ShareThis Page

Rick Perry's indictment: The real abuse

| Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, 3:24 p.m.

“All politics is local” was the classic phrase coined by Byron Price, bureau chief for The Associated Press in Washington in 1932. In Texas, an embattled Democrat county prosecutor has convinced a Travis County grand jury that “All politics is criminal.”

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the departing Republican governor who's exploring another presidential bid, was indicted Friday for allegedly abusing his power. He's accused of vetoing $7.5 million from the budget of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg's public integrity unit. If convicted, Mr. Perry could be imprisoned for life.

Perry says he used his veto power legally to pressure Ms. Lehmberg to resign for conduct unbecoming a prosecutor in the aftermath of her notorious drunken driving arrest. Critics say Perry wanted to shut down an investigation into a medical research institute, favored by the governor with grants.

But the Travis County DA's office has a long history of political prosecutions against Republicans. Think of the ultimately failed prosecutions of Kay Bailey Hutchison and Tom DeLay. Now it's targeting Rick Perry — for engaging in what amounts to political public service.

So egregious is DA Lehmberg's case that even liberals are denouncing the indictment. Yes, there's certainly an abuse of power here. But it's Rosemary Lehmberg's, not Rick Perry's.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.