Dale Critz Jr. had millions riding on his bid for a presidential pardon. Scion of a prominent family in Savannah, Critz was poised to inherit the luxury car dealerships his grandfather had built. But Critz’s past blocked his way. Years earlier in Florida, he pleaded guilty to a felony for his part in a scheme to falsify loan documents for low-income car buyers. The conviction could have prevented him from owning the family business. So in late 2000, Critz embarked on a campaign for forgiveness, enlisting the help of Republican Rep. Jack Kingston, a family friend, Georgia neighbor, and regular recipient of political donations from Critz and his family.
Last week, the House Financial Services Committee voted to establish a new Consumer Financial Protection Agency. The agency would have broad authority – but thanks to fierce lobbying, it’ll also have big gaps. Consumer advocates point to an exemption for auto dealers as one that’s particularly worrisome.