'A naked abuse of power'

Texas Gov. Rick Perry's actions were political, not criminal

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There’s a very good reason why Texas Gov. Rick Perry is defiant in the face of an indictment against him on felony “abuse of power” charges.




The indictment is pure hogwash, and Perry knows it.

So do legal experts from both sides of the political spectrum, who liken a Texas county prosecutor’s farcical charges to banana-republic politics and Soviet Union-era show trials.

Sensational headlines such as “Perry faces up to 105 years in prison” betray the political
vindictiveness directed against him by liberal Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose “Public Integrity Unit” was defunded by Perry in an attempt to remove her from office after she refused to resign over an embarrassing 2013 DUI arrest and conviction.

Perry made it clear in public statements he nixed the $7.5 million budget because he didn’t believe the state should fund an office headed by someone who had lost much of the public’s trust.

Now, Lehmberg and other Democrat partisans obviously are out for payback. But this weak attempt to besmirch Perry – the longest-serving governor in Texas history and a possible 2016 presidential contender – is bound to backfire.

Says The Washington Times: “The indictment of him is so transparent as vindictive prosecution that it will surely topple by its own weight.”

It’s “the stupidest thing I’ve seen, I think, in my entire career,” Bloomberg Politics’ left-leaning Editor Mark Halperin told MSNBC. “I hope some judge throws it out right away. It’s not just kind of funny and ridiculous, but it’s an infringement on individual liberty.”

Liberal scholar and Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz said the Perry case “is another example of the criminalization of party differences.

“Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment,” he said in his “Legally Speaking” column.

Keep in mind, this whole sham is over a $7.5 million
appropriation veto. Not a misappropriation. Not a theft. A veto.

Lehmberg’s embarrassingly outrageous post-arrest behavior – online videos are widely available – should have made her slink away from public office forever. Instead, she shamelessly clung for dear life to an office she had dishonored. Perry merely exercised his power to veto her funding.

There’s no question his admittedly bold act was an attempt to persuade the disgraced public official to do what she should have done after completing her 45-day jail sentence. She should have resigned.

He overestimated Lehmberg’s sensitivity to legitimate public shame.

But that’s not a criminal act, as Dershowitz points out. It’s a political miscalculation. And, we might add, heaven help us if we have now criminalized political slips.

In free countries, we punish leaders for doing things we find politically disagreeable by voting them out of office. We don’t concoct flimsy indictments.

“But that’s not the point,” writes Rich Lowry of the National Review. “The indictment is an undisguised attempt to wound Perry, to create bad headlines, to distract him. On cue, Texas Democrats absurdly called on Perry to resign. The indictment itself is, in short, a naked abuse of power.”

It wouldn’t be the first time Travis County – home of the liberal hotbed of Austin (unofficial slogan: “Keep Austin weird”) – has attempted to make criminals out of prominent Texas Republicans. Lehmberg’s predecessor launched failed prosecutions against then-U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and then-U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay.

The indictment against
Delay, the former House majority leader, for allegedly conspiring to break election laws, drew a 2010 conviction that was overturned last year when a Texas appeals court ruled evidence in the case was “insufficient” to convict.

There’s an old saying that a relentless prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. It’s simply too easy for partisan-minded state and federal prosecutors to obtain trumped-up indictments by hiding exculpatory evidence and piling on charges.

Hopefully, this egregious case will shed light on the urgent need for prosecutorial reform and, at the very least, ensure that vendetta-driven partisans such as Lehmberg and her ilk never are allowed anywhere near a grand jury.

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myfather15
59642
Points
myfather15 08/23/14 - 12:09 am
14
1
This is what the leaders of the left do!!

To hades with the system, they do things their way!! Indicting people for NOTHING more than political reasons!!

Also, a leftist Governor calling for "vigorous prosecution" of an officer, and justice for Michael Brown's family, WITHOUT all the facts, and denying this officer his Constitution Right to a grand jury hearing of the citizens!! The more the leaders of the left open their mouths, the more their pure hatred for others shows!!

This DA in Texas is a complete disgrace!! If she had a shred of decency, she would have resigned after being arrested!! Especially with the video evidence of her actions and fighting with and spitting on the jail staff!! What reasonable person does this?

deestafford
48845
Points
deestafford 08/23/14 - 12:16 am
11
1
Perry will come out stronger...

Perry will come out stronger and better known with higher favorbility ratings than he had before this.

