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As I've been writing my just published post on the Ebola epidemic I've just heard Rachel Maddow report that Texas Governor Rick Perry has just been indicted for what I believe she reports was abuse of power.

I will update this with documentation in a few minutes if someone else has not already reported it. Manny Fernandez of the New York Times reports Gov. Rick Perry of Texas Is Indicted on Charge of Abuse of Power

AUSTIN, Tex. — A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts on Friday, charging that he abused his power last year when he attempted to pressure the district attorney here, a Democrat, to step down by threatening to cut off state financing to her office.

The indictment left Mr. Perry, a Republican, the first Texas governor in nearly 100 years to face criminal charges and presented a major roadblock to his presidential ambitions at the very time that he had been showing signs of making a comeback.

Grand jurors in Travis County charged Mr. Perry with abusing his official capacity and coercing a public servant, according to Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor assigned to the case.

It remains to be seen whether this indictment will hurt or help Governor Perry's plans to run for President in 2016. Legal troubles for Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker have presented a mixed picture, and raised questions about whether Republican Governors see criminal indictments as some kind of badge of courage. It appears that other Republican Governors are worried that Governor Chris Christie may "get ahead of them" in the number of potential criminal indictments they face. (Humor alert - I never give up.)  

Former Republican Governor Rob McDonnell has taken the lead as I heard earlier this afternoon, prosecutors have nearly completed presenting their case against him.

Rachel just concluded her segment saying if convicted Governor Perry could face 99 years in prison.

6:18 PM PT: The charges are related to the case of Perry using his veto power against the budget for "Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County" trying to force her to step down after she was arrested for drunken driving.

Allegedly, Perry was motivated by the opportunity to name her replacement before the end of his term.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (32+ / 0-)

    Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

    by HoundDog on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:04:27 PM PDT

  •  If he wears his new glasses (9+ / 0-)

    will he still be indicted?

    •  Indicted for stylistic violations! (4+ / 0-)

      You should claim his as a title for your next hit rock tune Dartagnan. Or poem, or stand up comedy routine.

      We are so close to some other jokes here, I can feel it in my bones.

      Perhaps, something that's a variation of "if a tree falls in the forest but not one hears it, does it make a sound?"

      What about "if Perry wears is classes to his indictment hearing but not one comments on how intelligent he looks, is it a fashion crime?"  Damn, doesn't really make the grade.

      So close an yet to far away, "glasses, glasses everyone but no detectable intelligence we can see."  Nope.

      "If one wears fashionable glasses and still looks like an idiot, .... " no punch line. But reminds me of George Carlin.

      "Looks like shit,
      smells like shit,
      taste like shit...

      It is shit!"

      Perry ...
      looks like an idiot
      acts like an idiot,
      commit crimes like an idiot ...

      He is an idiot!

      not bad but not explicit mention of glasses.

      I give up, you win.

      I can't see my way to any comparable joke Dart. But then, humor is in the eye of the beholder. But, mine have so many specks in them I can't see shit.

      Where's jbou when we need him?

      Thanks for cheering me up.

       

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 07:50:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nothing says 'Red State Governor'... (12+ / 0-)

    like 'Abuse of Power'.

  •  She probably should have stepped down (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog

    for the DUI - but that still didn't give Perry the right to do what he did.

    The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government. - Thomas Jefferson

    by ctexrep on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:27:26 PM PDT

    •  I don't have a sked of this -- did he make the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SGA

      threat because she was arrested, or after she was convicted?

      If the former, he's in the wrong even more so.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 10:49:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bigger issue on corruption in state government (0+ / 0-)

        Ms. Lehmberg was convicted of drunk driving and served about half of 45 day sentence. On top of that, she behaved very, very, badly when she was under arrest, and her performance was recorded by police and eventually made public. There is no doubt in my mind that she behaved badly, in general, as a driver and as an arrested person.

        However, there is a consequence of her stepping down that is very significant. She was elected District Attorney of Travis County. As the prosecutor in Austin, she heads the Public Integrity Unit, which has statewide responsibilities.

        As I understand the situation, the Public Integrity Unit received complaints alleging that the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) was disbursing money that it got from the state legislature to people who weren't supposed to get it. Some of those recipients were reported to be close to Gov. Perry. The Public Integrity Unit investigated. A former official of CPRIT was indicted by the grand jury for improperly disbursing some $11 million.

