Inside Opinion

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Tag: Steve Kirby


Stop outrageous lawsuits against crime victims

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

It’s bad enough that Larry Shandola gunned down Paula Henry’s husband, Robert, in a Tacoma parking lot, then tormented her for five years as authorities sought enough evidence to get him convicted in 2001.

But now, as he serves a 31-year sentence for the 1995 killing, Shandola has found a way to keep on hurting Henry. He’s suing her, two of her friends and a victim’s advocate for $100,000 each, alleging that they violated his privacy rights and inflicted emotional distress.

The lawsuit is outrageous, but it’s accomplishing exactly what Shandola probably hopes it would do: allow him to continue inflicting pain and suffering from behind prison walls. Read more »


What’s the hurry to end-run payday loan reforms?

This editorial will appear in Tuesday’s print edition.

Senate Bill 5312 is such a bad idea, one of its cosponsors ended up voting against it.

Even so, the legislation – essentially an end run around much-needed payday lending reforms the Legislature made in 2010 – passed the state Senate last week 30-18 and now is in the House. There it will be shepherded by state Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, a longtime champion of the payday lending industry.

Passage in the House would be unfortunate and most certainly would result in more vulnerable, low-income people being exploited by an industry that has a long history of doing just that.
Read more »


Leave sensible eight-loan limit on payday borrowing

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

When it comes to protecting the public from itself, state Rep. Steve Kirby, D-Tacoma, has undergone a change of heart.

In years past, he fought tough restrictions on payday loans that consumer advocates sought as a way of protecting people from getting into deep financial trouble. After years of dickering on the issue, the 2009 Legislature enacted some reasonable protections for consumers – including a rule that limits borrowers to eight payday loans in a 12-month period.

That restriction was designed to prevent people from becoming overly dependent on these costly, short-term loans, and Kirby agreed to it as part of compromise legislation to avoid even tougher restrictions sought by consumer advocates.

But now, one year after the new restriction went into effect, Kirby argues that the eight-loan limit is driving cash-strapped borrowers to “the Wild West” of the Internet, where they can be victimized by unlicensed lenders who observe no caps on the number and size of loans. Read more »


Ladenburg, Kirby and Conway in the 29th district

This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.

Three candidates with strong name recognition have the upper hand headed into the November elections for 29th Legislative District seats.

They also have our endorsement.

Longtime Democratic lawmakers Steve Kirby and Steve Conway want to return to the Legislature, with Conway wanting to trade up to a seat in the Senate.

Kirby, a former Tacoma City Councilman, is running for his sixth term in the state House. He is chairman of the House Insurance, Financial Services and Consumer Protection committee.

Kirby’s challenger, Republican Jesse Miller, owns a business managing rappers and is the former chair of the board at the Statewide Poverty Action Network.

She’s not a stranger to the legislative process – Miller has championed legislation to make it easier for felons to have their voting rights restored and to impose stiffer regulations on payday lenders.

But Kirby has a better sense of what it takes to get deals done. As chairman of the banking committee, he pushed through compromise legislation on payday lending that – while it didn’t satisfy Miller – offered good consumer protections.

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Let the jockeying begin

State Sen. Rosa Franklin’s announcement today that she won’t seek re-election is sure to pique a lot of interest in the solidly Democratic 29th District.

I’m guessing the Steves – state Reps. Steve Kirby and Steve Conway – would be interested, but they’ll probably hash out between them which one will run for the seat. So then the question becomes, who’ll run for the vacant House seat? I suspect some former Tacoma City Council members might be interested.

Franklin, 83, the first black woman in the state Senate, has been a longtime champion for at least considering a state income tax.

Read more »