The foolish gamble behind the Perry indictments

Considering the blatant, almost entirely legal corruption that has been the hallmark of the Perry years in Texas, it’s ironic that the allegations which finally led to his indictment are complete horseshit. Perry is being accused of using threats and a Legislative veto to depose a DA who had been a thorn in his side.

The Travis County DA, Rosemary Lehmberg, had been arrested for drunk driving in an incredibly embarrassing incident. Lehmberg refused to step down prior to the upcoming election because doing so would have allowed Perry to select her successor. Had Perry been able to select her successor, he would have been able to single-handedly kill the increasingly dangerous investigation into the political slush fund Perry operates for “technology investments.”

Perry used Lehmberg’s DUI as cover for a campaign to get her removed and finally gut the public integrity unit she oversees. He succeeded, and by shutting off funding to the DA’s investigation unit, he effectively cut off the DA’s ability to build the case against him over the slush fund.

Dirty politics? Of course. Illegal? Probably, but not in a way that could ever be effectively prosecuted.

By trying to take Perry down on the tenuous grounds of “abuse of power,” the Travis County DA is unintentionally obscuring a far more important investigation.  Her reasoning, probably, was that this was the only way to rescue the Public Integrity Unit’s inquiry into the Governor’s other activities. Unfortunately, Lehmberg is up against two miserable problems.

The first problem is that she is utterly compromised. The only lasting images likely to emerge from this complex mess are the pictures of her making an ass of herself during her arrest. The larger problem is that prosecuting public corruption in Texas is nearly impossible because of the shape of the legal and political landscape. By playing this desperate gambit, Lehmberg is not only likely to lose. Her actions may finish off Travis County’s public integrity unit, effectively snuffing out what little light of scrutiny still shines on the art of Texas political corruption.

Trying to take down Rick Perry on a such a trivial, clearly political matter is an embarrassment. This is a guy who let a major campaign donor, Bob Perry, write his own regulatory scheme to regulate his own industry. The Governor then appointed Bob Perry to head the “watchdog” agency that the legislation created.

Perry appointed the head of one of Texas’ most powerful payday lenders to head the agency that regulates payday lending. He presides over a half-billion dollar “investment fund” fueled by state money which he hands out to well connected friends with no oversight. And the best that the Travis County DA’s Office can do is indict him for hounding a prosecutor with a criminal record?

Ultimately, why is Perry being charged with something so seemingly trivial? Just as in the DeLay case, it is very difficult to find a form of public corruption in Texas that actually breaks a law. The core of the problem is that virtually nothing that passes for public corruption elsewhere in the western world is illegal in Texas.

Under Perry’s influence and with little legislation or oversight to stand in the way, Texas has become America’s champion of blatant, unapologetic, and remarkably uncreative public corruption. No one ever goes to prison for it, not even Tom DeLay. Perry is unlikely to be an exception. 

Texas has an unpaid Legislature. Think that over for a minute. Just as every new prisoner supposedly must fight for his life or become someone’s bitch, each new Legislator has to immediately decide which collection of donors and lobbyists is going to pay his rent in Austin. How do you prosecute public corruption in a system built on those rules?

The Travis County courts can do whatever they will. It doesn’t matter. Just as in the DeLay case, Perry would appeal any conviction into a system of Appellate Judges he constructed. Many of them he hand-picked across his record 15 years in office. The rest of them owe their livelihood to the Texas Republican machine.

The charges against Perry might be a minor factor in his Presidential ambitions, but no one was going to take him seriously at that level anyway. It will cost Perry some of the money which has been donated by the people he takes care of. It is unlikely to force him to dip into the millions in wealth God has granted him over the course of his public service career. You can bet that appearances at a few prayer breakfasts will shake loose whatever cash he needs to earn vindication.

This indictment is little more than a frustrated prosecutor spitting defiantly in the wind. She should have passed on this. By doubling down on a compromised investigation she is gambling the future of Texas’ only major institution for public integrity on a very bad hand.


This will all probably peter out within a year or so after his Presidential campaign fizzles. It will be fun to watch, but probably not much more.


From 2011, an old post on corruption in Texas. This stuff never gets old:

Why Texas Governors Don’t Go to Prison

Rick Perry’s aide gave a beautifully roundabout answer to a recent question about the blatant quid pro quo that marked his reign as Governor.  The spokesman explained, “There’s never been any wrongdoing substantiated.”

