Consumer advocates dropped an estimated 230,000 signatures at the doorstep of the Department of Labor headquarters Thursday in what will likely be the biggest public display of support for the DOL’s proposed fiduciary rule for advisors to retirement plans.

CREDO Action,, Americans for Financial Reform and Public Citizen gathered the signatures through an e=mail petition drive.

AFR spokesperson Jim Lardner noted AFR has 160,000 names on its e-mail list while has millions.

While prominent consumer and labor groups have come out in support of the best-interest standard, Institute President Knut Rostad and Financial Planning Association President Ed Gjertsen agree they haven’t been able to bring about mass rallies and call-ins because this is not a very sexy issue for the public.

Rostad and Gjertsen said it is much easier for financial services companies to compute the direct costs of the rule to them, which gives them more of an incentive for aggressive lobbying, than it is for consumers to see the hard dollar benefits of the rule to their wallets.

The two officials also said there is a psychological barrier for many people to view a fiduciary rule as necessary. Individuals want to believe that professionals vital to their well-being from doctors to dentists to financial advisors are to be trusted.

The final official deadline for comments on the proposed rule is Tuesday night. T housands of pages of arguments pro and con are expected to be submitted by trade groups, financial services companies and other wait-until-the-last minute procrastinators.

DOL will be taking months to review the submissions.

The conventional wisdom is opponents are seeking DOL delay of a final rule until President Obama leaves office in January 2017.

To show the rule would solve real personal financial problems, the rally sponsors had Ethel Sprouse, a former mayor of Cedar Bluff, Ala. (population 1,833), speak. She said she lost $400,000 of her family's retirement savings due to bad and conflicted investment advice by an Allstate financial advisor.

The organizers said she was persuaded by her trusted Allstate advisor to liquidate a safe and appropriately invested retirement account at Fidelity in order to invest in a much riskier bundle of investments with her broker’s employer. Allstate has contended in court its famous “You’re in good hands with Allstate” does not create a fiduciary duty.