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What the Pundits Don’t Get About the Rick Perry Indictment

by Published on
Rick Perry
Patrick Michels

Judging from the reaction of national pundits and journalists, the verdict in the case of State of Texas vs. James Richard “Rick” Perry is already in: Rick Perry is not just innocent, he’s being railroaded by liberal Democrats in a vindictive, politically motivated prosecution. The rush to judgment happened almost immediately after the indictments came down on Friday, even as our friends in New York and Washington confessed that they knew little of Rick Perry’s legal troubles and in some cases hadn’t even read the two-page indictment, much less bothered to understand the issue in the larger political context. Jonathan Chait at New York Magazine called the indictment “unbelievably ridiculous” and fulminated that Perry “is exactly as guilty as” a “ham sandwich,” referring to the old saw that a good prosecutor could indict a ham sandwich.

On Twitter, top-shelf pundits were even more dismissive:

Obama adviser David Axelrod, who knows a thing about expansive executive authority, weighed in:

Axelrod’s tweets led to headlines such as “Rick Perry: Even David Axelrod Thinks Indictment Is ‘Sketchy.’

The New Yorker’s Amy Davidson wrote that she “felt sorry” for Rick Perry and compared the case against the governor to the congressional Republicans’ lawsuit against Barack Obama.

Even legal analysts seemed strangely lazy about the whole thing. UC-Irvine law professor and blogger Rick Hasen admitted he hadn’t “studied Texas law or the indictment closely enough” but nonetheless went on to make the sweeping claim that the indictment represents the “criminalization of politics.”

Among elite commentators, this seems to be the emerging consensus—that the pursuit of Perry somehow was a fundamental departure from legal norms and represents an attack on the very practice of politics. Incidentally, this is precisely the line that Rick Perry is taking. On Saturday, he called  the prosecution a “farce” and lamented that “some would use partisan political theatrics to rip away at the very fabric of our state’s constitution.”

Since uninformed speculation is apparently the coin of the realm, allow me to opine on what I think is going on. In the last few months, political reporters have begun writing the Rick Perry 2.0 Comeback story. National Journal had a particularly credulous piece—titled “The New Rick Perry”—that spent more than a thousand words allowing Perry to explain his decision to adopt those MSNBC glasses. More significantly, the piece basically chucked out almost everything we’ve learned about Rick Perry over his decades in politics to posit that he’s suddenly, mutatis mutandis, some sort of serious “bipartisan uniter” who’s shucked off the focus groups and polling and is finally just being his charming, fun-loving awesome self. It’s at best meta-level campaign bullshit, but this is how political journalism is practiced. The indictment—and the possibility that Perry could be knocked out of the running and even facing prison time because he’s a corrupt bully—blows a giant hole in the script.

There’s also a tendency on the part of political journalists to criticize anything that sanitizes the bloodsport of partisan politics. Like those football fans who belly-ache about new safety-conscious rules that “sissify” the game, political junkies are wedded to the idea that all’s fair in politics. That’s one reason, I think, why the press outside of Texas has been so incapable of seeing this through anything other than a partisan lens. The zealousness with which that line has been pursued—and reinforced by Perry’s allies—has led to some serious factual blunders and misconceptions. In the interest of trying to bring this episode back to reality, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Partisan Democrats Are Not Leading the Perry Prosecution

The criminal complaint against Perry was filed in June 2013 by the liberal Texans for Public Justice but it was assigned to a Republican judge in Bexar County who appointed Michael McCrum—a former police officer and prosecutor in the George H.W. Bush administration—as special prosecutor. McCrum was previously tapped by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (both conservative Republicans) to be the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas. There is no evidence that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind—quite the contrary.

The Travis County DA’s office, including Rosemary Lehmberg, had nothing to do with the indictment.

It’s Not About Rosemary Lehmberg’s Disgraceful Behavior… Or Even Perry’s Veto

As much as Perry and some in the media would like to make this about Lehmberg’s outrageous drunk driving—Perry’s legal team played a tape of her buffoon-ish behavior at the jail—the legal case against Perry is not about that.

I was someone who thought Lehmberg should have resigned for the simple reason that it is unseemly for a prosecutor guilty of drunk driving to send people to jail for the same crime. However, the process for removing Lehmberg is a local one. The local system opted not to remove her and Lehmberg pleaded guilty and went to jail. She plans to step down at the end of her term.

The Travis County DA is no different, in almost every respect, than the more than 300 local elected prosecutors in Texas. She is locally elected and is a servant of the jurisdiction she represents. The only thing unique about the Travis County DA’s office is that it contains the Public Integrity Unit, which polices corruption in state government. Practically speaking, this anti-corruption unit is one of the few checks on the power and influence Perry has accumulated over 14 years in office.

The Public Integrity Unit is largely funded by the Texas Legislature. That money isn’t earmarked for Rosemary Lehmberg; it’s earmarked for the oversight function of the Travis County DA’s Public Integrity Unit. It is that money that Perry threatened to line-item veto if Lehmberg did not resign. When she did not, and Travis County opted not to remove her, Perry then yanked the funding. Afterwards, he continued to make offers to restore the funding in exchange for Lehmberg’s resignation, according to media reports. One account says he signaled that he would find Lehmberg another well-paying job within the DA’s office. Had she resigned, Perry would have appointed her successor.

The criminal case against Perry centers on his “coercion” of a local elected official using threats and promises. It is not premised—as has been repeatedly misreported—on the veto itself. Craig McDonald, the head of Texans for Public Justice and the original complainant, has said as much. As McDonald told CNN:

“The governor is doing a pretty good job to try to make this about [Lehmberg] and her DWI conviction. But this has never been about his veto of her budget and about her. This is about his abuse of power and his coercion trying to get another public citizen to give up their job.”

There is a Lot We Don’t Know…Yet

It is quite possible that the case against Rick Perry will fizzle. Perhaps it is “flimsy” and “thin” and all the rest. Credible legal experts have said they think the prosecution will have a difficult time securing a conviction. However, none of us is privy to the evidence and testimony presented to the grand jury. According to Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News, McCrum said he “interviewed more than 40 people, reviewed hundreds of documents and read many dozens of cases.” Fikac and other reporters who staked out the courthouse long before the national press spent five minutes reading the indictment watched “current and former Perry staffers, Travis County employees and state lawmakers” entering the grand jury room over the summer.

It is possible that McCrum has gathered more information on Perry’s motives that will come to light later. Although the indictment doesn’t mention it, the Public Integrity Unit is investigating a scandal involving the $3 billion Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a fund close to the governor’s office that suffered from cronyism and lax oversight. The Public Integrity Unit indicted one CPRIT official in December for deceiving his colleagues and awarding an $11 million grant to a Dallas biotech firm without a proper vetting.

What else, if anything, did McCrum turn up in his interviews and document search? At this point, we just don’t know.

This doesn’t make for explosive headlines but the fact is, we’re just going to have to wait and see how the case unfolds.

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Norse Gal

    So, you’re not rushing to judgment, Forrest? Wasn’t it you who cleverly tweeted out that Gov. Perry’s father was the subject of a grand jury investigation while serving as a Haskell County commissioner? I’m sure you want the Ferguson police officer involved in the shooting of young Michael Brown to have his day in court as well.

    • pecador

      Your ad hominem is all over the map. You don’t like Forrest Wilder I got that, but is the article accurate? I,for one, am not interested in how Michael Brown is relevant to Rick Perry’s indictment.

      • Norse Gal

        You’re right. I don’t like Forrest Wilder. I don’t like the tone of his stories, nor do I like the tone of his tweets.

        • pecador

          Then you better get over to Huffington Post and complain about James Moore because he is saying the same thing and I’ll bet you won’t like him either.

          • Norse Gal

            You mean Jim Moore of KHOU-TV fame? Thanks, I’ll pass.

        • bomber

          I don’t like green eggs and ham, a republican I am, I am….

          • Aloanstar

            Exactly what I was thinking!! Good connection.

          • bomber

            :-)

  • Norse Gal

    Forrest, you conveniently forgot to mention that McCrum also served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Clinton Administration. In addition, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas. Interestingly, when asked by a reporter this weekend if he was a member of the Democrat or Republican Party, McCrum declined to answer.

    • Forrest Wilder

      He was never appointed to serve in the Obama administration. If you don’t believe me, perhaps you will trust Jay Root of the Texas Tribune. I”n 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, according to published reports.

      He was described as a “consensus choice” by the news site Main Justice because he had the backing of House Democrats and the two home state senators. He ultimately withdrew his name because of gridlock over nominations on Capitol Hill.

      McCrum’s bipartisan credentials make criticizing the investigation as a partisan witch hunt a tougher sell.”

      http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/16/five-things-know-about-perry-indictment/

      • Norse Gal

        Fair enough. He waited more than a year to be officially nominated by Obama, then withdrew.

        • Blake Mitchell

          So what’s your point in regard to McCrum’s credentials?

          • Norse Gal

            This is my point: McCrum has ties to Democrats despite statewide news reports painting him as someone with exclusive ties to the GOP. That’s all. I do find it interesting that a Republican U.S. Attorney candidate would submit his name for consideration to a Democrat administration. This may not be an unusual occurrence, but I do find it interesting.

