State Rep. Ann Johnson Is Establishment & By The Book--Still She's Accused Of Criminal Acts By Texas AG
Ann Johnson is the Texas Democratic State Representative for District 134. She's the State Rep. of the Houston Democracy Project.
I know her to an extent. She's a decent person. I think she's honest, smart and tough-minded.
(Above is a photo of Ann from her Facebook page.)
Ann is very connected to the local political establishment and is someone who wants bipartisanship to work. She believes in our systems.
From conversations I've had with Ann and from seeing seen her speak at Democratic events, I know she is concerned about threats to democracy in Texas and the nation.
She balances her concerns that our politics are off the rails, with belief that operating competently and honestly within conventional channels will lead to outcomes that preserve a functioning politics.
Ann was one of the 12 Texas House Managers of the recent to effort to impeach corrupt and horrible Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
After the Texas Senate voted to keep Mr. Paxton in office, the impeachment managers released additional documents relating to the trial. These were facts and documents not used in the Senate trial.
Attorney General Paxton is asserting the newly released material violated Texas law and says he is filing criminal complaints against the 12 impeachment managers in their home counties.
Here is what it says in the Texas Tribune:
"In a statement Monday, Paxton accused the House impeachment managers of violating a new state law with an Oct. 2 release of documents related to the case. The new legislation cited by Paxton prohibits posting an individual’s personal information such as a home address or telephone number with the intent to cause harm to that individual or their family......House impeachment manager Rep. Andrew Murr, R-Junction, said in a statement that Paxton's attack was a form of retaliation against people he deems his enemies. He suggested Paxton should "stop trying to harass legislators" and instead focus on the attorney general's office."
It might all be bluster by Mr. Paxton. But on the other hand, Mr. Paxton is the top law enforcement officer in Texas and an ally of Republican 2024 frontrunner Donald Trump. His threats can't be simply dismissed.
Ann plays by the rules and does things by the book. Yet here she is with the Attorney General of Texas accusing her of criminal acts.
This type thing is just why I recently praised Houston's West Street Recovery non-profit for issuing a statement about the State of Georgia's prosecution efforts against opponents of Atlanta's Cop City police training facility project. Georgia is seeking to jail people who took part in bail funds for arrested anti-Cop City demonstrators or who in some cases just seem to have written anti-police graffiti.
Officials like Mr. Paxton who have little commitment to democracy, will expand the reach of selective interpretations of the law to harass and imprison people. This extended authoritarian reach might be applied to protestors & it might be applied to opposition-party elected officials.
Nobody is safe. We must look out for each other We must act with courage and imagination in what at home and abroad is a worsening climate for freedom.
The Houston Democracy Project works daily to make democracy a top issue in 2023 Houston politics and to inspire, organize and strengthen pro-democracy coalitions in Houston and Harris County.
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I'm Neil Aquino