Tag Archives: securities fraud

Reckoning arrives for Texas GOP

A moment of profound reckoning has just fallen out of the sky and landed squarely in the laps of Texas’s Republican legislators as they now must deal with whether to impeach a member of their party who happens to be the state’s attorney general.

Ken Paxton has been recommended for impeachment by the House General Investigations Committee, which has three Republicans and two Democrats serving. The panel voted unanimously to recommend that Paxton be impeached on allegations of egregious misconduct within his office.

This is, to borrow a phrase, a “big … deal.” You know?

Paxton has been operating under suspicious cloud cover ever since he took office in 2015. A Collin County grand jury indicted him for securities fraud that year. Then some whistleblowing lawyers in the AG’s office quit, citing allegations of bribery and mishandling of cases involving political donors.

Then Paxton settled with the lawyers and was ordered to pay $3.3 million. Only he wants taxpayers to foot the bill. That drew immediate push back from House Speaker Dade Phelan, a Republican from Beaumont, who said Texas taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for Paxton’s settlement.

Then Paxton fired back, saying Phelan should resign, accusing the speaker of being drunk on the job.

The intraparty conflict has exploded into a full-blown firefight.

The task before the House GOP caucus is whether they want to join their 64 Democratic colleagues in impeaching the AG. As the Texas Tribune reports, the GOP caucus has been mostly silent about Paxton’s woes. Until now.

Even some of Paxton’s friends in the House and Senate now are taking a quieter approach to speaking out on this matter.

Republican-led effort to impeach Ken Paxton is a seismic political shift | The Texas Tribune

The ground is shaking and rattling under everyone’s feet in Austin these days. Ken Paxton, to my way of thinking, has shamed his office. No AG can function effectively as the state’s top law enforcer with the suspicion that has dogged Ken Paxton from the get-go.

We have a terrible mess on our hands and to my way of thinking, it is time for the House — and then the Senate — to do its job by impeaching the attorney general and then tossing him out of office with a conviction.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

AG Paxton is getting some serious heat … finally!

Well now, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who’s been under felony indictment nearly for as long as he has been in office — is facing even more trouble.

This time it’s coming from his fellow Republicans who serve in the Legislature.

Can it be that finally the AG is going to get his long- and well-deserved comeuppance? You may count me as one Texas resident who wants to see it happen to the former legislator who has disgraced the office he has occupied since 2015.

The Hill newspaper reports:

On Wednesday, four former state prosecutors commissioned by the state House publicly unveiled the results of their sweeping investigation into years of alleged misconduct by Paxton.

Headlining those allegations: charges that the attorney general took bribes from an Austin real estate developer, then fired four deputies for reporting it to law enforcement — and then leaving taxpayers on the hook for a $3.3 million settlement with the whistleblowers. 

Paxton is also accused of seeking a sweetheart job for a woman he was having an affair with and who had worked in his wife’s office. 

The House General Investigations Committee, which recommended the ouster of former state Rep. Bryan Slaton of Royse City, is now looking into Paxton’s conduct. The allegations against Paxton “curl my mustache,” said Committee Chairman Andrew Murr, R-Junction.

Paxton has managed to avoid a trial since a Collin County grand jury indicted him for securities fraud. That he has been re-elected twice as the state’s chief law enforcement official has been enough to make me question the wisdom of Texas voters. But he has and I accept the voters’ verdict, even if I disagree with it.

Still, the guy needs to go.

I have been alarmed at the notion of Paxton rising to call for the resignation of House Speaker Dade Phelan after a video emerged showing Phelan slurring his words at the end of a long day at the podium in the House chamber.

That such a call would come from an indicted public official is laughable on its face … except that I ain’t laughing.

Battle rages in Texas between AG Paxton and GOP-controlled House | The Hill

So, what can come from the House committee’s probe of the AG? Let’s say it out loud: He could be impeached and then put on trial in the Texas Senate.

I can’t stop shaking my head.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Paxton: profile in cowardice

This incident should make me laugh out loud. It should be just another example of a politician proving he’s a chickensh** coward.

But dang! This is serious stuff and it reveals the utter lack of integrity of the man holding the office of Texas attorney general.

AG Ken Paxton, a Republican, was supposed to receive a subpoena related to a lawsuit filed by those who want the state to pay for out-of-state abortions. It came from the federal government, which right there tells me it’s a serious matter.

What did our state’s chief law enforcement officer do? He hid in a room inside his McKinney home, then fled an hour or so later with his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton, at the wheel of their motor vehicle.

Ken Paxton tried to avoid being served with subpoena, court record says | The Texas Tribune

What an absolute crock of horse manure!

Paxton sent out a Twitter message that said he was concerned for his family’s safety, which he said is why he didn’t respond to the process server. And that makes me go … huh?

The Texas Tribune reports: “It’s clear that the media wants to drum up another controversy involving my work as Attorney General, so they’re attacking me for having the audacity to avoid a stranger lingering outside my home and showing concern about the safety and well-being of my family,” he wrote in a tweet.

The sequence of events appears weird on its face. The process server shows up. He waits around. Paxton is inside the house. Then his wife drives him away.

