Last Wednesday the Texas capital city of Austin was in the deep freeze. A ferocious winter storm was battering the state and millions of residents were without electricity and potable running water. Grocery store shelves were bare. So that day, as Sen. Ted Cruz’s wife, Heidi, was planning her family’s trip to warm, sunny Cancun via group text, another Lone Star politician made an escape of his own.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, and his wife, state Sen. Angela Paxton (R), fled the miserable conditions in their hometown and flew north to Salt Lake City, leaving the people who voted them into office – who hired them as public servants – to figure out how to survive all on their own.
According a spokesperson for Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes (R), Paxton traveled to the Utah state capital and met at “various times” between Wednesday and Friday. Those meetings reportedly were for Paxton and Reyes to discuss “an antitrust lawsuit several states are pursuing against Google.” A spokesperson for Angela Paxton told the Dallas Morning News that the state senator joined her husband “on a previously planned trip to Utah which included meetings that benefit her efforts to promote human dignity and support law enforcement.”
Neither of the spokespeople for the Paxtons offered an explanation as to why their trips and meetings in Utah could not have been rescheduled or done virtually to allow them to remain in the state and help constituents deal with the deadly weather event. It was sunny and in the mid 30s during the Paxtons’ visit to Utah, which offers visitors some of the best skiing conditions anywhere in the U.S., while Texans literally were freezing to death in their homes.
Julián Castro (D), the former mayor of San Antonio and housing secretary under President Barack Obama, blasted Paxton and Cruz on Twitter.
So while Cruz abandoned Texas to hit the beach in Mexico, Texas AG Ken Paxton flew to Utah for a trip unrelated to the storm.
They don’t believe in governance, and couldn’t care less about the people they’re supposed to represent. https://t.co/0fg6jwqSeY
— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) February 22, 2021
Paxton is under indictment for felony securities fraud and several of his staffers last October accused him of bribery. Earlier this month, the Associated Press reported that the FBI was investigating his million-dollar Austin home as part of a probe based on those staffers’ allegations.