Normally, when a politician gets in trouble for emails at 2 in the morning, they’ve been caught having an affair, or at least sexting someone they shouldn’t.
While state Rep. Niraj Antani’s late-night (or early morning?) emails with payday lending lobbyist Jeff Jacobson didn’t involve sex, don’t be fooled: they’re still in bed together.
The Springfield News-Sun reports that Antani is so whipped by payday lenders that when he wrote a letter “demanding” their lobbyists respond to allegations about them stalling reforms, Antani actually asked permission FROM ONE OF THE LOBBYISTS HIMSELF on what he could write.
To be fair, in exchange Antani got to edit the Ohio Consumer Lending Association’s response… to Antani’s own letter.
This corrupt collusion – where a lobbyist rigs legislative “oversight” over his own industry – is what hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions, including donations to Antani, will buy you. Maybe if victims of payday lenders had that much money, this bill wouldn’t have been stalled for over a year by disgraced former speaker Cliff Rosenberger and his pals.
This buddying-up with payday lenders seems to be why the FBI is investigating Rosenberger. While we haven’t heard that Antani and the payday lenders have taken their relationship to the next level, surely late-night texts is a step in the right direction?
Though the House finally passed payday lending reform this week, Antani stood strong for his friends and against his own constituents by voting against the bill.
Antani was also one of only two lawmakers to oppose sending money the Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow swindled from school districts back to those districts, and just to add salt to the wound he supports arming high school kids with guns.
Antani truly is a crony, creep, and clown all rolled into one.