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Bryan Preston


August 18, 2014 - 7:45 am

As you’ve undoubtedly heard by now, a grand jury indicted Texas Gov. Rick Perry on two felony counts late Friday. Perry is the first Texas governor to be indicted in office since 1917. He was indicted for threatening to veto funds for the Public Integrity Unit of Travis County’s district attorney’s office, because the head of that office, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, had been caught drunk driving, and was later caught on tape abusing her power to try to get out of the DWI charge. Though that office runs out of Travis County, it has statewide jurisdiction over elected officials in Texas.

Democrats in Texas were muted, to say the least, at the time of Lehmberg’s arrest in 2013, but reacted gleefully to Perry’s indictment. Facebook lit up with comments from Democrats that this would “turn Texas blue,” a feat that Democrats have been unable to accomplish at the ballot box since they started losing power in the 1990s. Such comments also give the game away — the indictment is carrying politics over from an arena where Democrats lose — the ballot box — to an arena where they might win — sympathetic juries in Democrat-controlled Travis County. Battleground Texas has been hard at work fundraising off of the indictment. The chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, Gilberto Hinojosa, is among prominent Democrats who have called on Perry to resign.

Notably, the Democrats from Hinojosa on down have been more than tolerant of Lehmberg’s drunk driving and abuse of power. They have also stood silent in the face of the indictment of Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price on serious corruption charges.

The heart of the indictment is Perry’s threat to veto funding for the PIU, and then his carrying out of that threat. He did none of this in secret. He made it clear that Lehmberg ought to step down, and if she did not, the state would not fund the PIU. The governor in Texas has the constitutional authority to veto any bill he wants, for any reason he wants. He can explain his reasons, or he can choose not to. Texas governors have line item veto power. Perry has essentially been indicted for exercising his authority and being clear to the people of Texas regarding why he did what he did.

Also at the heart of the case is Lehmberg’s refusal to step down, and the Democrats’ silence/support for her.

That silence and support are entirely political in nature. If Lehmberg had resigned from the office that, among other things, prosecutes drunk driving in Travis County, Gov. Perry would have appointed her successor. Democrats have owned the Travis County DA’s office and the PIU for, well, forever. The Travis County DA’s office and its perch atop the PIU are among Democrats’ very few centers of power in Texas. They were not about to let it go for any reason. So they are knowingly supporting a drunk driver who was caught on tape throwing her weight around to escape the DWI charge. Democrats may also fear that having a Republican in charge of the PIU might expose wrongdoing in that office, and others, to which Democratic DAs have turned a blind eye.

During the eons of time during which Democrats have owned that office, they have launched at least two malicious political prosecutions. In 1993, then DA Ronnie Earle launched a prosecution against Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. She had won her Senate seat by a mile in a special election, a strong signal to Democrats that their days in power in Texas were running out. Earle gathered up a grand jury and indicted Hutchison for, among other things, using her campaign staff to plan a Christmas vacation. John Fund details the disposition of that case here. The bottom line, the political prosecution of Hutchison, built to destroy a female Republican at a time when Democrats were fast losing power, fell apart. Hutchison went on to serve another 20-odd years in the U.S. Senate, racking up victory after victory over every Democrat challenger.

Rep. Tom Delay was not as fortunate. Earle indicted him after grand jury shopping in 2006, and obtained convictions against Delay on actions that were not even crimes when Delay supposedly committed them. The convictions were eventually tossed out, but not before the Democrats used the case to build a phony “culture of corruption” narrative against the entire GOP based in part on Delay’s case. And not before Delay’s career was totally destroyed and he was driven from office.

The current case against Perry was brought through a complaint filed by Texans for Public Justice. Media inside Texas are occasionally mentioning TPJ’s role, but they are not detailing what TPJ actually is. The Austin American-Statesman even failed to explain how Earle’s political cases against Republicans have eventually fallen apart, in this irresponsible editorial on the Perry indictment.

Even a cursory glance at their website is revealing. TPJ claims to be a public integrity watchdog, but their quest for integrity is entirely one-sided. They never take on Democrats. TPJ exists to attack Republicans, and they have been doing nothing but that for years. TPJ is even trying to get Delay’s convictions re-instated.

There is more to TPJ than mere partisanship masquerading as “public integrity.”

According to its own 2013 annual report, Texans for Public Justice is funded by the hard left.



The Piper Foundation bills itself as an “educational” charitable trust. Its donations to the partisan Texans for Public Justice do not appear to stand in line with that mission.

The Open Society Foundations and the Sunlight Foundation are both funded by leftwing billionaire and convicted felon George Soros. Why is a group that sells itself as a public integrity watchdog accepting funds from a man who was convicted of insider trading? Why is no one in the Texas media asking TPJ that very question?

Texans for Public Justice is part of a larger network of money and operatives that the Texas Democrats in exile set up with one goal — to recapture power that the voters took away from them. They set themselves a deadline of electing a Democrat speaker of the Texas House of Representatives by 2010. They failed in that goal. The Texas Republicans expanded their hold on the House that year.

But the network, run by out-of-state leftwing operative Matt Angle, never went away. It won’t as long as money keeps rolling in.

For his part, Angle built the network from the funding left to him by the late Fred Baron, a Dallas trial lawyer. Betraying the cause of “good government” that the Angle network claims to champion, Baron used his fortune to help Democrat John Edwards cover up his affair and love child while he was running to become president of the United States.