          • Blake Mitchell

            “statewide news reports painting him as someone with exclusive ties to the GOP”

            That’s your own biased interpretation. The descriptions I’ve read more accurately point out that it would be wrong to label McCrum as some sort of Democratic political operative hired as a legal hit man to ruin Rick Perry’s career. Which is exactly what Perry and his supporters want everyone to believe. Which Democrats are McCrumb specifically tied to? Who is it that he’s so chummy with? Hutchison, Cornyn and the elder Bush were obviously not bothered by any of these “ties” that you allege with no evidence. Nor was the Republican judge who appointed McCrum in this case.

            “This may not be an unusual occurrence, but I do find it interesting.”

            You find it suspect only because of your own personal biases. A little investigation would prove that it’s not at all unusual. These factless, ad hominem attacks on McCrum, while totally predictable, are very reminiscent of how Patrick Fitzgerald was attacked leading up to the Libby/Plame investigation.

          • Norse Gal

            I wouldn’t call a legitimate question an ad hominem attack.

            Please cite a news organization in this state that reported the fact that Michael McCrum served as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Clinton Administration.

            You can’t, because no one did. Not Christy Hoppe or Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News; Bud Kennedy of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram; Peggy Fikac of the Houston Chronicle/San Antonio Express-News; Jay Root of the Texas Tribune; Jonathan Tilove of the Austin American-Statesman; or your very own Forrest Wilder.

            That would be a sin of omission. No?

          • Blake Mitchell

            Only if you consider it a sin for a Republican to have worked for a Democrat, or vice versa. I don’t. Apparently you think it’s indicative of something sinister. Perhaps you should examine your thought process if this is the case.

          • Norse Gal

            On the contrary. I don’t consider it a sin for a Republican to have worked for a Democrat, or vice versa. Nor do I believe that it’s indicative of something sinister. The news media has a responsibility to provide a thorough account of the facts. I’m suggesting the Austin press corps is not doing its job when it fails to thoroughly profile a special prosecutor they label a Republican when the fact is he worked for and contributed to members of both political parties.

          • irrefudiate

            You are correct, the Fourth Estate has left the national media with the impression that Perry is being indicted for using his veto power.

          • bomber

            Keep dancing Norse and hope your shoes don’t wear out….

          • Norse Gal

            Another Texas writer fails to note McCrum’s tenure in the Clinton administration:

            http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/18/mccrum-story/

          • http://www.burntorangereport.com Phillip Martin

            Fairly common, actually.

          • Norse Gal

            Thanks! As someone who is not familiar with the federal nominating process, I appreciate your response.

          • Aloanstar

            What you seem to ignore is one major fact. This case was indicted by the Grand Jury, made up of 6 men and 6 women, who have heard the evidence and proceeded with the indictment. This has nothing to do with Dems or Repubs….it has been presented to a diverse jury who believes the evidence shows Perry’s guilt is enough to go forward. None of us know exactly what the evidence is, so any debate beyond one’s on belief is irrelevant and goes nowhere. Whether he is convicted or let off the hook, will be decided by the courts, not by any of us. What you or I think does not matter. Even if this indictment goes nowhere, he will, if there is any justice left in Texas, be brought up on charges stemming from the investigation about the money earmarked for cancer research being funneled to his donors instead. That remains to be heard and would be an interesting topic for another court to hear someday and even more interesting for all Texans to know the answer to.

          • Norse Gal

            I’m not ignoring anything. Reporters statewide are omitting from their coverage the basic fact that this special prosecutor has worked for both Republicans – and Democrats. That’s my only point. None of us know the facts in this case. So, to presume innocence (although by law, one is presumed innocent) or guilt without having all of the facts before us is pure conjecture. What is not conjecture is the resume of this special prosecutor. To ignore parts of that resume creates a false narrative, and that is a disservice to readers.

          • Tall Texan

            “What you seem to ignore is one major fact. This case was indicted by the
            Grand Jury, made up of 6 men and 6 women, who have heard the evidence
            and proceeded with the indictment.”

            What you seem to forget is the old adage that a good prosecutor can “indict a ham sandwich. if they want to” and a special prosecutor, who’s very reason for existence is to secure prosecution or get labelled as a money waster, has even more than a normal prosecutor zeal to get indictments. Regardless of political persuasion.

      • 1bimbo

        i got to the sentence: ‘…In 2009, McCrum was nominated by President Obama to be the U.S. attorney in San Antonio….’ that’s all i needed to know

  • Tricky Rick

    If McCrum votes in Primary Elections anyone can look up which party he identifies with. I think it is more important to recognize that he was picked for this job because he is respected in his field as someone who will apply the law fairly regardless of allegiance to a political party.

    • joethepleb

      Yes, he has ties and previous donations to both parties from what I understand. But he was appointed to this case by a GOP Judge from Williamson Co.

      • Norse Gal

        Yes and no. The GOP judge, Bert Richardson, from Bexar County appointed McCrum.

        • kramartini

          But a judge from Williamson County appointed the Bexar County judge…

          • 1bimbo

            ‘…Mr. McCrum was the subject of an ethics inquiry after the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office filed a contempt action alleging that he told a witness to stay away from court so that she wouldn’t be available to be examined by prosecutors.

            Mr. McCrum told The Wall Street Journal the allegations, which stem from a case last year in which a San Antonio defendant pleaded guilty to intoxication manslaughter, are untrue. A San Antonio appellate court dismissed the contempt charge on procedural grounds but the case is now under review by the state’s highest criminal court…’
            http://online.wsj.com/articles/texas-gov-rick-perrys-indictment-puts-spotlight-on-special-prosecutor-1408491138

  • Robby

    Forrest, do you have a statutory (or otherwise) citation to support the criminal complaint claim you mentioned…”The criminal case against Perry centers on his “coercion” of a local elected official using threats and promises.”

    No one in the media that I’ve been reading seems to think such a law exists — eg,

    http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/08/even-liberals-are-dubious-of-rick-perrys-indictment/378681/

    Tks.

    • Forrest Wilder
      • Robby

        Tks for the cite.

        Sections 36.02 (“Bribery”), 36.03 (“Coercion of Public Servant or Voter”), 36.04 (“Improper Influence”), and 36.06 (“Obstruction or Retaliation”) would all seem to be on-point, regarding this case, in some way or another (though, of course, there seem to be areas of defenses for Perry here too).

        And, I would assume there is a substantial amount of case law interpreting these statutory provisions. It will be up to McCrum to make his case to a jury, “beyond a reasonable doubt” (as you know, always a heavy burden of proof in such criminal cases).

        Might be interesting.

        • Forrest Wilder

          And I realize now that I didn’t provide you with the abuse of official capacity statute: http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.39.htm

          • Robby

            Again Forrest — tks for the cite. Another layer of complexity.

            Some of the right-leaning posted comments (especially) seem so sure that this is all a farce. But…

            And such an attitude always brings to mind a quote (by Betrand Russell, Noble Prize winner) that I heard somewhere (I paraphrase) —

            “The biggest problem with the world is that fools [and frauds] are so certain, while the wise [and honest] are so full of doubt.”

            There just has to be some “doubt” about all this — from both sides. See you in court.

          • 1bimbo

            it is a farce.. a big fat george soros-funded farce

          • Robby

            Yep, Bertrand was right.

        • joethepleb

          McCrum said he interviewed over 40 people for his investigation. That means there is likely much more too what his case is about than what is public now. Yes, it will be interesting.

    • Aloanstar

      Obviously you haven’t been paying attention. Those are the words used in the indictment, not Forrest’s words. COERCION of a local elected official using threats and promises….look it up.

      • Robby

        Huh!?? I didn’t say (or imply) anything about those words I quoted in my post above as *just* being an interpretation by Forrest, of the claims/indictments against Perry. (Have you been drinking again? )

        But, now that you’ve brought it up — “COERCION of a local elected official using threats and promises…” (your words) — those are NOT “the words used in the indictment” (your words).

        (And yes, I know the meaning of “coercion.”)

        Here’s the text (2-pgs) of the actual indictment:

        https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1275641/rick-perry-indictment.pdf

      • eli

        If Perry is legally guilty of coercing this elected official, I sincerely hope for jury nullification. The woman should have quit the Public Integrity office after getting a DUI. Perry was morally correct (though perhaps not legally correct) in threatening to not give her office funding. Jury nullification would be perfect for a case like this.

  • Liberty4all

    I do not live in Texas, Dagnabbit! But I will assume that since
    Journalists self-report as liberals over 90% in polls, Mr. Forrest is
    likely a liberal Democrat. Given that EVERY media outlet mentioned in
    his bio is biased to the Left, I guess it’s not a stretch.
    I DO
    appreciate the tone of this article, which encouraged me to check the
    source docs myself. Confession: I DID think the convicted felon DA
    brought this mess to a Grand Jury, before being educated by Mr.Wilder.
    That
    said, only a leftist with the intellectual capacity of a ham sandwich
    could read the complaint and conclude “It is not premised—as has been
    repeatedly misreported—on the veto itself” The complaint is a farce on
    its face, unless the referenced statutes (which I haven’t read) are
    insane. Bringing this to a grand jury is an abuse of process that Dick
    Nixon never even dreamed of. It is an unprecedented outrage, miles
    beyond the pale.
    Unless the grand jury saw authenticated video of
    Perry beheading children, the Judge should dismiss this travesty at the
    first opportunity, and sanction his friend and political contributor,
    and the lib group who filed this complaint. If there are facts & law
    behind this, why not bring charges directly? Answer: An atty signing
    his name to this could face penalties, while using a grand jury allows
    you to blame a straw man for your abuse of power.

