Praise the Cobbler

Sebastopol bootmaker stepping toe-to-toe with U.S. Bank is a local hero

I want to acknowledge Michael Carnacchi, Sebastopol’s warrior for healing soles, who has a predilection for truth and integrity, and who adventitiously has become a torchbearer for financial reform.

On Thursday, May 24, 2012, in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, the counsel for U.S. Bank will attempt to prove Michael Carnacchi’s long enduring complaint against the credit-card company erroneous. The RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act charges U.S. Bank with collecting interest at a rate usurious under federal law, where the interest was more than twice the enforceable rate.

Michael Carnacchi strives to exemplify living in integrity and is compelled to shed light on an overlooked shadow within financial lending—one that has been deep-seated in financial laws, like a dormant volcano immersed in the ocean.

Carnacchi, with no prior study of law, cultivated himself to competently self-represent. With deep appreciation, he has had in his corner a 90-year-old mentor with 62 years of active law practice whom Michael refers to as “his trainer,” preparing Michael for the ring/courtroom to stand beside opposing counsel like a seasoned lawyer.

The initial personal contest to U.S. Bank’s exorbitant credit card interest rate has turned Michael’s soles onto another path. It can be considered a path of selfless service, for the case now has a potential of becoming a class-action suit; conceivably affecting how financial-lending institutions presently operate, thus joining other ripples with the same intent, all to one day grow into the pulse of a tsunami, crashing with a force unbeknownst by many with a seemingly effortless charge.

Michael Carnacchi had a choice when the events of his case with U.S. Bank unfolded: to have chosen a path that served his immediate needs and turned a blind eye to the fraud revealed to him. Whereas the path of indifference grows barren, the well-trodden path for raising consciousness leads to the horizon of a growing global majority.

Rei Blaser is a resident of Graton and beyond.

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