Payday lending industry donated $118K in 2016 campaign cycle

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Payday lenders and their professional associations donated more than $118,000 to candidates and PACs in 2015 and 2016.

Most of that money – $92,150 – went to Republican interests, with $41,700 to Republican House candidates.

That follows the trend of House Republicans outraising and outspending their Democratic counterparts in the 2016 election cycle, particularly when it came to business interests. Despite such campaign cash dominance, Republicans lost control of the House.

But the total is less than the $140,000 the industry spent in the 2014 election cycle, when statewide offices such as governor and attorney general were at stake.

Leading the way among the payday donors in the 2016 cycle was the Consumer Lending Alliance, a trade industry association that donated $32,950, followed by FastBucks, a small lender with storefronts throughout the state, which gave $21,050.

Here’s a look at the donors:

House Minority Leader Nate Gentry, R-Albquerque, was the top recipient of the high-interest lending industry, receiving $14,300. Many of his donations came in 2015, when he served as House majority leader.

Former House Speaker Don Tripp’s political action committee received $14,000.

The Democratic and Republican parties also received significant donations from the industry.

Eight of the 11 members of the House Business and Industry Committee received a total of $8,300 from the industry. That committee will hear bills aimed at capping interest rates for short-term lenders on Monday.

Here’s a look at the recipients:

And here’s a look at all the payday lending industry contributions reported in 2015 and 2016:

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