Nor will there be.  Remarkably, Perry’s probably done nothing illegal in his tenure.  One of the benefits of living in a state with hardly any rules is…well, it’s hard to break the rules.

The unique system of payola that makes Austin run is not only legal, it is startlingly public.  A politician in Texas can, and for all practical purposes really must, franchise himself to a set of well-financed individuals or interests and become their representative in Austin.  It is how the system is designed to work.

There’s never been any wrongdoing substantiated.

Home-building tycoon Bob Perry (no relation to the Guv) is the poster-child for this system.  He is arguably the most successful legislator of the past fifteen years and he has never held public office.  Bob Perry’s tens of millions of dollars in campaign contributions have somehow coincided with remarkable success at getting complex, controversial, and significant legislation passed that benefits no one other than himself and his allies.  The one Perry sheds light on the other.

One of Bob Perry’s boldest achievements was to have an entire regulatory scheme created and implemented to serve his needs.  In the late ’90′s many Texas municipalities started trying to tighten construction regulations.  They were responding to waves of complaints regarding the poor quality of the sprawling new construction being hastily stamped onto the Texas landscape.

Governor Rick Perry, the enemy of “job-killing regulation,” decided entirely on his own, not inspired at all by the millions in contributions to himself and nearly everyone in the Lege from Bob Perry and the builders, to take the remarkable step of implementing an entire new state agency to regulate housing construction.

The law creating the agency was drafted by Bob Perry’s attorney, who Governor Perry then appointed as the first head of the commission.  The new agency’s rules would pre-empt any new local regulations and block new local professional competence requirements.  Along the way it would severely limit the ability of a home-buyer to sue their construction company.  The “regulations” it implemented were an obscene joke that shielded builders from common-law liabilities.  The law allowed the industry to literally appoint its own “regulators” and arbitrators.

This was one of the most unapologetically corrupt political arrangements I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime and I’ve spent seven grueling years in Chicago.  It happened entirely out in the open for everyone to see.

Again, the millions of dollars handed to Gov. Perry had absolutely nothing to do with his decision to let home-builders write their own legislation.  Likewise the money used by Bob Perry and the industry PAC’s to grease the legislature (almost every legislator in both parties – let’s be clear) had no influence at all.

There’s never been any wrongdoing substantiated.

Governor Perry and the Legislature just happened to recognize, entirely on their own, that the people of Texas needed a new fake regulatory body completely controlled by the construction industry to “protect” said citizens from poor quality home-building.

Texas, you’re welcome.

The Sunset Commission eventually recommended that the agency be dismantled explaining, “No other regulatory agency has a program with such a potentially devastating effect on consumers’ ability to seek their own remedies.” But it took two more Legislative sessions to get that accomplished.

The same serendipitous political process explains why in the hell payday lending is legal and why Texas always needs more tort reform.  It helps you understand who gets grants from the state’s Emerging Technology Fund (The Prominent Donor’s Kickback Fund).  And it’s the same purely coincidental process by which Rick Perry became a multi-millionaire during a career as a state employee.

Texas is not the only place where political officials are sometimes…influenced…by money from donors.  It’s the crass blatancy of Texas’ system that might cause complications for Rick Perry as he tries to take his very local show to a larger audience.  No one will accuse Perry of being the sharpest knife in the drawer and he’s used to hiding his pay-for-play in plain sight.  He probably has no clue what his deals are going to look like when exposed to national scrutiny.

I live in a state where the exit to the Governor’s mansion leads straight to federal prison.  It saves some much-needed money on pensions.  But even here the free hand a guy like Perry enjoys is at a minimum going to inspire some envy.

As the campaign winds on Perry will need to schedule a lot more prayer meetings if he wants to distract people from what really happened on his watch back in God’s Country.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

Posted in Election 2016, Republican Party, Taxes
89 comments on “The foolish gamble behind the Perry indictments
  1. adobe says:

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  2. Crogged says:

    Off topic, WAY off topic, unless you view this issue of the Governor’s legal complaints as circus for each of our political parties…

  3. bubbabobcat says:

    The paid Chron site had a story on the Grand Jury indictments. The Grand Jurors were appointed by a San Antonio Republican judge as Travis County judges all recused themselves. The special prosecutor that brought the charges was appointed by George W. Bush and he brought 4 charges, of which the Grand Jurors only accepted the final two.

