Texas Gov. Perry defends veto that led to charges

Perry said he had lost confidence in the prosecutor after drunken driving conviction
Associated Press
Aug 17, 2014

Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Sunday defended the veto that led a grand jury to indict him on two felony counts of abuse of power, noting that even some Democrats have questioned the move by prosecutors.

"I stood up for the rule of law in the state of Texas, and if I had to do it again I would make exactly the same decision," Perry, a potential candidate for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, said.

Already the longest-serving governor in state history, Perry has made it clear that he plans to complete his third and final term in January as planned. In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," the governor noted that David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, had called the indictment "sketchy" while Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz had questioned the move.

"Across the board you're seeing people weigh in and reflecting that this is way outside of the norm. This is not the way that we settle differences, political differences in this country," Perry said. "You don't do it with indictments. We settle our political differences at the ballot box."

A Travis County grand jury on Friday indicted Perry for carrying out a threat to veto state funds to the local district attorney, an elected Democrat, unless she resigned following her arrest and conviction for drunken driving. That 2013 veto prompted a criminal investigation.

Perry said he had lost confidence in the prosecutor and had been clear about his intentions to veto the funding. The governor said Sunday that the indictment reflected a larger problem of government agencies not following the rule of law, pointing to the Internal Revenue Service scandal in Washington and concerns about National Security Agency surveillance.

Several Republicans have come to Perry's defense and the governor has received words of support from Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

"This is the criminalization of just the legislative function and when you do that you weaken democracy. This is certainly a political attack, and this is very bad precedent," said Rep. Michael Turner, R-Ohio, who appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Perry is the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted. The charges came as he has sought to reintroduce himself to Republican leaders and rank-and-file party members eager to win back the White House. Several stumbles during his presidential bid in 2012 led to his early departure from the race.

Perry's veto cut $7.5 million in funding to the state's ethics watchdog housed in the county district attorney's office. A state judge assigned a special prosecutor to investigate the veto following a complaint filed by a left-leaning watchdog group, which accused Perry of trying to leverage his power to force the resignation of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg.

That unit of public corruption investigators is based in Austin, a liberal haven in the mostly conservative state. Voters in the county reliably elect a Democrat to serve as district attorney.

Perry said Saturday he was confident that he would prevail and said those responsible for this "farce of a prosecution" would be held accountable.

Many Democrats criticized Perry's aggressive reaction to the indictment and accused him of trying to shift the blame.

Yet state Sen. Wendy Davis, the face of the party in Texas who's running a high-profile campaign for governor, took a more cautious tone Saturday.

"The charges that were brought down by the grand jury are very, very serious," Davis said, adding that she trusted the justice system to do its job.

Tensions between Republicans and the public integrity unit have simmered for years. Conservatives have long grumbled that the unit operates through a partisan lens and targets Republicans.

 

Comments

The Big Dog's back

perry=criminal.

There you go again

Hmmm, first Perry upstages Obama by actually doing something about border control (you know, called in the troops). Then, magically, Perry faces trumped up charges for exerting a veto. Something's fishy here, don't you think, Dogbreath?!?!

The Big Dog's back

Yeah, what's fishy is that perry would use personal vindictiveness to punish the people. Abuse of power.

The Big Dog's back

Also sounds like blackmail to me.

deertracker

He did nothing but grandstand by sending in the "troops" aka National Guard. They have no power to do ANYTHING! NONE! Major waste of money.

arnmcrmn

What was Obama going to do with the 4 billion he wanted for the border? Oh thats right, most of it went to pet projects unrelated to our border crisis. At least Perry is trying to use whatever he has in his power to deter people from crossing. Bets are some will turn around and go back.

arnmcrmn

This won't hold and both sides know. The DA is a lunatic. Youtube her video when she was incarcerated.

The Big Dog's back

And perry isn't?

Maggdi

I'm sure there is a very compelling video that shows the Travis Co DA's steps to amending the errors of her ways... like blowing a .23 and asking if 'Gary'( the Travis Co Sherriff) had been called to extricate her from that abomination of justice.
There was certainly no reason for the Governor to threaten to withhold money from the "Public Integrity Unit" that she headed.

arnmcrmn

Perry had the authority to veto anything. Thats Texas law, just like you savior Obama can veto anything that comes across his desk. The DA will be relieved of her job, Perry's name is getting good publicity and this will be over with within a week.

