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Duckworth fires back against Zopp for “cheap political” shot

Tuesday, Nov 24, 2015

* Illinois Observer

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Andrea Zopp yesterday zeroed in on an obscure bill moving through Congress as a vehicle to whack her top primary opponent.

ZOPP DINGS DUCKWORTH ON LENDING BILL… Zopp yesterday called on Congress to defeat HR 1737, a bill that she says would make it harder for the Consumer Financial Protection Board to protect American consumers from discriminatory lenders.

“We’ve known for decades that borrowers of color are nearly twice as likely to have higher interest rates than white borrowers with similar credit scores,” Zopp said in a statement. Yet, Congress is attempting to make it worse. HR 1737 undermines the authority of the CFPB to protect minority consumers seeking auto loans.”

Zopp’s real aim was not to rush to defend the federal board, but to undermine her Democratic primary opponent, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), among heavily Democratic minority voters.

“I find it interesting that while Congresswoman Duckworth has not co-sponsored bills that would address racial profiling or amend the Voting Rights Act, she decided to co-sponsor and vote for a bill that would enable big business to racially discriminate. This seems to be another example of her ignoring the needs of communities of color.”


* Maybe not. The Duckworth response…

“Once again Andrea Zopp didn’t do her homework, just like when she rubber-stamped an illegal $21 million no-bid contract that has former Chicago schools chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett facing jail time. The reality is that 16 members of the Congressional Black Caucus or Congressional Hispanic Caucus also cosponsored this bipartisan bill, and the Congressional Budget Office has stated it will not hurt enforcement of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. Zopp can keep cherry-picking legislation to try and score cheap political points all she likes, but it won’t change the fact that Tammy has a proven record of fighting for Illinois families and small businesses.” - Matt McGrath, campaign spokesman

H.R. 1737 Was Supported By Members Of Both The Congressional Black Caucus And The Congressional Hispanic Caucus
Sixteen Members Of The Congressional Black Caucus Or The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Cosponsored H.R. 1737. Cosponsors of H.R. 1737 included: Reps. David Scott, Sanford Bishop, Alcee Hasting, Sheila Jackson Lee, Frederica Wilson, Corrine Brown, Marc Veasey, Pete Aguilar, Ruben Hinojosa, Jim Costa, Henry Cuellar, Loretta Sanchez, Albio Sires, Norma Torres, Juan Vargas, and Filemon Vela. [H.R. 1737, 11/3/15]

Congressional Budget Office Said Bill Would Not Hurt Enforcement Of Equal Credit Opportunity Act
Congressional Budget Office Found H.R. 1737 Would Not Prevent Enforcement Of The Equal Credit Opportunity Act. “Based on information from the CFPB, CBO expects the agency would not prepare a replacement bulletin if H.R. 1737 were enacted. Because the bill would not affect the underlying statue or regulations to implement it, the Bureau can continue to enforce the Equal Credit Opportunity Act without the bulletin.” [Congressional Budget Office, H.R. 1737, 10/14/15]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:14 am:

    Kopp is taking a risky path, going first to racial politics. She might solidify her position with a small base, and produce too little broad support to win.

    Duckworth’s response shows she staffed up to respond quickly and thoroughly.

  2. - NixonHead - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    Attack makes zero sense. ECOA specifically prohibits the type of discrimination that she’s talking about. It’s more about how some one’s finances look on spreadsheet than anything now.

  3. - Bogey Golfer - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:17 am:

    Excellent return of serve.

  4. - A guy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:26 am:

    That response sure was bagged up and ready by Tammy’s folks. Might be wiser to have a combination ready the next time so at least the volley lasts a little longer. Seeing Biss shook out of the race yesterday might have some bearing on this race from the Dem hierarchy in Cook too. Remains to be seen.

  5. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:34 am:

    I think Zopp has to do a little more than issue press releases to gain some traction.

  6. - walker - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:38 am:

    ==Seeing Biss shook out of the race yesterday might have some bearing on this race from the Dem hierarchy in Cook too. Remains to be seen.==


    It seems the Cook Co Dem hierarchy is turbid; the state Dem hierarchy is perfectly clear.

