Thanks to our friends at the Texas Democratic Party for this guest post detailing Attorney General Ken Paxton’s extensive legal problems.
AUSTIN, TX — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has become the center of attention these past few weeks. Not because he’s doing such a great job as Texas’ top law enforcement agent, but because of his blatant disregard for state and federal laws. Revelations about his lawless behavior continue to mount—almost certain indictment, guiding elected officials to break law on marriage equality, and skirting state hiring laws by shamelessly employing his cronies and well-connected politicos.
Ken Paxton has brought dishonesty and shame to the Attorney General’s office. Republicans like Paxton are exactly why people in Texas distrust our political system. In the midst of it all, there are some people who think Ken Paxton is doing a swell job — Governor Greg Abbott and the Tea Party leadership. By keeping quiet, Abbott and his cronies are giving Paxton their blessing to keep thinking that he’s above the law.
We’re left wondering, how long will it take for Greg Abbott and Texas Republicans to address their growing Ken Paxton problem? Or will Abbott continue to ignore Paxton’s law breaking because Abbott believes he is above the law too?
Here’s just a sampling of stories from Ken Paxton’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad headlines:
- “So, let’s review: Paxton has paid a fine for the investment transgressions. He is at risk of felony indictment. A whole bunch of insulted lawyers make what sounds like a good case that he should be disbarred. And he can’t even go through the charade of posting job openings properly before hiring whom he was going to hire anyway.” [Corpus Christi Caller-Times, July 7, 2015]
- A lawsuit, a complaint and legal threat all erupted against and around the state’s top lawyer, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, in the wake of his guidance to county officials that they may be able to refuse to issue same-sex marriage licenses on religious grounds. [Corpus Christi Caller-Times, July 6, 2015]
- “…the guy’s only been in office for six months. If prosecutors can secure a felony indictment, the Paxton administration could go from embarrassment to full-blown train wreck in record time.” [Houston Press, July 6, 2015]
- “When seeking a job at the Texas attorney general’s office, it’s less about what is on your résumé than who you know.” [Austin American-Statesman, July 3, 2015]
- “Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has a lot on his plate at the moment — chiefly, the threat of an indictment on first-degree felony charges in Collin County. Then, of course, there’s the dust-up over his nonbinding opinion issued over the weekend that said county clerks can refuse to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples if they feel doing so violates their ‘religious liberties.’” [Dallas Morning News, July 3, 2015]
- “Paxton’s ploy is nakedly political. He’s playing to his arch-conservative base. Meanwhile, he makes Texas look silly, yet again. Groups and organizations planning conventions in Texas, businesses considering a move, must surely wonder what they’re getting into.” [Houston Chronicle, July 3, 2015]
- “The problem with Paxton is that he is a mediocrity, a lawyer who appears to have little respect for the law.” [Texas Monthly, July 2, 2015]
- “The state’s top lawyer, Republican Attorney General Ken Paxton, has landed in personal legal (and therefore political) hot water…” [Star-Telegram, July 2, 2015]
- “His opinion is both bad law and bad public policy. In the name of religious freedom for that employee, Paxton would enable unequal treatment for taxpayers seeking marriage licenses. Providing these is not a religious act. Denying them amounts to discrimination — unlawful and, yes, morally wrong.” [San Antonio Express-News, June 30, 2015]