PHOENIX, AZ - Jonathan Paton's candidacy for the United States House of Representatives comes under attack in a 30-second ad by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that supports his opponent, Ann Kirkpatrick , in the November election.
"They call him Payday Paton," says the ad's narrator. "A corporate lobbyist who worked for the payday loan industry."
ABC15 determined that allegation is a FACT.
Paton did register as a lobbyist and worked the Community Financial Services Association which represents the payday loan industry.
However, Paton's spokesperson insists Paton simply ran a charity funded by the CFSA and never lobbied on any payday bill.
"(Paton) even defended their predatory targeting of seniors," the narrator says next in the ad.
ABC15 determined that claims is also a FACT.
In an article in the Tucson Citizen dated January 22nd, 2004 , the newspaper quoted Paton as saying
"What are we supposed to do, tell people: 'We can't give you a loan because you're too old?'"
"As a legislator, Paton pushed a deceptive initiative to bailout the payday industry and 'allow the continued gouging of the everyday citizen,'" says the narrator in the ad's final claim.
ABC15 determined that claim is INCONCLUSIVE.
Paton did support Prop 200 in 2008 which the payday loan industry also supported.
But a Paton spokesperson claims Paton supported it for the opposite reason the ad claims and that Paton believed it would result in tighter regulation and fewer payday lending stores in Arizona.
Paton's statement on the Arizona Secretary of State's website backs up that claim.
Paton's campaign released the following statement to ABC15:
"It's no surprise that Ann Kirkpatrick's Democrat allies in Washington are doing everything possible to distract from her support for the failed Obama record. This ad is a complete distortion of the facts. Jonathan is an Iraq veteran who once represented a charity that put money back into the community through scholarships to Arizona students. That's a real contrast to Kirkpatrick's record of rubber-stamping ObamaCare and the trillion dollar stimulus."