    At the very least it doesn’t sound very “hyper” partisan.

  4. John Galt says:

    This is peripherally related to the idea that it’s hard to break rules in a state that does not have any. There was an article in the paper Houston Chronicle yesterday about a mass grave found near Falfurrias with dozens of bodies in trash bags. It’s behind the paywall, so I won’t bother posting that one, but below is a link to an earlier article in the WaPo. Basically, these were illegal immigrants who died trying to hike across a desert and buried by a funeral home working under contract to the county. Yesterday’s Chronicle article clarified that no charges would be filed against the funeral home because burying bodies in trash bags in unregistered graves is not illegal in Texas. What?

  5. Ironically, this goofy lawsuit is likely to ignite Gov. Good Hair’s presidential bid. All he has to do is air a few campaign adds showing, for example:

    And there you have it, the face of the Democratic Party in Texas.

    The Hannibal Lecter chair? Priceless. Perry couldn’t *pay* for better advertising. I guess life really is stranger than fiction. And more entertaining.

    • John Galt says:

      A mistake made by Perry the first time around (and indirectly by you) is to think that his Texas schtick sells in Iowa. In ’12, he basically went around telling everyone how great Texas is and he could teach the lesser 49 states something. Telling that to a bunch of proud Iowans and Live Free or Diers is political suicide.

      Now you’re suggesting highlighting his political enemy here (who was not, in fact, who brought the suit and who is a nobody nationally). But at some point this gets back to the heart of the matter and Iowa farmers, who have a pretty good sense of fair play, are going to say, “What? He vetoed funding for the office that was investigating his administration? What was he trying hide?” The local politics of Austin are going to be lost on most outsiders. You and I might know that Travis county grand juries are usually more liberal than in the rest of the state; the guy in Ottumwa will not, and won’t care, either. He made the Watergate mistake of trying to bury an investigation that was unlikely to do any political damage to him.

      • JG, with all due respect, I think you’re missing the point. All Mr. Perry has to do is point to Ms. Lehmberg as Exhibit “A” of the type of government you get from the people who insist that you need more government. Q.E.D. Game over.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Yes TThor, if it works in Texas…

        Please transfix on the birdie I am distracting you with in front of your nose. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.

        Please see my previous post on hubris and disconnect with your (Perry’s) own insular reality.

      • bubba, don’t get me wrong. I *really* don’t like Perry. Fortunately for the country, he probably doesn’t have enough neurons firing in sync to take full advantage of the PR coup this state’s benighted Dem party has just handed him…

      • John Galt says:

        I don’t get this, Tracy. How are these videos an exhibit of anything other than a drunk woman making an ass of herself? You, and others on the right, repeatedly state that the left wants “more government.” I counter this by arguing that the right wants lots of government, too, just concentrated at whatever level is the highest one they control. When Bush was in office, it was the Patriot Act and a huge increase in security spending (plus a big new entitlement program). When Obama is in office, Perry wants to make everything local again, but he doesn’t really mean local – he means in his office, which he has held onto through the crudest of patronage politics, as Chris reports. Here Perry tried to emasculate the “local” government (the elected DA of Travis County) because it was in his way. Perry and his ilk don’t want less government, they want everyone but them to have less government.

      • John Galt says:

        It is also ironic that a video showing armed agents of the government strapping a woman in a chair to forcibly take a blood sample is thought to be good campaign material for the party of “less government.” Sure she was accused of a crime, but this sits somewhat uncomfortably with the Perry meme.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Very accurate analogy JG. Arrogance and hubris will slip them up every time because they start living in their own reality out of touch with the mainstream.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      It may be public information, but I think it’s in poor taste to publicize videos of this type. It shows an individual in a weak, vulnerable moment, and to take such glee over others’ misfortune is unacceptable.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        And if this is just “politics as usual,” then count me out. I don’t even care to vote anymore.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Tutt, I appreciate your consistency regarding disdain for release of information/video in a bad light of people on both sides of the political aisle. However, for consistency also, I consider it fair game to release it publicly. It is an official recording collected in the course of an arrest and necessary for the officers to perform their duties and as such becomes part of the public record. And for the DA, she really has no choice but to accept the reality and electronic proof of her actions available in the public domain. It is not misrepresentative in and of itself. How it will be utilized by the Perry mob like operatives is another matter.