        If Ms. Lehmberg stepped down, or was forced out of office, then Gov. Perry would name her replacement. Texas media reports suggested that he planned to appoint a Republican state legislator who is part of the "political apparatus."

        If his guy had become the head of the Public Integrity Unit, then his guy would decide which investigations would be done and, hence, which people might be at risk of indictment.

        Was Gov. Perry primarily worried about a prosecutor with a drunk driving conviction--or primarily worried about current or potential investigations by the Public Integrity Unit? Well, he used his line item veto to strike out the entire budget for that unit, which would shut it down. To my mind, that's not the action of someone who wants a strong and effective unit to investigate corruption in government.

        The Public Integrity Unit is still functioning, since funds were found within Travis County to keep it going, with half a budget.

        As to her bad behavior: Ms. Lehmberg is an elected person, with a four-year term. She will face the voters who hired her, and, if they want to throw her out, they will certainly be able to do so. Maybe the voters who elected her never wanted the Governor to coerce her into leaving, and then appointing a Republican to replace her.

        •  this is what I understood to be the case (0+ / 0-)

          except that I had heard that Gov. Perry demanded a step down after the arrest -- and the PIU was very involved in the CPRIT scandal.

          The voters who elected her wanted her.

          LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

          by BlackSheep1 on Sun Aug 17, 2014 at 10:03:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  If he had simply said he was going to veto, (7+ / 0-)

    that would have been legal. But his big mouth galloped out of the corral and said that it would happen if the DA didn't resign. That's coercion.
    He was trying to get her to resign so that he could appoint her replacement. This in a county that has always elected a Democrat.
    If there are degrees in life, this alleged strikes me as rather lame.

    Free Will is the only moral law.//If you have to explain snark, it's because it isn't working on one end or the other.

    by franklyn on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:28:39 PM PDT

  •  poetic justice? (5+ / 0-)

    Surely, the governor supports any effort to get tough on crime and to stop coddling the criminal element in our society.  

    •  Badger - I am willing to bet Perry is never (0+ / 0-)

      convicted of any criminal charges, post all available appeals. All proceeds to DKOS affiliate charities. Any interest?

      "let's talk about that" uid 92953

      by VClib on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 06:42:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That could be a new zesty election line. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mopshell, Badger84

      Campaigning as being tough on crime, but turning oneself in for violations.

      Something like this must explain why so many Republican Governors are stepping up to the plate.

      Someone joked awhile back that we should have started a pool to see which Republican Governor would have been indicted next, Christie, Walker, Scott, McCrory, that guy out in Kansas, heck so many I can't even remember them all at once.

      I was going to place my money on Christie, figuring Puddytat would back Walker.

      Never would have guessed Perry in my top five.

      But, then it occurred to me that despite the fun this would be, how embarrassing if a whole crew of Daily Kos writers should take up the other side of a prison wing across from Republican Governors for illegal gambling on political races.

      On the other hand, think of the possibilities for theme park attractions.

      We should pitch this idea to Disney World. The "It's a Small World" ride is so dated it has been painful to see for over 40 years already.

      "It a Small Prison" with audio animatronics could be a really zesty improvement.

      Instead of Lincoln saying "Four score and seven years ago,  we could have Christie saying "Those are some nice kids you got there, what a shame if something was to happen to them."

      And his assistant could say, "I'd like to rip their eyeballs out, pour in some gasoline, and light them up."

      And the Perry animatronic could be looking at himself in the mirror adjusting his glasses, saying "EPA, FDA, and the Department of Education!" with great gravitas, and then looking up across the top with an insightful, but clearly rehearsed gaze of authority and competence.

      Governor McConnell's wife could be holding up a diamond necklace whining, "but it was only $140,000 in small gifts!"

      Govenor McCrory could be taking a bath with the CEO of Duke Energy in coal ash oils saying "plus it will cure any psorsisis, even better than selenium," although this may need more work, and be too subtle for the average visitor on vacation.

      But, then we could sell programs.

      I can't believe we are languishing here in poverty when we have so much talent just bursting at the seems ready for the big time.

      Anybody else ready to split this hot dog stand and make a play for our own  comedy club?  

