Tag Archives: Dan Patrick

Ken Paxton Indicted and Friendless?

Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted on felony charges related to securities fraud.  Many commentators are wondering where are the GOP office holders and hordes of Tea Party loyalists coming to Paxton’s defense.  Noted Paxton supporters such as Sen. Ted Cruz (TP – Texas) and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick are nowhere to be heard or seen in defense of Paxton.

Meanwhile, the Dallas Morning News speculates on what the indictment and possible conviction means for Paxton’s political future.

What is different for Paxton is that there is no case to be made that he is a victim of dirty politics, said Southern Methodist University political science professor Cal Jillson.

“Even when you are offering a political defense, you have to keep one foot on the base — you have to make claims that are rooted in some plausibility,” Jillson said.

Paxton’s case was heard in Collin County “which is a red, red, red belt of Texas conservatism,” Jillson said, and the evidence was obtained by the Texas Rangers. The charges stem from investment deals with business partners who are under investigation by state and federal authorities, he said.

Paxton, once a small-town lawyer, already has been shown in news reports to have become involved with land flips and about 30 businesses once he got into the Legislature, Jillson said.

“It’s complicated and delicate for an attorney general, more so than for a governor or a senator, because you are the top elected legal official in the state,” Jillson said. “As the top legal officer, to find yourself under felony indictment is beyond awkward.”

Paxton can remain in office while under indictment. If he were convicted of a felony, his law license would automatically be suspended and he would be unable to serve.

Gov. Greg Abbott would name a replacement, who would face confirmation by the Senate.

During the legal fight, it is likely Paxton will keep a low political profile but try to make as many professional appearances as possible to deflect attention from his legal problems and reinforce the idea that he is tending to state business, Miller said.

Attacking the process is unlikely to help him either legally or politically, he said.

“It’s all courtroom,” Miller said. “Game on.”

Should the Chair of the State Board of Education Believe in Public Education?

Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Donna Bahorich – a former communications director for Tea Party stalwart Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – to chair the State Board of Education.  Bahorich home schooled her children before sending them to private high school.  She appears to have little or no experience with the public school system. Even some Republicans are questioning the choice.  Republican State Board member Thomas Ratliff has called the move a mistake.

“Public school isn’t for everybody, but when 94 percent of our students in Texas attend public schools I think it ought to be a baseline requirement that the chair of the State Board of Education have at least some experience in that realm, as a parent, teacher, something,”

Some are wondering why Abbott is kowtowing to the homeschooling lobby. Abbott vetoed Senate Bill 359, which would have allowed physicians to detain patients if they are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others, after it was opposed by the Texas Home School Coalition as an attack on parental rights.

Now Red believes that you should have the right to send your children to public or private school or homeschool them if you don’t think it will drive you nuts, but it seems that the Chair of the State Board of EDUCATION should have at least a passing familiarity with the system that educates the overwhelming majority of our youth.  Just saying.

Is Dan Patrick Advising Texas Officials to Ignore the Law of the Land?

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (TP-Texas) apparently wants the advice of Attorney General Ken Paxton about the options available to state officials who have a “conflict of conscience” now that gay marriage has been legalized nationwide by the US Supreme Court.

“(The gay marriage ban) could be struck down or altered by our nation’s highest court,If that should happen, county clerks and justices of the peace could be forced to subjugate their sincerely held religious beliefs. The practical reality of this conflict will occur throughout the state.”

In his own letter Thursday, Paxton urged county clerks to hold off on issuing marriage licenses to gay couples until his office has had a chance to analyze any decision from the high court.

These officials and the County Clerks who issue marriage licenses take an oath of office to uphold the law.  Does this mean only laws they approve of?  Does this mean they can nullify the law based on their religious beliefs?  Do your jobs or step aside and let someone who will take over. Otherwise, let the lawsuits roll.

Dan Patrick Knew About Secret Tea Party Taping of Legislators

The Texas Tribune reports that the Texas Rangers will be investigating the American Phoenix Foundation’s practice of secretly taping Texas Legislators.  The right-wing group has apparently been taping the lawmakers to find out if they are conservative enough and ostensibly to use the videos to support campaigns of Tea Party primary opponents for incumbent Republicans.

