Senator Ken Paxton, the Republican nominee for Texas Attorney General, who currently faces a criminal complaint for soliciting clients without registering as an investment advisor, helped bring this entire problem upon himself. Twice, Ken Paxton voted to criminalize the actions he took.
In 2003, as a Freshman Representative, Paxton voted for the statute that made it illegal to solicit clients while failing to register.
In 2011, as a freshman Senator, Paxton voted to clarify that the penalty for violating these statues was a third degree felony.
Ken Paxton is running for the job of enforcing the law over all Texans, however, he seems to think he is special and laws do not apply to him.
Three times Ken Paxton violated the law. Each time it was shortly after one of the two votes he took to create the violation. To say he was unaware of such a statute would be laughable. The Lone Star Project replays the events cleanly for us:
-In 2004, 2005, and again in 2012, Paxton solicited clients to use MCM (Mowery Capital Management, LLC) as their investment adviser.-During this time, Paxton held office as a state representative, and later a state senator, representing an area in the DFW metroplex. His solicitations likely took place in Travis County, Dallas County, Collin County and perhaps other counties.? ?
-On April 30, 2014, Paxton swore to and signed a disciplinary order by the Securities Commissioner of the State of Texas in which he admitted soliciting potential clients for MCM.?
-MCM was registered with the Securities Commissioner as an investment adviser during the years at issue, but Paxton failed to register as their representative as required under Texas law.?
-Under the Texas Securities Act, Paxton can be charged with a third degree felony. The Act states, “Any person who shall render services as an investment adviser or an investment adviser representative without being registered as required by this Act shall be deemed guilty of a felony…”?
-A formal complaint by highly respected nonpartisan watchdog organization, Texans for Public Justice, has already been filed with the Travis County District Attorney.
For Ken Paxton and Texas Republicans, this is not about a complex, technical case of possible corruption which Texas voters will judge him on. This is about whether Ken Paxton can even be a candidate for Texas Attorney General. With the formal criminal complaint in the hands of the Travis County District Attorney, the DA’s office must investigate whether Paxton violated a criminal law. If he is so convicted he will be ineligible to serve as Texas Attorney General.
Ken Paxton has until 75 days before the November general election to withdraw his candidacy voluntarily so that he can be replaced with another Texas Republican. Should he fail to withdraw and is convicted before the election, Texas Republicans will not have an eligible candidate for the office of Texas Attorney General in 2014.
You can follow me on Twitter at @trowaman.