Tag Archives: Ken Paxton

State Bar examines AG’s conduct … wow!

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Are you really surprised that this item has splashed its way onto the news cycle?

The State Bar of Texas is examining whether Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s frivolous lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election constitutes an offense worthy of his disbarment.

Well …

Who’da thunk that might happen? I sorta did.

Paxton sought to reverse the results of the election in four states that voted for President Biden over the Republican incumbent president. The U.S. Supreme Court tossed the lawsuit with nary a word, contending that Paxton had no standing to file such a lawsuit.

The Huffington Post reported:

Kevin Moran, the 71-year-old president of the Galveston Island Democrats, shared his complaint with The Associated Press along with letters from the State Bar of Texas and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals that confirm the investigation. He said Paxton’s efforts to dismiss other states’ election results was a wasteful embarrassment for which the attorney general should lose his law license.

“He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states,” said Moran. “It’s just crazy.”

State Bar Investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton | HuffPost

Yep. It’s crazy, all right. It also served to embarrass Texas in front of the entire world! It suggested to many of us that the AG’s fierce fealty to the former president blinded what passes for his better judgment.

So, here we are. The state’s top legal eagle is awaiting trial in state court on securities fraud allegations; the FBI is probing a whistleblower complaint of wrongdoing brought by several former top AG’s office lawyers; now the State Bar is looking into whether the attorney general should be stripped of his license to practice law.

Nice going, Mr. Attorney General.

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.

Texas AG just can’t stop demagoguing border issue

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas’s twice-indicted attorney general has become a major-league demagogue regarding what is happening along our state’s border with Mexico.

Ken Paxton told Fox News today that “open borders” are costing the state billions of bucks each year.

There. It’s plain and simple, according to Paxton.

Ken Paxton: Open borders costing Texas billions of dollars (msn.com)

Except that the Texas AG is lying.

The border is not “open,” as he keeps suggesting to friendly media questioners who don’t have the nerve to question him.

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has declared that our southern border is closed. I acknowledge that such a declaration hasn’t stopped the flood of immigrants coming into the country. The difference between the Biden administration and the Trump administration is that President Biden isn’t ordering the youngsters among the migrants to be turned back without their parents.

Many of them are being housed as we sit here in North Texas. Many more are expected.

I also will acknowledge that President Biden has a “crisis” on his hands, even though he refuses to call it such.

But … are the borders “open” in the manner that Ken Paxton and others on the right are suggesting? No. They are not!

As for Paxton, he is still awaiting trial on securities fraud allegations and he still is awaiting the outcome of a federal investigation into whether he took bribes while doing his duty as the state’s top law enforcement official. 

For the Texas AG to deflect attention from his own trouble is, shall we say, yet another disgrace.

What is Texas AG hiding?

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

What in the name of full transparency is Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton hiding from the public he took an oath to serve?

This guy is beginning to redefine the term “slime bucket” by refusing to release the text of emails he sent and received while attending a rally that preceded the Jan. 6 insurrection against the federal government.

The Texas Tribune reports:

Several news organizations in Texas have requested copies of the attorney general’s work-related communications. The Texas Public Information Act guarantees the public’s right to government records — even if those records are stored on personal devices or online accounts of public officials.

After Paxton’s office refused to release copies of his emails and text messages, The Texas Tribune and ProPublica, The Austin American-Statesman, The Dallas Morning News, The Houston Chronicle, and The San Antonio Express-News are working together in an effort to obtain the documents and review Paxton’s open-records practices.

Ken Paxton refuses to release messages about attendance at pro-Trump rally | The Texas Tribune

Paxton attended the rally on The Ellipse, the one in which Donald J. Trump exhorted the mob to march on the Capitol Building and “take back” the government. You know what happened next, right?

Paxton was among the attendees. News organizations want to know what in the world he was doing there, what he said, what was said to him, whether he was a principal in the effort to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States.

Paxton already has slimed his office. He is under indictment for securities fraud and is awaiting trial. The feds are examining a whistleblower complaint that he allegedly broke the law as attorney general of Texas. He filed that laughable lawsuit that sought other states to overturn their election results that helped elect Biden as president.

Now he is stonewalling media representatives seeking access to records to which they public is entitled.

What is he hiding? Hmm?

Texas AG goes to war with Austin

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton seems to suffer from a lawsuit fetish.

