Consumer group labels Alcee Hastings a ‘payday puppet’

The Florida Democrat has gotten a lot of money from industry, which is fighting regulations.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar.
Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar.
Published Apr. 26, 2018

WASHINGTON – Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings received thousands of dollars from payday lenders after taking steps to protect the industry from regulation, according to a report issued Thursday by a consumer group.

In September 2016, the south Florida Democrat wrote a letter to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau expressing concern about efforts to regulate the industry and around that same time, received $8,000 in campaign contributions from people connected to Amscot and Community Services Association of America PAC, according to Allied Progress.

A year earlier, he got $20,000 in contributions three weeks after writing a column about the industry in the Washington Examiner.

That earned Hastings a spot in a "Payday Puppets" report from Allied Progress that details more than a dozen lawmakers who have taken money from the industry, which is seeking to roll back proposed reforms and has a good chance under the Trump administration.

Hastings' office did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

According to Allied Progress, the industry has bought Florida politicians, contributing more than $2.5 million to candidates and political parties since 2009.

Hastings alone has taken more than $117,000.