While Democrats in Texas are chuckling over the Perry indictment and standing with a felon and a drunk driver, Democrats outside the state are less supportive of the effort to jail a governor for exercising his constitutional power.

Georgetown law professor Jonathan Turley writes that the indictment is “very troubling on a separation of powers basis.”

Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz calls it “dangerous” and says “Everybody, liberal or conservative, should stand against this indictment.”

Democrats in Texas will likely find these statements untroubling. Their aim is not necessarily to convict Perry, though given Austin’s politics conviction is entirely possible. The indictment is an act of revenge. The Democrats’ aim is to get a mugshot that they can parade around and use to build a false narrative of corruption against a man who committed the ultimate crime in their eyes: Rick Perry beat them at the ballot box, over and over and over and over again. At the same time, Perry helped gut the Democratic Party in Texas, relegating it to exile at every level.

More: Perry has described the indictment as a partisan political witch hunt. In what may have been Kinsley gaffe (which is when someone accidentally tells the truth), the head of TPJ says “Nothing could be closer to the truth.”

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Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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Top Rated Comments   
"convicted felon George Soros." Don't leave out that convicted felon George Soros is also an admitted Nazi collaborator.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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The TX legislature should pass some bills to reign in these put of control prosecutors:
1. The head of the Office of Public Integrity should be term limited to 4 yrs, either reapointable by the gov, or subject to statewide election, so it cant do these partisan prosecutions anymore, without being accountable to TX voters.
2. Pass a law saying any TX state or fed level official being prosecuted by any TX prosecutor, should have the automatic right to get a change of venue, to a country where the party of the prosecutor is not in the majority.
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
Isn't there something stunningly absurd about a the head of an organization that supposedly investigates corruption using her power to indict a leader who refuses to fund that organization due to his concerns over corruption?

This is like a cop found to be with giving out unjustified speeding tickets giving a speeding ticket to the judge who determined the tickets to be unjustified! No one would believe that to be fair and reasonable.

The Perry indictment merely verifies Perry's concerns!

Note that this is same nutjob DA that charged Tom Delay - a case when it went to court at a higher level was reversed. As Tom Delay puts it, "I was convicted of violating a law that does not even exist."

This absurdity is based on the State of Texas having a statewide anti-corruption organization, funded by the State, that is run by one county's DA. It is as if the Chief of Police for NY City was also automatically the head of the FBI; in that case who would investigate the NYPD if required?
27 weeks ago
27 weeks ago Link To Comment
The story didn't even last 48 hours in the MSM which is a good indication they know they screwed up. Ye gods, even David Axelrod thinks the Travis county Totalitarians have screwed the pooch on this one and publicly commented on it to that effect! Of course, that won't stop them from dragging out the headlines to use in attack ads if Perry runs for president. The problem with that is they should know by now that Perry isn't going to put up with their crap and knows how to fight back and win.

On a related subject FrontPage magazine's Discover the Networks is a wonderful website. There you can follow the tangled web of the funding of the of the funding of the America hating 'progressive' left. You will also find out in searching through it that George Soros and Teresa Heinz-Kerry through their various 'foundations' fund everything from violent race warriors to ecoterrorists to Islamic jihad groups in this country all of whom have one goal -- the destruction of the United States.

Open Society Foundation is an offshoot of Soros's Open Society Institute (OSI)-

Teresa Heinz-Kerry ("wife" of John Kerry) certainly has her fingers in a lot of America hating pies-

Sunlight Foundation-

Piper Foundation is one of the many offshoots of the Proteus Fund-

Good Jobs First doesn't have a listing over there but one of the people involved with it does. I'm not surprised to find out he's involved with the OSI, SEIU and the Democratic Socialists of America-

28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
One of the things that Bryan Preston fails to mention about the Texans for Public Justice group is that they get a lot of funding from tort lawyers who are still miffed that Rick Perry worked for, and achieved, tort reform laws in Texas. Perry hit the tort lawyers in the wallet, and they didn't like it.

This could help Perry if he chooses to run in 2016. Americans are sick of dirty politics and legislation by judges.

It's pretty funny actually. The Texas Democratic Party can now claim to be the party of killing babies and driving drunk. Yeah, that's a winning ticket.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
I guess following the logic of indicting Gov. Perry for a veto, President Obama should have been indicted every time he threatened to veto a bill to influence the actions of Representatives and Senators before he actually exercised his veto power.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
POS Dems never change. And get constant d support from the POS Media.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Exit duplicate comment.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
TPJ fascists want to take Perry out for 2016. It’ll backfire on the dems nationwide.

It won't backfire. Not with the existing MSM, which will move heaven and earth to indoctrinate the public with the words 'felony' and 'indictment' in connection with Governor Perry.

The Texas Republicans will need to launch an effective, nation-wide counter-media campaign against the prosecution, TPJ, and the media - not necessarily in that order - just to partially blunt the above media narrative.

As with all national media narratives, it is the print/video form of the LRAD - Long Range Acoustic Device - currently in street use in Ferguson to cow the rioters that the 'racist' media narrative have brought out to break glass for the cameras day by day in Missouri.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
More Democrat Party dirty tricks.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
And so it begins.

The left must be really scared of Rick Perry runnin for President to pull out all the stops like this.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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