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Bryan Preston

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August 19, 2014 - 7:48 am
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The Democratic National Committee has gone all-in to support the indictment and prosecution of Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In an email sent out by the DNC, the Democrats attempt to tie Perry’s veto of funding for the Travis County DA’s Public Integrity Unit to an investigation into the  Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas, or CPRIT.

This narrative posits that Perry used Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg’s drunk driving arrest as an excuse to gut the PIU just as it was circling around Perry appointees who had allegedly engaged in corrupt grants through CPRIT. This narrative accuses Perry of doing what New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo actually did, more or less, though in Cuomo’s case he appointed the commission that started circling around his administration. Cuomo shut it down before its investigations could get too close.

According to the Austin American-Statesman — which is to Texas media what the New York Times is to the national media (i.e. unabashedly liberal) — the Democrats’ narrative does not stand up to scrutiny at all.

  • October 2012: Concerns about CPRIT’s practices come to light in a report in the Dallas Morning News. Within a month of the Morning News story, members of the Texas Legislature call for reforms of the state cancer agency.
  • December 2012: The Public Integrity Unit officially begins its CPRIT investigation.
  • January 2013: Lehmberg tells the American-Statesman that the 11 members of the CPRIT board – all of whom were appointed by Perry – “are not under suspicion in the investigation.” That means the investigation is focusing only on CPRIT staff members, none of whom were appointed or hired by Perry.

Read the rest at the link. There was eventually an indictment in the CPRIT case, of a staffer who wasn’t appointed by Perry.

Perry’s veto of the PIU’s state funding did not even shut that office down, by the way. After his veto, Travis County moved funds from other areas and kept the unit going. The CPRIT investigation itself continued.

Perry’s veto was nothing more or less than what happens in politics all the time. Governors and presidents routinely use their veto power to stop things that they don’t want, and to get things that they do want. That’s part of the purpose of the veto power. If voters don’t like it, our recourse is to contact the governor, contact our representatives and senators, voice our displeasure in whatever peaceful way we choose, and vote.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
Why does it seem that the Republicans tend to be the party of reason and the Democrats tend to be the party of hate?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it odd that a falsely-accused Perry is being considered damaged goods who will be tied up for years in legal proceedings and then imprisoned for a century if it goes to trial because liberals while the above-and-beyond-the-law Obama commits repeated GENUINE abuses of power and gets to proceed untouched as if nothing has happened and nothing will happen to him.

He was re-elected, his partner-in-crime Eric Holder will never investigate the Regime, and the Stupid Party of cowards will never impeach him, so Emperor Gangsta will stroll out of office on Jan. 20, 2017 leaving ruination behind him. But Rick Perry is destroyed thanks to partisan lawfare? This is why we're doomed as a nation.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Republicans still don't get it. Few car about logic or the truth. The damage has been done, and Dems are on to the next slander/libel.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (39)
All Comments   (39)
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I have another suggrstion: Let's make the DA personally liable for all of the defenses' costs, legal and otherwise, for every indictment which is subsequently dismissed and/or the defendant is found not guilty by a jury, including cases where the judge so directs the finding. Afterall, the DA has no skin in the game. His costs are covered by the taxpayers.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I don't agree that the Legislature should wait, Bryan. The iron is hot, the problem is patent and immediate, and the legislation should be retroactive.

In fact, I hope and expect Texas GOP candidates from Greg Abbott down are focus-group testing a "reform the Travis County D.A."-theme for use on the campaign trial right now.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Want to do something about it? I just signed a new petition to strip the Travis County DA's office of its power to indict any public official and transfer it to the Attorney General's office. It's right there in Austin and actually accountable. Please spread this link around:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/tx-constitutional-amendment-restricting-actions-of
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm not a Texan, but I was under the impression the legislature can only meet infrequently.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Correct. First half of odd-numbered years unless the Governor calls a special session. Better to let future Governor Greg Abbott deal with removing the Public Integrity Unit function from Travis County control next year.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
well at least we learned who Democrats fear most in 2016...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
No, they're going after ALL prominent Republicans. They're attacking Paul Ryan too... and if he's running for President in 2016, this is the first I've heard about it.

