The political rise and fall of Aaron Jack

When Aaron Jack – a former state representative from Andover – resigned on Feb. 12 from the top job at the Kansas Securities Commission, the announcement said he wanted to return to private industry. But the Topeka Capital-Journal reported this week that he was told to resign or be fired by Gov. Sam Brownback’s chief of staff. And with good reason. During his two-year tenure, Jack pushed out nearly three-fourths of the commission’s staff, replacing many of them with GOP operatives. Not surprisingly, the commission’s enforcement record dropped. Jack also authorized more than $500,000 to be spent on a “public education” media campaign that seemed mostly aimed at aiding his planned run for Kansas insurance commissioner. “They’ve turned the agency into a dysfunctional pro-industry political bastion,” a former securities examiner told the Capital-Journal. “One of the best securities agencies in the country has been wiped out.” So has Jack’s political career.