SocraticGadfly: Are the Paxton Four barking up the wrong money tree?

February 20, 2023

Are the Paxton Four barking up the wrong money tree?

Arguably yes.

Kenny Boy Paxton's four ex-assistants who settled their lawsuit with him are perhaps worried that the Lege won't pay up on the money it needs to for the settlement, if they're essentially lobbying it not to kill the funding. Given that House Speaker Dade "Dade" Phelan is among the Legiscritters raising questions? Hey, Rethugs, the way to do that is to "defund" Paxton's budget by exactly this amount.

There's an interesting twist. The state Supremes paused the case until April 3 for settlement to continue. What if the Lege passes a funding bill just before April 3 .... but Strangeabbott vetoes it afterward? 

That said, per state law and other issues, why would the four expect the state to pay out, since their lawsuit was against Paxton, not the state AG's office? Given Kenny Boy still dodging trial on securities issues, securities as in financial instruments, why aren't they trying to get $3.3 million from him and Angela? And, it's not just Rethugs. That Trib story notes that in the Senate, people like Royce West are also perturbed.

I'm not sure if Justin Miller agrees with me at the Observer that the four should have gone, and should be going, after Paxton's personal wallet, but he does have this to say:

The settlement—which would be footed by taxpayers—isn’t final until legislators sign off, but if approved it would mark yet another act pulled off by the most talented political escape artist in Texas


OTOH, the Lege gave Kenny Boy extra money for outside lawyers in a suit against Google, whom he needed in part from losing the help from one of the fired four. (Remember when wingnuts attacked Dan Morales for outside lawyers' help on the tobacco lawsuit?)

That said, two wrongs don't make a right. And, per Miller's plaint, if non-payment by the Lege leads to yet more drawout of this suit? Then anti-Paxton Republicans should help pay the Paxton Four's legal bills.

On the third hand, while Kenny Boy is an individual, he was operating as an individual in charge of a state agency, and the state law is bad as currently written. I'd be find if the Lege footed the bill — if it also changes the law AND dings the individual bad actor's agency the amount, not just now but in the future.

On the fourth hand, the Lege should impeach Paxton. And, yes, per the state constitution, an AG can be impeached.

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