    • Blake Mitchell

      That’s pretty awesome coming from someone defending a politician who has trouble counting to three. From what I just read, I’ll put my money on the ham sandwich.

      • Norse Gal

        You need to broaden your horizons. It would appear you can’t see the “Forrest For The Trees.”

    • irrefudiate

      Your accusation that the Travis County DA is a “convicted felon” is erroneous, as is your contention that politicians may only be convicted of murder.

      • Liberty4all

        I stand corrected. In my state, 3x the limit with the aggravated circumstances from the vid could be a felony. In TX, assault on a police officer can bring up to 20 yrs which is a felony. She also threatened the officers with the power of her position, saying, You’re the ones going to jail, not me (paraphrase).
        This, coming from the prosecutor, and the public integrity prosecutor is Immensely more “coercion of a public official” than Perry’s actions ever were.
        Why was she not charged with resisting arrest, assault on LEO, etc?
        Oh, I forgot, her subordinates do the charging.

        • DavidD

          Your state is not Texas and you are not really admitting your error so your faux correction is worthless.

        • irrefudiate

          Yes, she was clearly, totally drunk as a skunk, and, she seems to get mean when she gets that drunk. I think the police are used to drunks raising hell.

    • bomber

      Blah, blah, blah. You lost me at “…I don’t live in Texas…” Well, mister, I do and it’s a good thing this is happening. If you think a grand jury in the red, repub state of Texas would throw down an indictment of a fellow repub for no good reason you’ve got your spurs on backwards! This isn’t about the Texas governor having the right to veto or whether or not a judge got arrested for drunk driving. This about trying to force an elected official (whose department is investigating said gov) out of office. I can’t wait to hear all of the details/evidence in this case!

      • Liberty4all

        #1 1,000 miles away, I know that Austin is a blue dot in TX. The prosecutorial abuse from that office has made national news for decades

        • DavidD

          All the urban counties except Ft Worth voted for the President in 2012.It’s more than Austin .
          You obviously don’t live here and are spreading inaccurate information.

      • Liberty4all

        #2 A grand jury is a fundamentally unfair, one-sided process where Perry has no right to be heard, or even to know he’s being investigated. The Prosecutor controls everything, and has the lowest 51% probable cause standard of proof. The old saw is that a prosecutor is worthless if he cannot obtain an indictment on a ham sandwich.
        Perry should never have had to try to force her out of office. As the chief LEO of the Co, and a member of the TX bar (why the HELL isn’t she disbarred?) she should have had the class to resign, but then Democrats never have to resign.

      • Liberty4all

        #3 Several of the six grand jurors have knowingly broken the law (press reports) & the Oath they take when empanelled by talking to the press about the case.
        One of them is an active delegate to the TX Dem party (see#1 above)
        I too, await the details.

        • bomber

          Thanks for the info, send me the links, I’d like to read them. If it makes you feel any better the judge who moved the investigation forward and the DA are repub. I suggest we all wait and see what the evidence is. If nothing else it will be interesting! Personally I hope they nail the sumbitch.

    • Aloanstar

      If someone is giving actual facts they must be a liberal….hmmm….is that really supposed to be insulting??

    • Jim Hart

      Liberty4all, you say you were encouraged “to check the source documents (yourself)”. Obviously you have not gotten around to this yet. I suppose it would have delayed your knee jerk response overlong. Instead you decide the laws broken, which you have not bothered to read, are insane. That the Republican referring judge, the Republican presiding judge, and the Republican special prosecutor are acting for solely political motives in investigating the charges against the Republican Governor of Texas. And that somehow the “liberal media” of Texas has managed to capture the process and corrupt the Grand Jury to force it to bring two felony indictments.

      Well, I can only agree that someone involved in the discussion may have difficulty approaching the intellectual capacity of a ham sandwich, but unfortunately, that someone is self reported as not living in Texas, having no knowledge of the laws involved, and seems to believe that there was an unresolved incident of decapitation of children connected to the case.

      • Liberty4all

        No, I said the complaint was BS, UNLESS the referenced statutes were insane.
        Press reports (including liberal Forrest’s) do not indicate the special prosecutor is GOP. One says he reports to the drunk.
        I did not say or suggest the GJury was corrupted by media, but it IS drawn from a liberal population. One of the six jurors is an active TXDem party delegate, and is not the only one of the six to break their Oath to blab to the press.
        The judge should grant the first motion to dismiss.
        Read more carefully.

  • joethepleb

    Great piece here.

    • 1bimbo

      700 words of ‘uh, i don’t know, maybe, wait and see, perhaps something, maybe nothing, could be but possibly not, even if we know what we don’t know, we won’t know until we know..’ great piece all right

      • not_Bridget

        Too complicated for you?

        • 1bimbo

          seems rather simple: texans for public justice went after perry with these charges soooo

          ‘…Enter George Soros, who holds all those views and whose
          non-government organizations are behind the funding of Texans for Public
          Justice via his Open Society Institute, the Sunlight Foundation and
          indirectly through other groups that hand cash out to causes they
          believe in.

          They’ve given Texans for Public Justice at least $200,000 to
          masquerade as a public-spirited, good-government group instead of the
          pack of partisan hacks that it is…’

          http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/081814-713767-indictment-of-rick-perry-the-world-of-soros-cash-funding.htm

          • bomber

            And how much has the Koch brothers given Perry and Abbott (and the rest of the Tx repubs)? I can’t wait to see how this trial goes; popcorn anyone? Bwaaahahaha!

      • fatibel

        Wait and see is the correct response while the case is still underway. Calling the indictment flimsy and theatrical when you haven’t even read the charges is not.

        • Guest

          Looks like the Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum may have jumped the shark … Looks like the Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum may have jumped the shark …

          Interesting, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman covered the same news conference. Yet, the DMN’s bureau chief and top political reporter didn’t believe they owed it to their readers to publish this important tidbit:

          “Perhaps foreshadowing their legal defense, Perry’s attorneys hinted that the governor may have never directly threatened Lehmberg that he would veto the $7.5 million two-year state appropriation unless she step down — the crux of the prosecution’s case — but added that even if he had done so, he was still within his First Amendment rights.

          “Austin attorney David Botsford, who is also representing Perry, said there is no evidence of a Perry threat other than a newspaper article. Botsford was referring to an American-Statesman story published in June 2013 detailing Perry’s alleged threat.”

          http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/rick-perry-assembles-all-star-defense-team-to-figh/ng5Dz/#e405caa9.3617911.735464Looks like the Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum may have jumped the shark …

          Interesting, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman covered the same news conference. Yet, the DMN’s bureau chief and top political reporter didn’t believe they owed it to their readers to publish this important tidbit:

          “Perhaps foreshadowing their legal defense, Perry’s attorneys hinted that the governor may have never directly threatened Lehmberg that he would veto the $7.5 million two-year state appropriation unless she step down — the crux of the prosecution’s case — but added that even if he had done so, he was still within his First Amendment rights.

          “Austin attorney David Botsford, who is also representing Perry, said there is no evidence of a Perry threat other than a newspaper article. Botsford was referring to an American-Statesman story published in June 2013 detailing Perry’s alleged threat.”

          http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/rick-perry-assembles-all-star-defense-team-to-figh/ng5Dz/#e405caa9.3617911.735464

          Interesting, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman covered the same news conference. Yet, the DMN’s bureau chief and top political reporter didn’t believe they owed it to their readers to publish this important tidbit:

          “Perhaps foreshadowing their legal defense, Perry’s attorneys hinted that the governor may have never directly threatened Lehmberg that he would veto the $7.5 million two-year state appropriation unless she step down — the crux of the prosecution’s case — but added that even if he had done so, he was still within his First Amendment rights.

          “Austin attorney David Botsford, who is also representing Perry, said there is no evidence of a Perry threat other than a newspaper article. Botsford was referring to an American-Statesman story published in June 2013 detailing Perry’s alleged threat.”

          http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/rick-perry-assembles-all-star-defense-team-to-figh/ng5Dz/#e405caa9.3617911.735464

          • fatibel

            I see you’ve mastered the copy and paste functions.

        • Guest

          Looks like the Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum may have jumped the shark …

          Interesting, the Dallas Morning News and the Austin American-Statesman covered the same news conference. Yet, the DMN’s bureau chief and top political reporter didn’t believe they owed it to their readers to publish this important tidbit:

          “Perhaps foreshadowing their legal defense, Perry’s attorneys hinted that the governor may have never directly threatened Lehmberg that he would veto the $7.5 million two-year state appropriation unless she step down — the crux of the prosecution’s case — but added that even if he had done so, he was still within his First Amendment rights.

          “Austin attorney David Botsford, who is also representing Perry, said there is no evidence of a Perry threat other than a newspaper article. Botsford was referring to an American-Statesman story published in June 2013 detailing Perry’s alleged threat.”

          http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/rick-perry-assembles-all-star-defense-team-to-figh/ng5Dz/#e405caa9.3617911.735464

        • Norse Gal

          Could it be “GOP” Special Prosecutor Michael McCrum jumped the shark?

