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Lone Star Project Report

Ken Paxton Voted for the Law He Violated

Paxton voted “Yea” on securities law but “Nay” on obeying it

There’s a reason Ken Paxton’s aide “physically blocked” a reporter from approaching him to ask a question regarding his violation of Texas securities laws. Not only is there overwhelming evidence that he committed a third degree felony under Texas law, a review of Paxton’s legislative record shows that he voted for the very same criminal statute under which he will now likely be prosecuted.

Paxton voted for the law he violated

Demonstrating arrogance, hypocrisy, ignorance—or all three—Paxton violated laws he had voted for in the Legislature just months earlier.

  • Prior to being elected to the State Senate in 2013, Paxton served in the Texas State House from 2003 through 2012. During Paxton’s first term in the State House during the 2003 Legislative Session, he voted for SB 1060, which is the statute that made his improper solicitations illegal under Texas law.
  • During the 2011 Legislative Session, while still in the State House, Paxton voted for HB 2342 which clarified the penalty for these types of violations as third degree felonies punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Paxton’s violations of law are straight-forward

Paxton can’t count on being able to duck reporters and dodge questions indefinitely. When his actions are broken down and stripped of rhetoric, violations of law are obvious.

  • In 2004, 2005, and again in 2012, Paxton solicited clients to use MCM (Mowery Capital Management, LLC) as their investment adviser.
  • During this time, Paxton held office as a state representative, and later a state senator, representing an area in the DFW metroplex. His solicitations likely took place in Travis County, Dallas County, Collin County and perhaps other counties.
  • On April 30, 2014, Paxton swore to and signed a disciplinary order by the Securities Commissioner of the State of Texas in which he admitted soliciting potential clients for MCM (Disciplinary Order No. IC14-CAF-03).
  • MCM was registered with the Securities Commissioner as an investment adviser during the years at issue, but Paxton failed to register as their representative as required under Texas law (Tex. Civ. Stat. Art. 581-12.B).
  • Under the Texas Securities Act, Paxton can be charged with a third degree felony (Tex. Civ. Stat. Art. 581-29.I). The Act states, “Any person who shall render services as an investment adviser or an investment adviser representative without being registered as required by this Act shall be deemed guilty of a felony...”
  • A formal complaint by highly respected nonpartisan watchdog organization, Texans for Public Justice, has already been filed with the Travis County District Attorney.

Bottom Line

Barely a year after entering the Legislature in 2003 and voting for a bill to criminalize working as a paid investment adviser representative without registering with the Texas Securities Commissioner, Ken Paxton solicited clients for an investment firm and did not register. In 2012, only a year after voting to make these kinds of actions a third degree felony, Paxton again solicited investors without registering. Ken Paxton is damned by the very statements that he swore to, signed and provided to the Texas Securities Commissioner. His conviction of a felony and his disqualification to serve as Texas Attorney General are more an issue of “when” than “if.”