The State of Texas: October 22, 2015
Paxton recuses himself to avoid a conflict of interest, and an 800-square mile ranch is up for sale.
Video of the Day
We have plenty of characters in Texas, and thanks to the Internet they can share their special strangeness with the world. Long story short, meet Fort Worth lawyer Bryan E. Wilson, whose commercial is as wonderful as it is indescribable. Just watch:
Recusal — Ken Paxton’s work load got a tad bit lighter when the Attorney General recused himself from working on specific cases and on particular subjects. The move isn’t part of some fall break, but rather an attempt to avoid any conflict of interest while Paxton faces securities fraud charges. Paxton’s office said he is “not participating in matters involving the State Securities Board, Texas Ethics Commission and law firms or lawyers representing him in the criminal case,” the Austin American-Statesman writes. “Paxton said he was delegating his authority on cases in which he has an ‘actual or perceived’ conflict of interest or when there is ‘even the appearance of impropriety.'” A spokesperson said “Paxton is following recusal procedures commonly used by government and private lawyers to avoid conflicts of interest,” calling it common practice.
Just Do It — Even if the Longhorns end up with a losing season, they’ll at least be well compensated for it. “Officials have reached a 15-year agreement with Nike in what is expected to be the richest shoe and apparel deal in college sports,” according to the Statesman. “The contract’s total value is expected to approach $200 million, one source said, but it would certainly be ‘higher than Michigan.’ The Wolverines signed a 15-year deal with Nike this summer worth an estimated $169 million. At the time, it was widely hailed as the biggest deal in college sports.” The Longhorns merchandising prowess shouldn’t be too surprisingly to anyone, seeing as the they “have been the No. 1 seller of T-shirts, hats and other merchandise for nine straight years.” If the deal is closed, the Longhorns would just need approval by the Board of Regents. So here’s hoping Wallace Hall doesn’t have a vendetta against the football program as well.
Ka-Ching Ranch — It’s not quite King Ranch, but there’s a massive, 800-square mile slice of Texas heaven northwest of Dallas that could be yours for a mere $725 million. The Los Angeles Times has a fun look at Waggoner Ranch, apparently “the biggest American ranch ever put on the block,” which isn’t hard to believe seeing as it’s “larger than Los Angeles and New York City combined” and sits in no less than six counties. What’s more, “the 165-year-old ranch boasts a staff of 120, lakes, rivers, more than 100 properties, 30,000 acres of arable land, 1,000 oil wells, 500 quarter horses and 7,500 cattle, branded with the ranch’s signature DDD.” Exciting as all that is, “it’s unclear how much the ranch could change with the sale. Commercial hunting has never been allowed, and only about 10% of the land has been explored for oil. It never developed the corporate branding of the famed King Ranch in southern Texas.” Potential buyers must submit about $15 million up front and the Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty ranch realtor handling Waggoner said he’s “looking for a buyer who is ‘an iconic person, a land steward, somebody who will continue the lure and the [ranch’s] legacy.'”