A battle in Texas over remarks made by Texas Finance Commission Chairman William White, who is also vice president of payday lending company Cash America, offers a glimpse at how the rest of the state's 2014 governors race will play out.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis called for White to resign from his state position following comments he made about consumers and payday lending companies, saying his position with a payday lending company harms his ability to act as a fair regulator of the industry. Both Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, expected to be the Republican nominee for the governor's race, and Davis have stepped up targeted campaigning and are starting to dig into each other's past on the payday loan issue.
Davis this week released reports showing Abbott received hundreds of thousands of dollars from leaders of the payday lending industry. Abbott released Davis voting record showing that she helped confirm White in 2011.
Southern Methodist University Professor Cal Jillson said Abbott isnt the only Republican official to benefit from the payday lending lobby. He said the key point isnt so much Davis and Abbott criticizing each other, but the window into how Texas politics works, namely that the state has a "lightly regulated payday loan industry" with a vice president of a major payday lender leading the oversight committee.