        My issue is that I disagree with TThor on the relevancy of the video to the indictments of Perry other than to sway public opinion and crassly distract from the merits of the indictments and whether it has legs to stand on or not as charged.

        And as JG noted, the DA did not pursue the indictments. In addition, the DA pled guilty and has already served the appropriate sentence for the arrest. And legally, she is not precluded from continuing to hold office until voted out or refusing to resign.

        It is Perry who is now on trial to determine the legality of HIS actions per the indictments and NOT the DA.

        Keep the eye on the ball as I noted in my previous post.

      • Tutta, there’s already 50+ on YouTube alone. It’s all over the place, and has been for quite some time. The question that keeps running through my head is, “What were they thinking?”

        As for the politics of it, the WSJ pretty much nails it:

        “Prosecutorial abuse for partisan purposes is common these days, and the latest display is taking place in the all-too-familiar venue of Austin, Texas. On Friday a Travis County prosecutor indicted Governor Rick Perry for the high crime of exercising his constitutional right to free speech and his legal power to veto legislation.” And so on, in blistering, scathing detail.

        And the WSJ doesn’t even *like* Perry.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I dont care if it’s on You Tube, or if “everyone is doing it.” There’s nothing classy about reposting it and even less about relishing it. If it’s public information, so be it, but I will be damned if I contribute to promoting it.

      • Tutta, I apologize for offending you. Rest assured, my intent was not to “promote,” nor to take “glee” in another’s misfortunes. Schadenfreude is not my thing. My intent, however poorly executed, was to illustrate how any competent political operative is going to run with this. If you saw Perry’s interview on Chris Wallace’s Sunday news show, you’d see he’s already doing it (albeit is a slightly more subdued fashion). There’s a reason the Democratic party in Texas is utterly ineffectual as an opposition party, and this is just one more example why.

        No, I’m not likely to be voting Democrat anytime soon, even were the Dems putting forth serious candidates. But I *would* like to see the Texas GOP *challenged*. As it is, the Texas GOP can get way with just about anything it dang well pleases. That’s not good for Texas in the long run, and its certainly not good for this nifty concept we call democracy.

        So please, Texas Dems, come up with somebody better than Wendy Davis or Kinky Friedman. And quit doing stupid stuff like suing the Governor for being… the Governor.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Ok TThor, I’ll give you we did run Elmer Fudd against Perry in what is essentially a statewide beauty contest. Democrats were myopic in OUR own reality thinking the rest of the state outside Houston would vote on (horrors!) issues and qualifications. We learned our lesson and have Davis now.

        And Chris Bell would have won in 2006 (in a landslide) if arrogant clowns as Carol Keeton whatever her last name of the minute is and Kooky Friedman hadn’t siphoned off 1.3 million votes when Bell lost by about 400K votes.

        And look, by your own admission, we gave you Perry for at least 8 years. You can return the favor and give us neophyte Wendy for 4. We’ll take that deal in a heartbeat.

        Besides in this election cycle, you never know. To (PC) paraphrase Belushi/Bluto in “Animal House”:

        Eric Cantor? Done for!

        Neil Abercrombie? Done for!

        David Dewhurst? Done for!

        Ralph Hall (TX)? Done for!

        Greg Abbott?????……….. Done for!

      • bubbabobcat says:

        But in all seriousness, we have Leticia Van de Putte running against Dan Patrick for Lieutenant Governor. Van de Putte is as close to a speak your mind firebrand as we are going to get to the late revered Ann Richards in a while. I have confidence in her chances as I do Davis (really) this fall. It’s all about the DEMO…graphics.

      • I don’t, bubba. With Abbot rolling around like a happy, family-oriented Dr. Xavier in one ad after another, he’s pretty much a shoe in for the Sarah McLachlin voters. You know, all those usually solid Dem emotional voters who can’t pass up a sad-eyed puppy, a big-eyed skinny African kid, or… a guy in a wheelchair. 😉

    • Keep a civil tongue in yer head, Tex. And no, I would *never* judge the entire Democratic party by the actions of just one person. For that, you should be *personally* grateful.