We will see who WE prefer for President, in part, by how they respond to these attacks. So far, I must admit that I like Perry's attitude a lot. (I like Gov. Scott Walker too.)
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yep, they recently even tried to attack Mike Huckabee as a phony "man of the people" for occasionally flying on private jets to speaking engagements. He released travel records showing that he logged 300,000 miles on commercial jets last year and only took private jets when there was no other alternative. I guess that's the best they could come up with. Meanwhile, Hillary demands private Gulf Streams and Presidential suites along with her quarter-million-dollar speaking fees, and we're all supposed to line up to vote for her. The mental disorder of liberalism requires an awful lot of cognitive dissonance.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why does it seem that the Republicans tend to be the party of reason and the Democrats tend to be the party of hate?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Coalitions are built on hate.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I still want to know how this indictment occurred and was not thrown out as gibberish by the court system.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
A Travis County Grand Jury would be different in composition than one from most other Texas counties. Now it moves into the court system and will take a good while to be resolved.
This is a partisan effort to slime Rick Perry, by someone who should have resigned her office. But, being a Democrat official, she is immune to the shame many of us would have in similar circumstances. That she is supposed to be part of upholding the law means she just spits on decorum and correct behavior.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It hasn't reached the courts yet...grand juries are separate from the courts and judges aren't involved. A judge appointed the special prosecutor...the prosecutor impanels the grand jury. It could be thrown out when it does get to the courts.

But!

I wouldn't bet on it...the judges in Travis are apparently just as partisan as the rest of the Democrats there. And a jury would be made up of Travis county residents...a very Democrat and liberal constituency. That's what happened with Delay...it wasn't tossed until the case got moved out of Travis on appeal.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Can Perry's counsel request a change of venue prior to the first court hearing?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I doubt it..."It's a hipster leftist city!" isn't a very compelling legal argument, but I'm not a lawyer.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
I find it odd that a falsely-accused Perry is being considered damaged goods who will be tied up for years in legal proceedings and then imprisoned for a century if it goes to trial because liberals while the above-and-beyond-the-law Obama commits repeated GENUINE abuses of power and gets to proceed untouched as if nothing has happened and nothing will happen to him.

He was re-elected, his partner-in-crime Eric Holder will never investigate the Regime, and the Stupid Party of cowards will never impeach him, so Emperor Gangsta will stroll out of office on Jan. 20, 2017 leaving ruination behind him. But Rick Perry is destroyed thanks to partisan lawfare? This is why we're doomed as a nation.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
We WILL be doomed as long as you are so defeatist.

Sheesh.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Black privilege?
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
another lib democrat narrative blown! Alert the media! Oh wait...
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
There would be major state constitutional problems with moving the PIU from the Travis County DA's office to the Attorney General. The AG is in the executive branch (and has no independent criminal jurisdiction), while all the DAs in Texas are part of the judicial branch. Frankly, even if there weren't a constitutional problem, moving the PIU to the AG is a bad idea simply because no one partisan elected official ought to have the power to prosecute statewide (think of a statewide Rosemary Lehmberg!) A possible solution that has been floated around the Capitol is to create a commission made up of a selection of representative DAs from around the state who would then hire the head of the PIU.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
But that wouldn't stop the endless whining of partisan unfairness from the left because the vast majority of Texas counties are Republican, so the majority of DAs on the representative commission picking the PIU head would be Republican. Liberals would still insist that the only fair way to police public integrity is to let a lot of liberal voters in Austin elect a power-mad, drunk-driving Democrat to do it.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Travis County has long been the county with the Public Integrity section to investigate and bring indictment for real wrong-doing by state officials.
Next year the legislature convenes again and I expect there may be a move to "improve" the system to prevent this sort of mischief. If they can do it--sometimes they do not get to a lot of things. Thankfully.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thanks for this...every state is different and the media doesn't bother to note the constitutional differences (e.g., the relative powers of different governors within their states). So it sounds like moving the PIU could be a massive undertaking...your last option is probably the least chaotic way to reform the department – but it really can't stay in Travis; that's just bad design.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
Move it 20 miles north to deepest red Williamson County.

Appoint a very conservative Black or Hispanic (woman preferably) to lead it.

"Investigate" every up and coming "Progressive" Dem in Texas.

The key is to make it very expensive, both financially and reputationally, for "progressives" to get involved in government at any level.

This is a war and we need to be fully engaged or the Left wins.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's unfortunate that the county DA's public integrity office has been a partisan hatchet machine for decades, but it's not unpredictable.

It is obvious that a statewide office should have this power. The Texas Attorney General would be a logical place for it. I assume the reason it's instead in a highly tilted place is a calculation by the corrupt from a bygone era. Think about it. If the PIU is biased enough to levy invented crimes at the GOP, it's far beyond the point where it would ignore crimes by democrats.
13 weeks ago
13 weeks ago Link To Comment
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