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.

jazzb0

Awwww , did the truth hurt your little-brain ?

Donegan

Obviously you didn't comprehend my post earlier when i said if the would have removed Bush i would have applauded. You know because i did not like him either. You 3rd graders seem to think 2 wrongs make a right and "He did it first" is a good excuse. To set you straight, neither one of those statements is true.
You must have liked Bush, tell us again why you didn't like him?

jazzb0

...for the same reason I don't like you.

He is an idiot.

The Big Dog's back

You get a dui and can't be trusted?

Bush Once Pleaded Guilty to DUI

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp...

Donegan

Obviously you trust him. I didn't and still don't.
Tell us again why you hate Bush?

CommonsenseNow

@bigdog - I agree too many people are criminalized in this society. This society lacks grace and is all about judgment. With that said, she is a DA in charge of prosecuting people; she tried to GET OUT OF the DUI by using her public position and kept insisting law enforcement call the chief. Yes, that disqualifies her from heading the Public Integrity Unit, UNLESS she went all out to restore the public's trust, and that means a heck of a lot of charity work. She didn't. She just remained a nasty old lady which means she didn't learn anything by her law-breaking.

SamAdams

It's difficult to take your criticism of George W. Bush seriously in regards to his past abusive behaviors when you're perfectly willing to excuse Obama's admitted past coke and marijuana use...

The Big Dog's back

What did Obama get arrested for sam?

jazzb0

At least Obama admitted it.

Bush and his supporters dodged it.

SamAdams

Bush admitted it. Eventually. After the evidence was pretty much incontrovertible. Obama admitted it. Up front. And so? It wasn't the fact that Bush would rather not talk about it, but the fact he did it in the first place. And it has little to do with whether or not Obama thinks he was cool, but the fact he did it in the first place.

Me? I don't CARE what either man did back in the day. The far more salient point is what either man did/does as President. But if you're going to call the pot (no pun intended) black, you'd darned well better include the kettle!

jazzb0

When did Bush admit it ? AFTER he was president ?

Obama admitted it when he was a senator - BEFORE he was president.

Besides , I was addressing Bottomline's denial of Bush using drugs.

PS

I seriously doubt your veracity - I'm sure it was a pun INTENDED so that you could squeeze the word 'black' in.

I had addressed that both men did drugs otherwise you wouldn't have responded to my post in the way you did.

Playing illogical games , huh ?

The Big Dog's back

Ahhh sam, I'm not the one saying someone should be disqualified if they have a DUI.

CommonsenseNow

@bigdog - who are "you guys"? how do you know whoever "you guys" are "defended bush." There you go again. Why don't you try living for YOURSELF, thinking for YOURSELF, and get off the ti* of your political party? It's not your mother. It is a group of politicians who don't even know your name. This lady doesn't deserve to be defended. She did this WHILE IN OFFICE. That's the point. If she had the DUI BEFORE she got elected, so be it. I believe in second and even third chances for people. But she did this WHILE IN OFFICE. Read my earlier comment to you about what she SHOULD HAVE DONE after this incident.

44846GWP

OH, I thought you meant Rush.

arnmcrmn

She's in the wrong and Perry in the right. Regardless of party affiliation.

The Big Dog's back

Oh if it was the other way around you would OK with it?

arnmcrmn

Read again, what exactly did I say? Regardless of party affiliation, she was wrong and Perry was right. Any clearer?

The Big Dog's back

I read what you said. I just don't believe it from your past posts.

The Big Dog's back

1st the pardon of Nixon by Ford. I will feed tidbits throughout the day.

B0ttom Line

You brush off comments that people have made about Bill Clinton because that was 15-20 years ago. Then you bring up something from 40 years ago. The usual from you drones.

The Answer Person

All of you are still mad that there is a BLACK family in the WHITE House. GROW UP AND GET OVER IT.

B0ttom Line

Pathetic, incorrect and irrelevant comment. But also expected.