    • And BTW, events have amply demonstrated the left is quite willing to, for instance, judge all gun owners by the actions of a few deranged nutballs. So don’t be surprised when the Texas GOP does exactly what you are so (rightfully) concerned about. Turns out sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      TThor, Texan has a point despite your denial.

      Your commentary in your video:

      “And there you have it, the face of the Democratic Party in Texas.”

      Having said that, Texan, this is just my personal opinion with no moral authority whatsoever, so take it for what it’s worth, but as one who has no problem using salty language or epithets myself, I don’t think TThor warrants that response and definitely not in the same category as a Dan or a bart or some others.

      And I disagree with TThor 99.999999999% of the time. And quite strongly 99.99999990% per cent of the time. 😉

    • Woo hoo, Bubba! I’m up to 0.00000001%! Things *are* looking up! 🙂

    • And bubba, sorry I was unclear. I’m just trying to illustrate how Perry will utilize the gift laid at his feet, if he has *any* sense. I’m not saying I agree with such tactics, mind you. I don’t.

      But really, I very much doubt you lefties have anything to worry about. You would, if you could count on Perry being bright enough to figure out how to pour piss out of a boot if the instructions were stamped on the heel in block letters. But there’s not much danger of that, now, is there? So I wouldn’t sweat it, were I you.

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Well TThor I AM in a good mood despite Perry’s Poop Parade because apparently Karma is more than a chameleon…

      Well whattaya know, Obama DIDN’T take you guns and a whole bunch of wingnut birthers (like trollbart who is still pushing that trope on the chron) just went broke hoarding them (and incandescent light bulbs).

      Your gun owner reference triggered some endorphin release in my brain to recall this. 😉

      And you KNOW I won’t pass up this reference:

    • texan5142 says:

      Your words speak otherwise , being civil would not have lumped all democrates together, your words , not mine. Next time put in a disclaimer.

    • texan5142 says:

      My apologies , but blanket statements like that get my goat, so to speak Tracy. What makes you think that I would judge all gun owners because of the stupidity of a few? That is judging me without knowing me, just as I have done to you. We are probably more alike than different , Texans to the bone.

    • Bubba, I hate to break it to you, but the last five years have seen the most astounding run of gun sales ever. All this gun-buying mania has been thanks to “You Know Who,” a.k.a. the greatest gun salesman of all time. Sadly for the gun industry guns aren’t like bananas – they last pretty much forever. So the market has actually become rather saturated, except for folks like myself, the very few who collect guns like Imelda Marcos collected shoes.

      Another factor figuring into the slowdown in gun sales is that America has pretty much gotten to the point of writing Obama off. He’s certainly not the boogeyman to the right he once was; most people on my side of the political spectrum are pretty much ignoring *anything* he says or does. You know, kinda like Netanyahu, Putin, Hamas, ISIS, Assad, etc. He’s a short timer. (And come to think of it, Dems are treating him pretty much that way, too.) This Glen McCoy political cartoon pretty much sums it up:

      On top of the rapidly approaching demise of the current Dark Lord, SCOTUS has dealt one blistering blow after another to anti-gun legislation. Even putative liberal judges are falling in line with these precedents. (See for instance the recent Palmer v. D.C. ruling). The 2nd Amendment Foundation has enjoyed a string of court victories reminiscent of the ’73 Dolphins Super Bowl run. So people are beginning to realize they no longer have to run out and buy a gun before Obama takes them all away.

      Despite all this, according to the NSSF 2014 gun sales remain on track to be… only the 3rd highest of all time.

      You see, Bubba, a lot of new gun owners who originally bought out of fear discovered something unexpected along the way: shooting is really a *lot* of fun.

      Now, if only I could find some .22 LR ammo.

      And yes, LOTR is my fav read of all time, and I thought the Jackson movies were very well done. (Wolfe’s “Book of the New Sun” comes in a very close 2nd, but 2nd nonetheless.)

      (And BTW, bubba, if you ever have a hankerin’ to give it a try, I’d be *absolutely delighted* to take you to the range. The shooting range is a happy place for me, and it makes me happy to share it.)

