Promoted from the Ricochet Member Feed by Editors Created with Sketch. Rick Perry Indicted

 

rickperryglasses

Hot off the wire from the Associated Press:

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday for allegedly abusing the powers of his office by carrying out a threat to veto funding for state prosecutors investigating public corruption — making the possible 2016 presidential hopeful his state’s first indicted governor in nearly a century.

A special prosecutor spent months calling witnesses and presenting evidence that Perry broke the law when he promised publicly to nix $7.5 million over two years for the public integrity unit run by the office of Travis County Democratic District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Lehmberg was convicted of drunken driving, but refused Perry’s calls to resign.

Perry’s general counsel, Marry Anne Wiley, defended the governor’s action.

“The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution,” she said. “We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”

I am not a lawyer, and I assume there are Texas-based attorneys amongst the members of Ricochet, so I will let them address the legal details of what is going on here.

My quick take: this is an outrage. Those of us who are native Texans of a certain age will remember the false indictments brought against then-Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison in 1993 and 1994 by Travis County prosecutors, all of which were thrown out of court. It is, yet again, an instance of Democrats trying to criminalize political disagreement, revealing the essentially Stalinist attitude that so many in that party take toward dealing with their political opponents.

While I often give the Republican Party a hard time in my comments and Member Feed posts, this particular matter underlines why I so despise the Democratic Party and have never voted for anyone associated with it.

What say you?

There are 63 comments.

  1. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Let’s not forget Tom DeLay.

    • #1
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:06 PM PDT
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  2. Little Ricky Cobden Inactive

    The Travis county grand jury is out of control and political. In Harris county (Houston) the grand juries are also out of control though not nakedly political. Both are a stain and a blemish on our great state.

     http://bigjollypolitics.com/2014/08/15/harris-county-grand-jury-system-needs-reform/

    • #2
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:10 PM PDT
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  3. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jimmy Carter:

    Let’s not forget Tom DeLay.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    It’s getting tougher every day not to hate Democrats. Really, their worst impulses have been unleashed since 2008.

    • #3
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:13 PM PDT
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  4. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    The only Democrats you can trust are dead ones, and even then they’ll still vote.

    • #4
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:23 PM PDT
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  5. Limestone Cowboy Member
    Limestone Cowboy Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Might be a good thing for Perry…. here’s a possible campaign line.

    “I don’t think that abusive drunk prosecutors are the best people to run a “Public Integrity Unit”. Apparently my opponents don’t agree.” 

    And get Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) on the record. 

    • #5
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:23 PM PDT
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  6. harrisventures Inactive

    Rick Perry just got indicted because he is a ham sandwich. No, that can’t be right, maybe it was because he is an effective Republican Governor. First he threatened to veto funds for Ethics department run by the admitted and convicted DWI DA who refused to resign after her conviction. Then he actually vetoed the funds. The reason she refused to resign was because, you know, Democrat!

    • #6
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:26 PM PDT
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  7. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Am I to understand that they’re charging him with a felony for issuing a veto? Seriously?

    Isn’t a governors veto power pretty much unquestionable? He can veto a bill for any reason he chooses?

    This seems insane to me.

    • #7
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:44 PM PDT
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  8. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Wouldn’t it be just great if Gov. Perry could/would pre-pardon Himself?

    • #8
    • August 15, 2014, at 6:49 PM PDT
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  9. Susan in Seattle Member
    Susan in Seattle Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    When I read about this earlier today, what you’ve written here is what came to mind:

    “My quick take: this is an outrage. <snip> It is, yet again, an instance of Democrats trying to criminalize political disagreement, revealing the essentially Stalinist attitude that so many in that party take toward dealing with their political opponents.”

    Gobsmacking to say the least. Thank you for posting this.

    • #9
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:01 PM PDT
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  10. EThompson Inactive

    It appears as if somebody is afraid of Perry’s future political ambitions. Romney was victimized in a more nuanced manner when Broadway produced The Book of Mormon in 2010.

    • #10
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:11 PM PDT
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  11. Lash LaRoche Inactive
    Lash LaRoche

    EThompson:

    It appears as if somebody is afraid of Perry’s future political ambitions. Romney was victimized in a more nuanced manner when Broadway produced The Book of Mormon in 2010.

    I dare the smart-asses who wrote that play to write a similar one about Islam.

