Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Governor Perry is still the only one

At this time Governor Rick Perry, who is expected to announce his run for the White House on June 4, is still the only Republican candidate who is under actual indictment.
The former Texas governor has set June 4 in Dallas for an announcement about his intentions to run. But unlike the more than a dozen other Republicans who are either in the presidential race already or on the verge, he has another factor at play.

Hanging over his head is an indictment in Texas on charges of abuse of power when he was governor.

Perry, who says the charges are baseless and politically motivated, had expected to be able to kill the indictment by now. His high-powered legal team has been engaged in a frenetic effort to have the two-count indictment, handed down last August, thrown out.

The presiding judge, a Republican, has repeatedly refused to do so and lawyers are waiting on a recently empaneled Texas appellate court for a hearing. In addition, there’s speculation in legal circles on whether one of the three judges, a close Perry ally, might recuse himself.

In the latest filing, May 13, Perry’s attorneys urged the court to “speedily grant” relief. But it’s unlikely that a hearing or a decision will come anytime soon, certainly not before Perry’s presidential rollout next month, say legal experts.

“He’s been furiously trying to get this indictment dismissed,” said Craig McDonald, director of Texans for Public Justice, a political watchdog group that filed the original complaint against Perry. “There’s no way in hell” any decision would be made by June, he said.

At issue is a threat Perry made as governor to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, resigned after being arrested for drunk driving. She pleaded guilty – the arrest and booking videotape shows her being belligerent to officers – but refused to resign, and Perry vetoed the funding.

He’s charged with two felonies, abusing his office and coercing a public servant. The special prosecutor charged in a February filing that Perry wanted “to stymie” the integrity unit, which was investigating some of the governor’s programs.
No doubt the indictment gives him cred with the hard core base of the party, but to real Americans, it makes a mockery of the electoral process. It's a good thing ol' Good Hair isn't smart enough to win outside of Texas.


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