Day: <span>September 21, 2022</span>

Ken Paxton is a dangerous attorney general; Texas needs Rochelle Garza

It would be wrong to dismiss Ken Paxton as a worthless attorney general. He is much worse than worthless. He is a dangerous attorney general.

His only real allegiance is to himself and Donald Trump. In a direct attack on democracy, he filed a lawsuit to try to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, feeding Trump’s lie that Joe Biden had “stolen” the White House from him, and he remains loyal to the former president.

In his latest stunt, Paxton has attacked Biden over the Justice Department’s investigation into the classified documents Trump was illegally hoarding at his Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. In an unsolicited brief filed with a federal appellate court, Paxton claimed that the Biden administration could not be trusted to tell the truth about its investigation of the former president.

Considering that neither Trump nor Paxton can hardly issue a public statement without uttering at least one lie, that is an absurd attack for Paxton to make against the government’s investigation. Hopefully, the court will ignore Paxton’s effort, but it serves his purpose. It keeps the truth-deniers – and there are many among Paxton’s supporters – stirred up for his reelection campaign. Or so he hopes.

Never mind the nation’s security or the democratic process or whatever else may be compromised if the government’s investigation is derailed. They are of secondary importance to this attorney general.

This incident is only the latest outrage from Paxton, who has spent much of his time in office under indictment on felony securities fraud charges. He professes innocence but seems in no hurry to face a jury.

This list is far from exhaustive, but here are a few more of Paxton’s political abuses:

  • Participated in the pro-Trump rally that preceded the Jan. 6, 2020, attack on the Capitol to try to disrupt the certification of the election results.
  • Issued a legally dubious opinion declaring that some forms of gender-affirming treatment for children could be considered child abuse. This prompted Gov. Greg Abbott to issue an order resulting in state investigations of transgender kids and their families.
  • Has made multiple attacks on immigrants, spreading unfounded fears among his political base.
  • Filed a lawsuit attempting to kill the Affordable Care Act and, with it, the prohibition against insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions and the right of parents to keep children on their family policies until age 26.
  • Told county clerks with religious objections that they didn’t have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.
  • Has abused his office to suppress voting, including an organized effort to deter educators from voting.

Fortunately, there is a strong alternative to Paxton on the ballot this year. She is Rochelle Garza, a native of Brownsville and daughter of public-school teachers, who will be an attorney general for all Texans and will defend our democracy, not try to destroy it.

Clay Robison