          Here’s what the Statesman had to say following Monday’s defense team news conference:

          “Perhaps foreshadowing their legal defense, Perry’s attorneys hinted that the governor
          may have never directly threatened Lehmberg that he would veto the $7.5 million
          two-year state appropriation unless she step down — the crux of the
          prosecution’s case — but added that even if he had done so, he was still within
          his First Amendment rights.

          “Austin attorney David Botsford, who is also representing Perry, said there is no evidence of a Perry threat other than a newspaper article. Botsford was referring to
          an American-Statesman story published in June 2013 detailing Perry’s alleged
          threat.”

          • Dick Burns

            Is it first amendment rights to wonder, “What’s in it for me?” about an appointment for a Senate seat? Maybe you could call Blagojevich in prison and ask.

          • Norse Gal

            Huh? The Governor isn’t required by law to provide a reason for a veto. Under the law, the Governor can veto a bill and say he did so just “because.”

  • irrefudiate

    Thank you, Mr. Wilder. The actual facts surrounding this case cannot be stated often enough. The media GOP spin has been almost universal. Even FoxNews’ Judge Jeanine didn’t bother reading the indictment.

  • JohnThackr

    Ken Starr was thought of as a nonpartisan, well-respected special prosecutor when he was assigned, partially because he had led a dogged investigation of Republican Senator Bob Packwood. So I’m not sure how much difference that makes. Prosecutors gonna prosecute.

    If it’s “not about the veto,” but about getting Lehmberg to resign, then how is it not about Lehmberg’s disgraceful behavior? She wasn’t just drunk, she threatened the arresting cops’ jobs, saying that they’d be in jail instead of her, and repeatedly urging them to “Call Greg,” the sheriff. She doesn’t deserve to serve on a Public Integrity Unit.

    If Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri threatened to line item veto military equipment transfers to Ferguson unless their chief of police stepped down, would you have the same reaction? If a Governor threatened to veto unrelated appropriations unless someone who made horrible racist comments stepped down, would you have the same reaction?

    Your position is that it’s perfectly legal for him to call for her to resign based on her horrific behavior, and it’s perfectly legal for him to veto or threaten to veto the funding, but it’s illegitimate for him to do both?

    If this is the best case you’ve got, it’s weak sauce.

    • Mike A

      Its the law that hes not allowed to do both…thats the problem, that he saw this as an opportunity to defund an office that he’s been trying to get rid of for years because hes corrupt. He threatened an office that Lehmberg doesnt really have anything to do with.

    • bomber

      If it’s about Lehmerg’s disgusting behavior then why didn’t Perry call for the resignations of DA Rick Harrington or DA Terry McEachern? Maybe because they aren’t over departments that are investigating the governor? Talk about weak sauce…..

    • truthify

      Lehmberg’s behavior can be dealt with — oh, perhaps she did some time? I don’t know… one person’s wrong does not give another person the right to commit another wrong. Maybe there’s simple catchy phrase that might illustrate this principle?

  • JohnThackr

    “More significantly, the piece basically chucked out almost everything
    we’ve learned about Rick Perry over his decades in politics to posit
    that he’s suddenly, mutatis mutandis, some sort of serious “bipartisan
    uniter” who’s shucked off the focus groups and polling and is finally
    just being his charming, fun-loving awesome self.”

    That’s not how you use mutatis mutandis. Not at all. Mutatis mutandis is when you’re making an analogy between A and B, and you change the necessary (small, irrelevant) details from A to make it B (implying that the major arguments are the same.)

    • jimmy

      Sure, if you’re only relying on a strict definition. Check M-W,com:

      1 : with the necessary changes having been made
      2 : with the respective differences having been considered

  • Ralph Baldwin

    Thanks. The national pundits have done a really horrible job on this story.

    • bomber

      Well, the do work for the corporations that own the media and said corps are beholden to the repubs who give them oodles of tax breaks, etc…..

      • Norse Gal

        Like Comcast which owns NBC and MSNBC?

        • bomber

          Like ALL of them. If you think Progressives find MSNBC progressive you may be in for a shock….

          • 1bimbo

            oh right, they have scarborough

          • bomber

            Don’t worry, you still have Faux News….

          • Justin Mattes-KC2GIK

            Enter Bob Beckel, Alan Colmes and Jaun Wiiliams

          • 1bimbo

            don’t forget carville! he’s been haunting the number1 rated cable news program lately as well

  • bomber

    I’ll second irrefudiate’s post. We will have to wait for the trial to see what the details of this indictment are. This is Texas after all and Perry has loaded the gov’t with his appointees in the last 14 years and the repubs have a choke-hold on said gov’t so I don’t think he would have remotely been charged by a Grand Jury if there were no compelling facts. All I know is I’ve got my popcorn ready and can’t wait for the process to begin. The people of Texas deserve better than what they’ve gotten for decades;.

  • MikeV12

    “However, none of us is privy to the evidence and testimony presented to the grand jury.”

    We don’t have to be. The indictment is legally insufficient on its face. Risibly so, such that many fair-minded observers view the indictment itself as evidence of deliberate prosecutorial misconduct. Ultimately that may be a bridge too far, but this is frivolous stuff.

    The indictment is also directly based on the veto, though the phrasing does much to obscure the fact. I saw Craig McDonald’s interview, he was not persuasive on this point.

    So all you folks crying that the critics haven’t read the indictment need to take a step back. I have read it. If anything, it only makes the prosecutor — and Travis County — look all that much worse.

    • Aloanstar

      You haven’t read it…you might have heard about it through word of mouth, but you have not “read” it, unless you work with either side and if that is the case, you are looking at jail time for discussing it before the case proceeds further. I doubt you would risk that, so you are no more in the know than anyone else;

  • Ron Citizen
  • Ron Citizen

    Texas Governor Rick Perry is going to do hard time in prison because Perry told the Travis County District Attorney if she doesn’t resign from office, Perry would cut the $7 million to her office/unit.
    Using public funds to attempt to force a public official to resign is a crime in Texas; and when those public funds exceed $200,000, the crime becomes a first degree felony; in Texas there is no probation for criminals convicted of a 1st degree felony – only hard prison time.

    This is the most cut and dried criminal case involving an elected high-ranking state official I can ever recall in Texas. Perry is going to prison for sure because one of the two charges against him is a first degree felony and carries 10 to 99 years and NO PROBATION AVAILABLE for first degree felonies in Texas; and Perry is too arrogant and stupid to PLEAD GUILTY AND NOT GO TO TRIAL.

    • 1bimbo

      ‘cut and dry’? you mean like the cases against tom delay or kay bailey hutchison..

  • Ron Citizen

    This is the strongest, most cut and dried case I’ve ever seen against any elected official. There is no grey area here, but incredibly, CNN and the New York Times is LYING THEIR ASSES OFF calling it just Texas politics at play.

    Perry makes the specious argument that he, as Texas Governor, has a constitutional right to with hold funds at will; sure he has a constitutional right to with hold funds – BUT, Perry doesn’t have a right to with hold funds on his condition that a particular public servant doesn’t resign; Perry committed a first degree felony when he threatened to cut $7 million to a public servant IF SHE DIDN’T RESIGN!

    Had Perry simply cut funds WITHOUT telling her she must resign, Perry’s act would have been lawful.

    • Paul Strait

      What if the situation was that a bill was being debated in the legislature, and Perry threatened to veto the bill unless the legislature included an amendment. What is the legal distinction between that kind of ‘coercion’ and the kind of coercion here? I don’t think those situations are perfectly equivalent, but looking at the text of the statute used here, they seem identical. What textual basis would you use to distinguish those two scenarios (presuming you don’t think the scenario I described should be illegal, which would be ludicrous)?

      • Ron Citizen

        Any Texas Governor vetoing a bill is perfectly legal because that is not an illegal co-ercion of a public servant; in fact, that’s business as usual. Texas Governor Rick Perry is going to do hard time in prison because Perry told the Travis County District Attorney if she doesn’t resign from office, Perry would cut the $7 million to her office/unit.Using public funds to attempt to force a public official to resign is a crime in Texas; and when those public funds exceed $200,000, the crime becomes a first degree felony; in Texas there is no probation for criminals convicted of a 1st degree felony – only hard prison time.

        • Paul Strait

          With respect, you didn’t really answer my question. In the hypothetical scenario I described, Perry did more than just veto: he also made a threat, conditioning his veto on the passage of an amendment. Which specific line in the penal code do you think distinguishes between those two kinds of threats?

          • Ron Citizen

            I don’t care about your inapplicable scenario. Worse, it’s obvious you don’t understand the 1st degree felony charge against Perry, and if you have’t figured it out by now, odds are you will never figure it out. But you’re not alone, that’s for sure. Again, it’s perfectly legal for a Texas Governor to condition his veto on the passage of an amendment; an amendment is not a person. Perry is not charged with co-ercing an amendment – Perry is charged with co-ercing a public servant using public funds in excess of $200,000, which make such an act a first degree felony, that’s the difference, my friend.

            Sec. 39.02. ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY. (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:

            (1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment; or

            (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.

