Paxton should be held accountable for actions

Alden Marshall

It’s a new week in Texas and Republicans are letting us down again — if you can even consider the fringe, Tea Party Attorney General Ken Paxton as part of that motley crew.

After a grand jury in Collin County indicted him on felony securities fraud last year, Paxton has been battling to have the charges dismissed. Earlier this month, he succeeded in having the civil suit against him dismissed. But Paxton will still have to appear in court in 2017 to defend himself against a felony on the same charges after his appeal was denied by the Texas Supreme Court. Ever since the news broke about Paxton’s new woes, he has been quick to dodge any character attacks and has even gone on the offensive, filing frivolous lawsuits despite the public attention on his private interest ties that would make Donald Trump’s worthy of sainthood.

In fact, you may be as surprised as I was to learn that Paxton has loaded up his clown car and is now in hot pursuit of the transparency that our government was founded on — the democracy that puts freedom in the hands of all the people and at the end of every checkout line. That’s right folks — our so highly esteemed top litigator is putting his law degree to great use, suing the city of Brownsville over plastic bags.

In 2011, Brownsville passed an ordinance that intended to dissuade the use of plastic bags that frequently pollute the environment and threaten our precious wildlife. That ordinance works to encourage a shift in consumer habits by imposing a one dollar fee at the register for customers who don’t have a reusable bag to carry their groceries. Aside from the fact that laws and ordinances similar to Brownsville’s have been proven to reduce litter, this lawsuit is just another example of Republicans overriding the local control they so often espouse to campaign their ways to the Capitol.

You would think that with an abysmal approval rating of 38 percent, Paxton would put a stop to his slimy deals and petty schoolyard tactics. But I guess after encouraging judges to disobey the law of the land last summer after the historic marriage equality ruling and launching a crusade against transgender protections, we just can’t expect our state’s highest office holders to not make a mockery of themselves and our great state.

It’s past time for Ken Paxton to stop hiding his shame, incompetence and petty politics behind the veil of plastic bags and vulnerable communities. It’s time for Paxton to face his fate in court.

I, for one, will be watching with a lot of popcorn that I carried home from the store in a reusable bag. And look on the bright side, Mr. Paxton. With these new ordinances come requirements for sturdier bags — bags that might actually be able to carry all the baggage you’ve scraped up over the years.

Marshall is a government freshman from Mabank. Follow him on Twitter @AldenMarshall.