Too bad they don't have a Texas sized lasso down there to corral the county and drag it to IL, NY, or NJ where it would fit right in except for the accents up north.

Riverman1
124102
Points
Riverman1 08/23/14 - 05:03 am
10
1
Journalistic Integrity?

This is so obvious, but to hear MSNBC tell it, Perry's political career is over. Where's the journalistic integrity? It all reminds me of the nonstop front page attacks on Gov. Chris Christie over lane closures while Benghazi was discounted in small print on page 15.

burninater
11733
Points
burninater 08/23/14 - 05:55 am
2
12
"Perry will come out stronger

"Perry will come out stronger and better known with higher favorbility ratings than he had before this."
-------
Please let it be so. The far Right will learn some valuable lessons about the position of the national electorate if they try to run someone like Perry nationally.

seenitB4
132326
Points
seenitB4 08/23/14 - 07:12 am
14
2
haah burn

Perry has a strong chance of winning....some lefties must be worried because they sho are trying to knock him down!

GO PERRY!!

hoptoad
55997
Points
hoptoad 08/23/14 - 07:16 am
13
1
In other words, Burn, that

In other words, Burn, that drunken, disrespectful woman on video is someone the left should be proud of and want to continue to hold that office? If she was a conservative behaving like that, wouldn't you want her out of office and defend the action taken against her?

Your prez has openly, unabashedly violated the constitution, passed illegal executive orders and blatantly usurped the power of congress yet the left turns a blind eye. However, leftists are ready to BBQ Mr. Christie when no proof was put forth incriminating him in bridge gate and fry Mr. Perry when he plainly has the power to veto this bill?

The minds of liberals are one of the biggest puzzles to me!

Bodhisattva
11351
Points
Bodhisattva 08/23/14 - 07:44 am
5
12
Just a slight propaganda retelling of the story by the Chronicle

Ms. Lehmberg is an ELECTED official, who screwed up royally by getting a DUI. The voters are free to vote her out next term, or it Texas law permits it, have a recall and vote her out now. Where Perry crossed the line was using the THREAT OF THE VETO of totally defunding the Public Integrity Unit (the equivalent of our State Ethics Commision) because it's one of the few departments that has an elected head and is not appointed by the Governor and is not filled with Perry's cronies like the rest of Texas government ( since he's been Governor since the year 2000) unless Ms. Lehmberg resigned. That's where he crossed the line into coersion, blackmail, or whatever you want to call it. There are also reports that he offered to restore the funding and offered her another job if she stepped down, which gets into bribery, or a quid pro quo situation trying to influence an elected official which makes him guilty as sin. Also, not surprisingly, missing from the Chronicle's one sided version of events is that Lehmberg and all of the Travis County official RECUSED THEMSELVES FROM THE CASE AND HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THE PROSECUTION. Lying by omission is still lying in case the editors are unaware, so why are you trying to make it sound like they are the ones pushing the case? That honor belongs to special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, appointed by a Republican judge, Bert Richardson. McCrum, "began his career as a federal prosecutor during the George H.W. Bush administration, according to his online bio. In 2009, the state's two Republican U.S. senators, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, recommended him to become U.S. attorney for the Western District". Not exactly the left wing hit man the Chronicle's propaganda would have you believe. Why the push to have her resign? Perry is salivating to take control of the Public Integrity Unit. Mainly because they're in the middle of a massive investigation of the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a slick little trick Perry and the Texas GOP pulled on the citizens of Texas by adding it to the ballot as Proposition 15 to add a Constitutional Amendment in Texas to create this gem that Perry, the Lt. Gov. Speaker, all GOP officerholder appoint all of the board members and is awash in scandal, grants of millions of dollars going to Perry's and other GOP campaign donors, for profit companies (against the mission of the cancer center), and indictments with more to come. Add in The Texas Enterprise Fund and The Emerging Technology Fund and you have hundreds upon hundreds of millions of dollars as Perry's own little slush funds to provide to businesses that show their gratitude by giving a little something back in the way of campaign contributions to Perry and the statewide GOP apparatus in Texas. He wants control over that department so badly he can taste it because he knows it's not long before it all hits the fan and it all starts crumbling down around him and hundreds of GOP officeholders all over the state. They've had their hands in the cookie jar and payed out money to their donors too long and it's about to bite them in their collective rear ends. There's three things he should do in prison. Don't drop the soap. Say, "Yes sir." to the guards. I forget the other one.

cush1944
28684
Points
cush1944 08/23/14 - 07:58 am
13
2
"In other words, Burn, that
Unpublished

"In other words, Burn, that drunken, disrespectful woman on video is someone the left should be proud of and want to continue to hold that office?"
She is just your typical democrat. If she had been a repub she would have been shamed out of office by the media.

cush1944
28684
Points
cush1944 08/23/14 - 08:01 am
12
3
"The minds of liberals are
Unpublished

"The minds of liberals are one of the biggest puzzles to me!"
Perry has some morals and principles something most liberals know nothing about.

seenitB4
132326
Points
seenitB4 08/23/14 - 08:34 am
12
2
Oh come on

Your own lefties say this case stinks.

