Video edited by Josh Hirschfeld-Kroen
More than one and a half years after the deadly power grid failure that knocked out electricity for millions of Texans and resulted in 700 deaths, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton still has not held anyone accountable for the catastrophe. Meanwhile, Paxton has raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions those same companies who caused the disaster. Rochelle Garza, the Democrat running against Paxton, is pledging to investigate Texas’ main power grid operator and hold those responsible for the outage accountable if elected in November. Below is a full transcript of the video.
[News Clip]: It’s easy to forget what happened back in February…
[News Clip]: February 2021, winter storm…
[News Clip]: Dangerously unprepared power grid buckled under the chill.
[Dad, filming TikTok of kids bundled up by fire]: We’re down to the last piece of wood. We need some help.
Rochelle Garza: It was a really traumatic experience for a lot of Texans. People are angry and upset, when they think about what happened, and they think about it happening again. Because it is a looming thing for us.
[News Clip]: The question is, has anything actually changed?
[News Clip]: We’re told to leave it to market participants to solve, and they keep failing us.
Rochelle: Nothing has been done. Ken Paxton, who has the power of the attorney general’s office, has not held anyone accountable for the financial ruin that Texans have experienced. That is not something that I would allow to happen.
Rochelle Garza is running to unseat Texas AG Ken Paxton.
Rochelle: I’m Rochelle Garza, I’m your democratic nominee for attorney general. I am running against criminally indicted Ken Paxton.
Rochelle: Our Republican leadership was really nowhere to be found during the crisis.
Rochelle: Ken Paxton left the state of Texas, during a crisis, where Texans are dying and desperate for help from their government.
[Gov. Greg Abbott, ABC ]: ERCOT stands for Electric Reliability Council of Texas. And they showed that they were not reliable.
Rochelle: No one was held accountable for what happened with the power grid failure. ERCOT was not forced to weatherize the power grid. They should have weatherized it in the first place. They did not.
Rochelle: The power companies that made money off of this, that are now forcing that cost onto Texas consumers, they’re not being held accountable either.
[News Clip]: The cost each and every one of us will be shelling out to clean up the 10.5 billion dollars worth of financial wreckage resulting from our government’s unforced error…
Robert Bryce: The punchline here is that ratepayers are gonna have to repay that sum, of course with interest, over the next 30 years. And it amounts to about $850 per residential customer in the state.
Instead of holding power to account, Ken Paxton was busy abusing his power.
Rochelle: He’s under FBI investigation for bribery. He may lose his law license because he tried to overturn the 2020 election. And he’s been under criminal indictment, for more than 7 years, for specifically defrauding his clients. If that’s how he treats his clients as a lawyer, imagine how he treats Texans.
Rochelle: No regular Texan would be able to get away with that. 83% of cases like his are resolved within one year. And he’s been able to avoid trial for 7. He’s corrupt.
Ken Paxton has deep ties to the companies responsible for the 2021 power disaster.
Paxton has received at least $272,615 from ERCOT member companies.
Rochelle: I’m accountable to the people of Texas, not to my donors, like Ken Paxton is. I wanna make sure that we’re protecting Texas consumers and have accountability for what happened with the power grid failure. Because we’re all feeling it in our pockets.
Rochelle: There isn’t a single person that I’ve talked to that hasn’t seen an extreme electricity bill. Like more than 500 dollars. I wanna make sure I’m standing up for every single Texan.
Rochelle: I am here to answer to all of you. Not like Ken Paxton, because we know he only answers to himself.
Rochelle: He is dangerous for our state. I am within two points of unseating him. This is the closest statewide race the Democrats have in Texas. We have a real opportunity to win. And we’re gonna get it done. We’re gonna win in November.