            (b) An offense under Subsection (a)(1) is a Class A misdemeanor.

            (c) An offense under Subsection (a)(2) is:

            (1) a Class C misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is less than $20;

            (2) a Class B misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20 or more but less than $500;

            (3) a Class A misdemeanor if the value of the use of the thing misused is $500 or more but less than $1,500;

            (4) a state jail felony if the value of the use of the thing misused is $1,500 or more but less than $20,000;

            (5) a felony of the third degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $20,000 or more but less than $100,000;

            (6) a felony of the second degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $100,000 or more but less than $200,000; or

            (7) a felony of the first degree if the value of the use of the thing misused is $200,000 or more.

          • Paul Strait

            Which part of the law that you just cited supports, in your mind, the distinction between conditioning on a person taking the action of resigning and the people of the legislature taking the action of amending a bill? Also, why are you so angry about this? Let’s just have a civil discussion.

          • Ron Citizen

            Using public funds to effect an amendment process is not illegal. Conversely, using public funds to co-erce a public servant to resign is a first degree felony, when those funds exceed $200,000. This is not a complicated issue; it’s fairly cut and dried. Especially to an attorney who has better things to do than explain the simple facts of this indictment.

          • Paul Strait

            But aren’t state legislators, who might not want to pass an amendment, also public servants who would be coerced in the scenario I describe? I really don’t think it is as cut and dried as you suggest– indeed, many legal scholars (e.g., eugene volokh) have pointed out this same problem I am trying to explain here. The statute itself doesn’t distinguish between what happened and the hypothetical scenario I described. Both potentially involve massive amounts of money; both involve coercing public servants, both involve the threat of veto. If you can’t show a clear textual basis for distinguishing between the two, I can’t imagine how this will get much past the current indictment.

          • Ron Citizen

            Now you’re being silly. You know and I know Gov. Perry isn’t using public funds to try to make state legislators resign. Why are you claiming Rick Perry is trying to make state legislators to resign? He’s not.

          • Paul Strait

            I didn’t make that claim. I compared the scenario that occurred — he threatened veto to coerce a DA to resign — with the hypothetical scenario of coercing a legislator to pass an amendment that he or she does not want to pass. The statute doesn’t have clear language that identifies what kind of coercion is acceptable and what is not.

          • fauxsuper

            If Perry was just addressing the assembly in general and said “I’ll veto this bill unless you add this amendment”, that would be very different from saying to a specific senator: “Either resign your position, or I will line item veto all funding in your county.”

          • Paul Strait

            Surely it would be different, but how would it be different with respect to the precise text of the statutes cited? I have yet to hear a textual argument that distinguishes these scenarios.

          • Charles Batchelor

            Actually it wouldn’t mater if he was general or specific to an individual under your interpretation, only the number of counts that he would be charged with, Paul Strait is correct, you haven’t made your case.

          • Jan Calloway

            You are really missing the point. but to put it in a way you would understand, you have to make the outcome equal. I.E. Perry threaten to fire representatives if they didn’t vote the way he wanted is different that saying he will veto a bill if it is passed. there difference that you can’t see is that he can’t threaten the loss of their jobs to get his will.

          • Paul Strait

            Jan — I can see that difference, sure. But I don’t see how that difference is specifically discussed in the statute. I’ve been asking over and over for a *textual argument,* i.e., an argument from the text of the law that supports distinguishing these two cases of coercion so that one is legal and the other is illegal. That is really all I am asking for. I understand that these are different cases, but I have yet to be shown textually that the difference makes a difference legally.

          • Charles Batchelor

            It’s because they can’t make it, the prosecution has stretched the law to fit the “crime”.

          • Liberty4all

            Afraid you won’t get much logic here, despite repeated requests.
            How would the ant-Perry abusers of office distinguish a veto threat from a refusal to appropriate?
            I.e. do they hold that a committee chair, or individual legislators would be felons for refusing to vote to appropriate funds, unless person A is nominated to position B?
            This is simple negotiation, part of the normal give & take.

            What IS coercing a public official, and abuse of power, is threatening to jail law enforcent officers in the course of performing their normal duties, because they are arresting YOU, a powerful elected prosecutor.

          • Bill Denaro

            Yea he is, he told us so. He just thinks it’s legal.

          • http://batman-news.com heropass

            The bribery part.

          • Paul Strait

            Bribery? No one is alleging bribery. He threatened to veto funding for a program and he followed through with that threat. That element is present in both scenarios — Imagine the legislation in question in my hypothetical scenario is the annual budget. There we are talking about billions of dollars. A threat to veto that is just as much ‘bribery’ (I think you mean extortion, though it isn’t that either) as was the scenario in which he threatened to veto funding for the corruption office. Or am I missing something? If you have an argument, I’m genuinely interested, because I just don’t see it and I would like to. But so far, you haven’t made any textual argument that distinguishes the two scenarios, and saying the word ‘bribery’ almost makes me think you aren’t arguing in good faith.

          • Ron Citizen

            Listen…I can hear you telling President Reagan that he couldn’t threaten to veto Congress since that would be a first degree felony; Reagan may laugh at you and say, “Listen son, the only way that would be a first degree felony would be if I threatened to veto Congress if Senator Numbnuts didn’t resign.”

          • Charles Batchelor

            Except that Reagan could have because it isn’t a crime and Congress would have overrode his veto.

          • Chris Allen

            Perhaps that’s part of the answer: in the case of a governor’s or a president’s veto, the legislative body still has the opportunity to override said veto. If a governor or president exercises a veto as a punishment against a person or persons in the legislature, rather than doing so on the bill itself and/or it’s ramifications, they can still be overridden (and likely will, under those circumstances). They may also be brought up on some type of ethics charges or censure from the legislative body.

            On the other hand, Perry’s attempt to force a state employee in the system to quit by denying funding to the *department* she oversees, left that department with no recourse and no way to appeal or get the funding despite his veto.

            Another point: regardless of regulations and laws, it was an asshole move. If someone denies funding to hungry children because they’re “getting even” with the person who runs that program, for instance, to my mind that’s a violation of their oath to serve the public. Likewise, when Gov. Christie shut down the bridge for several days to “pay back” local officials he was mad at, again, it’s a violation of that oath and of his office. Elected officials are supposed to serve the public good and public needs. Increasingly that’s not how it works, but that’s the standard they’re *supposed* to strive for, and that we are *supposed* to expect and demand of them. Perry’s and Christie’s actions were gross and egregious violations of that standard… and pointing out that lesser violations have become accepted as “the norm” or “how politics work” doesn’t excuse them. In fact, I’m in favor of going after the lesser ones as well… but it’s an uphill climb, given how many corrupt people have gotten into government. It’s still worth doing, though.

      • Ron Citizen

        PENAL CODE: TITLE 8. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION:
        CHAPTER 39. ABUSE OF OFFICE
        http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/Docs/PE/htm/PE.39.htm

      • Ron Citizen

        “WHY RICK PERRY IS GOING TO DO HARD TIME IN TEXAS” PRISON: http://citizenagenda.com/why-rick-perry-is-going-to-do-hard-time-in-texas-prison

        • 1bimbo

          hey soros citizen, you know something the rest of us don’t know? or are you a faux litigator involved in stacking the next jury?

      • Liberty4all

        you are right, of course
        That office is unethical
        Remember Tom DeLay

        • Bandara Carlos

          now that’s really funny

    • Charles Batchelor

      Except a governor”s veto power is unchecked except by a over-ride vote of the Texas legislature. A TX governor can veto for any reason or no reason (except from receiving or offering a bride) which didn’t happen in this case.

      • Jim Hart

        Charles, the indictment was not because of the veto, despite the public posturing.

        • Charles Batchelor

          Actually it was. If he had only threatened to us his veto if she didn’t resign and not actually had gone through with it there wouldn’t be any basic for charges, also they cite his veto in the budget as the basic for the charges. So him using his veto power is what’s being put on tial.

  • SickandTired

    The article did not clear up a damn thing! Why is a woman convicted of drunk driving in charge something called an Integrity Unit? After watching that booking video she lost all semblance of integrity she may have had, and should have resigned in disgrace. Of course the criminal complaint was filed by the LIBERAL Texans For Public Justice. Enough said.

    • Jesse Murray

      Yes and those same Liberals somehow managed via the power of infowars delusional bullcrap install the judges they wanted, the jury the wanted and came to your home last to steal your guns. Happy? Do we have all the delusional gaps filled or perhaps you need a sprinkling or Benghazi to go with your freedom fries?

    • Cam Payne

      Sick–you have no evidence Texans For Public Justice is (shudder) liberal. True, most of the group’s complaints are against Republicans–but that’s because there are no Democrat statewide public officials in Texas. They’re ALL Republican.

      In 2009, they filed complaints against two State Board of Education members who were Democrats. http://kxan.com/2014/08/18/texans-for-public-justice-has-filed-dozens-of-complaints-against-republicans/

  • Sitason Cane

    Why is Perry maligning the Bill of Rights? Why is he accusing the Grand Jury of partisanship? Why is he saying our System of Justice does not work?

    Amendment V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

    Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

    • 1bimbo

      why are you stumping for soros?

      • bomber

        ?????????????????????????

