A grand jury indicted Gov. Rick Perry on two counts Friday, accusing him of abusing his veto power by threatening to withhold funding from the Travis County's public corruption unit if the district attorney did not resign following her drunken driving arrest.
The Travis County grand jury, led by special prosecutor Mike McCrum, indicted Perry on one count of abuse of official capacity, a first-degree felony, and coercion of a public servant, a third-degree felony.
There's legal precedent.
The indictment is the first of its kind since 1917, when James "Pa" Ferguson was indicted on charges stemming from his veto of state funding to the University of Texas in an effort to unseat faculty and staff members he objected to. Ferguson was eventually impeached, then resigned before being convicted, allowing his wife, Miriam "Ma" Ferguson, to take over the governorship.
Almost a hundred years later, almost precisely the same crime.
Will the radiation burn the governor's longtime consigliere, Greg Abbott? Time will tell, I suppose. Texans who vote regularly don't seem to mind electing corrupt-as-hell Republicans. It's the ones that haven't been voting in off-presidential years whose motivations will be under suspicion until we observe them changing their habits.
Tough break for Rick and his rebudding presidential aspirations, but on the bright side, Tom DeLay will eventually need a cellmate.
Update: Read more at Progress Texas about the $40,000 in taxpayer money he's already spent defending himself from these charges, and more from Truthyism tying everything together on Texas pay-to-play politics.
Since the veto, Perry’s office attempted to bribe Lehmberg out of office after failing to coerce her. A message seems to be clear coming from the governor’s office that Lehmberg’s dismissal (was) more than just a matter of principle. The desperation in which their tactics have led them seems to imply that Perry is less concerned about the drunk driving from Lehmberg and more worried over the success of the anti-corruption agency’s ability to police the current mid-term elections.
This would explain why gubernatorial candidate and current Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott was barely even acknowledged by Texas regulators when he took money from the Koch brothers immediately prior to hiding the location of possible explosive chemical storage sites from Texans. Only a handful of media outlets were critical of Abbott during that exchange of election funds for possible favors, and it seems that the veto from Perry might have been a move to protect Greg Abbot’s election campaign from scrutiny that it does seem to merit.
And Harvey Kronberg asks the right question: Is Ken Paxton next?