Recently, the Editorial Board of the Austin American-Statesman published a lengthy unfounded editorial attack on my staunch defense of the Constitution and my tenure as the Attorney General of Texas. I asked for the opportunity to respond and correct the record but the Editorial Page refused to publish my response. Please see below what the Austin American-Statesman didn’t want you to read. Help me push back on the liberal media by forwarding my response to your friends.
Defending the Constitution, So Help Me God
By Attorney General Ken Paxton
I learned a long time ago that politics can be a tough business. But if your opponents are forced to concoct misleading attacks, you’re probably doing something right. It’s obvious from the Editorial Board’s most recent opinion piece they are still seething that the people of Texas elected a conservative as Attorney General. They’re even more upset that I’m actually fulfilling my campaign promise to protect our constitutional rights and liberties, however untrendy that may be with the Austin press corps.
When I took my oath of office, I swore to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this State, so help me God.” I take this oath seriously and work diligently to uphold this pact between myself and the people of Texas, no matter the sentiment among those critical of my leadership.
As the paper pointed out, there are allegations against me. These unfounded charges are, at their core, politically motivated. Even the Editorial Board grudgingly concedes the allegations don’t equate to guilt and I deserve my day in court – where I will prevail. I’ll be sure to put their note on top of the stacks of news clips generated by the paper against former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and former Governor Rick Perry. The innocence of these two honorable public servants didn’t preclude the paper from its decade-long journalistic campaign as the propaganda arm of the political left. Sadly, the complete exoneration of these Republican leaders didn’t seem to generate the same level of coverage as the politically motivated attacks and endless news coverage against them.
I will not let these absurd charges, however, distract me from my responsibilities to the people of Texas. As Attorney General, I am fighting to protect our constitutional rights and liberties at every turn. I’m working diligently to prevent infringement on those rights in all our communities across Texas.
The Statesman Editorial Board criticizes my defense of the 2nd Amendment rights of Texans and enforcement of the laws passed by the Texas Legislature. The Editorial Board’s position is outrageous and, in fact, dangerous. They are not saying that the open carry laws passed by the Texas Legislature are somehow legally invalid. Instead, they contend that because they do not like a law that was enacted by an overwhelming majority of the elected representatives of the people of Texas, that law should not be enforced. Not overturned, not protested, but ignored. You don’t often see an American newspaper speak out against democracy, but the Statesmen is doing so here.
The Editorial Board also attempts to hoodwink its readers by suggesting that enforcing state law somehow depletes precious legal resources from state coffers. In setting their objectivity aside, the paper hides a key fact. Under my leadership, the Office of Attorney General has generated tens of millions of dollars in new revenue to the state’s coffers. They don’t want you to know this information because they would have to concede that I have been and continue to be an effective Attorney General on behalf of Texas.
The paper also chose to omit the most significant defeat handed to the Obama Administration by the United States Supreme Court, a defeat secured by my office. We led a coalition of 26 states in a legal challenge to President Obama’s executive amnesty on illegal immigration. We went to the highest court in the land to force the Obama Administration to recognize that Congress, not the President, makes our laws.
This was one of the most important cases to come before the Supreme Court in recent history because the fundamental issues in question are at the core of the Constitution. If the Supreme Court had allowed President Obama to prevail, think about what could happen with a future president? What if he or she decides to take away our gun rights through executive action, or tells churches they can no longer be tax exempt because their conscience is at odds with the federal government, or punishes liberty minded individuals for speaking the truth? Thankfully, we prevailed on this landmark legal case and I will continue to fight for our liberty and the constitutional principles upon which our Founding Fathers stood.
In another critical legal battle omitted by the paper, the Obama Administration is threatening the Medicaid programs of the states if they refuse to pay an unconstitutional tax that would cost Texas over $120 million annually. I’m fighting back against this legal extortion and have no intention of allowing it to happen on my watch. My office also won a unanimous decision in the Texas Supreme Court in a tax dispute that will save the people of Texas over $4 billion.
My office has also set records with regard to online predator sting operations, human-trafficking arrests and fugitive apprehensions. I am very proud that our Child Support Division remains the top performing child support program in the country and leads the nation in cost effectiveness, collecting almost $4 billion last year.
There are dozens of other actions and initiatives brought by the Office of Attorney General under my leadership to preserve constitutional rights, push back against federal government overreach and protect the lives of Texans. Since the Statesmen won’t give you all the facts, you can read about them on my website at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov. It is my highest honor to serve as your Attorney General and I will continue to defend our constitutional rights and liberties … “So help me God.”