      • http://batman-news.com heropass

        Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. Go back to bed, you communist pup.

      • Mo Reno

        Soros didn’t write the US Constitution.

  • not_guilty

    I find interesting the suggestion, here attributed only to media reports, that after the veto Governor Perry offered to restore funding to the office if Ms. Lehmberg would resign. That would appear to be an express quid pro quo intended to influence a public official.

  • Bugboy

    Anyone who’s sat on a jury knows how hard it is to get a group of people to agree unanimously on anything. The fact that a Grand Jury was seated to indict Gov. Perry seems to have been overlooked, as if the indictment was pulled out of McCrum’s butt.

    If this is indeed an “in situ” version of “state’s rights” where the locals didn’t appreciate the Governor ordering them around, break out the popcorn. This should be fun!

    Remember what Rick Perry said about those 3 agencies he couldn’t remember the name of: he wanted to eliminate them, as if the President can unilaterally do that. He thinks he’s king of Texas.

    • Justin Mattes-KC2GIK

      A DEMOCRATIC elected DA once said: “I could indite a ham sandwhich”

      • http://batman-news.com heropass

        Perry is full of pork, that’s for sure. How else does a career politician become a multimillionaire? Not of the salaries (at least not in Texas)

    • Ken Clement

      There are no rules of evidence in a grand jury – hearsay, rumor, innuendo all flies; people who testify do so without the benefit of counsel (at least while they’re in the chamber); and the accused has no right to rebut anything or even be informed of the proceeding until and unless an indictment results. In short a grand jury is a prosecutor’s playpen. Texas law even considers the grant jury a party to the criminal investigation.

      Finally, a unanimous finding is not required and in fact appears not to have been the case in this indictment.

  • AnotherTexasObserver

    This is about CPRIT, the donor funnel! The DWI is a just convenient smoke screen that makes for a “good” (not) sideshow YouTube watch.

  • Jim Hart

    Won’t add to the conclusion jumping. This is as good a description of the process to date as I have seen. So far, a Republican Judge, appointed by Rick Perry, assigned the complaint to another Republican Judge, who thought the charges had enough merit to assign a respected, qualified Republican Special Prosecuter to investigate. After along, extensive investigation the Republican Special Prosecutor thought there was sufficient evidence of wrong doing to submit the case to a Grand Jury of Texas citizens. These Texans hear all the evidence presented, and voted to indite Rick Perry on two felony counts.

    All I can say is that as a Democrat in Texas I certainly did not know my party had that type of clout over the Republican judiciary in my state. If I had, and had known how to activate it the past twenty years of insider payoffs and crony enrichment in Texas would have been brought to a halt long since.

    I don’t know how this will play out. Obviously Rick has mastered the art of public posturing and pandering. We’ll just have to see how he handles the presentation of facts in a court room. Of course, since he hirfed prominent Democratic attorneys to defend him, he may slip out the back door safely.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      Or maybe he’ll just buy off the jury. You’re right, he was smart enough to hire those Dem attorneys (one who tried to get the FBI to investigate him), his Houston cronies would say all the wrong things.

    • Charles Batchelor

      All except that the Special Prosecutor works for the same office that he had a beef with. It would be his boss that would have the final say in moving the charges to a Grand Jury.

      • Jim Hart

        Charles, are you sure about this. My belief was that the special prosecutor reported directly to the appointing judge. I did not think the Travis County District Attorney had a say in the matter after the SP was appointed.

        I admit I could be completely wrong. I haven’t checked on, and am not really informed about the special prosecutor protocol in Texas. However, since you raised the issue, will certainly take another look.

        • Mo Reno

          He’s not sure. Special Prosecuors are independent of any office.

    • Bandara Carlos

      well said

  • Robby

    I posted this link (below) of the text in the actual Indictment, in reply to “Guest” who questioned one of my earlier posts here. But, thought the general audience might like to look at it too.

    Pretty straightforward. Only 2-pgs.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1275641/rick-perry-indictment.pdf

  • QueenofSheba

    One thing Mr. Wilder didn’t mention is that both the Governor and the Texas Legislature have been trying to get rid of the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis Co. DA’s office since it became evident that the office could investigate, indict and turn over for trial anyone in any agency or any employee of the state (since the all state offices and agencies are headquartered in the state capital, Austin). If Perry had had his way, and if the current Democratic DA, Ms. Lehmberg, had retired after her DUI ordeal, the governor would have appointed a Republican to take her place, an appointee who, no doubt, would have shied away from even investigating anyone in state government, much less charging anyone. The Travis County D.A. is elected by the people of Travis County, a solidly Democratic bunch, and Perry knew that appointing a successor to the current DA was the only way he would have been able to install a friendly Republican in the office – someone the voters in Travis County would never have elected.

    • Bandara Carlos

      makes sense.

  • tonyloaf

    Looking from the outside in (I’m not from Texas), this indictment looks like a complete joke. “It is possible that McCrum has gathered more information on Perry’s motives that will come to light later.” So what? A chief executive can veto a bill because s/he doesn’t like the color paper its written on. There’s no requirement that vetoes can only be exercised if you have the “correct” motives (whatever that is). Are we going to start giving lie detector tests to governors and presidents who veto bills to make sure they’re telling us the truth about why they did it, to make sure their motives were pure? Vetoes and the threat of vetoes have always been used by chief execs to try and exact political concessions. It is one of the tools an executive has to directly influence legislation.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      He can’t, for example, bribe her though. Perry is stupid enough and megalomaniacal enough to have done something like that. We’ll see what comes out. The prosecutor was not happy with the finding, it was supposed to be “nothing to see here” but apparently something he uncovered in July got the grand jury to unify on the indictment.

  • imapayne
  • 1bimbo

    one of the grand jurors below… you don’t think… maybe perhaps a little teeny weeny bit biased?? naaawwwwwww, no way!

    ‘…..In a separate post on her “Developer’s Dungeon page,” Chalmers showcased her Texas Democratic Party convention credentials and bragged about her participation on the party’s Rules Committee.
    “The Rules Committee was challenging but fun. A little over half a day to resolve everything but we ‘got er done’!” she wrote. She then liked and shared that post using her personal Facebook page, where she noted that she was “pleasantly surprised that I wasn’t completely lost on this committee….’

    http://mediatrackers.org/national/2014/08/20/perry-grand-juror-active-democratic-party-delegate-jury-proceedings

    • Cam Payne

      Chalmers also showed she understands clearly that a grand jury decision should not be partisan. You can believe she’s a “little teeny weeny bit biased” all you want, but that doesn’t make it so.

      What you’re really saying is that everyone’s a bit biased–which is probably true and means Perry was biased when he asked Lehmberg (a Democrat) to resign after her DUI conviction but didn’t ask two Republican DAs to resign after their’s.

      • 1bimbo

        if a grand jury was vetted properly, she would have been booted off the panel.. but ya see her bias worked in the prosecutor’s favor.. you know, the prosecutor who was tapped by king barack obama in 2009 for a federal judgeship

        • Cam Payne

          It’s true that judges can remove jurors for “actual or presumed bias,” but to remove one for liberal bias opens Republicans on the jury to removal for conservative bias. The question is, where would it stop?

          Your reference to “king barack obama” identifies you as a highly partisan conservative. Does that mean you’re incapable of judging the facts and rendering an objective decision? I suspect it does.

          • 1bimbo

            of course, i would have been booted off a liberal travis county grand jury in a newyork minute.. however there is no prerequisite on bias when pointing out something so blatantly politically motivated

          • Cam Payne

            When people can set aside their biases and decide based on the facts, their political preferences aren’t a problem. That’s something for you to aspire to.

          • 1bimbo

            i think you’re full-o-sh*t.. judges, jurors and attorneys are all biased.. if you say otherwise either you’re naive, a liar or a hypocrite… maybe all three

          • Cam Payne

            I didn’t say judges, jurors and attorneys aren’t biased. I said they are capable of setting aside their biases and looking at the facts objectively. It takes a great deal of emotional maturity to do that.

          • 1bimbo

            what *you* should do is stop blowing smoke up my @ss. it’s undignified

            The actor Ronald Reagan once said, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant, but that they know so much that isn’t so.”

          • Cam Payne

            I think it’s clear who’s being undignified in this conversation.

            BTW, That saying shows that Ronald Reagan was biased. He obviously didn’t have much emotional maturity.

          • 1bimbo

            your own bias is showing.. if i had to pick a juror and my choices were between reagan-a moralist and a conservative constitutional scholar ..or chalmers-a liberal political hack and democratic lap dog, i choose reagan everytime

          • Cam Payne

            Wrong again, bimbo. I OBSERVED bias in Reagan’s saying and pointed
            it out. That’s not me being biased. It’s me being analytical and objective. Actually, Reagan took that idea from a quote attributed to an American humorist named Josh Billings. The quote has several variations, but Billings’ general idea is found in this version and refers to humanity in general, not just liberals:

            “The trouble with people is not that they don’t know, but that they know so much
            that ain’t so.”

            As you can see, Reagan misused Billings’ quote as a slam against liberals and
            completely misrepresented Billings’ idea. That’s blatant bias in action.

