Tag Archives: George P. Bush

More than ’embarrassment’

John Cornyn is embarrassed by the pile of scandals that have stained the reputation of the Texas attorney general’s office.

How about that? The statement, which isn’t exactly a condemnation of the incumbent AG, does speak well to the quality of leadership Texas has gotten from its chief law enforcement, Republican Ken Paxton.

Cornyn, also a Republican, is the state’s senior U.S. senator. He told the Texas Tribune: “I will tell you that I remain very disturbed by the fact that the incumbent has had an indictment hanging over his head, for now, I don’t know, what has it been, six years? This is the chief law enforcement officer of the state of Texas. And it’s a source of embarrassment to me that that has been unresolved,” Cornyn said on a Thursday call with reporters, noting that he tries “very hard” not to get involved in primary politics. Cornyn has not endorsed in the primary.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on securities fraud charges in 2015, the first year of his time as AG. Then came complaints from fellow lawyers in his office alleging criminality at the top. The FBI has been investigating those charges. The Texas State Bar has filed complaints against the attorney general, who faces Land Commissioner George P. Bush in a runoff set for May 24.

Paxton denies any wrongdoing.

He also fired back at Sen. Cornyn, who he said is too willing to work with “radical Senate Democrats.” Good grief. That’s how you legislate … Ken!

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn calls Ken Paxton scandals an “embarrassment” | The Texas Tribune

My own view is that Paxton is more than an “embarrassment” to the state. His time as AG has been reprehensible. He has launched specious challenges to the 2020 election and has continued to behave like the shameful partisan he has been throughout his entire political career.

I’ll conclude with remarks from Sen. Cornyn. “Obviously, the voters will have access to that information,” Cornyn said. “They’ll make their own decision. I can’t predict what the outcome will be, but I do, as a former attorney general myself, I’m embarrassed by what we’re having to deal with.”

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Paxton not using his name? How come?

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, the indicted statewide elected official seeking re-election to a third term, has decided to go after his Republican Party primary runoff opponent using what I consider to be an odd tactic.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush is too “liberal” to be elected AG, the pro-Paxton TV ad says. A Texas pol named “Bush” — the nephew and grandson of two presidents of the United States — is too liberal? What a joke!

What’s curious is that the ad doesn’t mention Ken Paxton’s name. The ad is paid for by some political action committee that is supporting Paxton. But one doesn’t know the AG’s name if one relies only on the ad to make a determination on to whom to vote in the GOP runoff.

Hmm. It spurred my thought process. Why won’t the group divulge the name of the guy it is supporting?

I figure it’s because Ken Paxton’s “brand” is so sullied by the indictment, handed down in 2015 right after Paxton took office that it doesn’t want to remind Texas Republicans that they have an alleged crook running the state’s AG office.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton on a charge of securities fraud. Through a series of delays and legal mumbo-jumbo the case still hasn’t gone to trial. Last I heard Paxton’s now supposed to stand trial in Collin County. The case has been tossed back and forth between Harris and Collin counties. What’s more, the FBI is investigation allegations of illegal activity in his office.

The guy actually should resign from the AG’s office. Now that he’s still running for re-election, I am left to wonder why the stern ad blasting George P.  Bush makes no mention of the guy the buyers of the ad are supporting.

I believe something is seriously wrong the Paxton brand.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

AG hopeful stung by this reality

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

This clearly won’t help George P. Bush push his candidacy to become the next Texas attorney general.

It turns out, according to the Texas Tribune, that the state’s veterans homes — which are administered by the office Bush runs — have been dying of COVID pandemic complications at a rate greater than the state and national averages.

Bush serves as Texas land commissioner. The General Land Office runs programs aimed at helping Texas veterans. Bush now wants to be the next Texas attorney general. He is running in the 2022 Republican primary against incumbent Ken Paxton; former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman also is running for the AG’s post in the GOP primary.

But wait! Now we hear that Texas veterans who live in GLO-administered veterans homes have fared poorly as the state has battled the COVID virus.

That’s on George P. Bush.

