Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Craig McDonald and Andrew Wheat of Texans for Public Justice, the people who filed the complaint that led to Texas Governor Rick Perry's felony indictments: The governor rightly argues that he has absolute authority to veto the Public Integrity Unit's budget. Texas law does not, however, grant him authority to threaten another public official -- even one who behaved as wretchedly as [Rosemary] Lehmberg did. Notably, we filed our criminal complaint before Perry vetoed Public Integrity funding. After all, it was the governor's threats -- not his veto -- that broke Texas law prohibiting an official from using the power of his or her office to coerce another official into taking an action, such as resignation.

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What's more, Perry continued to pressure Lehmberg to resign even after the veto. Official sources cited in media accounts confirm that Perry's representatives continued to try to induce Lehmberg to resign by promising her a high-paying junior position in her office. That behavior is a potential bribery felony in Texas. ...

The big lie in Perry's PR playbook is to dismiss these charges as a partisan witch hunt. While there's no bipartisan love between Perry and Lehmberg, Perry's indictment has been advanced by Republicans. Recusing herself, Lehmberg referred our complaint to local Democratic Judge Julie Kocurek. Judge Kocurek also stepped aside, forwarding the matter to a Republican Perry appointee: Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield. Stubblefield assigned the case to Republican Judge Bert Richardson in San Antonio. And Judge Richardson appointed Michael McCrum as special prosecutor.

It's hard to argue that McCrum has a partisan axe to grind. He served as a federal prosecutor under the first President Bush. The second President Bush later nominated McCrum to be a top federal prosecutor -- with the backing of Texas GOP Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn. If Perry's indictment really is a partisan witch hunt, then it is one of the Grand Old Party's making.

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"The governor rightly argues that he has absolute authority to veto the Public Integrity Unit's budget. Texas law does not, however, grant him authority to threaten another public official -- even one who behaved as wretchedly as Lehmberg did.

Notably, we filed our criminal complaint before Perry vetoed Public Integrity funding. After all, it was the governor's threats -- not his veto -- that broke Texas law prohibiting an official from using the power of his or her office to coerce another official into taking an action, such as resignation.

What's more, Perry continued to pressure Lehmberg to resign even after the veto. Official sources cited in media accounts confirm that Perry's representatives continued to try to induce Lehmberg to resign by promising her a high-paying junior position in her office. That behavior is a potential bribery felony in Texas.

Understandably, Perry's defenders don't want to talk about all this: They'd rather replay Lehmberg's arrest videos and assert Perry's uncontested veto powers. These good public relations moves ultimately do nothing to address the serious legal charges against him."

#1 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-24 11:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

Ms Lehmberg, is an ELECTED official, Rick Perry tried to take away the citizens right to vote her out ..OR NOT.

#2 | Posted by SammyAZ_RI at 2014-08-24 12:11 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 4

Why Perry threatened a public official...

"One of Perry's central achievements as governor was the creation of the Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (CPRIT), a taxpayer-funded project that doled out research grants to startups seeking to cure cancer.

But when it was revealed that that much of the $3 billion intended for the startups was going to Perry's campaign donors, it looked like Perry's crowning accomplishment had been tarnished. Jerry Cobbs, a high-ranking CPRIT official, was found to have been unlawfully award an $11 million grant – he was indicted by the Public Integrity Unit.

With the CPRIT investigation ongoing, Lehmberg got into trouble of her own - and it seemed Perry was trying to capitalize on it.

His team seems keenly aware of the importance of quashing concerns about a link between CPRIT and Perry's defunding of the Public Integrity Unit."

www.thedailybeast.com

#3 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-24 12:20 PM | Reply | Flag:

A TX Saturday-night-massacre.

Already making the popcorn, melting the butter.

#4 | Posted by 88120rob at 2014-08-24 05:47 PM | Reply | Flag:

The big lie here is the idea that this guy being crucified, regardless of guilt or innocence, has #$%^ all to do with justice. For if justice were truly served, the entire fortune 500, every popular politician, and most of the top brass of the military/nsa/cia/etc would be in prison for doing things that 'we the people' aren't allowed to do.

A real system of jurisprudence is uniform regardless of social status(class).

The fish rots from the head down.

#5 | Posted by Shawn at 2014-08-24 07:34 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1 | Newsworthy 1

It doesn't really matter how strong the evidence against Gov. Goodhair is. He appointed everybody on the Texas Supreme Court. He does not appoint free thinkers. He appoints cronies who will do what they're told. Any conviction will be thrown out on appeal.