    • bubbabobcat says:

      Thanks TThor I appreciate the offer but (don’t roll your eyes) as an avowed Liberal (but NOT a pacifist), I acknowledge the allure and “joy” of succumbing to the Dark Side and feeling the unmitigated power and omnipotence of heavy metal firepower. As a result, I make a conscious effort to not be tempted.

      And I speak from experience as I have practice fired (against inanimate targets solely) an M16 (on full auto), M60 machine gun, M203 grenade launcher, and M72 LAW (Light AntiTank Weapon or “bazooka” in civilian misnomerspeak). And I enjoyed training on all of them in the Army however guiltily. Even enjoyed hearing the lucky beginner shot satisfying “thunk” of a dummy LAW practice round plunking off the side of a rusted M113 target APC.

      Though for me, what was most satisfying was watching a live hand grenade arc as if in slow motion in the sky in a beautifully executed Hail Mary heave. I had hoped to at least watch where it had landed thinking I was a safe distance away with such an impressively strong toss. The range safety wasn’t quite so enamored of my quarterbacking skills as he yanked me behind the cinder block blast barrier before the big boom. Then he gave me an earful on how clueless of an idiot I was. Though I imagined he would have rather had me than a trainee who was barely able to make it past the blast wall. Or not know if one was even capable of THAT.

      Besides, I like to drink an adult beverage or two. And it may come as an absolute shock to you, but I have a bit of a short fuse. 😉 So I’d rather not be put in a position I may later regret.

      Call me a firearm teetotaler.

      Did I mention that I nearly bought property right next to the Hot Wells shooting range? True story. Thought better of it in the long run. Imagine a Big Bold Barack Obama Poster Board right off the range? 😉

    • Crogged says:

      Tracy, you have this right-a gift which will keep on giving in Republican primaries to a flawed candidate. Eagerness to ‘get’ the governor during a political spat will derail what could have been a real investigation into a real problem.

    • Bubba, it’s a wise man who knows his limitations. Class III arms are much like boats – it’s great to have a good friend who has one. Full auto is a kick so long as someone else is paying for the ammo. 😉

      Your story is funny, but like most in that vein, only because nobody got hurt. My son served as a range master at the Naval Academy; he thought it would be a lark and that he’d get to spend a lot more time on the range. While the latter was true, that duty turned out to be one of his more nerve wracking commitments as a result of his fellow midshipmen’s generally lack of experience with firearms.

      Your description of “omnipotence” and “unmitigated power” is (perhaps intentionally) a bit hyperbolic. Nonetheless, you have a point. I suspect very strongly that such an atavistic emotional response is pretty much hard-wired into our genome. Imagine the emotional charge for that first small Australopithecine who managed to chase off a lion by throwing rocks.

      Your description of the feeling is a bit (please take no offense) puerile. For me there’s several aspects to it. First, there’s the innate pleasure of mastering a physical skill and practicing it with precision. Second, there’s the pride in being able to wield that power responsibly. I take it you’ve no hunting experience, but rest assured, the first time you take a large animal with a high power rifle round, you develop a very healthy respect for exactly what that tool in your hands can do if *not* handled responsibly. Third, there’s the comfort of *knowing in my bones* (and the self confidence that goes with it) that I can mount a formidable response to any direct physical threat to myself or my loved ones. Finally, there’s the sense of community. The people I encounter in this sport are invariably friendly and fun to be around – we all of course share a common interest.

      Anyway, the invitation’s open, should you ever care to avail yourself of it. 🙂

  6. tuttabellamia says:

    I just read an article by Jonah Goldberg about libertarianism, and I will say it again — Lifer’s blog entries are of much higher quality than the diluted journalism that’s published for the masses.

  7. Crogged says:

    There is the video of Mr. Perry speaking when ‘tired and exhausted’ during the last Presidential campaign…..but nothing of the seriousness of the charges against the DA. In all honesty I don’t think Texas politics have changed much since Ma and Pa Ferguson, just the sophistication of the industry involved allow Texans to snicker at ‘corrupt’ Louisiana. I will vote against Abbot (and we thought Perry took insincerity and arrogance to a new level) but the ethics of ‘good governance’ are lacking in Texas because we don’t hold the elected accountable. Ever. (but we laugh when DC reelects coke sniffers, we are so much better).