As the Texas Tribune reports: Nursing homes, which care for people who are already medically vulnerable, were ravaged by the pandemic. But Texas’ state-run veterans homes were often the deadliest places to be.

Texas veterans homes were deadly during the COVID-19 pandemic | The Texas Tribune

Also from the Texas Tribune: Three of the state’s nine veterans homes — including Ambrosio Guillen in El Paso — had the highest death rate among all nursing homes in their county. Seven had a fatality rate of 25% or more, far higher than the statewide average of 11% across Texas nursing homes.

Bush wants to restore integrity in the attorney general’s office. Indeed, Paxton’s tenure since his taking office in 2015 has been fraught with scandal and suspicion of malfeasance and outright corruption.

Texas veterans and their family members need and deserve answers as to why state-run nursing homes have become synonymous with the term “death sentence.”

Texas AG faces tough electoral challenge

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has endured, shall we say, a rocky tenure as the state’s chief legal eagle.

The former Collin County state legislator has been indicted for securities fraud and is awaiting state court trial; he has been accused of wrong doing by seven top assistants in the Texas AG’s office of doing illegal business; he has sought to overturn free and fair results in the 2020 presidential election only to have the U.S. Supreme Court toss his lawsuits out with nary so much as a hearing.

Can it be any wonder that the Republican attorney general has been challenged in the 2022 GOP primary by two big hitters and also now might face a high-powered Democrat … if he survives the Republican primary challenge?

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush announced his intention to run for AG. Bush’s legal credentials don’t stand up to his political standing. Indeed, the land commissioner is the grandson and nephew of two prominent Texans: the late former President George H.W. Bush and former POTUS George W. Bush, respectively; oh, and he’s the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

He has said, basically, “enough is enough, Ken” as he seeks to restore honesty and credibility to the Texas attorney general’s office.

Now we have former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, whose legal credentials are stellar in the extreme. Guzman might lack George P. Bush’s political standing, but her knowledge of Texas law as well as her reputation are beyond reproach.

Guzman resigned from the state’s highest civil appellate court and then jumped right back into the fray.

Then there’s noted civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt, who just the other day announced his intention to run in the Democratic Party primary next year. Merritt has been involved in many high-profile cases involving police-related deaths of black residents. He presents a formidable challenge all by himself.

I’ll re-state my bias right here: Ken Paxton is a chump. I want him removed from office. My preference would be for him to be convicted of securities fraud by a jury, which would result in his immediate removal. My second choice would be for him to lose his primary bid either to Bush or Guzman, which — the more I think about it — looms as a distinct possibility.

Choice No. 3 — which appears to be the least likely — would be for Paxton to lose to a Democrat in the fall of 2022. My strongest hope is that the AG doesn’t get that far into this upcoming election cycle.

Justice Guzman to seek AG’s office? Hmm

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It might be time for a mea culpa from your friendly blogger.

I might have spoken a bit too soon in lamenting the lack of legal standing among politicians seeking to become Texas attorney general.

Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman is about to become a former justice … with an eye toward running for Texas AG in the 2022 Republican Party primary. Her last day on the state’s highest civil appellate court is Friday. Then what?

Eva Guzman – Wikipedia

Justice Guzman represents a tremendous boost in the legal credentials of a political candidate seeking to become the state’s top law enforcement officer.

The incumbent Ken Paxton wants a third term. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has declared he wants to defeat Paxton in the 2022 GOP primary. Both men have, shall we say, sparse legal cred. Paxton has been indicted for securities fraud and is awaiting trial; he also is the subject of a FBI probe into allegations of criminal wrongdoing in his office. Bush has a limited legal career under his belt, but has served as land commissioner for the past six years.

Now we have Guzman. She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico. She grew up in Houston. She attended the University of Houston and got her law degree from Duke University. She has served on the state court of appeals and has been named appellate judge of the year.

Guzman has built a stellar legal career.

To be clear, she hasn’t declared her attorney general candidacy.

At least not yet. Stay tuned.

