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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Daily Political Wire

George Wenschhof

In Case You Missed It:  First Lady Michelle Obama Has The Moves in "Mom Dancing"


Group of Senators Near Deal on Gun Background Checks - A bipartisan group of senators is on the verge of a deal that would expand background checks to all private firearms sales with limited exemptions, but significant disagreements remain on the issue of keeping records of private gun sales, according to aides familiar with the talks.

“These negotiations are challenging, as you’d expect on an issue as complicated as guns,” the chief negotiator, Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.), said in a statement Saturday. “But all of the senators involved are approaching this in good faith. We are all serious about wanting to get something done, and we are going to keep trying.”  You can read more here.


Major Banks Aid Payday Lending Banned By States - Major banks have quickly become behind-the-scenes allies of Internet-based payday lenders that offer short-term loans with interest rates sometimes exceeding 500 percent.

With 15 states banning payday loans, a growing number of the lenders have set up online operations in more hospitable states or far-flung locales like Belize, Malta and the West Indies to more easily evade statewide caps on interest rates.

While the banks, which include giants like JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Wells Fargo, do not make the loans, they are a critical link for the lenders, enabling the lenders to withdraw payments automatically from borrowers’ bank accounts, even in states where the loans are banned entirely. In some cases, the banks allow lenders to tap checking accounts even after the customers have begged them to stop the withdrawals. The NY Times has more here.


Organizing for Action Ratchets Up Fund Raising - the former Obama campaign organization is gearing up to raise big money to influence issues and elections. The first of an expected wave of ads on gun control, for example, has targeted only Republicans. And OFA board member Jim Messina, who managed Obama’s reelection campaign, has been talking with Democratic Party leaders, including those responsible for success in the 2014 midterm elections.

Over the past month, Messina and Jon Carson, a leading strategist, have traveled the country meeting with members of the Obama 2012 National Finance Committee, who are being pressed back to work to find support for the new organization.

In huddles with Hollywood studio executives, California energy investors and Chicago business titans, they have suggested $500,000 as a target level for OFA bundlers and that top donors get invitations to quarterly OFA board meetings attended by the president.  The Washington Post has more here.


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