Gov. Rick Perry vowed on Saturday that he will fight his indictment on charges of “abuse of power”. He referred to these accusations as a “political prosecution” and “farce” during his debate. At the moment, Mr. Perry has two felony counts against him. They are a result of his pressures on the district attorney here. He wanted the democrat to withdraw using threats to veto state funding for her office.
“I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto. We don’t settle political differences with indictments in this country.”
Rick Perry is confident that he will prevail and refuses to leave the office until the end of his term, roughly 5 months from now. He also promised to explore every legal venue that will prove his innocence. Gov. Perry is a Republican. He threatens to veto state funding to Ms. Rosemary Lehmberg, an Austin’s top prosecutor & Travis County district attorney. By doing this he hopes to make her resign. Gov. Perry is now charged by the grand jurors with abusing his official capacity as well as pressuring a public servant.
Critics believe that this move has a more powerful motive behind it. They say that Republicans have always desired the investigative power of the district attorney’s office. Just recently, the office was conducting a investigation into a medical research institute. This research might prove damaging for Mr. Perry, because it was one of his favorite avenues for jobs and grants.
Gov. Perry has filled nearly every position on every board, but the one institution he could never control was the prosecutor’s office. In his 14 years as a Governor, he has been present for thousands of appointments and held obscure positions (example: for the Texas Funeral Service Commission) as well as influential ones (example: for university boards of regents).
On the other hand, Ms. Lehmberg was involved in a drunken driving incident (she pleaded guilty). Since then, her Public Integrity Unit has been involved in an investigation of the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas. The investigation concluded with the indictment of a former executive who awarded a 11 million dollar grant to a Dallas firm. If Mr. Lehmberg stepped down, Gov. Perry could have filled her shoes, but her indictment now threatens his efforts for a second presidential run.
Political parties have contrasting opinions regarding this case. Republicans believe that the investigation is extremely dubious in legality, while Democrats say that the charges made perfectly describe an arrogant governor with too much reach and power. Regardless, Gov. Perry’s appointments during his career have ensured his irrefutable influence in every sphere of Texas life, and the continued support of Republican voters.
He first campaigned for president in 2012, when he stumbled on national stage. Even after his embarrassing moment he remained a respected public figure. But Democrats are asking him to step down.
“It’s a reminded that there ain’t no cowboy that can’t be thrown.” – John Witmire
In the end, even if the indictment will not cause serious legal consequences, it comes at an inopportune moment for Gov. Perry, who wants to run for a fourth full term as governor.
“I think America is a place that believes in second chances.” – Gov. Perry
The only real problem that the governor might face would be focusing on the indictment rather than his well-choreographed comeback plan. If he is ever to run for 2016 primaries, his opponents might use the indictment against him.