Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Branch offers reminder why (recent issues notwithstanding) Paxton was the better choice

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."
Matthew 7:15

Wasn't expecting this:
AUSTIN (KXAN) — During a one-on-one interview with KXAN earlier this month, indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, now the subject of an FBI investigation into allegations of bribery and misuse of office, was asked why the public should trust him as the state’s top law enforcement official.

“Look at what we’re doing with Google,” Paxton explained, when listing his accomplishments.

Paxton was referring to an antitrust lawsuit against Google that his office has been preparing for more than a year. Texas joined the Trump administration’s antitrust lawsuit against Google in October.

In an open letter sent to the Dept. of Justice on Tuesday, a group of Texas leaders, including former members of Congress, academic leaders, mayors, and a former state supreme court justice, criticized the use of antitrust laws against Google and warned of the potential harm the effort could cause Texans.


Dan Branch, a former member of the Texas House, said Texas policymakers have an opportunity to reform antitrust laws to fit technology companies in the 21st century.

Branch, a Republican, lost to Paxton in the primary runoff for attorney general in 2014. He said he has concerns about censorship and free speech within the tech industry, but added that the antitrust lawsuit is a different issue.

“We’re known as a business-friendly state, that’s part of our moniker,” Branch said. “We shouldn’t be out leading the charge on litigation, we ought to be leading the charge on thoughtful reform.”
Translation: Coming from Dan Branch, the phrase "thoughtful reform" means "opportunity for crony capitalism and graft."

We've always been ambivalent about this particular lawsuit. We don't have a problem with it, but neither do we think it will accomplish its intended goals. It won't have much impact on Google one way or the other.

But the idea that you should avoid such a lawsuit because it will hinder your ability to extract legisaltive graft...tells you what you need to know about Dan Branch.

That gets to something else about which we've recently been pondering.

It's not a secret that this website was...rather outspoken in support of Ken Paxton in 2014. Since Paxton's recent issues came into play, we've been thinking back to that period. A lot.

We can't shake the conclusion that, whatever Paxton's subsequent shortcomings, his opponent at the time really was that much worse.

Now Dan Branch, obligingly, reminds us why.

So, yeah, Paxton's recent issues might be pretty bad...but no ragerts re: 2014.

Bottom Line: None of this is surprising, but it is illuminating given recent developments.

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