Pols tend to set low standard

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

When a politician sets a bar that is lower than a snake’s belly, one could tend to accept any improvement as a big plus, no matter how minimal it might appear.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, to my way of thinking, comes close to being the epitome of a politician who sets a low bar for the high office he occupies.

This guy is Texas’s chief law enforcement officer. He should come to the office with high credentials, stellar legal standing and a  reputation that is beyond reproach. Has he met any of those standards? Umm, no.

He was a mediocre lawyer when he ran for the Legislature. He won election as AG in 2014 and then quickly got indicted on a securities fraud allegation; Paxton is still awaiting trial in state court. Then several of his highly placed legal assistance filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Paxton is engaging in criminal activity; that investigation is ongoing, too.

Up steps a challenger in the 2022 GOP primary. He is George P. Bush, son of a former Florida governor and nephew and grandson of two former POTUSes. I already am on record as endorsing Bush’s decision to challenge Paxton, although I will not commit to voting for him in the 2022 GOP primary.

I do question whether Bush brings any stronger legal credentials to this campaign than Paxton. What has this fellow done legally? Does his name appear on any landmark statute? Is he in high demand as a lecturer at any of the state’s distinguished law schools? Not as far as I can tell.

George P. Bush currently serves as Texas land commissioner, where is runs an agency — the General Land Office — that is charged with caring for Texas veterans benefits along with administering the state’s paltry amount of public land.

Hey, I don’t mind electing these folks. I just wish that politicians could somehow find a way to lift the standard of the office they seek and then hold.

Politics and impeccable standards need not be mutually exclusive. Then again … maybe I am asking for too much.

You go, ‘P’!

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas needs an attorney general who:

  • Isn’t under indictment and is awaiting trail in state court for securities fraud.
  • Isn’t being investigated by the FBI on complaints leveled by former highly placed legal staffers that he is breaking federal law.
  • Doesn’t file lawsuits alleging that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from a crooked president who promotes the Big Lie about election fraud.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has declared he is going to run in the Republican Party primary next year against incumbent Texas AG Ken Paxton. Is Bush going to get my vote? That remains an open question, as I am unsure whether I will vote in the GOP primary next year.

However, I welcome P’s challenge of Paxton, who I consider to be an embarrassment as the state’s top law enforcement officer.

The Texas Tribune reports: “Enough is enough, Ken,” Bush said during a campaign kickoff at a downtown Austin bar. “You’ve brought way too much scandal and too little integrity to this office. And as a career politician for 20 years, it’s time for you to go.”

Good grief. Paxton was a mediocre lawyer and a back-bench legislator when he was elected attorney general in 2014. Then came the indictment from a Collin County grand jury alleging that he failed to inform investors of his financial connection to certain investments.

Arguably the most troubling episode occurred a year ago when high-powered AG office legal staffers blew the whistle on Paxton’s alleged misconduct, including a complaint that involved bribery.

Is this the kind of individual we want representing the state?

Hell no! I want the clown removed from office one way or another … whether by conviction in state court or a sanctioned complaint by the FBI — or by voters who have had enough of this clown’s monkey business.

George P. Bush isn’t exactly a legal heavyweight. He is a political player by virtue of his last name. He is the nephew and grandson of two former presidents and the son of a former Florida governor.

What’s more, he is able to campaign on his relatively clean background and the fact that he isn’t accused of criminal activity … which is far more than the incumbent can say as he seeks to win a third term as Texas attorney general.

Texas AG’s office needs a pro

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What follows is a brief response to an earlier item I published on this blog.

A social media friend responded via Facebook that he doesn’t think much of Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s legal credentials as he considers whether to run for Texas attorney general.

George P. might run for AG? Yes! | High Plains Blogger

My friend wrote this, which isn’t his entire comment, but which deals with a key point in his rejoinder: It would be nice to have a state AG who is a professional — a prosecutor, a judge, a law professor — after the embarrassments of Paxton and Ted Cruz, who never missed an opportunity to sue (and lose) over any federal action they didn’t like, contributing to the image of Texas politicians as right-wing clowns.

