Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is back in office after fighting corruption accusations and surviving an impeachment hearing. He has now targeted many large banks, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, for breaking Texas law. The statute in question is anti-discrimination legislation that penalizes banks for declining to do business with gun firms, enacting environmental, social, and governance (ESG) standards, or refusing to do business with companies owned by Israelis.
“As Attorney General, my job is to uphold state law and ensure that Texas remains a friendly state for companies to do business—including those that produce the energy we depend on and the firearms that secure our safety and freedom. And given the recent brutal Hamas terrorist attacks against Israel, it is more important than ever to enforce public policy supportive of one of America’s closest allies and a beacon of freedom in the Middle East,” the letter reads.
Texas law prohibits any bank from treating gun companies any differently than any other company when underwriting municipal bonds in Texas. Because of this regulation, banks cannot refuse to do business with the firearms industry because they are opposed to the products. Anti-gun groups have put enormous pressure on large financial institutions to withdraw guns companies as customers.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) chastised Intuit, the developers of QuickBooks, earlier this month for discontinuing payroll services to gun manufacturers.
QuickBooks is the most popular accounting software for small and medium-sized enterprises. Under criticism from Senator Cruz, the financial firm rapidly reversed direction and issued a statement explaining why they planned to cut off services to the gun business.
According to Intuit, the decision was forced upon them by the banks that operate its backend. The business was eager to blame JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America. The two financial titans allegedly threatened Intuit into not doing business with the weapons industry. The firm only changed its tune after Sen. Cruz’s office launched an investigation.
“Governmental Entities should also consider other red flags. It is widely known in the public finance arena that my Public Finance Division has been reviewing the policies of JP Morgan and Bank of America as they relate to doing (or not doing) business with certain firearm entities. More recently, Intuit publicly reversed course from prohibiting firearm entities from using its software. According to Senator Ted Cruz, Intuit informed his office that JP Morgan and Bank of America had pressured it to adopt such anti-firearm-entity policies,” the letter reads.
In terms of ESG practices, AG Paxton also targets the Net Zero Banking Alliance, Institutional Shareholder Services, and Glass Lewis.
ESG policies are far-left ideals that prioritize social reasons and environmental concerns over fiduciary responsibilities to customers. ESG regulations have been utilized to direct money from investors to left-wing causes, although they represent a far lower return on investment (ROI) for their consumers.
“Moreover, governmental entities are not free to do business with firearm entity discriminators, energy company boycotters, or Israel boycotters merely because neither the Comptroller of Public Accounts nor the Attorney General has publicly designated them as such. Although Governmental Entities may not always be positioned to fully evaluate a company’s policies and practices, they may not turn a blind eye to publicly known conduct. When considering whether a company is an energy company boycotter, for instance, particular notice should be taken of whether the company is a member of the Net Zero Alliance or a signatory of any other similar entity that espouses a commitment to the furtherance of so-called Environmental, Social and Governance policies,” the letter reads.
Paxton also warns against financial firms joining in the boycott, divestment, and sanction (BDS) movement.
Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Talib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Cori Bush (D-MO) have all supported the BDS movement. The BDS campaign demands that banks refrain from doing business with Israel. Attorney General Paxton refers to Israel as “one of America’s closest allies and a beacon of freedom in the Middle East.”
Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar must act to divest the state from anti-gun corporations such as Citibank, Bank of America, and JP Morgan Chase. The only way to do this is for Texans to overwhelm the comptroller’s phone lines.
Glenn Hegar’s office number is (512) 463-4444.