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Editorial: Pondering Governor Perry’s political predicament
About politics and other thingsAugust 20, 2014 | 3,207 views | Post a comment
John Connally, Allan Shivers, and Price Daniel each served three terms in office. Rick Perry is in his third term, but in addition to his three elected terms, he completed the term of George W. Bush, who resigned to run for president. This makes Perry the longest-serving Texas governor in history -- and one of the most influential.
Perry stands for everything conservative and, thus, is a high-profile target for Washington liberals. He has nurtured a pro-business climate in Texas and successfully promotes economic development, which gives Texas its low unemployment rate. While it’s true he has enjoyed the benefits of the Eagle Ford shale oil and gas production, he’s also had to deal with the flood of illegal immigrants crossing through Mexico into Texas.
As Perry has taken his message of success in Texas to the national stage, he has made some powerful political enemies. Perhaps his efforts in Texas have been too successful; he had to be stopped.
Attorney Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor in a case against Governor Perry, wants to be the one to stop him. McCrum claims no political motivation in going after Perry with a felony indictment, but that doesn’t rule out financial gain and the notoriety of a high-profile case such as this. That legacy would be reason enough for any ambitious attorney to take on a powerful sitting governor.
An Austin grand jury indicted Perry on Friday, for using a “veto threat to coerce an elected district attorney to resign.”
Does the use of a “veto threat” not sound familiar? Think Barack let-me-be-clear Obama. How many times have we heard him use the threat of his veto pen to elicit action from elected officials in Congress? But what is good in Washington is not necessarily good in Texas.
Austin is the state’s hotbed of liberal politics, so even if the Rick Perry case was not brought for political reasons, when it comes to a jury panel from Austin, it’s likely going to have some liberal leanings.
Getting an indictment is easy, but getting a conviction is another thing. Still, whether Perry is convicted (and this seems doubtful), he will be known forever as the governor who was indicted. In this age of sound bites, that’s all low-information voters need to know. To prove my point, at a party Friday evening, some friends, who are admittedly apolitical, asked if I had heard about Perry’s indictment.
I -- the news junkie -- had not heard. Sound bites travel fast, and they stick.
Perry is not the first to be politically targeted. Others include Kay Bailey Hutchison, who beat her charges and went on to win a seat in the Senate. Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay was less fortunate.
DeLay was found guilty in a trial. Although that conviction was later dismissed, the state of Texas is appealing the dismissal, with a final decision not expected until next year.
In addition to the exorbitant expense, the long court battle has cost DeLay and his family almost a decade fighting charges that many believe were politically motivated.
Perry vows to fight the charges. “I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto,” he said in a press release. He said he would do exactly the same thing if he had it to do over again.
This indictment by the Travis County Grand Jury is but the latest in a series of desperate attempts to turn Texas from red to blue. It is but one dirty trick that we can expect between now and 2016.
As Perry said, we should not be using indictments against political opponents. We have the ballot box.
This does not bode well for Texas or for the country. Perry needs to keep fighting.
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