            In reality, Reagan was exactly the kind of person he was describing in his “know so much that isn’t so” statement. He believed there was a “Chicago Welfare Queen” with 80 aliases who had received $150,000 in welfare. Reporters who heard this claim went looking for her but learned she didn’t exist. This didn’t stop Reagan, who kept talking about her in his political speeches because he was sure she
            existed, even after being proven wrong. (That’s not only biased but dishonest.)

          • 1bimbo

            it’ blatant truth in action too

        • http://batman-news.com heropass

          Mike McCrum is a better man than you’ll ever be. And he wasn’t tapped for a federal judgeship, but for a federal prosecutor. Cornyn and Hutchison (Texas Senators) gave his name to Obama. In fact, it was blocked in part by Congressman Lloyd Doggett (D) because he thought Obama was giving too many of these positions away to GOP saps such as yourself.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      And you’re not biased? Mr. Pot calling Ms. Kettle black.

  • victoria_29

    LMAO keep trying to spin it liberals just elected President Perry.

    • bomber

      There will never, ever be a President Perry. Why? Because I firmly believe there’s a God in heaven.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      wow, totally delusional. Where’s the nurse?

    • W. Linzmier

      Keep flying your flag. It is the sign of the civil war to come again to this county and this time it will not be on the losing end. Tired of all these liberal ASSHATS.

  • Seth586

    So he coerced a Public Integrity employee to quit because the employee lost public integrity. Yeah, nice argument for indictment. Wilder, even your profile smells of liberal activism.

    • Cam Payne

      If he “coerced” an elected official to quit, it’s a crime regardless of Lehmberg’s loss of public integrity or Wilder’s leftist proclivities.

      If Perry had asked Lehmberg to quit without threatening to withdraw funding, the prosecutor would have no grounds for an indictment.

      As it turns out, Perry allegedly used an intermediary to offer Lehmberg another position in the District Attorney’s office if she resigned. If that’s proven in court, it’s nothing less than quid pro quo.

      • 1bimbo

        there’s no ‘coersion’.. he said if she’s still it, state money is cutoff because she has no integrity.. plain and simple.. if i have an employee in charge of drug-testing for my company and he gets busted for drugs, he resigns or he is fired.. it’s a concept liberals can’t grasp.. that’s why all the democratic leaders are liars and thieves

        • bomber

          Um, why didn’t Perry try to remove the 2 repub DAs arrested for drunk driving? One of them was driving the wrong way on a one way street; nothing dangerous about that! Could it be that they weren’t investigating his favorite graft machine of the day? If that’s not the reason then I guess he’s just a hypocrite and a partisan hack…oh wait……..

          • 1bimbo

            because those DAs dont’ get state funding for operating a partisan group who claims to investigate bad behavior of public officials

        • Cam Payne

          Perry was an elected official, so Perry couldn’t fire her.

          • LargoLagg

            but he could defund her.

        • truthify

          Firing someone is vastly different then shutting down a program to get someone to step down to avoid the optics of firing someone for something other people also did, who were not fired for doing so.

          To complex?

          • Charles Batchelor

            The unit was still funded and operating, he vetoed their new budget for next year.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      Another advocate for free-dumb speaks.

  • SteveMunday1949

    The investigation by the Travis County DA PIU over the CPRIT is closed, correct?

    • 1bimbo

      this is what texTrib wrote about it.. that faux texas bloggety blog isn’t as biased as texOb, but still somewhat lefty–
      ‘…But Perry’s detractors are quick to note what the integrity unit was up
      to at the time — investigating allegations of improper reviews and
      conflicts of interest inside the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, a grant-making entity that Perry has touted as one of his signature accomplishments. That inquiry, which resulted in an indictment of a high-ranking CPRIT official, was delayed by Perry’s line-item veto of the unit’s funding….’

      http://www.texastribune.org/2014/08/19/context-perrys-veto/

      • SteveMunday1949

        Do you agree that the CPRIT investigation is now closed? One individual was indicted for misleading the state, but no one else–including Perry–were indicted. It is over, I think, but await someone more knowledgeable.

        • 1bimbo

          didn’t lehmberg claim she thought more board members are ‘under suspicion’.. i have yet to see a statement by the public ‘integrity’ unit that CPRIT is ‘closed’

          • SteveMunday1949

            EX-EXECUTIVE INDICTED IN TEXAS CANCER FUND SCANDAL

            By PAUL J. WEBER

            — Dec. 6, 2013 4:08 PM EST

            AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A former top executive of Texas’ $3 billion cancer-fighting effort was indicted over an improperly awarded $11 million taxpayer-funded grant that plunged the state agency into turmoil, prosecutors said Friday.

            Ending a yearlong criminal investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, prosecutors said a single felony count against former chief commercialization officer Jerald “Jerry” Cobbs will be the only criminal charge filed after an Austin grand jury declined to issue indictments related to other agency missteps.

            Cobbs, 62, is charged with securing the execution of a document by deception. He is accused of allowing Dallas-based Peloton Therapeutics in 2010 to secure one of the agency’s most lucrative awards ever even though the merits of the company’s proposal were never scrutinized.

            Prosecutors said no charges were considered against Peloton.

            “The evidence indicated that they were unaware their grant had bypassed the required review committees,” Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmnberg said.

      • http://batman-news.com heropass
  • 1bimbo

    so texans for public http://www.tpj.org/ justice generated these charges against gov perry?

    ‘…Contrary to its goo-goo protestations, the group “is a left-wing
    attack group that seems to issue scathing ‘crony capitalism’ attacks on
    Texas conservatives just as they prepare to run for national office,”
    Thiessen concluded.

    Such a group has to be motivated by bitterness….’

    ‘….George Soros, who holds all those views and whose non-government
    organizations are behind the funding of Texans for Public Justice via
    his Open Society Institute, the Sunlight Foundation and indirectly
    through other groups that hand cash out to causes they believe in.

    They’ve given Texans for Public Justice at least $200,000 to
    masquerade as a public-spirited, good-government group instead of the
    pack of partisan hacks that it is…..’

    http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/081814-713767-indictment-of-rick-perry-the-world-of-soros-cash-funding.htm

    • Cam Payne

      All that is speculation from investors.com, a biased news source that panders to the ultra-right wing of the political spectrum. Given how biased you are and the biased sources you used, I find it amusing that you’re down on people like Chalmers and the TJP for being biased. I’ve rarely seen such a serious case of a pot calling a kettle black. In psychology, we like to call that “projection.”

      Projection is a defense mechanism that involves taking our own unacceptable qualities or feelings and ascribing them to other people….Projection works by allowing the expression of the desire or impulse, but in a way that the ego cannot recognize, therefore reducing anxiety.
      http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/ss/defensemech_7.htm

      • 1bimbo

        well aren’t you the spin doctor.. when you’re done with your inane head shrinkage.. which rarely applies in the real world .. you should take your razor sharp analysis and point it at the george soros group who funds texans for justice

        • Cam Payne

          You mean Soros funds groups he believes in like the Koch Brothers fund multiple conservative groups? Regardless of his donation to TJP, Soros has no control over the outcome of Perry’s trial. The Texas legal system will evaluate TJP’s complaint based on existing law. If governor Perry is innocent, the court will acquit him. If the facts show he’s guilty, the court will convict him. It doesn’t matter where TJP’s funding comes from.

          BTW, the only evidence that TJP is a leftist group is the fact that it most often goes after Republicans. Since most of the public officials in Texas ARE Republican, there’s not much else they can do.

          • 1bimbo

            you forgot to blame bush in there somewhere.. typical looney liberal deflection

          • UltraL

            Which is surprising that you haven’t mentioned Obama’s blame in all this…

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      Yeah, George Soros, who made billions off of investments, proving he can think a might clearer than you can bimbo. So, you’re claiming he’s gone commie, big time? lol

  • kramartini

    The facts are not really at issue here, as the indictment fails to specify any crime.

    Count I fails since an unsigned appropriation bill is not property as a matter of law. Count II fails because it fails to allege a specific duty of the Travis County DA that Perry sought to interfere with.

    Thus, even if all facts alleged were proven, no crime would have been proven.

    • http://batman-news.com heropass

      But a job is property as a matter of law, and that was what was supposedly offered.

      • kramartini

        But the indictment identifies the proposed appropriation as the “property” misused in the alleged crime.

        A new indictment would be required to pursue your “job is property” theory.

  • http://www.liveleak.com Bush the decider.

    all GOP/TP koch fascists should be in fema camp prisons for sedition. starting with me, gw bush. after all, my pals cheney, rummy, gonzales, rice, are all war criminals.

  • kathukid

    I’m sure that once the media start digging, they will uncover plenty of corruption by Perry, just as in New Jersey with Christie. Once these guys are elected, they really think they are above the law. After 14 years as Governor in a state ruled by cronyism, you can bet there is probably enough evidence of abuse of power and corruption to send him to jail for life.

  • VoiceofReason

    See a common thread ?? Rick Perry, Bob McDonnell, Chris Christie & Scott Wallker.. THEY ALL HAVE THE MENTALITY OF THE SUPER-ENTITLED !! They think they can do ANYTHING and can get away with it and are above the law. Well, they are going to find out otherwise.. They are responsible for their actions and their claims that the Devil Democrats MADE me do it is absurd and as ludicrous as Bob McDonnell blaming his wife for everything.. Oh yeah.. when you are having an affair with a married woman, give her husband a car and $5,000 watch to throw the husband off and while they aren’t even speaking, have them pose for a PHOTO SHOOT ? yeah right !! how stupid do these GOPer clowns really think people are ??