    • #11
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:22 PM PDT
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  12. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Miffed White Male:

    Am I to understand that they’re charging him with a felony for issuing a veto? Seriously?

    Isn’t a governors veto power pretty much unquestionable? He can veto a bill for any reason he chooses?

    This seems insane to me.

    Obviously, this is awful and unjust, and Perry should be cleared, but I thought that it would be helpful to outline what the case is about. 

     There are two counts. The first is that he committed an abuse of his official capacity.
    The statute there says:

    (a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:

    […..]

    (2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.

    The argument is that Perry misused the money to harm the DA and the PIU. I’m pretty sure that the latter argument fails, but the former may survive a motion to dismiss on the grounds outlined in count two (it is possible that, while defunding her job would be legitimate, defunding her so that she is forced to resign could be a problem).

    • #12
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:24 PM PDT
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  13. Jules PA Member

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:

    It appears as if somebody is afraid of Perry’s future political ambitions. Romney was victimized in a more nuanced manner when Broadway produced The Book of Mormon in 2010.

    I dare the smart-asses who wrote that play to write a similar one about Islam.

     tangent to this thread: did you see it? I never saw it because I felt like on some level it was just an in-your-face-opportunity to be blasphemous. I never really thought too much of it as politics, but now that you mention it, E, it rings true.

    • #13
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:27 PM PDT
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  14. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Helpfully, the definition of “misuse” seems relatively narrow, although hopefully we’ll get a Texas lawyer on to tell us the case law. Specifically, 

    (2) “Misuse” means to deal with property contrary to:
    (A) an agreement under which the public servant holds the property;(B) a contract of employment or oath of office of a public servant;
    (C) a law, including provisions of the General Appropriations Act specifically relating to government property, that prescribes the manner of custody or disposition of the property; or
    (D) a limited purpose for which the property is delivered or received.

    The indictment doesn’t cite a law being broken, and I don’t see how D would apply; MWM’s point about the broad nature of veto authorities seems sound.

    • #14
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:32 PM PDT
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  15. Tuck Inactive

    He’s accused of committing a felony for threatening to do a lawful thing: to veto spending (which he is allowed to do in Texas, apparently).

    It’s an outrage: the Dems are just looking to tarnish his name. First Walker, then Christie, now Perry

    “A Travis County grand jury Friday indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two charges related to his effort last year to force District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign after her drunken driving arrest.

    Grand jurors charged Perry, 64, with abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony….

    “…The indictment stems from Perry’s threat last summer to withhold $7.5 million in state money from Lehmberg’s office unless she step down – a threat he later carried out by vetoing an appropriation in the state budget.

    “Mary Anne Wiley, General Counsel for Perry, said in a statement following the indictment: “The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution. We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.”…”

    “…It is beyond ridiculous that Travis County is pursuing the governor, after letting the seriously drunk, police-disrespecting DA stay in office.”

    That’s the Democratic party in a nutshell: corrupt to the core, and willing to use any tool to stay in power.

    Let’s hope it’s quick.

    • #15
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:38 PM PDT
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  16. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Count Two says that he attempted to coerce a public servant (the DA), to resign, through threats to defund her. The question there seems like one of Texas Constitutional Law; does the DA come under the Governor? If so, then Count Two seems as frivolous as Count One, since the governmental exception (c:) should apply. 

    Sec. 36.03. COERCION OF PUBLIC SERVANT OR VOTER. (a) A person commits an offense if by means of coercion he:

    (1) influences or attempts to influence a public servant in a specific exercise of his official power or a specific performance of his official duty or influences or attempts to influence a public servant to violate the public servant’s known legal duty; or

    (2) influences or attempts to influence a voter not to vote or to vote in a particular manner.

    (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless the coercion is a threat to commit a felony, in which event it is a felony of the third degree.

    (c) It is an exception to the application of Subsection (a)(1) of this section that the person who influences or attempts to influence the public servant is a member of the governing body of a governmental entity, and that the action that influences or attempts to influence the public servant is an official action taken by the member of the governing body. For the purposes of this subsection, the term “official action” includes deliberations by the governing body of a governmental entity.

    • #16
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:39 PM PDT
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  17. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:

    It appears as if somebody is afraid of Perry’s future political ambitions. Romney was victimized in a more nuanced manner when Broadway produced The Book of Mormon in 2010.