He has sued the city of Austin for having the temerity to refuse to comply with Gov. Greg Abbott’s lifting of a mask mandate. You see, it seems that Austin Mayor Steve Adler doesn’t want to lift the requirement in the city he governs.

Paxton, though, is wagging his proverbial finger at Adler and the city because he supposedly warned them against resisting Abbott’s order. So now he’s taking them to court again, Paxton said via Twitter.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sues Austin over mask mandate | The Texas Tribune

This clown we have for an AG is starting to annoy the daylights out of me. He tried to file a lawsuit that sought to block the certification of Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States, only to be rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court that said he lacked any standing to dictate how other states conducted their elections.

Now he’s at it again. Good grief, man.

The Texas Tribune reports: “[Travis County] Judge Brown and I will fight to defend and enforce our local health officials’ rules for as long as possible using all the power and tools available to us,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said Thursday in a statement. “We promised to be guided by the doctors, science and data as concerns the pandemic and we do everything we can to keep that promise.”

Meanwhile, the Texas AG will waste more money by filing lawsuits that seek to prevent local officials from doing what they deem is best for the people they take an oath to protect.

Texas AG’s legal woes keep mounting

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Will it ever end for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton? I mean, will this guy ever be able to wiggle his way from under the piling on of legal and political woes?

I prefer to think the best way for him wriggle free of the political trouble would be for him to quit his public office. The legal tangle is another matter.

As the Austin American-Statesman reported:

Adding to their prior allegations of misconduct, four of his former top lieutenants have accused Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton of misusing the powers of his office to help Austin businessman Nate Paul in exchange for favors that included a home remodel and a job for Paxton’s mistress.

The new court filing also added information about how top Paxton lieutenants approached the FBI with their suspicions after comparing notes in late September and concluding that Paxton’s alleged misconduct was “so sweeping,” not everybody “knew the whole picture.”

Court filing expands bribery allegations against Texas AG Ken Paxton (statesman.com)

Good grief! The AG is awaiting trial on a securities fraud case that began when a Collin County grand jury indicted him in 2015. Here we are nearly six years later and the matter hasn’t been settled yet.

Then came the mass exodus of the attorney general’s top legal assistants after they filed a whistleblower complaint with the FBI alleging that Paxton has acted illegally on a number of fronts. Some of the aides quit, others were fired. Paxton alleges they’re just a bunch of soreheads.

Now we have reports of feathering a campaign contributor’s nest in a matter involving a woman with whom the married AG allegedly had a romantic relationship.

I think I’ll throw in just for kicks the idiotic lawsuit that Paxton filed with the U.S. Supreme Court asking the justices to toss out the 2020 presidential election results in several states that voted for Joe Biden. The court tossed the case, telling Paxton he had no legal authority to dictate how other states conduct their electoral affairs.

The attorney general is embarrassing our great state. He needs to resign. Now.

Paxton seeks way out from under cloud

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Whenever I see and hear about Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton launching a legal pursuit my mind drifts automatically to the troubles he continues to face.

Paxton is suing the Biden administration over its decision to suspend deportation of immigrants. He says President Biden’s order is in direct violation of an agreement that Biden’s predecessor signed before he left office.

OK, whatever.

I cannot help but wonder about Paxton’s motives, even as he acts in conjunction with his Texas constitutional responsibility.

I don’t trust Ken Paxton’s judgment in the least.

He is awaiting a trial in state court over an allegation that he defrauded investors in a securities fraud matter. A Collin County grand jury indicted him in 2015; his case has dragged on for more than five years.

Plus, we now know that the FBI is looking into allegations by his top legal assistants that he is abusing the power of his office as AG. The feds are looking into it to determine whether there is enough to pursue criminal action.

Don’t you feel well represented by this mediocre lawyer? I damn sure don’t. I want him to resign his office. He embarrassed Texas by filing a ridiculous lawsuit with the Supreme Court that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in several states that voted for President Biden; he wanted the court to overturn those results on phony constitutional grounds. SCOTUS tossed his lawsuit aside, with all three of Donald Trump’s appointees voting with the majority opinion.

Texas AG Ken Paxton needs to quit his office. He needs to return to private life. Every public decision he makes is shrouded by suspicion in many Texans’ eyes — including mine — that we are being represented by a crook.