The advocacy group Allied Progress is stepping up its campaign attacking Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on payday lending, announcing plans Monday to put up billboards in the Florida Democrat’s home state that say she’s not on President Obama’s side on the issue.
“President Obama has shown he’s on the side of hardworking Americans by encouraging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to hold payday lenders accountable,” said Karl Frisch, the group’s executive director. “In a stunning contrast, Rep. Wasserman Schultz has accepted tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from these predators — often within weeks of taking official actions to benefit the industry — and is now working with radical conservatives to help gut the CFPB’s efforts to stop the worst abuses of these payday lenders.”
The illuminated billboards say she is on “their” side — the payday lender industry — and “not his,” referring to Mr. Obama. Allied Progress had announced a television ad last month hitting Ms. Wasserman Schultz, who the group is labeling “Debt Trap Debbie,” on the issue.
Ms. Wasserman Schultz, who is facing a primary challenge from law professor Tim Canova this year, was recently endorsed by Mr. Obama in her bid for re-election. She’s also faced criticism this cycle from some Democrats and Sen. Bernard Sanders’ presidential campaign for the DNC’s handling of the party’s primary debate schedule, which some argue has been tilted with an eye toward favoring Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton.