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The Mendoza Line: Ken Paxton accuses AOC and Beto of 'help gouging' during Texas freeze

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Help gougers: Texas AG Ken Paxton has accused AOC and Beto of “exorbitant and excessive fundraising" to help his constituents. - WIKIMEDIA COMMONS / DIMITRI RODRIGUEZ (LEFT) AND LUKE HAROLD (RIGHT)
  • Wikimedia Commons / Dimitri Rodriguez (left) and Luke Harold (right)
  • Help gougers: Texas AG Ken Paxton has accused AOC and Beto of “exorbitant and excessive fundraising" to help his constituents.
We understand that in the current political environment it can be really tough to tell the difference between real news stories and satire, which is precisely why we're letting you know that the Mendoza Line is a weekly work of satire.

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, and former U.S. Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke provided too much help to Texans suffering from the recent winter storm, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton alleges.

The Republican AG announced via press release that the duo should be charged with felony “help gouging,” adding that they engaged in “exorbitant and excessive fundraising” during the weather crisis.

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Paxton, who's vowed to keep Texas ideologically pure, dreamed up the offense after Ocasio-Cortez and O’Rourke raised more than $5 million for relief agencies to help victims of the Texas freeze. The duo also mobilized volunteers to do welfare checks on seniors while GOP leaders busily avoided the cold and accountability.

“Just like you can’t sell much-needed items at an exorbitant or excessive price after a disaster, you can’t raise much-needed assistance at an exorbitant or excessive level,” Paxton said. “You’re especially not allowed to do it if we can’t easily paint you as evil, liberal, socialist villains.”

Paxton was unable to file actual legal charges against the pair, since he was in Utah, where he lacks the authority to do so. His staff was without water or power, and those who were able to work let his calls go to voicemail.

Still, the AG figured he had a loophole to exploit.

“I thought Utah’s postal code, ‘UT,’ stood for the University of Texas,” he said. “I was like, ‘Wow! That’s convenient!’ I mean, it's at least as legally sound as the basis for my suit to throw out Joe Biden's election victory.”

Reached for comment, O’Rourke said he was still dismayed to think he lost his 2018 Senate race to someone as repugnant as Sen. Ted Cruz, who took his family to Cancún before being shamed into returning. Cruz beat O’Rourke by the smallest margin for a Republican in a Texas statewide race in 40 years: 50.9% to 48.3%.

“I honestly hope I can use my actions and Hispandering to regain some relevance and make a run for governor in 2022,” O’Rourke said. “If things go well, I hope to lose by 2% or less.”

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