The 36% Affidavit – So, on what basis is the 36% petition being challenged?

I had to pay for a copy of it, but here’s the affidavit filed today by a “Craig Olson” and former Secretary of State Director of Elections Aaron Lorenzen as to why the petitions for the Hickey/Hildebrand ballot measure should be rejected. They’re contending over 7500 signatures are bad, which they believe should invalidate their submission:

36 Percent Affidavit


24 thoughts on “The 36% Affidavit – So, on what basis is the 36% petition being challenged?

  1. Steve Hickey

    It’s a joke and not a serious challenge. It’s desperate but what do they have to lose and they have all the money in the world to try anything to keep this from voters?. Hope they paid thousands to challenge us.

    We have a 6000+ signature margin for error. They are challenging 3400+ because the notary stamp obscures the circulator date??!! And 2000+ some because they can’t figure out where I live. really. The people who brought in illegal circulators from all over the nation in our states dirtiest petition drive (18% fake cap) are challenging where I live and where Nesiba lives?! – please. BTW, I’m still a SD resident at the same address I’ve always had.

    Feel bad for Shantel that she has to work through this with a fine tooth comb which will take over a month.

  2. Jason Sebern

    The Repubs will do just about anything to keep predatory lending alive and well in South Dakota.

  3. Anonymous

    Circulator should sign the petition in the presence of the notary, that’s what is being notarized. So the dates should be the same. So they want to impugn the integrity of the notaries involved? Weird.

  4. RLM

    Maybe I am naive, but what is wrong with a 36% interest rate cap. Some of these lenders are really nothing more than loan sharks.

    I remember a day when gambling and loan sharking were run by organized crime. Now we have state governments taking the place of the old mob.

    what happened to our moral standards?

    1. Steve Hickey

      You aren’t naive. It is what it looks like it is. Troy doesn’t recognize or choose to acknowledge their true business model. If this was only about a one time short term loan paid off in two weeks it would be fine. The business model is built on profitably kicking in on flipped loan number five. Average loan is flipped 8 times and takes over 300 days to pay off. There is no state mechanism to regulate any of this so people are coming into Lutheran social services with 10-15 loans. Payday lenders don’t care. They’ve constructed a debt trap. They get paid when the person borrows more from the lender across the street.

      The view Troy is espousing that everyone should have access to quick cash even though they have no means to pay them back is what gave us the housing crash 8 years ago.

      1. Anonymous

        — is what gave us the housing crash 8 years ago.

        There is no evidence that “payday lending” led to the subprime housing crisis of 2007-09.

        It’s the other way around: the subprime housing crisis led to the increased use of payday lenders.

        go figure…

        1. Steve Hickey

          No I wasn’t meaning to communicate payday lending caused 08. My point was subprime lending was easy credit to people who couldn’t pay it back, like payday lending.

          Responsible lending is what we are after in the state. Lending that is win win for people and lenders. The sky doesn’t fall in the 16 states that have capped the rate. The poor manage as they did before the loan sharks figured out how to get filthy rich on another’s misery. Alternative credit programs have emerged in the states for borrowers who have capacity to pay back an emergency loan. I think employers in SD should offer a 4x a year payday advance at zero percent interest. That’s a good fix. Capping the rate has not driven people to online lending in any greater number than they are doing so in states with no rate cap.

          Time to kick the poverty profiteers to the curbside and let better things for society flourish.

          Oh but what about letting the free market work say the same people who are happy with corporate welfare and crony capitalism. If it’s okay for free market people to incentivize some it’s okay to decentivize others.

  5. Troy Jones


    1) Because of the small amount of those loans, cost of collection, and short duration, it is expensive to provide these loans. For instance, at the 35% rate cap, the lender can only charge interest and fees of $7 on a $500 loan. The advocates admit this will drive these lenders out of business and these economic reality explain why these lenders will cease to exist.

    2) This is the only source of emergency cash for many working poor. If this lending source is gone, so is their emergency cash.

    The advocates assert that collectively this has an adverse impact on the poor. I don’t deny it is doesn’t solve a lot of problems and does make things worse for some. But, what about the others where it does bridge an emergency need to get a car fixed so they go to go work or pay their day care bill so they can keep working? For me, this is taking a hatchet to a problem that requires a more careful cut.

  6. RLM

    good points, but I don’t get your math

    36% of $500 is $180. So, if you loan me $500 at 36% interest, wouldn’t I pay you back $680 one year from today?

    Your second point about the supply of “emergency cash” has some merit, but don’t we as a society have some standards? And quite honestly, some of these lenders are downright sleazy. Although, I could tell you stories about sleazy practices in some of our respected financial institutions as well.

  7. Troy Jones


    These are pay day loans, not set up to be long-term loans.

    Regarding Hickey, I have offered to give him this forum to cogently articulate his rationale vs. simplistic bromides. He declined to accept the offer.

    Evidence of the lack of depth of his intellectual thought is this: “Payday lenders (have) constructed a debt trap. They get paid when the person borrows more from the lender across the street. . . .even though they have no means to pay them back.”

    Business models that depend on a “greater fool” are models doomed to fail. If what Hickey says above had any truth, the last lender who gets stuck with the loan that can’t be paid back would go out of business. Obviously, these loans get sufficiently paid back or there would be no pay day lenders.

    RLM, I don’t deny the anecdotes Hickey raises don’t occur or that they don’t occur more than they should. I just don’t believe anecdotes are sufficient justification for the elimination of a service, especially without a suggestion of a viable alternative but only a personal assertion the poor will be better off. I’ve heard that story too often by non-poor do-gooders and too often they are wrong.