  8. Anse says:

    “Legal corruption” is the best description of how Republicans have tended to run for a long time now. I can’t help but think of the non-scandal involved the IRS’s investigations of right wing political groups who file as “educational” nonprofits because they don’t have to reveal their donors under that filing. They exploit the vague distinctions between “educating” the public and political activism, and then attack the regulatory agency in charge of rooting out this kind of nonsense.

    Rightwingers have an intense obsession with rules. The law-and-order mentality is strong, and any hint that the rules were broken, no matter how trivial, is used as a basis for charges of oppression or treason or what-have-you. They use the rules as a weapon, and then when they get control, they write the rules to suit their aims. What they do, then, isn’t illegal under the law, but has the exact same effect as activities that would for most intelligent people be considered highly unethical.

    It’s like Tom DeLay moving money around to duck campaign finance laws. The worst part about it is that Republican voters don’t seem to care at all about this stuff.

  9. objv says:

    An ex-neighbor in Katy who runs a tech support company had the following link on his FB page. The article ties in with the previous topic of migration.,2817,2462658,00.asp

  10. texan5142 says:

    I miss Ann Richards !!!!!

  11. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Hasn’t this happened before?

    It seems to me that over the course of my life in Texas Austin DAs regularly investigates or charges the sitting governor with something.

    (Of course, Perry has been in office so long memory mis-remembers.)

    Nothing memorable ever seems to come of these actions except a lot of chattering among us, the politically transfixed.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      “Politically transfixed.” I love that term!

      • objv says:

        I miss Cap’s comments! I hope his vow of silence is not permanent.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, remember, he’s part Irish. It’s impossible for him to remain silent for very long.

      • objv says:

        Desperate times call for desperate measures. Lifer, could your next topic be about abortion=slavery? I don’t think Cap could resist that.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Lifer, please don’t. If you do, I swear, I will take another vow of silence. It’s him or me. You have the blogger’s right to choose.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, be careful what you wish for. You know what Lifer is capable of when forced to take desperate measures. Just ask Dan.

      • objv says:

        *moment of silence for Dan* Well, Tutt, I don’t think that would be a hard choice for Lifer. Give Cap my best. 🙂

      • CaptSternn says:

        Thanks for the consideration, OV. I have not yet decided on my future on this blog. I have been reading it and I see it has really slowed down. I notice Kabuzz has also been absent. Maybe Lifer likes it better this way? Or at least he can relax and catch his breath for a bit.

        I never completely abandoned the site. I have been more active there recently, but nothing like I was before this blog left that site. The bird is still there and tries to harass me from time to time, I occasionally see Fly and Bart-1 as well. TigerDog is still active. He has always been a good guy, very polite and respectful.

        Well, if and until, y’all take care and remember, abortion=slavery. 😉

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Darn. I was just trying to post the following:

        OV, I’ve enjoyed sharing the floor with you. One of the advantages of Cap, Kabuzz, and Dan being on strike is that we have the place to ourselves.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        My favorite usage of transfix is something that come hormones are supposed to do, as in ‘the thyroid hormone transfixes the DNA in every cell”, said someone positioned as an expert.

        As I write this, it occurs to me that there are regular posters to this site who actually know what that means.

        For me, it’s all visualization without data or understanding.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        I like the term “spellbound.” It seems the spell this blog held on so many people has been broken.

      • objv says:

        Tutt, looks like us women were left to hold down the fort. (Hopefully, that was not an ethnically insensitive comment.)

        You’re right. It’s as if a spell has been broken. A lot of the interaction on this blog is personality and topic driven. When the “personalities” leave, discussion languishes.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        OV, it’s like everyone was caught up in a frenzied fever, and the fever has broken.

        Frankly, I’m enjoying the relief from all that intensity.

      • objv says:

        Cap, wishing you the best as you make your choice on whether to stay or leave. I haven’t been active on the Chron since I moved. I’ve been getting my local paper but miss the online discussion of a big paper.

        Lifer’s blog has filled a gap since there is a sense of continuity with the same group of characters.

      • GG says:

        I think a lot of the slowness is also due to the kiddies going back to school soon. It seems everything has been very slow the last week.

