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February 03, 2016 04:00 PM

$2 Million Spent On Amendment U

As we told you Tuesday, the payday loan industry is backing constitutional amendment U on November's ballot.

According to campaign finance paperwork obtained by KELOLAND News, Georgia-based Select Management Resources has already spent over $2 million to get the amendment on the ballot. 

KELOLAND News wanted to find out a little more about this company and the man behind it.

North American Title Loan is just one of many payday lending companies in South Dakota that stands to lose if voters approve capping interest rates on payday loans at 36 percent.

Its owner and CEO, Rod Aycox of Atlanta, Georgia has dumped over $2 million into an effort to stop it from happening.

"This is a guy who is pretty much out of touch, he lives in a 20,000 square-foot home in Atlanta, he flies in private jets, he has a lifestyle that's foreign to most of us here in South Dakota," Steve Hildebrand, who is backing the measure to cap interest rates at 36 percent, said.

Hildebrand has dealt with Aycox in the past.

"It was his contract worker who came in here everyday for two weeks bringing in so-called homeless people, 50 at a time, into the restaurant to try and sabotage us," Hildebrand said.

According to campaign finance records, Aycox's company Select Management Resources has donated $1.7 million to an organization called South Dakotans For Fair Lending  and over $450,000 to another called Give Us Credit South Dakota.

Hildebrand's effort is called South Dakotans for Responsible Lending.  It's spent just under $20,000.

"It's very much a David vs Goliath kind of situation where we are always going to be taking smaller contributions from people around South Dakota and they are going to be pouring, I expect $10 to $15 million into their effort to save their companies," Hildebrand said.

KELOLAND News tried contacting Rod Aycox at Select Management Resources, but were unable to reach him for comment.  We also tried calling the number on one of the finance reports, but had to leave a message.

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