    I dare the smart-asses who wrote that play to write a similar one about Islam.

     To be fair, the guys who wrote the play kind of have written similar stuff about Islam; Team America and several South Park episodes were pretty strong on the issue, while the BoM is less hostile than one might imagine. 

    • #17
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:42 PM PDT
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  18. billy Inactive

    Western Chauvinist:

    Jimmy Carter:

    Let’s not forget Tom DeLay.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    It’s getting tougher every day not to hate Democrats. Really, their worst impulses have been unleashed since 2008.

     Criminalizing politics is becoming a national trend. Prosecutors in Wisconsin have taken it to a whole new level.

    • #18
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:43 PM PDT
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  19. Tuck Inactive

    This is the same office that brought the charges against DeLay. Hopefully Republicans learned something from that: we can’t let crooked Democrats tarnish our strongest politicians.

    • #19
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:49 PM PDT
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  20. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    billy:

    Western Chauvinist:

    Jimmy Carter:

    Let’s not forget Tom DeLay.

    Exactly what I was thinking.

    It’s getting tougher every day not to hate Democrats. Really, their worst impulses have been unleashed since 2008.

    Criminalizing politics is becoming a national trend. Prosecutors in Wisconsin have taken it to a whole new level.

     I don’t think Wisconsin is worse than DeLay was and, although both are terrible, we’re nowhere near as bad as the constant abuse of Berlusconi, whose decade of power saw him in court one day in three (while simultaneously having to run a country through financial crisis, war, and other things one might have thought it would be helpful to let him focus on). 

    I say this not to defend the left, but to remind people of the stakes if we fail to volunteer, donate, and campaign to protect America from these kinds of abuses. Things can get a lot worse. 

    • #20
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:49 PM PDT
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  21. Lash LaRoche Inactive
    Lash LaRoche

    James Of England:

    Mike LaRoche:

    EThompson:

    It appears as if somebody is afraid of Perry’s future political ambitions. Romney was victimized in a more nuanced manner when Broadway produced The Book of Mormon in 2010.

    I dare the smart-asses who wrote that play to write a similar one about Islam.

    To be fair, the guys who wrote the play kind of have written similar stuff about Islam; Team America and several South Park episodes were pretty strong on the issue, while the BoM is less hostile than one might imagine.

    Oh, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were behind that? Then I retract my dare, for I remember them going hard after Islam in South Park. Too bad the management at Comedy Central wimped out and suppressed the episode in question.

    • #21
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:52 PM PDT
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  22. Tuck Inactive

    Here’s the leading Texas Democrat in question…

    “Video: Jailers had to restrain Lehmberg”

    • #22
    • August 15, 2014, at 7:54 PM PDT
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  23. Doctor Bass Monkey Inactive

    Tuck:

    Here’s the leading Texas Democrat in question…

    “Video: Jailers had to restrain Lehmberg”

     Classy broad

    • #23
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:00 PM PDT
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  24. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Mike LaRoche:

    James Of England:

    Mike LaRoche:
    Oh, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were behind that? Then I retract my dare, for I remember them going hard after Islam in South Park. Too bad the management at Comedy Central wimped out and suppressed the episode in question.

    Although I think that BoM took a long standing tradition of Matt and Trey affectionately ribbing the LDS (going all the way back to Cannibal! The Musical) a little too far, so I don’t plan on seeing it, there are conservatives, Mormons, and Romney supporters who have raved about it. I’m personally fond of this song, which I think is unusually good at describing the way that we mentally construct paradises based on our own environment, but which also makes it clear that her view of the US as an earthly paradise is essentially sound.

    • #24
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:07 PM PDT
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  25. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Whiskey Sam:

    Tuck:

    Here’s the leading Texas Democrat in question…

    “Video: Jailers had to restrain Lehmberg”

    Classy broad

     The degree to which the video is compelling is extremely helpful, but while the Democrats are deeply unethical, I can’t pretend that I don’t feel miserable about this. Many millions of Americans and, if Perry does well in the primaries, even more foreigners, will only hear this story as “Perry shut down an anti-corruption drive”. Absolutely horrible for us; recall the enormous impact of the DeLay case on the 2006 elections and shudder at the reminder of the success that evil tactics can enjoy. 