How many more examples of Paxton’s unfitness for public office does this clown have to exhibit? He has been under felony indictment alleging securities fraud almost since the day he took office in 2015. The Securities and Exchange Commission launched an independent investigation. Several key legal aides quit the AG’s office after alleging misconduct by the attorney general himself. The FBI is examining a whistleblower complaint against the AG.

Now this.

I know this sounds silly, but if Paxton has done nothing wrong, why didn’t he just go to the front door of his home, receive the subpoena and then contest it the way he normally would … through due process?

The guy should have resigned his office long ago.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas GOP set to nominate seriously damaged AG

If we are to believe the public opinion polls — which I tend to do — then Texas Republican voters are going to nominate for a third term a state attorney general who is under criminal indictment and who is the subject of an FBI investigation into reports of criminal activity.

AG Ken Paxton is (allegedly) as crooked as a dog’s hind leg. Yet he is poised to survive an intraparty challenge from Land Commissioner George P. Bush.

Eeek!

I do not get it. Really. I just cannot fathom how this clown can be nominated for a third term as attorney general while facing a trial that could result in a lengthy prison term is he’s convicted.

A Collin County grand jury indicted Paxton in 2015 on securities fraud charges. His trial has been postponed and kicked around, from Collin County, to Harris County and now back to Collin County.

It’s been seven years since the indictment came down.

Then came the resignation of seven top AG’s office lawyers. The whistleblowers allege that Paxton has been playing favorites and have accused him of accepting a bribe. In comes the FBI.

Can’t Texas Republicans do better than that?

I guess not! Shame on them.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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

Don’t spend my money, Mr. AG

The hits just keep mounting for Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Not only is Paxton in a Republican Party runoff to keep his job, he is being pounded for spending taxpayer funds to pay for his legal defense against complaints over the way he conducts his office.

What a joke! Except that I ain’t laughing.

Paxton reportedly spent at least $43,000 in public money to pay for legal defense fees. The Texas State Bar filed complaints alleging misconduct over Paxton’s specious lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election result. Critics have noted that the Texas Constitution does not require AGs to be members of the State Bar and they contend it is inappropriate for taxpayers to foot the bill for a public official’s private law license.

There is that, as well as the pending state trial over allegations that Paxton committed securities fraud violations. He has been under felony indictment since 2015, the first year of his time as attorney general.

My own wish is that Paxton just resign. He is an embarrassment to the state.

Now comes the news that he is using public money — my money and your money — for private use.

Keep your grubby mitts off my dough, Mr. AG!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Paxton still favorite for AG? Ugghh!

(Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)

Recent public opinion polling in Texas sends a chill up my spine about the state of the race for attorney general.

The indicted incumbent who is under FBI investigation for alleged corruption in his office is the leading candidate among the four Republicans running for his seat. Yep, there you have it: Texas GOP voters appear to favor an incumbent who is facing potential prison time if a state trial jury convicts him of securities fraud.

AG Ken Paxton needs to be removed from office. Somehow. Some way. The state’s Republican voters have three fascinating choices to make when they vote March 1 in their primary. Land Commissioner George P. Bush, retired judge Eva Guzman and East Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert all want to succeed Paxton.

Of the three challengers, Gohmert is my least favorite, given his Donald Trumpian stance on all issues. Bush and Guzman are running as tough enforcers of the law who will throw criminals in jail, which is strange, given the AG is primarily a civil litigator. Whatever.

Paxton is a joke and a jerk.

I should add that the indictment for securities fraud came from a grand jury in Collin County, which Paxton represented during his unremarkable tenure as a state representative prior to his being elected AG in 2014. I mean, it’s not as though some far-left liberals in Travis County handed down the indictment; it came from the home folks, man!

The latest Dallas Morning News/UT-Tyler poll had Paxton leading with 33% percent, followed by Bush, Gohmert and Guzman. There well could be a runoff if none of them gets 50% or greater in the primary.

But the idea that Paxton remains in the lead tells me the state’s GOP voters just don’t give a crap about the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the incumbent who simply — in my view — is an embarrassment to our great state.

Sheesh!

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Can Paxton get beat?

If I had to choose one contest in this primary season coming up in Texas that interests me the most it would have to be the Republican contest for attorney general.

And for the life of me I cannot understand the notion being kicked around that the incumbent — Ken Paxton — might be in position to fend off the challenge that is coming from within his own Republican Party.

Good ever-lovin’ grief!

Paxton has been under felony indictment since the first year of his time as AG. A Collin County grand jury indicted him on a charge of securities fraud. The AG hasn’t yet stood trial.

He is facing three GOP challengers: Land Commissioner George P. Bush, former state Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman and U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert. They’re all well-known within GOP circles.

Then there’s Paxton. The man is an embarrassment. In addition to the securities fraud indictment and pending trial, seven former top legal assistants quit the AG’s office and filed a whistleblower complaint alleging that Paxton has committed illegal acts while serving as attorney general; the FBI is looking at those complaints, too.

I want Paxton to get drummed out in the primary. If he manages to hold on and win the GOP primary, then he’s a seeming cinch to win re-election — again! — this coming fall.

The whole notion of Paxton winning a third term as attorney general makes me want to pull my hair out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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.