AUSTIN, Texas — Earlier this week, indicted Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced he is refusing to release records of ERCOT’s communications during February’s winter storm — including emails, texts, and phone call records between officials.
Texas is already reeling from last month’s news that the real death count from the storm is nearly four times the previous official number, with more than 700 lives lost during the crisis. Those deaths were preventable. However, instead of doing their jobs and keeping Texans safe, Republican officials — including failed Gov. Greg Abbott and Paxton himself — watched on, did nothing, and allowed Texans to die. Now, Paxton is keeping Texans from finding out exactly what happened that led to this catastrophe — and exactly how the decisions that caused the disaster were made. This is a coverup.
However, this despicable decision is far from the first of its type, from an Attorney General who has basically written the book on coverups, deceptive practices, withholding information, and juggling being an elected official with being under indictment for fraud. For this week’s Throwback Thursday, we would like to remind reporters that the dangerous, disgraced Ken Paxton:
- Suppressed records from public view earlier this year when he refused to release emails and texts associated with his participation in the January 6 Trump rally in D.C.
- Has been under indictment for securities fraud since 2015
- Has been under FBI investigation over abuse of office
- Gave a cushily-paid job to a political donor while under that same FBI investigation
- Fired or saw the resignation of seven of his senior aides for whistleblowing on alleged criminal activity by Paxton
- Skipped town to Utah during February’s winter storm catastrophe
- Did exactly nothing to help Texans recover from the crisis or fix the grid to prevent a further disaster — and is now attempting to hide the truth behind the catastrophe from Texans.
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa issued the following statement:
“Texas Republicans like Greg Abbott and Ken Paxton did nothing to protect us from February’s winter storm, and because of their failures, more than 700 people are dead. Now, Paxton is withholding records of conversations between ERCOT officials during the storm.
“Paxton is trying to hide the truth from Texans, but we already know that the blame for this disaster lies squarely with Texas Republicans. Abbott and Paxton had a whole week’s warning to prepare for this storm and save lives. Instead, they did nothing. Texas Republican politicians do not care about Texans. They made that abundantly clear when they abandoned us during the winter storm, and even clearer when they wasted the entire spring legislative session without fixing the grid. Texas deserves leaders, but as long as Republicans are in power, we will be stuck fending for ourselves. Democrats are organizing in every corner of the state to defeat Abbott and Paxton in 2022, and finally deliver the strong leadership Texans deserve.”