Tag Archives: SEC

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.

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.

Let’s put the AG on trial … finally!

While the nation has been watching the machinations of a corrupt president and his minions, many of us in Texas have forgotten we have an attorney general who’s fighting criminal charges of his own.

Good news, fans and foes of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton: A judge has ruled that the case should be returned to Collin County, where the Republican AG was indicted initially on allegations of securities fraud.

Have you forgotten about that? Yeah, me too … almost. The indictment occurred in 2015. That’s five yeas ago. The state and Paxton’s defense team have been kicking the case around ever since. Prosecutors succeeded in moving the case to Harris County because, they said, they couldn’t get a fair trial in Collin County.

Sure they could. A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton, after all, which would appear to make it possible that prosecutors could secure a conviction of the attorney general were he to stand trail in the county he represented in the Legislature before being elected to statewide office.

As the Texas Tribune has reported: Paxton has been fighting charges that he misled investors in a financial services company from before his time as attorney general. Paxton has pleaded not guilty to all the allegations and was cleared in a similar civil case at the federal level. But when the Texas State Securities Board reprimanded him for soliciting clients without being properly registered, he signed a disciplinary order without disputing its findings.

This matter needs a resolution. I happen to be one Texas resident who doesn’t like our state attorney general operating under a cloud of criminal allegations. These things tend to inhibit the man’s credibility whenever he opens his mouth.

Texas AG needs to go on trial

Is this the year that Texas’s indicted attorney general stands trial on charges of committing securities fraud? Finally? Will we get a resolution?

Republican Ken Paxton and his legal team are trying to get the case moved back to Collin County, which is Paxton’s home county; he represented North Texas in the Legislature before being elected as attorney general. Prosecutors are concerned that a Collin County jury won’t be impartial enough to render a reasonable verdict.

But wait! A Collin County grand jury was able to indict Paxton on felony charges. Thus, I don’t have a particular problem with the case coming back here.

At issue is an indictment that alleges Paxton didn’t disclose his connection with an investment firm. The indictment came down in 2015, the year after Paxton was elected attorney general. He has since won re-election to the AG’s office.

What boggles my mind is the number of delays that have occurred since the initial indictment … nearly five years ago! They have involved venue change requests, damage done by Hurricane Harvey (given that the case has moved to Houston).

Texas needs an attorney general who either is cleared of the allegations that are hanging over his head or one who would replace an AG who’s been convicted of a felony crime.

As the Beaumont Enterprise said in an editorial, enough already, with the incessant delays.

How about a trial this year?

Pass the scented spray in the Texas Senate; this one stinks

The Texas Senate needs to be fumigated. Already!

Republican state Sen. Angela Paxton, the wife of the Texas attorney general, who is awaiting trial on securities fraud, has just introduced legislation that would give her husband, Ken Paxton, the authority to decide who is violating, um, securities fraud.

This one not only doesn’t pass the smell test, it stinks up the entire Texas Senate. Pass the scented spray!

This measure disappoints me greatly. Sen. Paxton, from McKinney, is a freshman legislator. However, she ought to know better than to step with both feet into this legal pile of dookey.

Not a conflict of interest, but it’s close

Senate Bill 860 would broaden the power to the attorney general’s office. As the Texas Tribune reports: “In doing so, the bill would grant broad powers to the attorney general’s consumer protection division, allowing it to accept or reject entrepreneurial applicants who seek to hawk innovative produces outside of the state’s current standards and regulations.”

What about the AG? Ken Paxton was indicted in 2017 by a Collin County grand jury for securities fraud in connection with an allegation that he didn’t provide proper notification that he was acting as an investment adviser. He’s awaiting trial.

Good grief! My major concern about Sen. Angela Paxton service dealt with how she might vote on matters involving her husband’s salary as a state constitutional officer. I didn’t see this one coming.

I get that AG Paxton should be presumed innocent, but why in the world would Sen. Paxton want to step so directly into this legal mess involving her husband?

This one stinks to high heaven!

No legislative interference on this football matter, please

Texas House Bill 412 needs to go . . . nowhere!

What is it? It is a bill proposed by state Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, that requires the University of Texas and Texas A&M University to play a football game sometime in November each year.

That’s right. Rep. Larson — an A&M alumnus — wants the Legislature to intervene in a decision that should rest entirely with the athletic directors of the respective universities.

I’ve already endorsed the so-called “end game.” I want the Longhorns and Aggies to resume their storied football rivalry, which ended in 2011 when A&M left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference.

When the Aggies bolted, the series ended. Period.

But is the Legislature the right avenue to travel to bring this thing back? No. It’s the kind of feel-good legislation one sees on occasion. Legislators and members of Congress occasionally get all worked up when tragedy strikes; they seek a legislative remedy to prevent horrible events from recurring.

This kind of legislation sort of falls into that category.

