Tag Archives: Ken Paxton

Texas AG sues districts … for seeking to keep everyone safe?

There’s a lot of things that get past me. Not this item.

Masks help prevent the spread of a deadly virus. Local Texas school districts are defying a governor’s order that bans them from issuing “mask mandates.” The Texas attorney general, who’s under felony indictment, has sued six Texas school districts for defying Gov. Greg Abbott’s order prohibiting them from issuing mask mandates.

So, wait. Does that mean that Abbott and the AG, Ken Paxton, don’t want districts to do what they can to protect teachers, students, parents and staffers? Really?

Two of the districts — Sherman and Richardson — are in North Texas. This is a ridiculous waste of time and money. Why? Because the governor is flat wrong to ban local officials from doing what they can to protect their constituents against the COVID-19 virus.

The Texas Tribune reports: Some 85 school districts and six counties have instituted mask mandates of some kind in defiance of Abbott’s ban — citing the need to protect schoolchildren too young to get the vaccine amid the spread of the highly contagious delta variant of COVID-19.

Texas AG sues Sherman, Richardson, other ISDs over masking (ketr.org)

This is preposterous in the extreme. School districts have an obligation to do what they can to protect children, teachers and anyone who enters these public buildings. They shouldn’t be fighting the governor — for crying out loud! — in that effort.

As for the AG, he’s got his own legal battles to fight, as he is awaiting trial on a Collin County indictment that he committed securities fraud.

Abbott and Paxton are managing to enrage me more each day.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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.

Paxton faces huge obstacles

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ken Paxton might be the most seriously damaged political incumbent to seek re-election since, oh, the guy who lost the 2020 presidential race to Joe Biden.

Paxton is the Texas attorney general — a Republican — who has announced his intention to seek a third term in office. But wait! How does this guy think he’s going to breeze to a new term?

Paxton has been indicted and is awaiting trial in state court on securities fraud charges. A Collin County grand jury indicted its home boy (Paxton once represented the county in the Legislature) on a charge that he failed to notify authorities of his financial dealings while peddling securities information to clients.

There’s more. Seven of Paxton’s top legal aides filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that he used his office to steer business to a political crony. The FBI is looking into that one.

Now we hear that the State Bar of Texas wants to yank Paxton’s law license because he filed that idiotic lawsuit in the U.S. Supreme Court that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in four states that voted for President Biden.

Land Commissioner George P. Bush has announced his campaign for AG. Next is likely to be former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman.

Should we count Paxton out? Not by a long shot. You see, he’s a Republican incumbent who happens to have the backing of the aforementioned disgraced former POTUS, who holds astonishing sway over a gullible electorate.

If the AG survives all of this and wins re-election, then I only can surmise that Texas voters need to have their heads examined.

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?