    • truthify

      “How stupid do these GOPer clowns really think people are?”

      Don’t ask questions you don’t want to know the answer to. ;)

  • Geo.

    If found guilty I think Wendy Davis should give Rick a pardon, at the end of her sixth term as Governor.

    • 1bimbo

      ha! you should have a margarita with your triple sarc

  • godblessusa

    I’ve posted on numerous sites a request of Perry supporters to cite another example of an executive – of either party – threatening a veto to force the resignation of a duly-elected official. No one has yet. If someone has such an example, please post it.

    Pundits aside, I’ve thought since the indictment was issued that Perry’s behavior, far from reflecting the breezy nonchalance he intends, actually indicates that he fully understands the peril he faces.

    • LargoLagg

      Happily:

      State v. Hanson (Tex. Ct. App. 1990)

      The state alleged that [County Judge Regina Hanson] intentionally and
      knowingly threatened to terminate the county’s funding of the salaries
      of a deputy district clerk and an assistant district attorney in an
      attempt to coerce the district judge into firing the county auditor and
      the county attorney into revoking a misdemeanant’s probation.

      What do you think happened? I’ll give you a hint:

      Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free
      expression. See [Wurtz v. Risley, 719 F.2d 1438, 1441 (9th Cir.1983)]

      • godblessusa

        What you posted isn’t quite the same as Perry’s situation and actually doesn’t make much sense (missing words? Re-read it.) but it’s the closest anyone has come.

        Thanks for posting.

  • AnotherTexasObserver

    It’s CPRIT! The media has embarrassed itself, by stating”facts” and opinions without a speck of knowledge or investigation. CPRIT, people! The DWI is but a smokescreen diversion. The veto is not about the veto, but about CPRIT! News media, for shame on your profession.

  • Chuck Jakubisin

    “It is quite possible that the case against Rick Perry will fizzle.”?
    Really Forrest? There is no “case” against Rick Perry. Who is
    funding this attack? These kind of schemes are what the Dems have in
    their game plan to turn Texas blue! Their money supply is unlimited as
    they will never tell the truth about their finances but this type of
    assault can be expected thru the November elections. All they really
    wanted to get is the label “indicted” on Rick Perry, which they have
    succeeded in doing. I hope the people who trumped up these charges have
    some good lawyers themselves because they’re going to need them.

    • chuke

      Really, Chuck? The people who trumped up these charges are going to need lawyers? That sounds like a threat, a tactic our governor used. Those people are Republican special prosecutor Michael McCrum. And though the article didn’t mention it, Perry didn’t call for the resignation of two Republican DAs who were charged with drunk driving, Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison, and Swisher County District Attorney Terry McEachern. Good ole boys have always skated in Texas. Not this time. Finally, justice.

      • 1bimbo

        the more i read people defending the soros-funded ‘texans for public justice’ group that leveled the charges against gov. perry the more political this issue becomes.. it’s about the ‘integrity’ unit.. those other DA’s don’t have a partisan attack uniyd that get state funding for investigating the bad behavior of office holders

      • Chuck Jakubisin

        Again, WHO is funding the liberal attack? It takes MONEY to bring any indictment to trial. Check out the money trail. That’s all anyone needs to know.

  • readinamazement

    Those who opine there is nothing to these criminal charges have applied the Rick Perry-low level of legal analysis.

    Extortion of office is an ancient crime – an attempt by an official to extract something to which he is not entitled for discharging his duty.

    The crime here is quite undeniable – Perry demanded another official resign as a condition to the non-exercise of his veto power vis a vis a the other official’s agency. Being the self-absorbed future US president he is, Perry well documented his crime.

    The two TX statutes in the indictment are modern variations of extortion of office.

    Those who see no crime here are ignorant of the law and undeniable facts Perry has delivered into the special prosecutor’s lap.

    The sniveling has just begun.

    • LargoLagg

      Take a look at Texas v. Hansen. Same fact pattern. But there was a problem then, just as there is a problem now:

      Coercion of a lawful act by a threat of lawful action is protected free expression. See [Wurtz v. Risley, 719 F.2d 1438, 1441 (9th Cir.1983)]

      • readinamazement

        Texas Penal Code Section 36.03 which proscribes official coercion and Section 1.07 which defines coercion have both been amended since State v Hanson (Tex Ct Appeals 1990).

        Further, the Gov’s threat was not “lawful action” under the primary count – extraction of a
        benefit to which the Gov was not entitled for the exercise of his veto power.

        The TX special prosecutor is an experienced lawyer with a GOP background. He thinks he is on solid ground. Can Rick snivel any louder when the court denies his motion to dismiss? Let’s see.

  • DJYahtzee

    This article DOES throw some logical light on the issue and has made me rethink my positions. It IS quite possible Perry is guilty of coercion, I have to admit, (as hard as that admission is).

    However, the fact that he might have used those tactics in an overzealous attempt to oust the MORALLY CORRUPT leader of a “Public Integrity” unit (and, of course, a member of the opposing party) should be taken into consideration by Texas voters.

    Defenses like this would certainly be (has historically been) the Democrat stance on similar issues, i.e. Sandy Burger; “Good ol’ Sandy. He’d forget his head if it were not tacked on” in response to his attempt to steal and destroy documents that might have been embarrassing to Slick Willy Clinton after the 9/11/01 attacks.

  • jOjo

    Thank you MR WILDER!

    Some people, especially those with rose colored glasses, just don’t get it. Rick Perry has taken the State of Texas from a surplus to a deficit! Under his LEADERSHIP? The permanent school fund, which previously as UNTOUCHABLE and only used for Education has been raided by REPUBLICANS, thus cutting funding to all state supported schools, the cost of doing business in Texas has tripled, the cost of acquiring certifications and license has tripled and the cost of hunting and fishing license has tripled. Under Rick Perry, REPUBLICANS REMOVED the cap for tuition at State Colleges and Universities with allowed them to increase their tuition. You can’t blame Democrats, because all statewide offices have been held by REPUBLICANS and the Texas Senate and House have been controlled by REPUBLICANS for the past 15 years.

    I just love to hear the idiots talk! They want to equate Democrats to uncontrolled spending. They would rather vote for a REPUBLICAN and against their self-interest. Are they really idiots or have they just not been paying attention to what has been happening in Texas for the past 15 year. Here’s the TRUTH! ALL statewide offices have been held by REPUBLICANS and the Texas Senate and House have been controlled by REPUBLICANS for the past 15 years. The permanent school fund, which previously as UNTOUCHABLE and only used for Education has been raided by REPUBLICANS, thus cutting funding to all state supported schools. The cost of doing business in Texas has tripled, the cost of acquiring certifications and license has tripled and the cost of hunting and fishing license has tripled. REPUBLICANS REMOVED the cap for tuition at State Colleges and Universities with allowed them to increase their tuition.

    The 30 million dollar schools and 17 million dollar stadiums cost is a result of the “COST-PLUS” system we have incorporated into government spending. As a business owner, one should know how much it will cost to complete a job and account for any additional cost and delays in the bid. In Texas and the US we have a system when biding on government projects that the bid will accommodate for “additional cost”, or Cost Plus! This needs to STOP!

    Over the past decade Rick Perry has sold off the assets of the state of Texas (mostly lands of Texas Prisons) and his big supporters in real estate development hit the mother load! One used to be able to travel Southwest of Houston and North to Huntsville and see acres and acres of land being farmed, have cows and pigs on land, raising food for the prison system. Having convicts out working the land used to make them tired and keep them from wanting to start fights in prison. WELL NOW, no more raising produce, no more raising animals! All the convicts do is sit around and watch TV. Oh , Yhea and on that land..was sold to developers for pennys on the dollar…they turned around and built big expensive
    subdivisions on it.

    WAKE UP PEOPLE !!! RESEARCH!! Where are the great investigative reporters??? They type who uncovered Government fraud and corruption? Before people in Texas look at Washington, they need to look to Austin!

  • BobbyPFalcon

    When Perry is convicted – and he will be convicted – it will be because of the evidence. Watching the media try and spin this reminds me of how irrelevant prognostication can be. They haven’t seen the evidence.

  • rarriagaz

    The criminalization of Politics. That is a good manner of addressing Perry’s Blackmail of the Public Integrity Unit, which polices corruption in state government. Thus. the power of this anti-corruption unit is one of the few checks on the power and influence on the office of the Governor of Texas and on the power Perry has accumulated over 14 years in office. The coercion of withholding of funds from the Public Integrity Unit if Rosemary Lehmberg is not removed from here position on the Unit, is nothing but blackmail.

  • Ken Clement

    This indictment continues a hideous tradition for Travis county. This is not the first time that legal process has been hijacked for partisan reasons – the identity of the Judge and prosecutor not withstanding. Perry’s veto and his stated reasons for the veto are reasonable enough. What should be examined is the very propriety of the arrangement by where local officials are in charge of investigating state officials, particularly those of the opposition.

    For a liberal county, Travis presents itself as an illiberal place.