The Big Dog's back

So it's OK to blackmail someone?

arnmcrmn

This isn't blackmail. Spin whatever you'd like. She abused her power, lost control and is not a good person to be in the DA's position regardless of party affiliation. Why give money to someone who cannot control their own personal life?

Step down out of the way DA, and allow a replacement and Im certain the money will be reissued to the new DA.

The Big Dog's back

All over a DUI? Who abused their power by veto?

SamAdams

This isn't blackmail, unless you want to accuse your god of the same thing. How many times has Obama told Congress, "If you pass that, I'll veto it!" "If that comes across my desk, I won't sign it!"

Know what? Let me switch this up a little. I agree with you: Rick Perry is a bad, bad man and his veto shouldn't stand. Of course, Obama had better not threaten a veto, or sign a veto, ever, ever again...because if he DOES, that makes HIM a bad, bad man, liable for criminal charges!

The Big Dog's back

When has he ever threatened a veto over someone who got a DUI? Whatever your smokin' has to be illegal.

SamAdams

What does that have to do with anything? Perry never threatened anybody over a DUI, either. The withholding of funds -- for ethics enforcement, no less -- involved the DA's abuse of office as she threatened others with arrest and attempted to pull strings to get herself out of charges even YOU'VE got to admit are warranted!

CommonsenseNow

@bigdog - Would you want to be prosecuted by a DA who tried to get out of a DUI? Did you watch the video of her? It would be one thing if she joined AA, did A LOT of charity work to help alcoholics, and actually changed into a decent lady. I believe in grace; not enough of it in today's society. But she didn't, and just pleading guilty isn't enough when you are a DA arrested for a .239 DUI; you have to go the EXTRA MILE to restore public confidence in you. She didn't. Put away the two labels you have. Life is filled with nuances and grey. When you are that aligned to a political party where you filter EVERY thing through "which side does this fall on" left or right, you miss 98 percent of reality. Don't shortchange yourself.

The Big Dog's back

Heck, our country was lead by a guy who went AWOL during the Viet Man war, who was also a coke addict and an alcoholic.

Babo

Gee that sounds like some area prosecutors.

44846GWP

Say goodbye to the White House Rick, was never going to happen anyway. lol!

knowitall

Gov Perry did three things wrong. I just can't remember what they were.

deertracker

LOL!

Donegan

Funny watching the useful idiots defend a drunk DA that supposed to be in charge of integrity because of her party affiliation. It goes to show how much integrity the Democrats have, they care nothing for the citizens this woman has jurisdiction over all because of the letter behind her name.
I personally do not care whats behind her. name The DA, Police and government officials should hold themselves to a higher standard if the want people to respect them and their office. If they do not hold that higher standard for themselves how are they to expect it of those they supposedly work for?

The Big Dog's back

Funny that you guys defend a coke addict and alcoholic, (bush).

arnmcrmn

Obama has never done drugs before? Answer that?

B0ttom Line

Dog, not only is your statement false but also unrelated to the discussion. All you ever do when a "D" does something stupid or appalling, which is often, you try to act as though two wrongs make a right. They don't. As was already said, wrong is wrong regardless.

jazzb0

You are wrong again , B0ttom Line .

Bush was into coke and an alcoholic

If you spent more time researching than trying to put people down , you would be a whole lot smarter.

Donegan

If they would have gotten rid of Bush because he was a drug addict i would have applauded that. We would not have half the bad legislation Obama is strengthening. (The patriot act, Bailouts, ect ect)
The D's excuse bad behavior because someone else done it first and the letter behind the name. Two wrongs do not make a right so why argue. The DA screwed up and cannot be trusted. Get rid of her, Same with any politician or public servant.

jazzb0

The R's are always lying and deflecting.

Donegan

School starts next week, I hope the 4th grade treats you better that the 3rd. That's assuming you passed the 3rd grade, so never say i don't give you credit for anything.

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