Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr have one thing in common: they both have increasingly lied to the public about their state and federal elections system being riddled with “voter fraud.” Both public officials have done so in a shameful effort to suppress non-white voter participation in the upcoming 2020 presidential election and corollary senatorial/congressional elections in Texas and throughout the nation—all with the specific intent of undermining the integrity of absentee and mail-in voting. The only significant difference between the two right-wing, unhinged politicos is that Paxton stands indicted in a securities fraud case and mired in allegations of bribery and official corruption.
The facts are these: between 2017 (President Trump’s first year in office) and 2019, there were fifteen cases of “voter fraud” in Texas, according to the Heritage Foundation, a conservative political and educational group whose primary mission is to promote conservative political policies. Twelve of those voters were still disqualified because of a felony criminal conviction.
No Fraud Found in Absentee Voting
Of these 15 cases, only three involved the “fraudulent use of absentee ballots.” None of these three cases involving the “fraudulent use of absentee ballots” resulted in the election results being overturned
Likewise, at the federal level, President Trump created what he dubbed a “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” in March of 2017. The commission, headed by a far-right-wing extremist from Kansas named Kris Kobach, held its first meeting in July 2017 and a second meeting in September 2017 before being summarily dissolved by the president in January 2018. Kobach didn’t find a single case of “voter fraud.” However, in October 2017, law enforcement authorities did find a cellphone of one of the commission’s researchers, Ronald Williams II, packed with child pornography, according to ProPublica.
And despite his repeated unprofessional public comments about voter fraud being prevalent in mail-in voting and despite making it easier for the Justice Department to conduct voter fraud investigation, Attorney General Barr can only mislead the American public about non-existent voter fraud issue. His department has not found a single prosecutable case of voter fraud during his tenure in office.
This is peculiar, to say the least, considering that roughly 113 million ballots were cast in the 2018 midterm elections. Not a single case of voter fraud could “the hounds of Barr” find. The best the hounds could come up with was to announce the investigation of nine discarded military absentee ballots accidentally thrown in the trash by a part-time postal worker in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, last month. The ensuing nearly month-long investigation into the Pennsylvania trash bins has thus far not produced a single indictment, although Barr’s hounds continue to sniff through the trash.
AG Paxton on Wild Goose Chase While Engaging in Massive Voter Suppression
Almost to the day that Barr’s Justice Department announced its investigation into the alleged Pennsylvania voter fraud investigation, Attorney General Paxton announced that he had filed 134 felony charges against Gregg County Commissioner Shannon Brown and three others in connection with an alleged “vote harvesting scheme” in a Democratic primary in 2018.
Attorney General Paxton, who has railed about fraud in absentee voting, could find only one case involving four elections officials in one Texas county dealing with fraud in mail-in ballots.
This puny and politically motivated indictment comes on the heels of Paxton’s ongoing legal efforts to stop Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins from sending mail-in ballots to nearly 2 million residents in this county.
Paxton and Barr are following the political instructions of what has become the Trump Party under the Mussolini-like leadership of President Trump, who has openly admitted to blocking some funding for the U.S. Postal Service in a raw and blatant political effort to stop mail-in voting.
And Texas Gov. Gregg Abbott on October 1, 2020, boarded Trump’s Mussolini train by issuing an executive order limiting absentee ballot drop off sites to one per county—a move designed to suppress non-white voter participation in the state’s five most populous counties: Harris, Dallas, Bexar, Tarrant, and Travis.
The Abbott voter suppression order, strongly endorsed by Attorney General Paxton, remained in effect until Friday, October 9, 2020, when U.S. District Court Judge Robert Pittman issued a 46-page ruling that enjoined the governor’s order and reinstated each county’s authority to designate their own number of dropbox sites. Judge Pittman found the governor’s order had nothing to do with “ballot security” but was rather designed to impose “disparate treatment” among voters; in other words, to suppress non-white voter participation.
Federal Courts OK Texas Voter Suppression
AG Paxton did not waste a moment. He mounted his Mussolini pony and rode straight up to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, a bastion of conservative political ideology and a freezer to the rule of law. Less than 24 hours later, the appeals court, at Paxton’s urging, lifted Judge Pittman’s ruling and gave Abbott’s voter suppression order the green light to remain in place.
In effect, the appeals court gave legal sanction to what is clearly an unvarnished Trump Party effort to suppress and limit non-white voter participation in the upcoming November 3, 2020 election.
Attorney General Paxton was elected to serve all the people in the State of Texas, including those who are not the same color as he. Non-whites in Texas outnumber whites by a rough margin of 16 million to 12 million. Yet the attorney general has consistently undertaken legal action to marginalize and suppress non-whites throughout the state. Remember, this is the Attorney General who is suing the federal government to overturn Obamacare, a move that would take away health insurance from 24 million people, mostly non-whites, across the nation. That’s right — at the height of a horrific coronavirus pandemic that has already killed nearly 220,000 people, mostly non-whites, — the Attorney General of Texas is suing to take away Americans’ healthcare.
The truth of the matter is this: the Trump Party—led in Texas by Gov. Gregg Abbott, Attorney General Ken Paxton, and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick—has carved out its own version of Lincoln’s (the father of the Republican Party) Gettysburg address: One God-fearing nation that is of white people, by white people, and for white people that shall never give up its absolute rule nor accept the equality of all people.