LOOK for this soon
Perry for President & Carson for V President. yeaaaa

cush1944
28684
Points
cush1944 08/23/14 - 08:05 am
11
2
"Ms. Lehmberg is an ELECTED
Unpublished

"Ms. Lehmberg is an ELECTED official, who screwed up royally by getting a DUI."
Bod, she should have went to jail for making threats to the police officers & resisting arrest. But then just another democrat to be proud of.

hoptoad
55997
Points
hoptoad 08/23/14 - 08:06 am
9
2
Perry/Carson sounds like a

Perry/Carson sounds like a winning combo to me, too!

hoptoad
55997
Points
hoptoad 08/23/14 - 08:13 am
13
2
Gee Bod, All these tactics

Gee Bod,
All these tactics you accuse Perry of have been happening on a regular basis by the left.

Furthermore, there's nothing wrong with telling an errant official he/she needs to remove themselves. She has the option to say "No". Offering her a position with less responsibility and less public contact under the circumstances seems like a smart thing to do. If someone robs the till, you give them a job that doesn't give them access to money.

Why the push to have her resign? Why does the left try to smear Republicans with false accusations and then try to ramp up the public to ask for their resignation?

Your arguments make no impression me.

cush1944
28684
Points
cush1944 08/23/14 - 09:06 am
7
2
"Your arguments make no
Unpublished

"Your arguments make no impression me."
hoptoad, his arguments show exactly what he is.

Bodhisattva
11351
Points
Bodhisattva 08/23/14 - 09:23 am
3
10
Gee, "screwed up royally by

Gee, "screwed up royally by getting a DUI." sure sounds like a statement that says your proud of someone. Only in the twisted minds of the right wing bubble. She was a major league jerk, but it's the voters of Texas that have the right to kick her out, not threats, bribery, threats, or coersion by Rick Perry, especially by threatening to shut down a legally established department of the government, namely their Ethics Department that just so happens to be investigating corruption among Perry's appointees and their handing grants to donors. He didn;t ask her to resign, he threatened to defund the department. WHY DID A REPUBLICAN INDICT HIM? Ask him. Obviously he thought he had enough evidence. Your trying to call me a liar makes no impression on me other than to let me know that you have zero credibilty and simply try use the usual right wing smear tactics instead of facts. Nothing you've ever said has made an impression on me since it's baseless, typical right wing propaganda, from the new know nothing party, the far right GOP and their Tea Party cohorts.

hoptoad
55997
Points
hoptoad 08/23/14 - 09:50 am
10
1
Lehmberg is head of that

Lehmberg is head of that ethics department -does it make sense to give her money to run it when she has no ethics?

Angela H
38462
Points
Angela H 08/23/14 - 10:01 am
9
1
" He didn;t ask her to

" He didn;t ask her to resign, he threatened to defund the department. "

He most certainly DID ask her to resign. Why would you make such a false statement?

faithson
6704
Points
faithson 08/23/14 - 10:02 am
3
9
Put 'Obama's' name in these

Put 'Obama's' name in these indictments every where Gov Perry's shows up. The Right wingers would stumbling over each other in demanding his head. You guys are a trip. If it serves YOUR purpose, all out for it, if not, it is a bunch o crazies out to undermind our country.

myfather15
59642
Points
myfather15 08/23/14 - 11:33 am
6
2
Bodhisattva

"Gee, "screwed up royally by getting a DUI." sure sounds like a statement that says your proud of someone."

Not really, but it's a subtle way of making it sound like a "simple mistake". When the reality is, this woman fought and spit upon law enforcement officers. She also threatened to have them fired and repeatedly stated "Do you know who I am?" and "You're ruining my career" as if THEY were responsible for her behavior!! A typical LIBERAL response; that everyone is to blame besides the actual person!!