But the real news is that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick knew about the surreptitious videos and simply chose to not tell anybody about it.

A senior staffer for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick was told by DPS about the secret tapings but senators were not told of it at the time “because no senators were believed to have been targeted by the group.” One senator, Houston Democrat Rodney Ellis, said Monday, “I would have preferred to have known if it was a possibility.”

In the words of Al Czervik, “Now I know why tigers eat their young.”

Poor Poor Pitiful Patrick

Texas Monthly reports that there may be trouble in Tea Party paradise.

The weekly kumbaya breakfast between the big three Texas lawmakers broke down today into a round-robin of recriminations that concluded with Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick declaring he was tired of Governor Greg Abbott and Speaker Joe Straus “picking on me.”

The blow-up, confirmed by multiple sources, represents the boiling point of long-simmering disputes. The House has been upset that Patrick declared his inauguration marked a “New Day” in Texas and that he pushed a conservative agenda quickly through the Senate with expectations that the House would just pass his legislation. But, instead, most of the Senate’s bills on tax cuts, licensed open carry of handguns and moving the Public Integrity Unit have languished in the House without even being referred to committee by Straus.

The House instead has passed its own version of the same legislation, putting the Senate in a take-it-or-leave-it position. To pass the Senate bills now, the House would have to have an entirely new debate on controversial measures it already has approved.

So the Senate, in what looked like retaliation on Tuesday, ignored a House-approved border security bill to vote on its own measure, putting the House into a take-it-or-leave-it position on border security – a measure that House Ways and Means Chair Dennis Bonnen had crafted to win support of border Democrats.

This may be Patrick’s New Day, but Straus’ Old Guard still runs the House.

Wow!  Patrick has chosen the wrong game if he thinks he doesn’t deserve getting picked on.  Patrick who made his living “picking on” anyone who didn’t agree with his reactionary right-wing views on his radio show, is mighty thin-skinned when the tables are turned.  And once again, the Tea Partisans are proving that they are incapable of running the government that they hate so much.

We Just Knew Greg Abbott was a Closet Socialist

The Texas Tribune  reports that Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s committee of hand-picked Tea Partisans has come out against Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to boost Pre-K education in Texas.

In a letter dated Tuesday, the lieutenant governor’s Grassroots Advisory Board, filled with Tea Party activists and appointed by Patrick, called House Bill 4 and Senate Bill 801 “a threat to parental rights.” The bills are aimed at improving the quality of the state’s pre-K programs at a cost of about $130 million over the next two years.

“We are experimenting at great cost to taxpayers with a program that removes our young people from homes and half-day religious preschools and mothers’ day out programs to a Godless environment with only evidence showing absolutely NO LONG TERM BENEFITS beyond the 1st grade,” the letter said.

So the Tea Party is against giving the children of the poorest of the poor anything that might interfere with options that very few of them are likely to take anyway.  Okay.  Red might even concede that Pre-K programs aren’t as effective as we would like, but that is hardly an argument for shutting them down or not trying harder.  And the argument that Pre-K programs keep parents from choosing other options also might be legitimate if it were backed up with any facts.  Of course, it isn’t.  Facts and the Tea Party really don’t get along that well.  Facts tend to interfere with a reactionary agenda based on fear and loathing.  But wait, there’s more.

The Tea Party-infused group, put together at the beginning of the session to advise Patrick on major policy initiatives, said that if the $130 million program becomes law, “Texas would be sending the message to the rest of the nation that parents do not or cannot love and care for their children as well as the state can.”

It also associated the pre-K program, which has already passed the Texas House with overwhelming support, with socialism.

“This interference by the state tramples upon our parental rights,” the letter said. “The early removal of children from parents’ care is historically promoted in socialistic countries, not free societies which respect parental rights.”

Yes, Texas parents – show how much you love your children by refusing to send them to public school.  Patrick should be ashamed of having put this group of morons together.  But as with facts and the Tea Party – shame and Dan Patrick are not even remotely acquainted.