Whether it’s Washington or Austin, politicians are looking for ways to get ahead, even if it’s at the expense of hard working Texans. The political system is a rigged game in favor of the moneyed and powerful special interests and it attracts people more interested in helping themselves than everyday people. Jonathan Boos, a candidate for State Representative District 113 in Dallas County, isn’t in office yet, but he’s already playing the political game like a seasoned professional.
Special interest groups and political action committees (PACs) contribute to political campaigns, and in return, they expect “their” candidates to vote their way once they get elected.
One of the largest spenders in Washington and in Austin is the financial services sector, and in particular, the payday loan industry.
Payday loans are quick, easy loans for those who need extra money to cover an unexpected cost, like a car repair or medical emergencies. These loans are meant to be paid the following payday of the borrower and have better interest rates than banks. In reality, these loans typically mislead consumers with hidden fees and continue charging borrowers even after paying those loans off.
These “predatory” loans “trap low-income consumers into a cycle of debt they cannot escape.” Our state policymakers are also trapped in a “cycle of debt” – political debt to the payday loan industry which contributed more than $4.7 million to Texas lawmakers in the 2013 and 2015 election cycles combined.
While there have been efforts made to pass legislation to protect taxpayers, anti-consumer groups and payday loan industry have aggressively lobbied to kill the bills. Reform Austin has previously reported about how legislators who work in and invest in the payday loan industry have voted to protect their own financial interests.
Jonathan Boos is likely the next in a long line of self-dealing Texas legislators and policymakers who have voted to protect their own bottom lines. According to Boos’ 2017 Personal Financial Statement, Boos received income between $500 to $4999 from his investment in Lending Club. Lending Club is a well-known payday loan operation, with many pitfalls for unwary borrowers.
Voters cannot trust Jonathan Boos to break the status quo when he’s invested in online lending operations and when he’s being funded by anti-consumer special interests. If we want policymakers who will protect consumers, we need to demand they break with the special interest PACs who ply them with money. We need to Reform Austin.