#6 | Posted by SomebodyElse at 2014-08-24 08:40 PM | Reply | Flag:

He walks. The fact that he continued to press for removal after the veto is sufficient for any jurist to infer that the two acts are independent of one another. What was he going to do, rescind his veto if she resigned?

#7 | Posted by MUSTANG at 2014-08-24 09:43 PM | Reply | Flag:

Ms Lehmberg, is an ELECTED official, Rick Perry tried to take away the citizens right to vote her out ..OR NOT.

He did, but as much as I'd enjoy Gov. Goodhair in prison orange I still have trouble believing that to veto is legal but to say you're going to veto is illegal.

#8 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-25 09:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

-but to say you're going to veto is illegal.

To say you will veto unless someone resigns is what appears to be against the statutes.

#9 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 10:58 AM | Reply | Flag:

To say you will veto unless someone resigns is what appears to be against the statutes.
#9 | POSTED BY CORKY

Not really. It's called negotiation and it happens all of the time in politics.

I am sure you've heard the old adage: You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.

That's what happened here.

#10 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-25 11:09 AM | Reply | Flag:

#10

Not really. there are statutes in Texas against coercing a public official, including coercing them to resign.

Had Perry just used a veto, there would be no indictment.

#11 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 11:18 AM | Reply | Flag:

Yeah after they locked up Walker and then they convicted Christie now it's Perry's turn. Luckily for him the one's that predicted convictions in those previous cases track record is so pathetic they would be ashamed of future predictions.

#12 | Posted by Dalton at 2014-08-25 11:30 AM | Reply | Flag:

Not really. It's called negotiation and it happens all of the time in politics.

"If you don't resign I will completely defund your office" is not a negotiation attempt. It's a scorched earth threat.

#13 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-25 11:56 AM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

"If you don't resign I will completely defund your office" is not a negotiation attempt. It's a scorched earth threat.

#13 | POSTED BY RCADE

It's not scorched earth. Perry wasn't under investigation. He had the not unreasonable position that based upon her DUI and how she conducted herself while being arrested and charged that she was no longer fit to serve in her role.

This indictment is going nowhere because the charges are unbelievably weak.

#14 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-25 12:15 PM | Reply | Flag:

- Perry wasn't under investigation.

One of his donors had already been indicted in Perry's Cancer Research money-laundering scam, all the top scientists had resigned, and Perry didn't need a Fortune Teller to tell him where the Public Integrity Unit was going next.

A Gov demanding that a public official resign under threat is coercion, which neatly fits the Texas statute.

Now, I have little expectation that he will be convicted in Texas, but hopefully this will at least go to trial and the Cancer Research scam will be fully exposed.

#15 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 12:22 PM | Reply | Flag:

Now, I have little expectation that he will be convicted in Texas, but hopefully this will at least go to trial and the Cancer Research scam will be fully exposed.

#15 | POSTED BY CORKY

Agreed.

#16 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-25 12:23 PM | Reply | Flag:

I seriously doubt this will make it through the pre-trial process. The case is just way too weak.

#17 | Posted by JeffJ at 2014-08-25 12:24 PM | Reply | Flag:

Jonathon Turley says the case is better for impeachment... for which there is even less chance in Texas.

#18 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 12:26 PM | Reply | Flag:

So the liberal group funded by Soro's - one that attacks only republicans - say that the suit THEY brought is more damaging that what is being reported. And you post this as NEWS???

" Perry ratcheted up the conflict by giving Lehmberg an ultimatum to resign or he would veto the budget for the office. When the budget came through, he made good on the threat and cut $7.5 million in funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit.

Perry was then made the subject of a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice, a liberal watchdog group."

Since this was NOT Political ..lets look at the group that filed the complaint. kxan.com And McDonald specifically.

Texans for Public Justice on Perry indictment being a political witch hunt: "Nothing could be closer to the truth." youtu.be By the way McDonald "After working several years as a community organizer in west Michigan, he moved to Washington, D.C., in 1978 to work for Public Citizen, a consumer rights advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader."

Yep another community orgainizer...and who funds him? why OSF ..who is OSF? Open Society Foundations -OSF was founded by George Soros, a billionaire investor.

