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Bill Monroe, a Columbia Democrat active in the DFA (Democracy for America, an outgrowth of the Dean campaign) chapter there, sent me this e-mail:

Our own 25th District Rep Mary Still and KC Rep John Burnett invite all to a “field hearing” on payday loan reform to be held at the Columbia Public Library Friends Room at 6:30 PM on November 16th. The average payday lender in Missouri charges 430.68% interest. For this and other reasons, reforms are needed to protect the poor and vulnerable in Missouri. The Republican Speaker of the House Ron Richard, has assigned a hearing for Mary Still’s reform bill for the last day of the session in an attempt to kill it. This Columbia library hearing will kick off a campaign to have Mary’s bill given a fair hearing and shot at passage. Come out and offer your opinion and stories on the Payday loan industry and hear how you can get involved…everyone welcome.

The average interest is 430 percent? That’s the average? And Republicans want to kill the bill. Just one more example of the GOP pimping for the rich and thumbing their noses at the poor. Or do they have some convoluted rationalization for supporting usury?