    1. Steve Hickey

      I’ve spent all the time I care to over 3 years bantering back and forth this issue with Troy in person and online, at length. He’ll buy lunch and then the next week slime you. He’s a broken record and will alway side with the financial industry. Iceland puts loan sharkskin do greedy bankers in jail. I simply think they need to be put out of business. Proud of his nice new gaudy easy dollar shops Chuck Brennan told the Argus Leader last year his stores are “nicer mouse traps.”

      Even if Troy doesn’t like the 36% rate cap he should be leading the way in articulating why the fake 18% cap as a constitutional amendment is a huge mistake for SD. What other industry in SD gets constitutional protection to do whatever they want without legislative oversight?

      1. Anonymous

        “Lunch … then Slime”. Interesting observation.

        Stalker…then victim.

        There does seem to be some DID issues involved.

    2. Rlm

      Your contention that you “don’t believe anecdotes are sufficient justification for the elimination of a service” is valid.

      Now, extend that to the arguments being made to drug test for SNAP and other public aid. The arguments and comment boards are filled with anecdotes like “I saw someone leave a grocery store with a cart full of diapers and trade them for drugs”.

      So, are anecdotes only valid for your side of the argument?

      Bottom line, gambling and loan sharking used to be illegal. Those activities were run by the mob.
      Why have we legitimized them

  8. RLM

    What did people do before “payday” lenders?
    I remember about 25 years ago when I needed a short term loan, I went to a Wells Fargo Financial office.
    It was a subsidiary of Wells Fargo that specialized in short term loans. (as I recall, I needed to borrow $600). It took a day or two, but I got my check, and was able to take care of my needs and paid it back within a month or so.
    If I remember right, there were lots of these little loan offices back in those days. I know the interest was much higher than I would have paid at a bank, but at that time most banks wouldn’t loan you $600.
    (again, I don’t recall the specifics, but I am sure I had to list some collateral).
    My point is this.

    If payday lenders went away, I’m sure lots of banks and/or credit unions would be happy to fill that gap for the 36% annual rate of return. It might take the borrower more than 10 minutes, and they might have to provide more information but the market would respond.

  9. RLM

    to make a small correction, it may have been a Norwest Financial office. I’m not sure if the Wells Fargo acquisition of Norwest Bank had taken place yet. I guess I tend to think of them as the same. It used to be Northwest National Bank, then Norwest, and finally, Wells Fargo

    1. Anonymous

      You are correct, it was Norwest Financial 25 years ago. However, you are incorrect about which company acquired the other. Norwest announced an agreement in June 1998 to purchase Wells Fargo; the transaction was approved and completed in November 1998. Retaining the Wells Fargo & Co. name was part of the purchase agreement. Wells Fargo Financial division was shut down four or five years ago.

  10. Anonymous

    I doubt any banks or credit unions will step up and replace the payday lenders. The small principal amount would be too small and expensive to deal with. Current banking regulations would most likely prevent financial institutions from making the loans in the first place. But I’m sure Hickey’s church will fill the void. Ha!

    1. Steve Hickey

      Contact the Dakotas Credit Union Association and inquire about alternatives they are conceiving on the horizon, or the black hills credit union and see if they do $1000 at 18%.

  11. RLM

    well, I don’t know alot of bankers who are willing to leave an opportunity to make money alone.
    If these payday lenders go away, and there is an annual cap of 36%, there will be lenders who will gladly try and make a profit from that. Some will, some won’t, but the market will not go unfulfilled.

    again, I remember small loans being available in many places like that back in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s.

  12. Troy Jones


    The people who use pay day lenders are able to squeeze out a dollar more than the rest of us. Their creativity is impressive and inspiring. The assertion they would then pay more than 36% if they had an alternative is insulting. They know because of their bad credit this is their only option.

    Further, to assert lenders who can make money at 36% and willing to serve these people don’t so pay day lenders can make more is ludicrous.

    Passage of this bill will take away a source of emergency cash for these people. To assert otherwise is at best uninformed and at worst intentionally misleading.

    The question is: Are the working poor better off with or without this source of expensive emergency cash?

    Hickey says they are. I think these people are capable to determine this for themselves.

  13. Troy Jones


    I give the TANF/SNAP arguments the same weight. BTW, I also opposed to drug testing proposal.

  14. Rlm

    I’m still waiting for an answer to this:

    Gambling and loan,sharking used to be illegal and were only run by the mob. How and why did we as a society decide that had to change?

  15. Tony Sayer

    There is a better way to avoid the so-called “loan sharks.” It’s called not go to them. I understand that some people don’t have other options however I wonder if Preacher Hickey understands that given our current anchor to credit scores his friends like Mr T Denny won’t offer them credit either. Then they are left with the option of borrowing from people they know or perhaps considering more “aggressive means.” Does Preacher Hickey or his church offer loan options? And why are we trying to regulate free choice and business anyway? If people don’t patronize such businesses then they fail. That simple. Maybe if we step off onto the slippery slope of regulating we should rather start with churches. I am sure the tax generated by most large churches would and could create a great program to assist families in need. Maybe we should be regulating as well denominations. Maybe too many people are joining one over the other and in all fairness to say the Moonies we have to control that alittle. If there can’t be freedom in things of a fiscal nature why then should there be freedom in choosing a faith that is in most cases concerning denominations with a building, just un-taxed businesses. Don’t need a church to have faith. That is just a way to put up a nice shingle and gather souls (ie wallets) to fund the collection plates so the self-constituted lieutenants of God can take vacations to foreign countries or whatever. Perhaps before regulating free enterprise we should rather teach those with financial issues that it is far better to open a savings account than fund the coffers of churches that have little to do with God’s kingdom and even less to do with the souls of man than say paying for prayer that is better sought in private through reflection than the misguided ego of others.