Once more, the Trump administration is showing us how they protest too much. During the 2016 Election, Trump and gang consistently claimed that his opponent was participating in pay to play schemes. Like every other lie they told, the truth is that they are the ones rolling around in the muck. This time their scheme involves payday loan companies.
Ever since Mick Mulvaney, Trump's director of Management and Budget, also became the director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), he's been systematically dismantling any and all protections for consumers. This warrants the question: then why not just rename it the Lenders Financial Protection Bureau?
Follow The Money, a political contribution database, recently released a report on Mick Mulvaney and his pay to play schemes. Author J.T. Stepleton points out that since Mulvaney took over the CFPB, he has "scaled back payday lending regulations, dropped a lawsuit against high-interest lenders, and closed an investigation into a lender that donated to two of Mulvaney’s campaigns."
Follow The Money also reported on the total of donations Mick Mulvaney took from payday lenders throughout his state and federal campaigns before becoming a member of Trump's administration: $62,100. The longer Mulvaney stayed in office, the more money he took. During his last year in office in 2016, while serving on the House Services Financial Committee that oversees payday lending, he garnered the 4th largest amount of donations from this sector.
Additionally, my research has discovered that the Trump Campaign took in at least $812,700 from payday lenders alone during the 2016 Election. Trump's Inaugural Committee raked in a whopping $2,025,000 and the various Republican committees (RNC, RNCC and RNSC) managed to get over $2,814,500 in political donations.
Readers should keep in mind that these numbers do not include donations to PACS who then can donate to other PACS or the candidates without watchdogs knowing who the money originated with. It also does not include dark money that is not monitored.
But political donations are not the only place Mulvaney has conflicts of interest.
In 2016, Open Secrets data showed that Mulvaney's largest sector of donations came from the finance, insurance and real estate categories at $503,839. For comparison, his second largest sector was from "other" at $94,092. At the same time Mulvanmey was taking political donations form this sector, his personal assets were invested in that very same sector at $8.23 million. Remember that while he was investing his personal money in this sector, he was serving on the House Services Financial Committee and had sponsored/cosponsored bills that positively affected the sector.
Mulvaney's history with this sector: political donations and personal investments, sponsorship and cosponsorship of bills affecting this sector and now his dismantling of regulations within that sector while dropping a federal lawsuit against them and literally killing an investigation into some of his donors is clear pay to play.
It's way past time for Mick Mulvaney to be investigated for corruption and blatant obstruction of justice. If you're going to play, you must pay.