State Sen. Paxton's Bill Would Empower Her Husband's Office

Barbara Schwarz
February 19, 2019 - 6:41 am
Texas Capitol Building

Credit: J.Burkett, 1080 KRLD

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MCKINNEY (1080 KRLD) - Freshman State Senator Angela Paxton of McKinney has filed legislation that would give the office of Attorney General the ability to exempt entrepreneurs from certain state regulations so they can market "innovative financial products or services." 

The Attorney General is her husband. Ken Paxton, who is under indictment for violating securities law. 

SMU political science professor Cal Jillson says the McKinney Republican seems to be trying to make the kinds of activities her husband was indicted for legal in the future.

"It looks like self-dealing.  It looks like she has taken personally the fact that her husband is in legal jeopardy and is dealing with precisely  those questions, which is I think deeply problematic."  And he says this comes off as naive.  "She should have political and legal advisors in her office who could tell her, if she does not already know, when she's about to step in a puddle."

He adds financial advisory regulation in this country is going in the direction of making advisors more responsible to their clients, where this bill would loosen them, and he does not think it will pass.   "I have heard people speculate that she may withdraw this bill in light of the negative comments and see if she can't get one of her fellow senators to introduce it under their name.  Whether anyone would be willing to do that, I don't know.  But she has bought herself a raft of trouble that she did not need in the opening weeks of her first legislative session."

Jillson says if the bill were to pass, it would only apply to future cases.  "If attorney general Paxton's case were ever to go to trial, jurors might look and say the stuff Paxton did years ago has now been made legal, so maybe he was wrongly accused.  So it could have some impact on his legal problems."