texans for public justice

Rick Perry Veto To Be Reviewed By Special Prosecutor, Judge Says

I know Democrats have issues too, like yet another Anthony Weiner sex scandal.   Also, that Mayor in San Diego, Bob Filner has some serious political problems resulting from sexual harrassment toward many women,  the latest being his inappropriate behavior toward a great-grandmother.  

They don’t go unnoticed on this blog, it’s just that their stories are more personal than political.  Yes, they’re political figures but in my opinion, their stories are not as news worthy.

Now, on the other hand, the GOP 2016 hopefuls and others seem to be getting into political trouble.  Enter…Texas Governor Rick Perry:

The Huffington Post

A Texas judge said Thursday he plans to have a special prosecutor review allegations that Gov. Rick Perry abused the powers of his office and broke the law over a veto that cut funding for state public corruption investigators.

Judge Robert Richardson said he expects to select someone in the coming days to look at a two-page complaint filed by a watchdog group, Texans for Public Justice. The special prosecutor could quickly deem the complaint meritless or decide it warrants further investigation.

Perry’s office denies wrongdoing.

The complaint stems from the April drunken-driving arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, whose office houses the Public Integrity Unit that is the state’s criminal ethics arm. Its high-profile cases include the 2010 prosecution of former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, and an ongoing investigation into the state’s $3 billion cancer research agency.

Lehmberg pleaded guilty after her arrest and served half of a 45-day jail sentence. But she refused calls from Republicans to resign, including from Perry, who publicly said he would eliminate $3.7 million in annual state funding if she did not step down.

Lehmberg stayed in office, and Perry vetoed the money in June.

In a two-page complaint filed shortly after Perry’s veto, the head of Texans for Public Justice accused Perry of possibly violating laws regarding coercion of a public servant, bribery, abuse of official capacity and official oppression.

“Governor Perry violated the Texas Penal Code by communicating offers and threats under which he would exercise his official discretion to veto the appropriation,” wrote Craig McDonald, the group’s executive director, in the June 26 complaint.

Perry spokesman Josh Havens said Thursday he was not aware of any contact from investigators concerning the veto.

Havens said Perry “exercised his constitutional veto authority through line item vetoes in the budget” as he does each session. He went on to point to Perry’s statement following the veto of the prosecution unit dollars.

“Despite the otherwise good work the Public Integrity Unit’s employees, I cannot in good conscience support continued state funding for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence,” Perry said.

The appointment of a special prosecutor is less reflective of the allegations’ possible merits than the unique circumstances of the complaint.

The complaint from the Austin-based watchdog group was originally filed with Lehmberg’s office, where investigators would normally review the complaint and determine whether it was worth pursuing. But Lehmberg recused herself and the complaint eventually trickled to Richardson, a former state district judge, who is now finding his own prosecutor to review the complaint.

Following Perry’s v eto, Travis County commissioners originally voted to send layoff notices to nearly three dozen staff members in the public corruption office. They have since approved a reduced budget for the unit that trims the staff cuts to 10.

As part of the reduced budget, the unit will also drop at least 54 of its more than 400 active cases.

AT&T bought more than 700 copies of Rick Perry’s book

Thanks to Citizens United, it seems the “fix” is in via the Perry campaign and big corporations.  No doubt the Koch brothers are sleazing  easing their way to the fore front to give a large sum of money to Perry’s campaign as well.

The Raw Story

The Dallas-based telecommunications giant AT&T bought more than 700 copies of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, as part of a fundraising event arranged by the American Legislative Exchange Council in December 2010.

Perry recently urged the Federal Communications Commission to approve the proposed merger between T-Mobile and AT&T, saying it would “spur continued innovation.” The U.S. Justice Department announced Wednesday it would seek to block AT&T’s $39 billion takeover because it would “substantially lessen competition” in the U.S. wireless market.

The Texas governor and AT&T have had a close relationship. AT&T’s political action committee has given Perry more than $500,000 over the past decade, according to Texans for Public Justice.

In December 2010, the company co-sponsored a conservative policy summit, where it spent over $13,000 to buy more than 700 copies of Perry’s book as a gift to those attending the event.

Sales of the book benefit the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a conservative think tank with close ties to Perry. The founder of the organization, Dr. James Leininger, has donated millions to Perry‘s gubernatorial campaigns. The organization’s president, Brooke Rollins, has also served as Perry’s Deputy General Counsel and later as his Policy Director.

The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which arranged for the book sale, is a little-knownbut extremely influential conservative group that drafts industry-friendly state legislation.

“I can only tell you that we worked with ALEC to provide enough copies to give to the conference attendees,” Kerry Hibbs, an AT&T spokesman, said at the time.

In the book, the Texas governor blasted the expansion of the federal government and criticized programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He attacked social welfare programs as “fraudulent systems designed to take in a lot of money at the front and pay out none in the end.”

Perry also called Social Security “a crumbling monument to the failure of the New Deal,” which was implemented “at the expense of respect for the Constitution.”

“This unsustainable fiscal insanity is the true legacy of Social Security and the New Deal,” he wrote.

The book is also critical of the the 17th Amendment, which established the election of senators by popular vote instead of by state legislatures, and the 16th Amendment, which allows the federal government to collect income taxes.

[H/T: National Journal]