I am going to agree with him on this point: The state’s top legal official ought to be someone with notable legal experience. Ken Paxton, before he was elected to the Texas House, was a mediocre lawyer with a Collin County practice. Then he ratcheted up his game to run in 2014 for Texas AG. He won. He was re-elected four years later, but between his election and re-election, he got his sorry behind indicted by a grand jury in his home county.

My friend notes that P’s legal experience is pretty limited, too.

He is, however, a fellow of impeccable integrity, as near as I can tell … which to my way of thinking is a huge step forward from who we have now in the AG’s office.

George P. might run for AG? Yes!

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush says the state’s attorney general must be “approve reproach.”

So … with that the nephew and grandson of two presidents has declared for all the world that he is giving serious thought to running to become the state’s next top legal eagle.

I cannot attest to the kind of lawyer George P. Bush has been over the years. However, I believe I can speak to the seriously damaged reputation of the current AG, Ken Paxton, who is facing a pending criminal trial in state court on allegations of securities fraud and is under investigation by the FBI over a whistleblower complaint brought by several of his former top legal assistants.

Bush is the son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the grandson of the late President George H.W. Bush and nephew of former President George W. Bush.

I saw P. once in person at the 1992 GOP presidential nominating convention in Houston when, as a teenager, he brought the house down with his exhortation of “viva Boosh!” while speaking on behalf of his “Gampy,” the 41st president of the United States. It was Bush 41, you’ll recall, who famously referred to Jeb’s children as “the little brown ones,” given that their mother, Columba, is of Mexican descent.

George P. Bush says he may primary Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton | The Texas Tribune

Paxton needs to quit. I’ve said so already on this blog. The securities fraud allegation — resulting in a Collin County grand jury indictment — is bad enough. Then came the resignations and firing of several key Paxton legal assistants who blew the whistle on their boss, alleging that he is partaking in illegal activities while serving as AG; one of the allegations involves bribery, for God’s sake!

I have been frustrated beyond belief that Texans actually saw fit to re-elect Paxton, who was indicted for securities fraud in his first term as AG. Then, perhaps emboldened by his re-election in 2018, Paxton decides to sue several states where voters cast most of their ballots for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election. The Supreme Court tossed Paxton’s lawsuit aside, saying the Texas AG didn’t have jurisdiction in telling another state how to conduct its election.

Put another way, the highest court in the land told Paxton to butt the hell out!

I am, therefore, going to applaud the notion that George P. Bush wants to challenge Paxton in the 2022 Republican Party primary for Texas attorney general. I have had enough of Paxton’s dirtiness in an office that demands its occupant be above reproach.

George P. Bush lays it out plainly: defeat ‘white terrorism’

You might remember when the late President George H.W. Bush once spoke affectionately of his grandchildren, whose parents are Jeb and Columba Bush … and how he referred to them as “my little brown ones.”

Their mother is from Mexico and the president took some undeserved heat for his comments.

One of the “little brown ones” has grown into a Texas elected official, serving as land commissioner. George P. Bush, furthermore, has joined the chorus of those of us who decry what he calls “white terrorism” in the wake of the El Paso massacre that resulted in the deaths of 20 victims.

I want to applaud  George P. for his stance, as he is one of the few Republican politicians at this moment willing to stand up and say what now appears more evident than ever — that the shooter, also a Texan, who opened fire in the El Paso Wal-Mart store was stirred by virulent hatred of dark-skinned immigrants from Latin America.

Bush took to Twitter to make his feelings known. They lend an important voice to this ever-growing national debate.

“I believe fighting terrorism remains a national priority. And that should include standing firm against white terrorism,” Bush said.

He went on: “There have now been multiple attacks from self-declared white terrorist here in the U.S. in the past several months. This is a real and present threat that we must all denounce and defeat.”

Bingo, Mr. Land Commissioner.

Now, let’s all wait to hear from the nation’s top politician, the man at the top of the political food chain, the commander in chief, the head of state … and the apparent source of much of the hatred that has spilled out since he became president of the United States.