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Davis Asks Gov. Perry To Remove Finance Committee Chair With Links To Payday Lending Industry

Wendy Davis for Governor
Screen shot from the "A Texas Story" campaign video for Wendy Davis.

State Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, who is running for governor in 2014, is calling on Gov. Rick Perry to remove William White, the chairman of the state’s Finance Commission, following comments White made to the El Paso Times about payday lenders and the people that use them.

In the article, White says that blame for debt trouble belongs on the consumers and not the companies that make the loans.

Davis is also taking issue with the fact that White is the vice president of Cash America, a payday lending company.

"Cash America was recently sanctioned by the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and forced to pay $19 million for abusive practices," said Rebecca Acuna with the Davis campaign. "Mr. White is an executive with Cash America, that predatory lender, while at the same time he was supposed to regulate them. That’s a conflict of interest and that’s something that shouldn't be acceptable in the State of Texas."

White called the newspaper's  interview and Davis’ call a "political" move. After receiving Davis’ call, the governor's office issued this response: 

"Senator Davis failed to mention that an appointee who has been confirmed by the Texas Senate cannot simply be fired, and statute requires a member from the industry to serve on the board."

"The governor expects all of his appointees to carry out their duties without bias or prejudice and in the best interest of their fellow Texans," said The Rich Parsons with the governor's office. "This is a legal issue that has been resolved in the judicial system."

The topic of payday loans has a hot-button topic during the last three legislative sessions, where lawmakers like Davis have introduced bills to further regulate an industry that some say preys on the poor with interest rates of 25 percent and higher.

Ryan started his radio career in 2002 working for Austin’s News Radio KLBJ-AM as a show producer for the station's organic gardening shows. This slowly evolved into a role as the morning show producer and later as the group’s executive producer.