Another day, another moment for Texas’ Attorney General, Ken Paxton, to be the news. Not make news via his legal prowess, just to be the news.
It’s all Texans have wanted from their attorney general. I can see them now, waking up around the state, from Austin to Fort Worth, the sun shining, finally a slight chill to the air: Please, let me see my Republican attorney general trending on Twitter again for some dumb thing. It’s so good for the conservative movement. It really helps Texans most of all.
According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Paxton fled his home Monday, with wife and state Sen. Angela Paxton driving the getaway car, to avoid being served a subpoena. Ernesto Martin Herrera, a process server, wrote that he attempted to deliver the summons for a federal court hearing Tuesday in a lawsuit brought by nonprofit organizations that want to help Texans pay for abortions out of state. On Tuesday, Paxton said, the judge granted a request to quash the subpoena.
According to the affidavit, Herrera made several attempts, as servers are wont to do. Herrera contends that Paxton approached the door but turned away once he was spotted. Angela Paxton then answered and told Herrera her husband was on the phone. An hour later, the server was still there and Ken Paxton darted to the truck.
The whole thing seems bizarre, from the fact that Angela Paxton answered the door at all to Ken Paxton evading contact, and even the fact that the server remained at his home an hour. Seems creepy, even for that job.
After the Texas Tribune broke the news Monday night, Paxton rebutted some of the server’s account, contending that his wife drove him away was because “he perceived this person to be a threat because he was neither honest nor upfront about his intentions.” Then, he issued a vague threat by saying Herrera was “lucky this situation did not escalate further or necessitate force.”
Only the Paxtons and Herrera know what really happened. But if Paxton has had threats sufficient to make him fearful of someone clearly serving him a legal document when, after all, he is the attorney general, he either needs more security or another line of work.
If Herrera’s account is accurate, Paxton clearly knew what was happening once his wife spoke to the server. Typically, if someone is so afraid for their well-being while inside their home that they want to flee, they call law enforcement or demand the scary guy leave their private property. They don’t just drive away.
Herrera’s account rings more true. But whatever happened, the attorney general is an elected position with a bevy of important roles in the state. The people of Texas have put their trust in him to enact legal issues as necessary on behalf of millions of Texans. That includes receiving subpoenas for lawsuits.
Paxton’s a politician — and for the love of barbecue, they often can’t help themselves — but why does controversy constantly follow him? He needs to do his job and whine less. The constant turmoil is a stain on Texas and the conservative cause.