Rick Perry is the latest Republican Governor to be the subject of scandal
It has happened again. Another 2016 Republican Presidential hopefully has found himself in a pickle. While Fox News frets away wondering if Hillary Clinton had her daughter artificially inseminated, allowing Grandma Clinton to soften her image, the bad boys of the Republican Party were at it again.
This time it is Texas Gov. Rick Perry who is now the subject of a grand jury investigation. After spending 14 years as King of Texas, while punishing political rivals, overseeing 275 executions and punishing a coyote in the wrong place at the wrong time, his last battle in office may end his hopes of becoming the Grand Poobah.
It seems Ricky boy didn’t like that pesky Public Integrity Unit in his state so he dismantled it. Now he just can’t understand what all the fuss is about. Gosh darn it he’s the
King Governor and he just didn’t like that Democratic lady who headed the Public Corruption Unit.
Only problem is Rick Perry had no authority over the unit. So on Monday of last week, a Texas judge convened a grand jury to probe Ricky boy’s decision last year to ax funding for the state’s Public Integrity Unit. The special prosecutor investigating the case, Michael McCrum, has not filed any charges. In “prosecutor-speak” earlier this month he said, “I cannot elaborate on what exactly is concerning me, but I can tell you I am very concerned about certain aspects of what happened here.” Translation: He has Ricky boy’s laser-guided pistol in a vice (see coyote story above) and he’s twisting the handle as hard as he can.
Perry suffers from the same self-righteousness that plagues all republicans. While it is okay for members of their party to close down bridges in an attempt to retaliate against a democrat or buy illegal drugs; if a democrat steps over the line they call for heads to roll. That is exactly what happened here. The current head of the Public Integrity Unit, Rosemary Lehmberg (D), was arrested for drunk driving. Yes, that is bad and Perry being the good Christian that he is doesn’t believe in forgiveness. Nope, he wanted her to resign and when she refused, he cut the $7.5 million (over two years) allocated for the unit using a line-item veto. For her part, Lehmberg has said that she will not run for reelection in 2016.
Usually a governor is given wide discretion when it comes to his/her veto powers. The problem for Perry lies in the fact that he tied the veto to his very public fight with Lehmberg. It appears to go against state rules that prohibit coercion or bribery of public officials.
The other piece of the puzzle is that the Public Integrity Unit has long been in the cross-hairs of Texas republicans. The unit has a high-profile investigation into former Rep. Tom DeLay, in which he’s accused of money laundering to hide corporate donations to state GOP candidates. Given that most officeholders in Texas are Republican the “unit frequently investigates Republicans.” If Perry had been able to “strong-arm Lehmberg out of the job, he would have been able to name her replacement.”
There is not one mention of Perry’s legal troubles on the Fox News website. There is however, this neat little post about “your food freedom being under attack by those nasty health conscious democrats.” Beware Republicans everywhere, because they are coming after your god-given right to consume 64 ounces of mountain dew again.