      We could call it the Daily Indictment, and wouldn't have to hire writers or comics but just read three paragraph clips from the newspapers about the goodball Republicans.

      But, instead of just preaching to the choir we could wake up typical Americans to the fact that their Republican "leaders" are pathetic, sociopaths, pandering to pubs with pablum.

      OK, but I'm still warming up after unpacking, and fixing computer network problems all day. Give me second chance!  

      Humor Alert! No statement from this UID is intended to be true, including this one. Intended for recreational purposes only. Unauthorized interpretations may lead to unexpected results. This waiver void where prohibited. Artistic License - 420420

      by HoundDog on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 08:10:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It wasn't just about Perry appointing (13+ / 0-)

    a republican if Lehmberg resigned. It was also about putting a halt on the investigation into CPRIT. The agency is suspected of channeling state funds into the pockets of Perry/Abbott campaign donors and political cronies. Perry wanted to shut down the investigation and saw an opportunity to do so by getting rid of Lehmbert.

    These are the allegations afaik

    •  Could you explain a bit more? This sounds like (0+ / 0-)

      the most important information to me.  

      •  CPRIT (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        SGA

        I commented on this elsewhere at more length, but basically:

        CPRIT is Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. CPRIT gets a lot of money from the state legislature.

        The Public Integrity Unit is headed by the District Attorney of Travis County--currently Ms. Lehmberg. She's the prosecutor in Austin, hence she is automatically assigned to head a unit with statewide responsibilities.

        Complaints were filed about the disbursement of money by CPRIT to people--including some close to the governor--who were allegedly not supposed to receive it. One former official has been indicted for improperly disbursing several million bucks.

        Is a governor who eliminates the budget for the unit that investigates complaints of corruption trying to shut down such investigations--or trying to clean up government by getting a prosecutor who is guilty of drunk driving to resign?

  •  Maybe he'll secede personally....n/t (6+ / 0-)

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 07:05:00 PM PDT

  •  Sounds like bullshit to me. (0+ / 0-)

    Speaking as someone who thinks Perry oughtta be cannonized, (shot out of a cannon, not elevated to saint-hood) this looks like he's doing something he's ALLOWED to do-he has a line-item veto, he could say he's vetoing the funding for the agency because they install toilet paper rolls with the paper unrolling off the BOTTOM of the roll, rather than off the top of the roll like ALL civilized people ought to.

    Couldn't they find something he did that was REALLY a crime?

    We'll see....should be amusing/annoying....

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 06:28:20 AM PDT

    •  I don't see it that way (0+ / 0-)

      Gov. Perry used his line-item veto to remove 100% of state funding for the unit that investigates allegations of corruption in state government. That tells me that he wanted to shut down investigations of corruption.

      Gov. Perry stated publicly that he was trying to coerce the elected District Attorney of Travis County to resign her position.

      Should a governor with line-item veto power be able to legally employ that power to coerce an elected official into resigning? If a governor wants to force the mayor of Houston, or a powerful legislator from the other party, to resign, is it legitimate for the governor to threaten to line-item veto every single dollar that is going to the mayor's city or the legislator's district unless he or she resigns? Is it legitimate to do this even if the governor's motive is purely partisan? I don't think this is legitimate; I think it is an abuse of power.

      In this case, the governor has the power to appoint the replacement for the District Attorney, and the person he reportedly intended to name is a Republican state legislator close to what was called the "political apparatus." The governor would be able to call the shots on who gets investigated for corruption in state government. Since people "close" to the governor were among those currently being investigated, isn't it possible--indeed, likely--that they would no longer face such an investigation if the governor had successfully coerced the DA into resigning?

      •  Perhaps everything you say is right.... (0+ / 0-)

        ....it STILL sounds like something completely within his constitutional authority and his reason for it is irrelevant.

        This sounds like the sort of thing that an appeals court will say "Nuh-UH, WE'RE NOT getting involved with that, take it up with the legislature!"
         

        "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

        by leftykook on Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 11:47:55 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I read yest that Perry has accused the Dems of (0+ / 0-)

    plotting against him, or some such contrivance, to try to smear him. No one needs to try, Gov, you've managed quite well all by yourself. It would be nice if he's convicted but I don't know if he will be. But didn't they convict that nitwit from Illinois - Rob Blagoiovitch? (Sorry, I know I just murdered the spelling of his name).

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