Hello again from Texas! Today is all about the excuses we’re hearing regarding Rick Perry’s indictment.
DA Lehmberg is a drunk who wants revenge.
She definitely has/had a problem with alcohol, no debating that. She was undoubtedly driving drunk, which is indefensible.
She was arrested, she plead guilty, and she served time.
It was about then that Perry—among others—urged her to resign because a person guilty of a crime shouldn’t be Travis County DA.
This was fortuitous, because her resignation would allow Perry to appoint her replacement—and the office had just begun investigating the possibility that CPRIT funds had been funneled to Perry’s donors.
Perry insisted that she resign or he’d veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit.
She didn’t resign, so he vetoed the money.
So is she out for revenge?
It’s possible. Hey, I’m not an Austin insider or anything.
But the problem with this narrative is that inquiry didn’t originate in Lehmberg’s office. It was submitted to the Public Integrity Unit by a left-leaning public watchdog group, but because Lehmberg was personally involved, she recused herself from the investigation.
Instead it was shunted to Judge Robert Richardson (who appears to be Republican), who apparently felt the allegations merited the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate.
The results of that investigation, by Attorney Mike McCrum, were presented to the Grand Jury and they saw fit to indict Governor Rick Perry on two felony counts: abuse of authority & coercion.
DA Lehmberg was in the wrong, Perry was trying to make it right!
Do I agree with Lehmberg staying in office? I don’t know; certainly elected officials have remained in office after doing worse than drinking & driving.
Regardless, it doesn’t really matter. ”She did worse” isn’t an excuse or a defense. The law doesn’t care where Rick Perry’s heart was; it wants to know if he attempted coercion or not—no matter the reason.
The Governor has the power to Veto!
The Governor does have the power to veto anything he or she wants, it’s true. But here’s the definition of coercion: the practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats.
So now the courts get to decide: does “resign your office or I’ll defund your department” sound like a threat?
Rick Perry: “Yes, I did threaten to veto funding to kill an investigation. But in my defense, I was abusing my power for a good cause.”
It all started with cancer.
More accurately, with Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas—or CPRIT—and the crazy favoritism, back room deals, and nonsense that made this agency formed to fight cancer metastasize to pretty much all of Texas politics.
So, CPRIT was approved by voters in 2007 & funded with $3 Billion to fight cancer in Texas—you know, the state with the highest rate of uninsured citizens.
And here the problems began, because Texas is more or less a one party state. Republicans hold all statewide offices—Governor Rick Perry, Lt. Governor David Dewhurts, Attorney General Greg Abbott, etc.
And if whole messes of money, grants, and favors went from CPRIT to Republican donors, etc., well, that’s just greasing the palms, right?
Except that Travis County—where Austin is—leans fairly Democratic. And the DA of Travis County is ALSO head of the Public Integrity Unit (which investigates allegations of impropriety involving statewide office holders), which started investigating if CPRIT had given grants to Republican donors who shouldn’t necessarily have received them.
And then things get REALLY crazy, because almost immediately the Travis County DA, Rosemary Lehmberg, got arrested for drunk driving. There was a pretty spectacular YouTube video of her drunken ramblings, and she pled guilty, served (very little) time and went in to rehab.
(Enjoy this look at the state of Texas politics, y’all)
So Perry says that she’s lost the public trust & should resign—which sounds pretty reasonable, except that in that case he gets to appoint her replacement and completely undermine the whole “Public Integrity” thing.
So she refuses to step down, and he says—publicly, this is the key—that unless she resigns he’ll cut funding for the Public Integrity Unit.
And he follows through.
Now, no one is debating that the Governor may exercise a line item veto if they so choose, but doing so after an ultimatum like that strikes many people—and at least one Grand Jury—as coercion and abuse of authority.
Is it? Hell, I don’t know. But Rick Perry’s been indicted on two felony counts, and that means something.
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This is so FUCKING SCARY
what the fuck is going on
THIS IS THE ONLY TIME I WILL EVER SAY THIS. NO MATTER WHAT KIND OF BLOG YOU ARE RUNNING REBLOG THIS. THIS CRAP NEEDS TO BE KNOWN. NEEDS TO BE SEEN. AND NEEDS TO BE SPREAD.THIS IS HAPPENING IN MY STATE AND IT IS FUCKING TERRIFYING. LET IT BE KNOWN. DON’T STOP SPREADING THE NEWS. MAKE EVERYONE SEE THE SHIT THAT IS GOING DOWN. Please. No body else seems to be protecting them anymore. Do what you can.
Tracking license plates, walking picket lines, harassing employees and misleading patients — anti-choice protesters have a plethora of tactics for accomplishing their No. 1 goal: eradicating abortion in America.
Just how far these advocates are willing to go was highlighted in undercover audio secretly recorded from a mass training session of Texas pro-life abortion protesters and released by Progress Texas this week.