"The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian."
Quorum Report is a corrupt, low-circulation, publication that acts as glorified stenographers for Team Straus and their lobbyist cronies. We don't read them often, but occasionally they provide unintentionally revealing glimpses into how the business as usual crowd thinks. Yesterday was one such occasion.
First, some background: Last week, Byron Cook requested an Attorney General opinion related to eminent domain in his district. We didn't read anything into it because incumbent legislators ask the TXAG's office for opinions related to any number of subjects all the time (and, silly us, we actually thought Byron Cook might have renewed interest in representing his district after only winning his last election by 225 votes). Nevertheless, yesterday Quorum Report used Cook's request to conjure up palace intrigue where none exists:
We will detail the multiple levels on which this is asinine below, but first one obvious point: The Attorney General's office, under Ken Paxton just like it would have done under Greg Abbott, will issue an opinion related to Cook's request that is consistent with whatever the law says as the law is currently written.
June 20, 2016 4:45 PMSome Capitol observers wonder if the AG will help Chairman Cook block eminent domain powers in similar fashion to how he helped Gov. Abbott wrest more power from appropriators – especially given that Cook was a complainant in the criminal case against PaxtonTexas House State Affairs Committee Chairman Byron Cook last week looked to the Attorney General’s Office for help in shoring up the rights of property owners as a company prepares to build a bullet train from Houston to Dallas – with the proposed corridor cutting through Cook’s rural district.“It would be problematic if a company that does not have the power of eminent domain was entering or directing others to enter upon property it did not have the right to condemn,” Cook wrote to Ken Paxton’s office. “Thus, this issue is of great importance to Texans, especially rural Texans, whose property is already being entered upon in preparation for the initiation of eminent domain proceedings.”Putting aside for the moment the question of whether the rail line would be good for the state and its thousands of “super commuters,” Cook’s request raises another topic of discussion at the Texas Capitol: Will Paxton issue an opinion helpful to the very member of The Legislature who was a complainant in the felony case against Paxton on securities fraud?By Scott Braddock Copyright June 20, 2016, Harvey Kronberg, www.quorumreport.com, All rights are reserved
Returning to Paxton: Ken Paxton is going to continue to do the job for which the voters hired him for as long as it remains his responsibility to do so. That's just who he is and that's what he's been doing since these charges emerged. The fact that Byron Cook is the guy requesting the opinion isn't relevant.
Furthermore, it's not a secret that Ken Paxton is a Christian, and there's a Bible verse that's relevant:
Vengeance is Mine [God's], and recompense;In other words, from Ken Paxton's perspective, vengeance belongs to God; vengeance doesn't belong to Ken Paxton.
Their foot shall slip in due time;
For the day of their calamity is at hand,
And the things to come hasten upon them.’
Finally, if you really want to look at this from a political perspective, is the completely obvious fact that being magnanimous to Cook only helps Paxton. There's a thing in life called being the bigger man and Byron Cook just handed Ken Paxton a golden opportunity to do that. This isn't even politics, it's human psychology.
We didn't think about it until we started working on this post, but one final bible verse:
On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."Bottom Line: That Ken Paxton's antagonists could misread Ken Paxton's professional, spiritual, and political interests this spectacularly tells us far more about them than it does about Ken Paxton.