EL PASO—Larry Blankenship resides in Democrat State Rep. Joe Moody’s house district. He said he called Moody’s office to register his opinion on the House Managers’ doxxing of Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.
Blankenship told Texas Scorecard about his conversation with Moody’s office on Wednesday. He asked for Moody’s personal address to make a point. The employee who answered the phone said she couldn’t give that information out.
“Exactly!” said Blankenship. “Then why did he and others dox Paxton?”
At this point, Blankenship said she hung up the phone.
Following the Senate’s acquittal of Paxton on all impeachment charges last month, the House Board of Impeachment Managers released a batch of documents to the public on October 3—including documents revealing the Paxton family’s personal address.
Multiple references to Paxton’s address in Austin were in the batch of documents: once as part of correspondence concerning work done on the house and another as part of Uber records, complete with GPS coordinates.
Later that same morning, as word began to spread about the doxxing, the webpage was suddenly taken down. Partially redacted versions of the documents were later posted but still showed the GPS coordinates of the Paxton home.
Matt Rinaldi, the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, noted that a new law went into effect last month making it a class B misdemeanor to maliciously post the address or phone number of an individual on the internet, and it could be punishable by up to six months in jail.
“The DA should just assume a crime occurred and charge the House managers, since it’s the job of the trial court to consider the evidence,” said Rinaldi, tongue-in-cheek referencing the House’s case against Paxton.
Reaction of Moody’s Office
Blankenship told Texas Scorecard that Thursday morning he received a phone call. He said it was from a special agent with the Texas Dept. of Public Safety, and it was about Blankenship’s call to Moody’s office.
Blankenship said he explained to the agent that he had done nothing illegal, and that he was not threatening Moody but rather registering his opinion with each House Impeachment Manager. Afterward, he said the agent began discussing harassment laws.
“Nobody’s harassing anybody,” Blankenship says he told the agent. “I called each one of them once, expressed my opinion about it and hung up.”
He then asked why the agent had called.
Blankenship says the agent told him that the employee “felt threatened.”
“It’s just a huge overreach and it does nothing but chill free speech,” he told Texas Scorecard. “Because now, the next time I start calling people, I’m gonna go ‘Am I on a list? Am I going to be, you know, tagged for harassment?’ And it’s very very chilling for free speech what they did.”
“I can’t believe that happened here in Texas,” Blankenship concluded.
Blankenship has since tried to meet with Moody’s office to clarify events, but he said he was told he couldn’t and not to call again.
Texas Scorecard sent a request for comment to both Rep. Moody’s office and DPS. No response was received before publication.