While they keep the PRIVATE funds SECRET the other public investors are:
The Piper Foundation (Founder of Generation Party Democratic Caucus),

The Sunlight Foundation, (Founder Micheal Klien Who is he? www.nndb.com Notice he sits on the DEMOCRAT SENATE COMMITTEE. You do not get to sit there without giving BIG BUCKS.

The Texas Trial lawyers are also BIG donors...and they do not like Perry because of Tort Reform (another BIG Democrat giving org. "Their attacks on conservatives in general and tort reformers in particular serve the narrow special interests of the liberal personal injury trial lawyers who have spent millions on efforts to defeat tort reform leaders like Rick Perry and roll back lawsuit reforms in Texas," Sylvester said

And The Winkler Family Foundation - Owners of the Tribune newspaper

Yep ...not a single logical thread here...not political at all... say the political org. that brought the suit.

OF COURSE THEY ARE TELLING THE TRUTH! ( and how many of thier prior suits ended in being dismissed???)

Who else have they sued?? Bill Ceverha, treasurer of Texans for a Republican Majority (TRMPAC), "Texans for Public Justice has joined in with State Rep. Pete Gallego in calling for former TRMPAC treasurer Bill Ceverha to step down from the board of the Employee Retirement System of Texas." And of course you should not be able to vote in secret ...if you do there is no way for TPJ to intimidate you.

"Representatives of Texans for Public Justice, said they question the influence of politics and campaign contributions as reasons why the court refuses to release their votes.

Chief Justice Tom Phillips disagrees, telling the AP he believes revealing the vote publicly could 'mislead the public into believing it's an indication of how the court would ultimately rule.'

So A left wing hack group ...sure not politically motivated at all.

#19 | Posted by foshaffer at 2014-08-25 02:30 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

One of his donors had already been indicted...

No, that indictment came late last year, long after the veto. The person indicted was a staff member and none of the board of directors was implicated in the conduct. The governor's office was not under investigation. http://www.kvue.com/longform/
news/politics/2014/08/22/rick-
perry-how-did-we-get-here/
14399613/

In any event, here is Perry's application for a writ of habeas corpus which seems strong. I'll await the prosecutor's response before commenting further.

#20 | Posted by et_al at 2014-08-25 03:50 PM | Reply | Flag: | Funny: 1

One of his donors haS already been indicted... ft

lol, ----- Perry's Multi-Million Dollar Team of lawyers claim the statute is "vague and over-broad".... not that it isn't the law.

#21 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 04:00 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

#21

Cobb, the indicted CPRIT staff member was a Perry donor, so what? www.dallasnews.com

If "vague and over-broad" is all you got out of that then you missed a lot.

#22 | Posted by et_al at 2014-08-25 04:41 PM | Reply | Flag:

-so what?

So the scientists, including the Nobel winning cancer researcher, all left when this scam became obvious.... so pondering why Perry would want the Public Integrity Unit shut down is a waste of time.

"vague and over-broad"

"Perry is charged with violating state laws related to bribery and corruption. His attorneys argue in the filing that the section of the law "is fatally vague and overbroad" and doesn't define what actions are legal on one hand and illegal on the other.

He is charged with abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant. If convicted, Perry could face a maximum 109 years in prison."

AP report
www.huffingtonpost.com

#23 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-25 04:50 PM | Reply | Flag:

This indictment is going nowhere because the charges are unbelievably weak.

Given his solid Republican background, special prosecutor Michael McCrum would not have pursued the indictments unless he thought the case was extremely strong. People should reserve judgment on whether the indictments are justified until the evidence is presented.

#24 | Posted by rcade at 2014-08-25 09:49 PM | Reply | Flag: | Newsworthy 1

www.huffingtonpost.com
#23 | Posted by Corky

Brought a dull stick to a gun fight. Contrary to the Huffington link, he was not indicted for bribery.

#25 | Posted by et_al at 2014-08-25 11:27 PM | Reply | Flag:

#25

It's an AP story. Missed the gunfight.

"He is charged with abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant."

Not to be a pettifogger or anything.

#26 | Posted by Corky at 2014-08-26 12:11 AM | Reply | Flag:

Given his solid Republican background

#24 | POSTED BY RCADE AT 2014-08-25 09:49 PM | FLAG:

You underestimate Texas politics. Republicans here often hate each other.

#27 | Posted by sitzkrieg at 2014-08-26 09:51 AM | Reply | Flag:

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