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Ken Paxton would like to remind you that he really is running for re-election

We all understand that’s what this is about, right?

Best mugshot ever

Best mugshot ever

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Target this week that the company’s restroom policy could lead to criminal activity and demanded the retailer supply his office with its safety policies, stepping up his fight against transgender access to public accommodations of their choice.

In a letter laced with criticism of Target’s new policy allowing transgender people to use the bathroom best corresponding to his or her gender identity, the state’s top attorney asked the retail giant for a full text of safety procedures it will use to protect women and children from people who would use the company’s policy as a ruse for “nefarious purposes.”

“Regardless of whether Texas legislates on this topic, it is possible that allowing men in women’s restrooms could lead to criminal and otherwise unwanted activity,” read the one-page letter sent Tuesday to Target CEO Brian Cornell.

“Target, of course, is currently free to choose such a policy for its Texas stores,” Paxton wrote. “The voters in Houston recently repealed by a wide margin an ordinance that advanced many of the same goals as Target’s current policy.”


A spokesman for Equality Texas, an advocacy group seeking fair treatment for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Texans, said Paxton is “looking for a solution to a problem that does not exist.”

“People fear the unknown and people don’t know or understand transgender folks, so they use the transgender population, a marginalized population, as a scapegoat so that they can incite fear in other people,” said Lou Weaver, transgender coordinator for the group.

Weaver, identified as a female on his birth certificate, said he began using the men’s room when he was 17 because he looked too masculine.

“I don’t belong in a women’s restroom, ” he said. “I don’t look like I belong there; I don’t act like I belong there. I just don’t. They are not thinking about people like me.”

To be clear, Paxton’s missive carries the same legal weight as a letter to the editor, or one of my blog posts. I’m sure Paxton is aware of this, and I’m equally sure that Target wasn’t his intended audience. This is aimed directly at Republican primary voters, to make sure they know that even though Paxton is an accused felon, he’s also One Of Them, and he will stand tall for their right to harass insufficiently feminine women in public restrooms. What else do you need to know? The Press and the Current have more.

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  1. Bill Daniels says:

    I look at the election of Paxton a lot like the election of Obama. People didn’t know any better the first time. If Paxton gets re-elected, though, it will really be a stain on the state of Texas. He can’t get booted out soon enough for me.

  2. […] here and here for some background. This, again, is why Paxton is writing legally meaningless threat letters to Target about bathrooms. It’s all to keep his core supporters focused on the things they like, and not on these […]