Thursday, April 20, 2017

Texas' Ken Paxton is an Expensive Accessory

Ken Paxton Mug Shot
Texas taxpayers are now required to pony up $600,000 in legal fees. On Wednesday, the Fifth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling granting the award to the same-sex couples who sued the state over the constitutionality of its same-sex marriage ban. You may recall that Texas AG Ken Paxton (Super-Christian himself)  frustrated marriage equality in Texas to the fullest extent possible. Protracted litigation is expensive.

Mr. Paxton knows a thing or two about protracted litigation. It seems that ultra-conservative Christians are often hypocrites — selective observers who are quite capable of fucking over other people. Paxton was indicted in July 2015 on two first-degree felony counts and one third-degree count.

Paxton is accused of persuading investors to buy more than $850,000 in stock from a North Texas technology start-up without disclosing he was being paid by the company. He received 100,000 shares of the company's stock in exchange and also failed to register with the state as an investment adviser. In addition to the criminal charges, the SEC has filed a civil action against Paxton.

In November, when 16 months of appeals had been exhausted, it looked like Paxton's trial would begin in the late spring or early summer. There are two separate trials for the felony counts. The first is now scheduled to start on September 12, more than two years from the time that Paxton was indicted. The most recent delay was caused by moving the trials from solidly Republican Collin County to Democratic Harris County. The change in venue, which Paxton delayed with more appeals, was based on the locale of the lead prosecutor and defense attorney.

Anything can happen at a jury trial but so far Paxton has lost every round from indictments to appeals to venue. Consider the plight of some poor black kid with a couple of joints and a legal aid attorney who was arrested in the summer of 2015 for distribution. His ass would have been sitting in jail and prison now for more than two years for harming no one.

If the allegations against Paxton are true then he is a thief. If, by some chance, he is convicted there will be the inevitable appeal and the likelihood that he will stay out of the hoosegow for another couple of years. Justice is served.

Meanwhile, with selective morality, Paxton is doing everything he can to make life for LGBT Texans as miserable as possible. Paxton, a career politician, has ambitions beyond being Texas AG. His aspirations are fueled with anti-LGBT bias.

Were I an innocent public official charged with crimes I would seek swift justice. After all, I would have the facts on my side. Paxton, on the other hand, seems to have done what his alleged to have done and has managed to avoid his day in court. Presumably he is paying his attorneys but the public has been footing the bill for all of the court and prosecution expenses not to mention that they are paying what amounts to a part-time employee. Paxton did not even have the class to step aside from his office until this matter is resolved. The state's chief law enforcement officer is an alleged criminal. 

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