After California AG Bans Travel to Texas, Ken Paxton Gets Passive-Aggressive

The California attorney general appears to be the kind of guy who believes in the old trope that actions speak louder than words: Instead of just condemning Texas's anti-LGBT adoption law, Attorney General Xavier Becerra banned state and public university employees from traveling to Texas on any state-sponsored trips.

Becerra rescinded the employees' travel privileges to the Lone Star State after Texas Governor Greg Abbott and the state's Legislature passed a law that will allow adoption agencies to discriminate against prospective LGBT parents based on "sincerely held religious beliefs." Becerra has the right to do it based on California's own anti-discrimination legislation that passed in January, allowing him to suspend travel to discriminatory states.

"While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back," Becerra said. "That's why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it."

Friday morning, in a completely unrelated coincidence, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton released a report showing that, of all the people who relocated to Texas in 2015, more came from California than any other state, with 65,546 transplants. In fact, Paxton notes in a press release, California led the country with the most people leaving the state. (Of course, never mind the fact that California has the highest state population in the country by a landslide, with more than 39 million people.)

It also just so happens that, almost every single day, Paxton coincidentally has been talking to people who leave California for Texas.

“The data in this report came as no surprise to Texans, especially those who have transplanted from California,” Paxton said. “I talk to people almost every day who made the trek from California to Texas, and without fail they tell me their move is due to either greater job opportunities, much lower-priced housing, an escape from a left-coast political climate or just a better quality of culture and life.”

The report by the Texas Realtors Association was published in January, but Paxton, as busy as he is being the state's top-most law enforcement officer while fighting felony charges, must have forgotten about it until now.
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Meagan Flynn is a staff writer at the Houston Press who, despite covering criminal justice and other political squabbles in Harris County, drinks only one small cup of coffee per day.
Contact: Meagan Flynn