Tag Archives: Texas AG

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

Waiting on an answer

Perhaps you have experienced as well a frustration I am about to express, which deals with a public official’s apparent refusal to provide a direct answer to a direct question.

Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar has been running a re-election campaign ad in which he declares that he “distributed $3 billion” to buttress the state’s border security. Hegar, therefore, is taking direct credit for acting under his own discretion to spend the money to secure our border. The Republican officeholder, quite naturally, is critical of the nation’s top Democrat, President Biden, over federal border policies.

My question went to the head of the comptroller’s media relations office. I sent an email and the question is this: Does Comptroller Hegar have the discretion to distribute $3 billion for border security as he sees fit, which he implies in his campaign ad, or is that distribution mandated by the Legislature and/or the governor? The media guy has gotten two messages from me. No answer.

I don’t know why he hasn’t answered my question. I believe it is clear and concise. All he has to do is say “yes” or “no,” if he doesn’t want to spend any time explaining himself or the state agency’s policy.

My concern about Hegar’s ad is that it might be misleading. In fact, I believe it is misleading. You see, the Legislature appropriates money and then directs agency heads — even those elected to their office — to spend it according to what the legislation prescribes. So, when Glenn Hegar tells TV viewers that he “distributed” the money, he leaves the impression that he has sole authority to spend the money as he sees fit. It’s all part of the GOP narrative I keep hearing played out during this primary election season: Republican officials are doing the job that the feds are supposed to be doing; therefore, the message goes, Joe Biden is failing at his job. In fact, Hegar’s ad opens with that very statement, that “Biden is failing.”

Candidates for Texas attorney general are saying it, too, even though the AG is mainly a civil litigator. They’re all proclaiming how they’re going to get tough on criminals crossing the border into Texas “illegally,” of course, to do harm to helpless Texans who will fall victim to their criminal intent.

Well, I’ll be patient and wait this one out. I just find it hilarious that the guy who serves as the state’s top bean counter would portray himself as a tough-as-nails crime fighter.

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

Fruitcake fringe loses an AG candidate

Well, now. It looks as though Louie Gohmert is going to have the fruitcake fringe of the Republican Party electorate to himself as he challenges Ken Paxton in next year’s GOP primary for Texas attorney general.

Why is that? Another GOP fruitcake, Freedom Caucus member state Rep. Matt Krause of Fort Worth is going to run instead for Tarrant County district attorney. He had sought to run in the 2022 primary for Texas AG, but switched races.

Gohmert is still in. He joins Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush and former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman as challengers to the felony indicted Paxton, who is awaiting trial in state court on a charge of securities fraud.

Bush and Guzman are campaigning specifically against the corruption that Paxton brought with him to the AG’s office in 2015. I don’t know what U.S. Rep. Gohmert’s platform will be; he might want to push Paxton even farther to the right than he already stands.

There might be more entries, given the trouble that keeps swirling around Paxton. The FBI is conducting an independent investigation into allegations of corruption with his office; several top legal assistants quit earlier this year while citing allegations of improper behavior by the attorney general. Imagine that, will ya?

The waters are still roiling.

It’s gonna be fun to watch this race play out.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

AG Paxton in dire peril

Maybe it’s just me, but I feel this rumbling in my gut that Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is in some deep doo-doo … politically speaking.

Think about something for a brief moment.

When has any Texas Republican statewide officeholder faced the kind of intraparty challenge that Paxton is facing as the next primary campaign approaches. He has three Republican challengers already and a fourth one might be ready to jump into the race.

Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush has announced his intention to run; so has former Texas Supreme Court Justice Eva Guzman, along with state Rep. Matt Krause. Waiting in the wings might be U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert.

Here’s the fascinating dynamic shaping up. Bush and Guzman appear to be running as “establishment Republicans” who are fed up with Paxton’s legal troubles, starting with his pending state court trial on an allegation of investment securities fraud. Then we have Krause, a member of the ultraconservative Texas Freedom Caucus, who would tack farther to the right. Oh, and then we might get Gohmert, the unofficial leader of the Texas GOP Nut Job Caucus in Congress.

What does this mean for Paxton? It means — to my way of thinking — that he’s managed to pi** off disparate elements within his own party. One side considers him an embarrassment, the other side is pulling him in the opposite direction.

Ken Paxton is now one of four GOP candidates running for AG. I hope the number jumps to five … or even more.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Texas AG under the gun

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is a disgrace to the office he occupies.

Thus, it is no surprise that he would lash out at the Texas State Bar’s decision to investigate his specious lawsuit that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in four states that Joe Biden won over Donald J. Trump.

Paxton makes me sick. There. I got that off my chest.

Two of the AG’s pals, Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, came to his defense in their criticism of the Bar’s probe.

As the Texas Tribune reported:

Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick defend Ken Paxton over Texas bar investigation | The Texas Tribune

This Texan, meaning me, knows as well that Paxton is awaiting trial for securities fraud after being indicted by a Collin County grand jury. I also know that several of his top legal eagles quit the AG’s office and filed a whistleblower complaint that Paxton has engaged in criminal activity while serving as attorney general; the FBI is looking into that complaint.

Now the Bar has come forward with a complaint of its own, contesting the legitimacy of the lawsuit that Paxton filed with the U.S. Supreme Court over the results in other states. The court tossed the lawsuit out, saying that Paxton didn’t have standing.

The man is a disgrace. He needs to go. I do hope the Republican primary challenge he faces next spring can bring about the much-needed result … which would be his ouster.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

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.

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.