There is a smear going around on the interwebs, to the effect that Gov. Rick Perry is using state taxpayer funds to pay for his defense against the August 15 indictment of him by a Travis County grand jury.
Headlines such as this one, on FitsNews (which describes itself as “Unfair. Imbalanced.”) are giving the tale some legs.
They did say they’re “unfair” and “imbalanced.” The pic and the headline prove it.
Let’s cut this story’s legs off well above the knee.
The very same story headlined above contains this nugget:
According to Perry, the taxpayers of Texas [should pay for his defense]. In fact in an interview with the Associated Press prior to embarking on a pre-campaign swing to early-voting South Carolina, Perry said taxpayers should cover the bill – but he’s instructed his campaign accountants to pay it “to keep from having folks grouse about it.” (emphasis added)
So the taxpayers of Texas are not actually paying for it. Yet the grousing continues.
Here’s Perry again, this time after an interview with Dallas radio host Mark Davis. Perry tells Davis who is paying for his legal defense.
He calls the decision to pay his attorneys with campaign funds rather than taxpayer funds “a straight-up judgment call, rather than having to defend every day” against disapproving voters and political writers who would gladly harp on who’s paying the legal fees. (emphasis added)
So the taxpayers of Texas are not paying for Perry’s defense from the political indictment of him. His judgment certainly seems sound. The media would carp endlessly about the conservative who is milking taxpayers to fight off his indictment. That’s a given. They would get louder and louder the closer the case drags to Perry making a decision about running for president.
Look, I’ve raised a question about Perry’s defense team. Right here.
But this case over who is paying for his defense should be closed. It won’t be, of course. Political axes don’t grind themselves.