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 Politics Archive 2014

Rick Perry had a busy week
by Nathan'ette Burdine: September 10, 2014

Gov. Rick Perry had a busy week during the end of August. He took his mug shot, got his fingers printed, his conceal weapons license was suspended, and he headed off to New Hampshire and Iowa.

The good news is that Perry’s mug shot was not the typical “criminal” mug shot. Perry wore a grey suit, white shirt, and a black tie.

His salt and pepper hair was cut in a typical Perry style and he sported a clean shave and wore nerdy glasses that went along with his confident grin.

Yes, a grin, and not a smile, that was most likely due to Perry knowing that the conceal weapons suspension doesn’t amount to a hill of beans due to the fact that he is guarded 24/7 by several men with guns.

Perry’s interesting week was the result of the Travis County Grand Jury indicting him on two corruption charges; which according to NBC News, Perry’s lawyer, Tony Buzbee, said amounts to “nothing more than banana republic politics.”

Travis County is in a largely Democratic district. The special prosecutor, Michael McCrum, and Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg are Democrats.

However, some have pointed to the fact that the judge, who approved the charges, is a Republican and that the indictment never would have happened if the judge didn’t agree with the grand jury.

But, those who support Perry are quick to point out that the judge’s political affiliation is of non-importance considering the fact that politicians from both sides of the aisle have questioned if the charges against Perry are more about politics than the law.

Former Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin wrote in a Fox News’ article that the charges are “BS,” while President Obama’s former Senior Adviser David Axelrod tweeted that the charges “seems pretty sketchy.”

According to the San Antonio Express, Perry faces a maximum of 99 years in prison for the “abuse of power” charge and a maximum of 10 years in prison for the “coercion of a public servant” charge.

The San Antonio Express reported that the charges stem from allegations that Perry threatened to veto $75 million for the Public Integrity Unit after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who is over the Public Integrity Unit, refused to resign following her DWI arrest.

Based on the arresting video, Lehmberg was anything but upstanding during her arrest. She cursed like a drunken sailor and had to be restrained.

Perry saw the video and decided that Lehmberg wasn’t the upstanding, virtuous human being that her job as the Travis County district attorney and head of the state’s Public Integrity Unit called for her to be.

So Perry, according to Nolan Hicks of San Antonio Express, said that he could not “in good conscience” allow Lehmberg to have control over the $75 million for the Public Integrity Unit.

However, Hicks also alleges that Perry sent some of his officials to Lehmberg with an offer he thought she couldn’t refuse.

According to Hicks, Perry offered to allow Lehmberg to remain as the county’s DA as long as she allowed someone else to take over the Public Integrity Unit.

Lehmberg refused Perry’s alleged offer and Hicks alleges that her refusal is what set the wheels in motion for Perry’s veto.

Perry denies the allegations that his decision was politically base. And in his statement on August 16, 2014, Perry reiterated that it is his duty to “faithfully uphold the constitution of Texas” and that the constitution gives him the right “to veto items at his or her discretions.”

One thing is for certain, Perry is not letting the charges prevent him from continuing his journey to the White House. Perry was in New Hampshire and spent time in Iowa.

Due to New Hampshire and Iowa being the first two states whereby voters vote during the gubernatorial race, the states are a test of how well the candidates will do during the Republican Presidential Race.

Perry didn’t do too well in Iowa or New Hampshire, where he had the embarrassing press conference, during the 2012 Republican Presidential Race.

But, Perry is not worried. Perry has gotten over his bumps and bruises, and he’s dusting himself off and trying again.

According to the Boston Globe, Perry is receiving support from Republicans in New Hampshire. Bill O’Connor, who is the Strafford County Republican Party chairman, told the Boston Globe that the indictment “is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” while Sununu told the Boston Globe that the Democrats are trying “to avoid talking about issues.”

Unfortunately for Perry, the issue is whether he has been using his power as the governor in order to coerce elected officials to do what he wants them to do.

It is an issue that is shared by the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party and the Tea party wing of the Republican Party.

Both believe that the “pay to play system,” which Perry is allegedly known for, is why Washington D.C. isn’t working.

And at the moment, the corruption charges make Perry look like the stereotypical D.C. politician.

The negative effects of the charges can be seen with at least one Republican governor, Tom Corbett (R-PA).

According to Politics PA, Corbett passed on having Perry come to Pennsylvania to campaign with him.

Corbett’s Democratic opponent Tom Wolf is leaving a trail of hot smoke behind him as he sprints passed Corbett in the governor’s race.

According to a CBS News/New York Times poll released at the end of July, Wolf has 52% to Corbett’s 39%.

The one thing that Corbett doesn’t need is to be seen with a governor who could be impeached and imprisoned.

The birds of a feather flock together” saying goes a long ways in politics. And that is why in a situation like the one Perry is in, politicians treat each other like kryptonite and stay as far away from each other as they can.

If Perry is found guilty of corruption charges and stripped of his governorship, he will be the second governor, since former Texas Governor James “Pa” Ferguson, to be stripped of his governorship due to corruption charges.

Keep in mind that James “Pa” Ferguson was stripped of his title as the governor of the Lone Star State in 1917.

Also, the last two elected officials, Sen. Kay Baily Hutchinson (R-TX) and Rep. Tom Delay (R-TX), to be indicted by a Travis County Grand Jury under corruption charges won their cases.

However, the problem that Perry faces is that he is “Texas’ king of vetoes” and he’s known for his alleged “pay to play” system.

And the fact that the grand jury indicted Perry on allegations that he used his veto power as a way to force an elected official out of office could easily led to Gov. Rick Perry suffering the same fate as former Texas Gov. James “Pa” Ferguson did in 1917.

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