        BTW, where has Sassy been?

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Sassy recently moved to Tennessee, so she must be busy with that. Plus, she said she was sick of the blog.

      • Turtles Run says:

        I have had a job change at work so I have been adjusting to my new position the past couple of weeks. Plus school is coming up and I really hate commenting at home because it takes time away from the boys.

      • tuttabellamia says:

        Well, Turtles, I’m glad to have made your acquaintance.

        I need a change of scenery.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        objv says:
        August 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        “A lot of the interaction on this blog is personality and topic driven. When the ‘personalities’ leave, discussion languishes.”

        I wouldn’t describe Chris’ current blog discussions in the pejorative as “languishing”.

        Quantity is not necessarily indicative of quality.

        “Moment of silence” for Dan? Really? For quality “insights” as “cum guzzling, gutter slut” OV?

        But then I question your “objectivity” anyway OV as you continue to lionize an abject disruptive troll as Dan that you somehow in your distorted partisan world characterize thusly:

        “You’ll love DanMan. His comments are like breath of fresh air in a stale smelling refrigerator. By no time, he’ll have a special place in your heart – as he has in all of ours.”

        If we don’t get any more of the likes of Dan’s “breath of fresh air” vulgarity as noted above, then I personally have no objections to the blog “languishing”.

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Let’s not forget Kabuzz.

  12. Intrigued says:

    I hear ya! Got the email about Perry being indicted from the tonight. I opened that email like it was a fabulous Christmas present and what I found were socks and underwear. WTH? This dude has been shady since he took office and this is what he is indicted for?

  13. fiftyohm says:

    Well old pal, I’m not so sure this rises to the level of trying to sell a seat in the US senate. And did I ever tell you my dad was on Otto Kerner’s jury?

    • Bobo Amerigo says:

      I had to look up Otto Kerner. Wikipedia describes him as being known for heading a commission on civil disorders and for accepting bribes. Quite the guy!

  14. bubbabobcat says:

    And to Chris’ point about Dick Perry’s crass graft, WE are paying for his defense. Even when he’s screwed, he manages to line the pockets of his benefactors. At our expense.

    “Mr. Perry hired a prominent defense lawyer, David Botsford, to represent him. According to the state comptroller’s website, the governor’s office has paid Mr. Botsford nearly $80,000 since June. Legal experts said that other state officials who have been accused of crimes relating to their duties have had to pay for their own defense, and this was one of the first times Texas taxpayers were paying the bill.”

  15. bubbabobcat says:

    What ever works Chris. Al Capone was finally locked up on tax evasion charges.

    • goplifer says:

      Here’s the section of the penal code that Perry is accused of violating:

      Sec. 39.02. ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY. (a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:

      (1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment; or

      (2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.

      Step back and think it over. Something this vague is what you use to charge someone when you can’t find a crime to charge them with.

      And check out the indictment.

      Two pages. Indicting a Governor and it’s two pages.

      This is bad. This was a very big mistake.

      • bubbabobcat says:

        Depends on how many dots can be connected, Chris.

        From the same NYT article:

        “At the time of Mr. Perry’s veto last year, prosecutors in the unit had been investigating a state agency called the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. The agency — one of Mr. Perry’s signature initiatives — came under scrutiny by state lawmakers after accusations of mismanagement and corruption; a former official there was indicted last year for his handling of an $11 million grant.

        Mr. Perry’s critics accused him of using Ms. Lehmberg’s arrest to try to dismantle the public corruption squad, to thwart the investigation into the cancer-research agency and to seize an opportunity to take down a prominent Democrat. The public-corruption unit has been scaled down, but continues its work largely using county financing.

        ‘The governor has a legitimate statutory role in the legislative process,” said Craig McDonald, the director and founder of Texans for Public Justice, the group that filed the original complaint. “The governor had no authority over the district attorney’s job.’ ”

        “Abuse of official capacity” is pretty vague, particularly for Texas politics.

        But I dunno about “coercion of a public servant charge”. That looks like a wet noodle that may stick when flung on the wall.

      • John Galt says:

        Quid pro quo. Perry will win as far as this indictment and Texas politics are concerned. He will lose as far as his grander ambitions are concerned. Of course, that was bound to happen one way or another.

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