One Would Think the Tea Party Would be Outraged by What the Texas AG is Said to Have Done

Texas Gov. Abbott, Attorney Gen. Paxton And Sen. Ted Cruz Address TX Federal Ruling Delaying Obama's Executive Action On Immigration

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton

The three-count felony indictment handed up by a grand jury in very-Republican Collin County against Attorney General Ken Paxton has sparked some wild conspiracy theories but yielded little, if any, consistency from some of Paxton’s fellow Tea Party patriots.

Employees of Tim Dunn’s Empower Texans, a self-proclaimed conservative group, have tried to make the case that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is somehow to blame for the legal problems Paxton now faces.

As Quorum Report publisher Harvey Kronberg has pointed out, this alleged swindling of investors amounts to the same kind of shenanigans that helped give rise to the Tea Party in the first place back in 2008 following the collapse of Lehman Brothers and the subsequent Wall Street bailouts.

What’s gotten less attention is the company at the heart of the Paxton indictment, Servergy, received government economic incentives that are strongly opposed by Sen. Konni Burton, R-Colleyville, and others who claim to be as conservative as they come.

Sen. Ted Cruz – one of Paxton’s biggest supporters and the man who more than anyone put his political capital behind him in the GOP primary runoff against Rep. Dan Branch – regularly rails against government interference in the marketplace.


Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on the floor of the United States Senate.

In his crusade against the Export-Import Bank, a top priority of many Texas employers, Cruz has called the Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell a liar and has repeatedly used the word “cartel” to describe lobbyists who represent job creators in his home state and elsewhere.

At the time Paxton was rounding up investors for Servergy, allegedly without disclosing his financial interest in the firm, the company was getting government incentives to move to his hometown. Among the details of Paxton’s situation is the fact that Servergy received rental assistance from the City of McKinney so that it could relocate to North Texas from California.

The Dallas Morning News reported on July 15:

“The flow of cash from the McKinney Economic Development Corp. into Servergy — recorded in the city’s check registers — was first noted by McKinney Watchdog, a political action committee.

In 2011, Servergy moved from Silicon Valley to McKinney, where it employs 22 people. The company sought help through the Emerging Technology Program, which offers McKinney startups reimbursements for up to 50 percent of their rent payments. Servergy asked for help again in 2014.”

Sen. Burton made it a point to criticize government economic incentives extended to another better-known tech firm, Facebook, as the social media giant made the decision to locate a coveted data center in her Tarrant County district. In this op-ed, Burton argued that tax dollars should not be thrown to big business.

Burton has stood by what she said despite business leaders around the state expressing shock to hear a sitting Texas State Senator actively argue against a project that is bringing high-quality jobs into her district. “I’ve never heard anything like it from a Republican,” said one executive in DFW. “We must have reached some turning point.”

Many of those same folks in the business community are understandably unaware of the way in which scorecards created and promoted by Empower Texans are reverse-engineered with the goal of aiding GOP politicians who have been adversarial toward Speaker Straus. Sen. Burton and AG Paxton have been beneficiaries of those tactics.

Paxton was also the recipient of at least $1.4 million in Empower Texans political money in the form of a $1 million loan and $400,000 cash as he ran for the Republican nomination.

As far as we know, Paxton is the only one of their allies who possibly gained from government economic incentives that went to a company from which he stood to profit financially.

If consistency or conservatism were the priorities of Dunn, his spokesman Michael Quinn Sullivan, and Sen. Burton they would likely be among the loudest critics of Servergy’s rental assistance.

But the name of the game for this particular cartel is control, not consistency.

Copyright August 10, 2015, Harvey Kronberg,, All rights are reserved. Reprinted with permission. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.