Donegan

Seriously? Is that the go to answer now? This is a good example why no one takes you people serious.

SamAdams

Yup, you're right. I hate Obama because he's black; you hate Ted Cruz because he's Hispanic. It has NOTHING to do with anybody's policies, or what he's done/hasn't done. Nothing at ALL!

The Big Dog's back

We all know you hate Obama because he's Black. I'm still trying to find groups or individuals who am said anything about cruz because he's Hispanic. I bet you haven't found any racist teabagger stuff about Obama either. Need some help?

deertracker

You've got that right Answer!

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Please don't feed the trolls, deer.

xtensionofme

Sorry, Perry, but we've lost confidence in YOU

arnmcrmn

Amazing, yet predictable to see those defending a drunk, out of control and soon to be ex DA.

The Big Dog's back

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Rick Perry Tries to Get Out of Ticket - Texas State Trooper Dashcam

Babo

Belligerent drunk DA Lehmberg http://www.tpnn.com/2014/08/16/v...

Babo

It may be a crime under federal law for any government official acting under color of law to abuse their office to bring criminal charges against any citizen for exercising their First Amendment rights or any other constitutional right. See for example Hartman v Moore and El Britton v US.

This Indictment is an outrageous example of how state prosecutors and state judges of both parties can abuse their offices to create criminal cases out of nothing to retaliate against a political adversary.

Governor Perry had a constitutional right to express his opinion that Travis County DA Lehmberg ought to resign her office for her actions during her arrest and booking for a DUI. She had a BAC of 0.23% TWO hours after her arrest which is nearly 3 times the legal limit. Extrapolating back for those 2 hours she was well over 3 times at the time of arrest. She had an open container of Vodka in her vehicle and had purchased vodka on a regular basis for over a year based on liquor store records. She is an alcoholic. She threatened officers and tried to call in political favors from the Sheriff. She listed an unrelated state judge as next of kin upon her release from jail

She also heads up the only state public integrity unit from her county DA position in Travis County, (Austin) Texas. That unit is funded by the state and ought to be completely independent. Governor Perry warned her that he would veto funding for the unit if she didn't resign as the videos of her arrest and booking clearly demonstrate she is unfit for office and tried to abuse her power as DA to avoid arrest. She refused to resign and pleaded guilty to DUI and served half her sentence of 45 days thereby avoiding probation and regular drug and alcohol testing.

Governor Perry by demanding her resignation and promising to veto funding for the unit if she did not resign was exercising his rights as Chief Executive in the state. Instead of resigning, she personally appointed a special prosecutor (where have we seen that before?) to control the investigation of Governor Perry for intimidating her by demanding her resignation and de-funding a program when she didn't resign.

The special prosecutor obtained an Indictment that is beyond frivolous and he and Lehmberg both ought to be indicted by a federal grand jury for First Amendment retaliation for their actions IMO. Americans regardless of party affiliation should be outraged by this Indictment as this type of criminal retaliation for speech and political actions has no place in our system.

The Big Dog's back

So resign or I'm holding up funding? And you think that is OK? Maybe he will try to get others to resign by holding up funding. You above all people know this isn't right.

Babo

Of course it's right. I expect leaders to hold public officials responsible for conduct that is beneath their office and causes the public to lose faith in the criminal justice system. DA Lehmberg is unfit for office as DA of Travis County, Texas.

Governor Perry was not seeking to destroy the Public Integrity Unit but seeking to ensure it was led by someone who had the confidence of the people. Governors and our President have every right to use their veto power on budget items that are not in the best interest of the people.

The Travis County DA is IMO not fit for office as proven by her poor judgment. In fact by her ongoing abuse of power to indict Governor Perry she has only underscored her poor judgment and penchant for politicizing the criminal justice system and this will backfire badly on her due all the publicity.

I do not view cases like this from a D or R perspective but ask are the actions right under out system of government. Abusing the criminal justice system to settle political scores makes us no better than a third world despot.