I respect Rep. Larson’s desire to bring the rivalry back. I do not believe the Texas Legislature should waste a moment of its time debating it. Lawmakers have a lot of other matters to consider. You know, small stuff such as, oh, water policy, highway construction, education reform, tax-and-spend matters. The 2019 Legislature might even consider whether to rescind the authority it granted cities to install and deploy red-light cameras to catch traffic violators in the act of breaking the law; don’t go there, lawmakers.

Larson did make a cogent point, though. “It’s time for the folks in Austin and College Station to get in a room and make a deal to restore the rivalry,” he told the Texas Tribune.

You are correct, sir. They can — and should — hammer it out without interference from the Texas Legislature.

Let the Texas AG’s trial commence … and conclude

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton took office under a cloud.

The cloud remains. It’s still hovering over the Republican politician. Perhaps a trial jury will remove that cloud — one way or another — beginning Sept. 12.

Paxton is going to stand trial on felony charges of securities fraud. A trial judge moved the case from Collin County to Harris County, apparently believing prosecutors’ contention that Paxton’s legal team had tainted the trial jury pool, giving him an unfair advantage.

The AG is accused of misleading investors prior to his taking office in 2015. If convicted, he faces a potential prison term of 99 years.

This change of venue surprises me mildly. Prosecutors had argued that Paxton’s counsel somehow had sought some unfair advantage, given that the attorney hails from Collin County, just north of Dallas.

Why the surprise? Well, a Collin County grand jury managed to indict Paxton more than a year ago. The grand jurors were Paxton’s homies, too, just as a trial jury pool would have been. The notion that a grand jury would indict a former state legislator from that very county seemed to suggest that the county was capable of producing a qualified panel of trial jurors when the time came for it.

The judge, George Gallagher, saw it differently. That’s his call. Hey, he’s the legal eagle, right?

So, the case moves to Harris County, to Houston. Judge Gallagher has set a 10-day time limit for this case to conclude once the trial commences. Of course, the Sept. 12 start date well could be subject to change — perhaps even multiple changes before Paxton gets this case adjudicated.

Let the trial begin. Paxton deserves the chance to remove the cloud that’s hung over him since before he took office.

For that matter, so do millions of other Texans who believe their state’s chief law enforcer should be above reproach.

Texas AG deserves to stand trial at home

My jaw dropped. My mouth is gaping. I cannot believe what I have just read.

Prosecutors seeking to convict Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is set to stand trial for an alleged securities fraud matter, have asked for a change of venue because they say they cannot get a fair trial in Collin County, a suburban region just north of Dallas.

Why the jaw-drop?

Well, Paxton represented Collin County in the Texas Legislature before he was elected AG in 2014. That’s what made his indictment by a Collin County grand jury all the more remarkable, the way I saw it. This wasn’t a group of liberal activists seeking revenge against a conservative statewide politician. The grand jury was a panel of Paxton’s peers.

Prosecutors need not seek a change of venue, given that a Collin County grand jury brought the charges against Paxton in the first place.

The grand jury indicted Paxton on allegations that he misled investors in a company; the alleged crime occurred before he became attorney general.

I don’t know about you, but I find this allegation of bias against them to be soaked in irony.

As the Texas Tribune reported: “Ken Paxton, like all Texans, has the right to be tried in the County he was charged in,” Paxton lawyer Dan Cogdell said in a statement. “The Special Prosecutors have filed a 60-page pleading trying to thwart that right. That these prosecutors are somehow painting themselves as ‘victims’ of some nonexistent conspiracy is extremely telling.”

I believe the trial court will be able to seat a jury that can determine this case fairly and without bias. Just look at what the grand jury did to bring this case to trial.

The case is set to go to trial on May 1. Let it take place in Collin County.

Missing a Thanksgiving tradition

texas2

So help me, I don’t know why I am thinking of this.

But I just am.

It occurred to me today that I am missing an annual Thanksgiving event. It’s a sporting spectacle: the University of Texas-Texas A&M University football game.

The Aggies tossed the intense rivalry into the crapper when they bolted from the Big 12 and joined the Southeastern Conference a few years back. I heard something about UT’s football network driving the Aggies toward the SEC. I’m not very savvy about the business of college football, so I won’t comment on that.

But we’ve lived in Texas now for nearly 33 years. I’ve grown accustomed to many of this state’s traditions. The annual UT-A&M game on Thanksgiving Day was one of them.

It’s no longer part of the state’s celebration of this uniquely American holiday.

I don’t have any particular loyalties here. Our sons didn’t attend either school. I know plenty of Texas Exes and Aggies.

I’ve learned, for instance, that there’s no such thing as a “former Aggie.” I also learned long ago that Aggies refer to their longtime rival as “texas university.”

I guess one might say — and I don’t mention this with any antipathy — that Aggies are a touch more obnoxious about the rivalry than their Longhorn friends.

However, it’s all grown a bit muted since the two schools no longer face off on Thanksgiving either in Austin or College Station.

Yeah, I miss it. I only can imagine how I would feel if I actually felt an allegiance to either school.