Incumbent House Speaker Joe Straus has some interesting people raising money for him. Signing a Joe Straus fundraising letter circulating this week is Kenny Jastrow, the disgraced former CEO of Temple-Inland and board member of Guaranty Bank who presided over “one of the largest financial institution failures in U.S. history.”

Jastrow stands accused in a billion-dollar lawsuit filed by the failed banks’ creditors and the FDIC of causing “the failure of [the bank] by fraudulently looting … the Bank of assets exceeding $1 billion.”

Looting the bank, they said. He cost the taxpayers $1 billion! And yet Joe Straus uses him as a character reference? Ouch.

Which makes the fundraising letter for Mr. Straus all the more ironic; Jastrow and others claim Mr. Straus is a “steady, responsible and principled leader” who will “increase transparency, accountability and efficiency in our state’s budget.”

Again, this from a man accused of causing the taxpayers to lose $1 billion. Who the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation says looted a bank!

You’ll recall that Joe Straus isn’t so keen on all those things. He opposed property tax reforms, says he wants to find new revenues sources, and even supports gouging you at the pump for higher gas taxes.

You might recall that last legislative session Kenny Jastrow was opposing conservative reforms in higher education.

Most recently, Mr. Jastrow came out in favor of the pro-bloat administrator group “Raise Your Hand Texas,” which opposes K-12 reform efforts led by parents, taxpayers and teachers.

So we all know how Kenny Jastrow defined “guarantee” to his bank’s depositors and creditors, which should make us nervous about anyone he endorses. And when he takes a position on public policy, it’s for bigger government, more spending and less transparency.

Mr. Jastrow has repeatedly proven himself to be unreliable with other people’s money.

Most of us wouldn’t want someone like that—a big-spending, disgraced bank looter—in our corner, but that’s precisely who Joe Straus is relying on these days.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

A graduate of Texas A&M, former newspaper reporter, one-time Capitol Hill staffer, think tank vice president, and an Eagle Scout, Michael Quinn Sullivan and his wife have three children. He is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. Check out his podcast, “Reflections on Life and Liberty.”


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