Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rep. John Kline's Pawining America!

The Star Tribune reported that Pawn America's licensing fee was slashed in Burnsville from $10,000 to $100 by the Bursnville City Council! In addition, in Burnsville, Pawn America no longer have to pay the $2.50 per-transaction fee to help maintain a database of pawnshop information that the police share.

"And under a new ordinance, fewer kinds of merchandise will be tracked as it is pawned and resold."

Burnsville Police Chief and other law endorsement entities believe the Busnsville policy will restrict investigations and suggest that stolen property will be hard to recover. Additionally, taxpayers will now have to cover the cost of fees.

This is the perfect example of John Kline's motto: Let the business world regulate itself. And how ironic and coincidental (if you believe in it) that Rep. John Kline (R-MN-02) has a close relationship with Pawn America and CEO Brad Rixmann. As I've noted before, Pawn America has been one of the biggest donor to Kline's campaign fund.

Besides the above changes, Rixmann (Pawn America) wants is to switch from the current database (APS) maintained by Minneapolis and used by the Minnesota and Wisconsin police to a private one (LeadsOnLine) of a firm in Texas (ah, another coincident! BTW the CEO David Finely also donates to GOP campaigns).

By law in every U.S. jurisdiction, all pawnshop transactions must be recorded and made available to local police. Known as tickets, the records contain the name and driver’s license or state identification information of the person who pawned an item, and a detailed description of the item pawned. Police officers collect the tickets and scan them to compare with reports of stolen property.

This represents big business, but it also represents how unregulated businesses can cost the community. Pawn shops exact a heavy fee because they impose a heavy burden in the communities they operate:

- Incredible high fees:Loans are steep, usually asking 10-20% service fees monthly making them pricier than bank loans or credit cards, and if the fee isn't meet, they can sell the item. A 10-20% fee translates into an annual percentage rate exceeding 300%.

- Increases in crime: With a pawn shop "comes an increase burglaries and break-ins. A pawnshop might give the addicts who regularly buy their drugs on that corner ready access to cash for their habit. A pawnshop might make it hard to woo more respectable businesses to that part of the south side; lower property values; increase gunfire; drive families away"

- With the elimination of pawn shops transaction fees, taxpayers will have to cover the fees!

- More stolen goods go unrecovered: Police report that more stolen goods will be unrecoved due to less reporting.

Rep. John Kline has consistently fought against any legislation that regulates businesses including limits on high interest rates. Kline is against any government regulations or over sight of any business sector including loan sharks and pawn shops. That's why in the eight years of John Kline being in office, we've seen the wall street crash and the banking industry melt down. Kline's adherence to 'no government oversight, regulations, or interference', has made John Kline a Pawn American poster child.

Unfortunately, the taxpayers get stuck with the bill for Pawn America fees while PA makes larger and larger profits and throws some of the profit at John Kline to deregulate them. Ask John Kline to work for the police and not against them.


Karl said...

You are misinformed. The items are tracked and compared electronically with police reports in each city/jurisdiction. The pawnshop electronic reporting system actually makes the police department's job easier. If I had something stolen from me, I would prefer The merchandise that is most commonly stolen will still be tracked, electronics, jewelry, tools, etc... Taxpayers would not have to cover those fees if a. the city of Minneapolis/other municipalities stopped using the APS system and the pawnshops as their own little cash cow/slush fund and b. they switched to another system which is less expensive. The Leadsonline system would cost the city just a few thousand a year and would operate much the same way. Many other states/cities utilize this system, and here's a dirty little secret the Burnsville PD won't tell you. The cities using Leadsonline are finding/confiscating the same number of items from Pawn Stores. The APS system is simply a government run slush fund, an antiquated software program that vacuums cash from law abiding businesses, oh and also allows government officials (law enforcement) access to data which could be used to profile customers. We may not agree on politics which is fine, we all have our opinions; but the information people are getting from the article is misleading.

Truth Liberty Justice said...

Yes and no Karl...yes cities like Burnsville have in the past tacked on additional fees . Transaction fees in general ran about $1.00 while many charge more for a sluch fund. There's nothing to stop them from doing that if they use a national data base. But, its the sharing of information that would all agencies pay for the same data. And lastly, since Burnsville has stop requiring tracking on many items, the rate will naturally be changed. Personally, I think a national data base makes sense, I guess where I differ is that it shouldn't BELONG to a civilian organization. Just my take...

Truth Liberty Justice said...

One more thing, regardless of the source of the data tracking, there is a cost assoiciated with it...and Burnsville city council decided that taxpayers can cover that cost instead of the corporation/business incurring the cost.