IMO, Rosemary Lehmberg ought to be removed from office and criminally prosecuted by the USDOJ for abuse of office.

The Big Dog's back

So shouldn't the people be making the decision?

"I do not view cases like this from a D or R perspective but ask are the actions right under out system of government. Abusing the criminal justice system to settle political scores makes us no better than a third world despot."

So why did perry bring in the politics? You know people like yourself harping about Gov all the time sure don't have a problem with the GOV sticking his nose into a local matter.

Babo

Perry did not "bring in the politics" but was responding to public comments and concerns that the Travis County DA was unfit for office. That office has statewide jurisdiction on state public integrity cases. The Governor had every right to ask her to resign and when she didn't he vetoed funding from the state of Texas that was financing politically motivated prosecutions.

If you are going to state it is acceptable for a prosecutor to indict a government's chief executive officer for using his or her constitutionally provided veto power and or asking for the resignation of an executive branch officer for misconduct in office; you must then be prepared to see President Obama indicted every time he vetoes a spending bill or asks for the resignation of somebody such as the Secretary of the VA for misconduct or incompetence in office.

Furthermore, I wish we had a Governor who would remove Prosecutors (and judges) from office when they abuse their office for personal gain including sexual misconduct or have chronic drug and or alcohol problems. For example, William Shenck in the AG's office needs to go and somebody ought to take a hard look at AG DeWine for enabling him.

The Big Dog's back

And if you knew anything of what's been going on in Texas, this is payback for what the former DA Ronnie Earle, who endorsed Lehmberg to take his place, indicted a bunch of Repubs including tom delay. This has been ongoing by perry.

Babo

No, the indictment of Perry is criminal retaliation for calling for Lehmberg's resignation for being unfit to lead her office. It is not a crime to call for someone to resign and if they do not, to cut the purse strings that funds an office that is being abused to advance political vendettas. As you point out the Travis County DA's office has a history of politically motivated indictments and needs to be cleaned up.

You obviously do not know that the indictment of Tom Delay by Lehmberg's predecessor was vacated because it was not a crime and ultimately found to be politically motivated just as this indictment by Lehmberg's hand picked special prosecutor will be found to be politically motivated and thrown out. So you just proved that the office of the Travis County DA is bringing politically motivated indictments that are unlawful.

A state office of public integrity ought to be politically neutral,and not part of or located within the office of a county DA. That's the problem, the Travis County DA should not have the authority to indict any state wide officer and instead a statewide independent public integrity office should be established.

The Big Dog's back

Overturned by a Repub texas court. At least get it right.

Babo

Vacating a conviction has the same meaning as overturning a conviction and the party affiliation of judges is irrelevant once they are on the bench.

The Big Dog's back

And just to play your little game babo, why didn't Congress do the same to bush with his DUI? It's such a big offence oh my. And perry trying to influence a state cop? Yep he's just the one to be calling the shots.

Babo

1) If GW Bush received a DUI while in the White House, I would expect Congress to impeach him as it would demonstrate he was unfit for office. However, his DUI occurred before he was President and even Governor of Texas so it is irrelevant.

2) Personally, I find it far more serious in our system of government that a prosecutor who has the power to charge and incarcerate people for DUI's, receives a DUI and is abusive to LEO's by trying to avoid the charge by threatening LEO's with references to their boss the Sheriff than a governor trying to get out of a traffic ticket. The DA clearly has serious substance abuse, mental health issues, and legal ethics issues that render unfit for office.

Furthermore she is a prosecutor and therefore an attorney and officer of the court and given that power to charge and jail people she is supposed to be held to a higher standard. In fact I do not understand how she still has her law license and expect this publicity will result in a suspension if not disbarment of her license.

The Big Dog's back

You would have thought those years in the slammer would have taught you something about "shooting from the hip".

Babo

ROTFLMAO. Stay on the porch old dog.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Thank you for the interesting perspective on this, Babo. Also, thanks for jumping on the conversational grenade as it were. It's appreciated.

