tired of back-room deals and dishonesty in Austin. William White can’t protect Texas consumers while he represents a predatory lending company on the side. Mr. White should resign from his post — and if he won’t, Governor Perry should remove him,” Davis said.
Davis’ entrance into the issue puts major media spotlight on the issue, some that would otherwise not have occurred. While this might make some buzz for at least a couple more days, it is not ultimately going to change anything–in Austin or otherwise. Therefore, the most important part of this whole story is that Wendy Davis has now waded into an otherwise contentious issue. Bill White would have never done this, so hopefully it is a good sign of things to come in the midterm elections.