  7. - Chicago Cynic - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:40 am:

    Once again the counter-punch is more powerful. Nice job Tammy. Try again Andi.

  8. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:47 am:

    ===That response sure was bagged up and ready by Tammy’s folks===


    I asked the question yesterday afternoon (late). They got back to me right before I posted it here.

  9. - ChrisB - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    WSJ weighed in on this bill today. It passed with some pretty heavy bipartisan support. According to Rep. David Scott (D-Ga), Dodd-Frank specifically prevented the CFPB from regulating auto loans.

    In other words, this was a very bad line of attack for Zopp on multiple levels.

  10. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:59 am:

    Yeah, I can’t imagine this would be a bagged response on what folks are calling an obscure bill. More likely, Tammy has a rapid response team. And more to the point, this was a punch Zopp should never have thrown in the first place. It’s a stretch to say the bill is anti-minority, and that flies in the face of minority caucus support of it. A weak, tapping punch just opens the fighter up for a stinger, and that’s exactly what Zopp got.

    “I think Zopp has to do a little more than issue press releases to gain some traction.”

    Now she’s gonna have to do even more, because this press release knocked her down a peg. Tammy gets along well with the Black Caucus, so now she’s got an in for a call from one of its members into the heart of Zopp’s perceived stronghold. Zopp’s campaign thus far is one weak move followed by a bad one over and over again.

  11. - Century Club - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:01 am:

    Actually, I suspect the Duckworth/Zopp race is playing out exactly as the Dem hierarchy expects. It’s pretty standard practice to kneecap potentially strong, independent candidates - especially African American candidates - by also running flawed candidates who will split that base.

    Imagine Duckworth up against a strong African American candidate with potentially broad appeal, like a Robin Kelly (who was considering a run before Zopp announced). That is a much tougher race than anything Zopp will give her.

  12. - Anon - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:09 am:

    ===Duckworth’s response shows she staffed up to respond quickly and thoroughly.===

    This is probably because they anticipated that criticism because Zopp’s criticism is somewhat accurate.

    ===ECOA specifically prohibits the type of discrimination that she’s talking about.===

    But it still happens.

    ===It’s more about how some one’s finances look on spreadsheet than anything now.===

    Tell that to Wells Fargo or Honda.

    When someone finances a car through a dealership, the bank lets the “F&I Guy” tack on whatever interest rate he wants to charge to the loan and pocket the difference. So, that F&I Guy can inadvertently or intentionally allow a pattern of discrimination to exist.

    So, the question is, who is responsible for the “F&I Guy” being racist? This F&I Guy is not actually making an underwriting decision, nor are they involved in any of the risk with lending the money. They are just able to tack on additional points of interest.

    The “F&I Guy” is not using a spreadsheet and his income literally depends on charging people higher rates of interest than they needed to pay for a vehicle.

  13. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:13 am:

    Not the time for Zopp, and likely not the time for Napoleon Harris. This looks like Duckworth - and she seems to have a tight and articulate team working for her.

  14. - slow down - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 11:29 am:

    Rich, did Zopp’s release use the term the “Consumer Financial Protection Board” or was that just from the Illinois Observer? I ask because the actual name of the agency is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

  15. - A guy - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 12:56 pm:

    ===I asked the question yesterday afternoon (late). They got back to me right before I posted it here.===

    It’s a compliment to your news cycle. I still think they were ready. Kudos to them.

  16. - VanillaMan - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 1:47 pm:

    Harris can win the nomination if these two keep making the other a campaign issue.

    That is how Braun won in 1992 against Dixon and Hofeld.

  17. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 3:00 pm:

    ==- walker - Tuesday, Nov 24, 15 @ 10:14 am:==

    Zopp is toast if she goes racial because her career record is one that is at best neutral towards central AfAm issues. For example, she zealously voted to close 50 public schools in Chicago while head of the Urban League. As one of the chief prosecutors in Cook County and while at the US Attorney’s office she refused to prosecute any member of the Jon Burge torture ring. Educational inequity and police torture are central issues to Chicago’s black community and Zopp is a zero on both.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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