Earlier this month, Marsh, the president pro tem of the Senate, sponsored legislation that would have capped interest rates on payday lenders -- called predatory lenders by many, including The Star's editorial board. A Senate committee has approved the legislation, though both sides -- opponents and the industry itself -- are not happy with it.
Meanwhile, the New York Times has rejoined the argument against payday lenders and their banking cousins. An editorial in Monday's edition urged federal agencies to clamp down on banks that offer what's called "deposit advance" and charge high interest rates in some cases.
Now, back to Sen. Marsh, whose handling earlier this session of the Alabama Accountability Act continues to bring him much heat.
Joey Kennedy, a Pulitizer Prize-winning journalist at the Birmingham News, has written that Marsh "introduced a wimpy bill" to regulate payday lending. Meanwhile, another Birmingham News journalist, columnist John Archibald, has taken the Anniston senator to task for his about-face on double-dipping -- the practice of state jobs-holders also holding elected positions in the Legislature.
Sen. Marsh, it seems, is getting it from all sides.
-- Phillip Tutor