    • #25
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:14 PM PDT
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  26. billy Inactive

    James Of England:

     

    Although I think that BoM took a long standing tradition of Matt and Trey affectionately ribbing the LDS (going all the way back to Cannibal! The Musical) a little too far, so I don’t plan on seeing it, there are conservatives, Mormons, and Romney supporters who have raved about it. I’m personally fond of this song, which I think is unusually good at describing the way that we mentally construct paradises based on our own environment, but which also makes it clear that her view of the US as an earthly paradise is essentially sound.

     I thought their South Park episode on LDS showed a particular affection for Mormons, while at the same time doing as they do with every other institution, mocking them mercilessly.

    • #26
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:16 PM PDT
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  27. Jules PA Member

    James Of England:

    Mike LaRoche:

    James Of England:

    Mike LaRoche:Oh, Trey Parker and Matt Stone were behind that? Then I retract my dare, for I remember them going hard after Islam in South Park. Too bad the management at Comedy Central wimped out and suppressed the episode in question.

    Although I think that BoM took a long standing tradition of Matt and Trey affectionately ribbing the LDS (going all the way back to Cannibal! The Musical) a little too far, so I don’t plan on seeing it, there are conservatives, Mormons, and Romney supporters who have raved about it. I’m personally fond of this song, which I think is unusually good at describing the way that we mentally construct paradises based on our own environment, but which also makes it clear that her view of the US as an earthly paradise is essentially sound.

     Thanks for the info, JoE. 

    • #27
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:21 PM PDT
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  28. billy Inactive

    James Of England:

    billy:

    Western Chauvinist:

     

    Criminalizing politics is becoming a national trend. Prosecutors in Wisconsin have taken it to a whole new level.

    I don’t think Wisconsin is worse than DeLay was and, although both are terrible, we’re nowhere near as bad as the constant abuse of Berlusconi, whose decade of power saw him in court one day in three (while simultaneously having to run a country through financial crisis, war, and other things one might have thought it would be helpful to let him focus on).

    I say this not to defend the left, but to remind people of the stakes if we fail to volunteer, donate, and campaign to protect America from these kinds of abuses. Things can get a lot worse.

     I say Wisconsin is worse because it was larger in scope; more targets and more prosecutors . Although no one was driven out of office like Delay, it is deeply troubling that Democrats officials are coordinating their attacks and going after whole catagories of opponents, not just individuals.
    That U.S. political culture has not descended to Italian levels is a cold comfort. Better than nothing I guess.

    • #28
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:30 PM PDT
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  29. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    James Of England:

    Whiskey Sam:

    Tuck:

    Here’s the leading Texas Democrat in question…

    “Video: Jailers had to restrain Lehmberg”

    Classy broad

    The degree to which the video is compelling is extremely helpful, but while the Democrats are deeply unethical, I can’t pretend that I don’t feel miserable about this. Many millions of Americans and, if Perry does well in the primaries, even more foreigners, will only hear this story as “Perry shut down an anti-corruption drive”. Absolutely horrible for us; recall the enormous impact of the DeLay case on the 2006 elections and shudder at the reminder of the success that evil tactics can enjoy.

    This is the maddening Alinsky-Obama technique of destroying one’s opposition, rather than debating him. I agree, James. It’s terribly depressing.

    • #29
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:31 PM PDT
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  30. Tuck Inactive

    Western Chauvinist: This is the maddening Alinsky-Obama technique of destroying one’s opposition, rather than debating him. I agree, James. It’s terribly depressing.

     Why is it depressing? I find it infuriating… It reminds me of the mordant joke after 9/11:

    “There were three men sitting on a bench, one was a Texan wearing a cowboy hat, one was a Muslim wearing a turban, and the last fellow was an Apache with a feather in his hair. The Indian was sad and gloomy as he said, “My people were many, but now we are few.” The Muslim puffs up and said, “Once my people were few, but now we are many.” The Texan adjusts his hat, rolls a smoke, leans back and drawls out, “That’s because we ain’t played Cowboys and Muslims yet.””

    Time to start playing cowboys and progressives… Impeach, indict, and stop pulling punches.

    They’re fighting a war. You only win it by fighting back.

    • #30
    • August 15, 2014, at 8:58 PM PDT
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