This is a ridiculous question to ask you, but do you really think this is a good person to have as a prosecutor??

myfather15
59642
Points
myfather15 08/23/14 - 11:36 am
7
2
Liberals hypocrites??

""Governor Rick Perry has brought dishonor to his office, his family and the state of Texas," the Texas Democratic Party said in a statement. "We call on Governor Perry to immediately step down from office. Texans deserve real leadership and this is unbecoming of our governor."

Yet, they DID NOT asked Mrs. Lehmberg to resign, not once!! So her actions are honorable? There was no reason for her to resign??

Just another example of people twisting reality, and making wrong appear right and right appear wrong!! Confusion!!

myfather15
59642
Points
myfather15 08/23/14 - 11:57 am
5
1
"WHY DID A REPUBLICAN INDICT HIM?"

"http://www.mainjustice.com/2014/08/16/michael-mccrum-special-prosecutor-of-texass-rick-perry-and-the-road-not-taken/

I've searched in depth and have been unable to verify that Michael McCrum is a republican!! I've read numerous articles saying he neither identifies as republican or democrat.

So, are you attempting further your argument by unequivocally stating he IS a republican? Is that not being deceptive? No surprising at all!!

But it does appear he was backed heavily by Lloyd Doggett; a liberal democrat from Austin!! And the city of Austin is dominated by liberals; in the conservative State of Texas!! Is this their way of sticking back at their State?

myfather15
59642
Points
myfather15 08/23/14 - 12:02 pm
6
1
" You guys are a trip. If it

" You guys are a trip. If it serves YOUR purpose, all out for it, if not, it is a bunch o crazies out to undermind our country."

Has anyone actually indicted Obama?? There is a HUGE difference in criticizing and actually going through with an indictment, base on nothing more than politics!!! People grand stand all the time and play to their political base, calling for investigations into Obama; but the LEFT has taken this WAY past any rational thought!

They've actually indicted Perry, for something governors have done for over a Century!! With all Obama's executive orders; isn't that the EXACT excuse the left gives; is that president have always done this? What's different with Perry?

So, it wouldn't be the conservatives that are a "trip" it would be the criminals on the left!! Lehmberg is a criminal, and is still in office PROSECUTING people!! And the left is perfectly fine with this!! Absolutely astonishing!!

KSL
190751
Points
KSL 08/23/14 - 12:31 pm
5
1
Myfather, isn't that the

Myfather, isn't that the truth. She has really lowered the bar for society having respect for the law. That prosecutor is a disgrace.

Truth Matters
11582
Points
Truth Matters 08/23/14 - 12:47 pm
1
4
Faithson@10:02 am My

Faithson@10:02 am

My thoughts exactly.

Said Obama upon hearing that Gov. Perry was in trouble for using executive power: "Welcome to my world, governor!"

Truth Matters
11582
Points
Truth Matters 08/23/14 - 12:49 pm
1
6
"I think Perry wanted to be

"I think Perry wanted to be indicted so he could use the indictment to rally his base and fundraise."

He can't fool us.

(Sound familiar?)

Truth Matters
11582
Points
Truth Matters 08/23/14 - 01:04 pm
1
6
As usual, "your sins are

As usual, "your sins are worse than my sins", is how many on the right see things.

A DUI is awful but there have been many GOP lawmakers to win reelection AFTER falling from grace. This lady went to jail and served her time. If the voters want her removed, let them remove her. But it is typical of the GOP to try to alter an election by under handed means when they are unhappy.

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 08/23/14 - 01:12 pm
1
5
And next he'll be resigning

And next he'll be resigning because of his "legal bills", and then run for a higher office.

The Sarah Palin strategy.

And look how well it worked for her.

Truth Matters
11582
Points
Truth Matters 08/23/14 - 01:14 pm
1
5
"Has anyone actually indicted

"Has anyone actually indicted Obama??"

Give them time. If the GOP wins the Senate, and pollsters give them a strong chance to do so, you can bet there will be an impeachment.

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 08/23/14 - 01:20 pm
1
6
No, it's not a "typical

No, it's not a "typical liberal response", it's a typical DRUNKEN FOOL response!

myfather, I think you had better take a look around you and see the glass house of the conservatives.

They all are a bunch of self-serving idiots, no party is "better" or "worse" than the others.

corgimom
53597
Points
corgimom 08/23/14 - 01:21 pm
1
5
Yeah, TM, and look how that

Yeah, TM, and look how that turned out for Bill Clinton.

He is sitting in tall cotton these days.

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