Babo

LOL, Thanks HZ.

downthemiddle

dog..... you need to get over to uaw 913 and resume licking preston's boots.... AFTER you finish sweeping up around there.... just like you do every day.

knowitall

You have a problem with honest work? Doing manual labor is honorable work. You must be one of those prima donas who think less of people who don't wear a suit and tie .... or a nice outfit.

meowmix

I find it ironic that the tea party's mantra is to begin impeachment proceedings on President Obama for excercising his executive order privileges yet they are outraged over essentially the same game being played with Perry.

Donegan

Obama's executive orders are in reality line item veto's which are forbidden for a president to use. Apples and oranges.
I find it ironic you do not know the law yet feel the urge to comment stupidity about it.

deertracker

Dummy PLEASE! Exec. powers are not the same as line item vetoes!

Donegan

It is when you change the legislation to fit your ideology. The executives one job is to enforce legislation, Not edit it to what it wants. Thats a line item veto.
Learn your laws.

The Big Dog's back

Learn yours dummy gan and take babo to school with you.

The Big Dog's back

Thanks for bringing that up meowmix. I was getting around to that.

KURTje

Agree 100%. We the people will settle this at the ballot box. Its that E-z.

jazzb0

yes

Donegan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Hopefully this clears up any misunderstanding about the DA who obviously thinks she is deserving of some kind of special treatment because of her job.
When did "Protect and Serve" become "Oppress and Rule"?

KURTje

Forgot to mention. He won't be our next CIC either.

The Big Dog's back

He's a vindictive crook.

Donegan

Reward our friends and punish our enemies. Isn't that what your god says?

jazzb0

Isnt that what Fox News does ?

The Big Dog's back

Yep, fox news, unfair and unbalanced.

Donegan

I do not know i do not watch it. But i am positive that is a quote from your god.
Its weird how you know what is on fox news constantly, You excuse your own actions by pointing out how republicans do the same thing and you defend a admin that has did more to destroy your rights and currency than any president in history. You are either a hypocrite that is a closet repub or a moron. Guess which one i think you are.

jazzb0

I don't care and I'd bet that Dog doesn't care either.

Donegan

You do not have to bet you two are the same person or at least might as well be. Just trolls rehashing Obama talking points no matter how stupid or blatant a lie they are, In other words just libtards doing their thing.

jazzb0

...and you and Bush are the same person except you are more mentally challenged.

R's are liars and deflectors.

The Big Dog's back

This is definitely politically motivated by perry.

Ralph J.

"This is definitely politically motivated by perry."
More like Jack Daniels or Kessler.

arnmcrmn

Liberals are funny little creatures aren't they?

knowitall

I am bettin there is a liberal somewhere in your ancestory.

jazzb0

good one.

Ralph J.

Why would any good Democrat or liberal want to defend arrogant pompous ass Rosemary Lehmberg?
TRAVIS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY LEHMBERG'S BOOKING FOOTAGE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Rosemary Lehmberg's arrest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

Ralph J.

Jail video show Lehmberg kicking cell door
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Lehmberg guilty, begins 45-day sentence
Nearly 3X the legal limit.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
Deputies couldn't believe who they had stopped
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...

arnmcrmn

This thing is getting Perry some really good publicity AND its all going to go away. Everything he did was completely LEGAL.

Babo

Critical thinkers on the right and left agree: The Indictment is bad for America and undermines public confidence in government.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/bl...

http://www.usatoday.com/story/op...

http://www.salon.com/2014/08/18/...

arnmcrmn

Opps, some spoke to soon. Might have to indict Obama. The Government Accountability Office, in a legal opinion issued at the request of congressional lawmakers, said the Defense Department violated the law by failing to notify key Capitol Hill committees at least 30 days in advance for trading terrorists for an American military captive.

Talk about seriously breaking the law. Obama needs to go to jail for a few years.

The Big Dog's back

Wishful thinking.