HOUSTON, Texas–Democrat Attorney General candidate Sam Houston (no relation to Texas’s founding president, governor, and senator) says Texas is spending too much money on border security. He also complained about money being spent by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defending the state’s voter ID and redistricting laws-or, as Sam Houston’s campaign spokesman Joe Cullar said in a response to a Breitbart Texas inquiry, “chasing political phantoms.”
According to the Victoria Advocate, Houston spoke to a group of supporters at the Tequila Bar in Victoria. “The federal government handles the border,” he said, “so why are we spending tax dollars on it when our schools are underfunded?”
In an interview with Breitbart Texas, Anthony Holm, a spokesman for State Senator Ken Paxton, says the Republican nominee for Attorney General took exception to these remarks. “Senator Paxton believes Texans deserve to have their state and federal laws enforced, including securing the border and the right to bear arms.”
In February, Joel Pollak of Breitbart News reported U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder’s interview with The New York Times in which Holder declared state attorneys general are not obligated to defend laws that they believe are discriminatory.
Breitbart Texas asked campaign spokesman Cullar if Mr. Houston subscribed to AG Holder’s philosophy of picking and choosing which state laws he would defend. Cullar did not respond directly to this question but instead responded generally: “The real issue here is that the Texas Attorney General’s office has been used to appeal to an incredibly narrow segment of voters. The AG’s office should focus on consumer protection, solutions to the underfunding of public schools, and the constitutional duties of the job-not chasing political phantoms.”
The Times said, “It is highly unusual for the United States attorney general to advise his state counterparts on how and when to refuse to defend state laws.”
Anthony Holm told Breitbart Texas, “The Texas Attorney General has a duty to fully enforce the laws, period. Our opponent appears to join President Obama and Nancy Pelosi in the misguided belief that liberal Democrats have the right to pick and choose which laws they personally like and which laws they’ll enforce. Obama, Pelosi, Eric Holder, and our Democrat opponent are simply wrong.”
“At both the state and federal levels,” Holm continued, “it’s the role of our elected representatives pass laws and the role of the executive branch to fully enforce the law-not pick and choose the ones they like.”
Houston’s comment about the border comes at a time when Breitbart Texas is reporting a massive surge in illegal immigration along the Texas/Mexico border, particularly in the Rio Grande Valley sector where President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security declared a “level 4 condition of readiness” because of the size and unmanageability of the surge.
In February, the Texas Tribune reported General Abbott’s “Securing Texans Plan” to create a “continuous surge” of law enforcement along the southern border by funding 1,000 new cops and millions of dollars in high-tech surveillance equipment. “We must do more to protect our border, going beyond sporadic surges,” Abbott said. “As governor I will almost double the spending for DPS border security. I’ll add more boots on the ground, more assets in the air and on the water, and deploy more technology and tools for added surveillance.”
Sam Houston says we should end the practice of suing the federal government and that he would defer his responsibility to keep Texans safe by leaving border security to the federal government.
In contrast with Sam Houston, Paxton told a large crowd of supporters who gathered last week to congratulate him on his runoff victory, “Above all, Texans have spoken loud and clear that Texans will govern Texas, and I am proud to be your fighter who will lead the way as your next attorney general. Fighting an oppressive federal government is a fight we must continue.”
The Houston campaign chose not to respond directly to Breitbart Texas’ s specific questions about the role of the Texas Attorney General’s Office in border security and in what respect has AG Abbott focused too much attention on defending the 2nd Amendment rights of Texans.
Bob Price is a staff writer and a member of the original Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX.