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    Rick Perry Tag

    Texas is bursting at the seams with conservative fervor: Rick Perry has been building momentum for his yet-unannounced Presidential campaign, Greg Abbott is set to trounce Democratic darling Wendy Davis in Tuesday's gubernatorial race, and the Republican ground game so far this cycle has sent groups like Battleground Texas running for the hills. Obviously, then, it's time for prosecutors to renew their attacks on Governor Rick Perry, just in time for election day. Governor Perry has spent much of the late summer battling back what most consider to be a show indictment accusing the Governor of abusing his power during his efforts to oust famously-drunk Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg. Now, prosecutors are crying foul over the Perry legal team's aggressive tactics aimed at getting the indictment dismissed. Via Bloomberg:
    “The defendant’s own words have instilled a concern for all persons who participated in the grand jury investigation,” Michael McCrum, Perry’s special prosecutor, said in a filing made public today, asking a state judge to deny the governor’s request for grand jury transcripts. Perry, 64, Texas’s longest-serving governor and a presumed candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, faces two criminal counts of abusing his office by threatening to veto funding for a state ethics task force if the county prosecutor in charge of the program didn’t resign following a drunken driving conviction.
    So, what's all the fuss about?
    He held a press conference the day after his Aug. 15 indictment saying: “This farce of a prosecution will be revealed for what it is, and those responsible will be held accountable.” “This comment struck many listeners as a threat against the members of the grand jury and all of those associated with the grand jury process,” McCrum said. “The state has a good faith basis to protect witnesses who appeared before the grand jury, who would similarly be in the category of those who would be ‘held accountable’ by the governor.”
    What is this? 1L year on the JV moot court team?

    Texas Democrats weren't happy when Governor Rick Perry headed overseas in spite of the first diagnosed cases of Ebola in the U.S. appearing in Texas. While this might have served as a valuable distraction from Wendy Davis's falling poll numbers, Perry's decision to maintain his international schedule is shaping up to put him ahead of the growing pack of candidates expected to seek the Republican presidential nomination. Even David Frum at The Atlantic has been forced to admit that Perry is building momentum both for his own campaign, and for America's foundering international reputation. In his article, Frum compares Perry's speeches overseas with those given during Obama's now-infamous "apology tour"---and emphasizes the crucial difference between the two statesmen:
    Like Obama, Perry acknowledged faults and flaws in American democracy and European history. But he seemed to have Obama’s ‘fault on both sides’ argument very much in mind when he countered with these words: “The shortcomings of Western democracies, the systematic savagery of the enemy—to a certain way of thinking, it all gets mixed up as one: ‘They’ve got bad guys over there, we’ve got a few of our own—what’s the difference?’” Perry’s London speech focused on the threat from ISIS and the Middle East. In Warsaw, he would have spoken about another—nearer—challenge: from Vladimir Putin and a revanchist Russia. In his prepared, undelivered remarks, Perry paid due tribute to the fact that it is the president, not governors—not even Texas governors—who make America’s foreign policy. ... The list of Republican candidates for 2016 is long. Still, a Texas governor always belongs near the top of that list given the state’s lode of electoral votes and deep-pocketed donors.
    You should really read the entire article; it's extraordinarily gracious considering Perry's history on the national stage. Conventional knowledge tells us that foreign policy is traditionally not the platform plank that gets voters to the polls; but that's not to say that Perry can't use the current crisis to his advantage.

    Remember all the times Obama golfed, traveled to Hawaii, vacationed in Martha's Vineyard and the liberal media insisted that it was no big deal because an executive can do their job from anywhere? Apparently, that rule doesn't extend to Republican governors and while most Americans might think the government's poor handling of Ebola looks bad for Obama, Katie Glueck of Politico is pretty sure the real loser here is Texas governor Rick Perry:
    Rick Perry's Ebola test AUSTIN, Texas — Ebola came to Texas. And Rick Perry went to Europe. Now the Republican governor, a likely presidential contender, is back in Austin and scrambling to avoid a damaging perception problem like the “oops” moment that doomed his first shot at the White House. At first, Perry seemed to have everything under control. When a man in Dallas was diagnosed with the deadly virus, Perry held an Oct. 1 news conference, assuring the public that “there are few places in the world better equipped to meet the challenges posed by this case.” When more people were quarantined, he launched a task force and told Texans to “rest assured our system is working as it should.” But then he left Sunday for a long-planned 7-day trip designed to burnish his foreign policy credentials. During his absence, two more cases of Ebola were confirmed, both of them involving Texas nurses who had dealt with the first patient. The governor cut his trip short and rushed home on Thursday, only to encounter criticism for leaving in the first place; Democrats charged that he was more focused on looking presidential overseas than on fixing a big problem at home.
    See? It's all Rick Perry's fault, not Obama's.

    Defense attorneys have filed a motion to quash and dismiss the indictment of Rick Perry, once again bringing into focus the divisive nature of the charges filed against the Texas Governor. According to the motion, Perry's lawyers are banking on the illegal nature of the indictment itself, saying that “[c]ontinued prosecution of Governor Perry on the current indictment is unprecedented, insupportable and simply impermissible. This attempt to criminalize the political process should not be tolerated by this Court or any Texas court. Otherwise, overzealous prosecutors will be given free reign to use the grand jury process to chill political decisions by Texas’ Governors.” This is the second of two separate sets of motions aimed at getting the case thrown out. The first, a writ of habeas corpus, was filed in late August. The concern here isn't that the outcome itself of the trial will affect Perry's chances at the presidency, but that the legal process will overlap with prime campaign time.

    Democrats are still smiling over the recent felony indictment of Rick Perry, even as the Governor's legal team is taking steps in court to reveal the spurious nature of the charges. One consequence of the indictment, however, has thrown conservatives in Texas for a loop. Texas media began reporting last week that because of the charges against him, Governor Perry's concealed carry license has been suspended by operation of law. §411.187 of the Texas Government Code states that the Department of Public Safety shall suspend (not revoke, as it has been reported) a concealed carry license if the license holder is charged with the commission of a felony under an information or indictment. The same section of the statute states in part that if the suspension is due to a felony indictment, that the Department shall suspend the license until dismissal of the charges.

    Texas Governor Rick Perry has filed for a writ of habeas corpus barring his prosecution for use of his veto power. The full filing is embedded at the bottom of this post. Via KENS5 News:
    Attorneys for Gov. Rick Perry have filed a 60-page writ of habeas corpus to dismiss the charges filed against the governor. The writ claims the charges of abuse of power and coercion filed against Perry are unconstitutional and that Perry was simply exercising his constitutional veto powers when he vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit last summer. "By seeking to criminalize not merely the veto itself, but the Governor's explanation for it as well, this prosecution also violates the Governor's rights under Free Speech Clauses of the United States and Texas Constitution..." the writ says in part. The writ also says the indictment violates the constitutional separation of powers and the speech or debate clause in the Texas Constitution.
    Here's part of the Introduction summarizing that the motion is based on claims of unconstitutionality, reserving the right to move later on to quash the indictments on the merits:

    If you were one of (I'm assuming) thousands who saw Texas Governor Rick Perry's mugshot and thought, "that oughta be on a t-shirt," then today is your lucky day. Perry's "RickPAC" has put that mugshot on a t-shirt, along with that of embattled Travis County DA Rosemary Lehmberg, whose mishandling of the state's Public Integrity Unit is the source of the current legal action against the Governor. Perry hasn't let the lawsuit slow his momentum, however, and since his booking has maintained his travel schedule, sending him to key events in New Hampshire, South Carolina, Iowa, and Washington D.C. Perry's approach to his legal troubles has done a good job highlighting the weakness of the special prosecutor's legal arguments against the Governor's decision to veto funding for Texas' Public Integrity Unit, and even liberals admit being shocked at the decision to indict. Governor Perry's masterful handling of his indictment has some analysts wondering whether or not this could help Perry's chances in a run for the Presidency:

    Texas democrats may be keeping busy wallowing in the shallow victory of the recent indictment of Governor Rick Perry, Rick Perry himself is doing what he does best---his job. Today, Governor Perry gave a speech at the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. detailing the dangers inherent in Barack Obama's tacit open borders immigration policy. The apparent beheading of U.S journalist James Foley by ISIS terrorists in Syria has energized the debate over whether or not Islamic terrorists could use America's porous southern border as an an easy access point. Via the New York Times:
    While Mr. Perry said that there was “no clear evidence” recruits from terrorist organizations had entered the United States illegally, he pointed to the number of violent crimes committed in recent years by illegal immigrants. “I think there is the obvious, great concern that — because of the condition of the border from the standpoint of not being secure and us not knowing who is penetrating across — that individuals from ISIS or other terrorist states could be,” he said during a speech at the Heritage Foundation.
    According to CNN, Perry didn't spend much time addressing his legal problems, and instead focused solely on the crisis down at the border:
    Even during his brief remarks in Washington, Perry seemed to be focused mainly on the idea of one day serving as commander-in-chief: following a brief mention of the case against him in his home state, the Governor focused his attention on the crisis at the border, calling it a threat to national security. Perry said there should be no conversation about immigration reform, “until the border is secure.”

    The midterm elections in Texas are shaping up to be just as interesting as the run to 2016, and the recent indictment of Governor Rick Perry is only serving as fuel for the fire as battle lines are drawn between conservatives and progressives. The apparent weakness of the charges against Governor Perry has drawn criticism from activists and the mainstream media alike, and is leaving many Texans wondering why Democrats seem to be banking on this indictment as the key to damaging the credibility and reputation of the Republican Party. The Austin American-Statesman recently debunked a seriously misleading e-mail sent by Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, claiming that the real reason Governor Perry chose to veto funding for the ironically-dubbed "Public Integrity Unit" was to stop investigations into an $11 million CPRIT (Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas) grant to Peloton Therapeutics; Peltron has been a big donor to both Perry and current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and democrats in Washington smelled blood. Via the Statesman:
    Elleithee’s email charges that the CPRIT investigation “was underway when the governor called for the head of that investigative unit to resign. Perry pushing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign was a win-win. Lehmberg either resigned and he appointed her successor or he vetoed the PIU’s funding. Both would have the same effect: stopping the investigation into the CPRIT its tracks.”

    Texas Governor Rick Perry was booked today on charges of abuse of power, but before he went in to pose for the greatest mugshot in the history of mugshots, he took the time to speak at a pickup rally organized in support of the Governor and his fight against Texas democrats. The Washington Free Beacon has the video:
    I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter this courthouse with my head held high, and not only were the actions that I took not only lawful and legal, but right. And if I had to do so, I would veto funding for the integrity unit again. You think any governor, Democrat or Republican, would expect this important unit with jurisdiction over state officials, be led by someone who lives up to the high standard of conduct and personal integrity. And this issue is far bigger than me. It is about the rule of law, about the constitution that allows not just a governor but every citizen to speak their mind free of political interference or legal intimidation. [ cheers and applause ] This indictment is nothing but an attack on the constitutional powers of the governor. There are important fundamental issues at stake, and I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand. I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. and we will prevail. and we’ll prevail because we’re standing for the rule of law.
    After Perry was booked, he went to Sandy's ice cream, as is the Texas way. Although these charges appear to be nothing more than a political power play, Governor Perry is playing a very smart long game by both hiring an excellent legal team, and welcoming the commentary from pundits on both sides of the aisle---almost all of whom believe that the indictment is nothing more than a transparent political play.

    The recent indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry has drawn the ridicule and ire of pundits and analysts from both sides of the aisle (even David Axelrod thinks the indictment is "sketchy,") but Team Perry isn't taking any chances when it comes to the Governor's legal defense. Perry has hand-picked his counsel from the A-list of defense lawyers. The team, led by Houston attorney Tony Buzbee, seems to be in complete control of the stacked deck of evidence suggesting that not only was Perry justified in threatening to veto funding from the (now-ironically named) Public Integrity Unit, but that it would have been a scandal not to do so. Via CNN:
    "Governor Perry did what anyone else would do," Buzbee said. "Anyone who sees that video" would have "lost confidence" in Lehmberg. That said, the lawyers argued that the governor had no legal obligation to offer any rationale for his veto, which they insisted was protected the basic constitutional principle of separation of powers. "This is nothing more than banana republic politics" and a "nasty attack" on the "rule of law," Buzbee insisted. And Perry's explanation of his veto, Buzbee added, was protected under the "right to free speech under the First Amendment." Birchfield called the indictment "an attempt to criminalize politics, pure and simple," while Ginsberg warned that it could "set a harmful precedent in separation of powers doctrine."

    Formed this year at the end of July, "Rick PAC," Rick Perry's Political Action Committee, is still going strong with their fundraising efforts ahead of the 2014 elections and 2016 presidential election cycle. I received this in my inbox this morning, and am taking it as proof positive that Rick Perry is beyond confident that he will not only beat Texas democrats' efforts to prosecute him for rightfully using his veto power, but that his reputation will remain untarnished when the dust settles. Screen Shot 2014-08-18 at 12.04.41 PM Officially registered as a Political Action Committee, Rick PAC can legally raise money to both support or oppose multiple federal candidates; this means that if he chooses to stay in the running for 2016, Perry will be able to use the money raised from his recent groundswell of support to make another run for the Presidency.

    The prosecutors in Austin, Texas thought they had one over on Texas Governor Rick Perry when they convinced a grand jury to issue an indictment accusing Perry of abusing his veto power.  A copy of the indictment is here. That alleged criminal abuse of power related to Perry's threat to issue a budget veto regarding a unit of the prosecutor's office if Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg did not resign after a DWI conviction. Not just any conviction, Lehmberg was videotaped attempting to pull rank over the booking officers by mentioning they needed to make sure the Sheriff was aware of her predicament. It's not hard to see what she was doing -- hoping the Sheriff would intervene on her behalf. Her field sobriety test is here, and she again kept mentioning her political career.  She was abusive and violent in the police station:

    Democrats are salivating over Friday's indictment of Texas Governor Rick Perry, and for good reason. Their one bright hope for the cycle, Texas State Senator and gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis, has already done an early dive into the gutter, and their slate for the remaining up-ballot races is mediocre at best. They're last shot might be a long shot, but that doesn't mean they're not going to try. Progressive grassroots juggernaut Battleground Texas is already fundraising off of the indictment. PJ Media has a copy of the e-mail sent by Battleground Texas almost immediately after the indictment was handed down: