Perry defiant at booking
After a pre-booking gathering that doubled as a campaign-style rally, Texas Gov. Rick Perry strode into a criminal justice center in Austin on Tuesday to be booked on two felony counts that pose for him both legal and political peril.
Before entering to be fingerprinted and photographed, Perry defiantly insisted that he would fight the charges against him “with every fiber of my being.”
“I'm here today because I believe in the rule of law,” he said in brief remarks punctuated by repeated applause from his supporters. “I'm here today because I did the right thing. I'm going to enter this courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal, but right.”
Perry cast his legal fight as a struggle larger than him and centered on any citizen's constitutional rights.
“I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand,” the Republican governor said. “I'm going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being, and we will prevail. We will prevail because we're standing for the rule of law.”
At that, he offered a wave and walked inside for the official processing and a mug shot that will undoubtedly ricochet around the political world.
The charges accuse Perry of abusing his power by targeting the state's ethics watchdog with a veto of its $7.5 million state funding. The Office of Public Integrity, which investigates elected officials in Texas, is housed in the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat who has clashed with Republicans.
After she was arrested on drunken-driving charges last year, Perry threatened the unit's funding unless Lehmberg stepped down. He said he could not support continued funding “for an office with statewide jurisdiction at a time when the person charged with ultimate responsibility for that unit has lost the public's confidence.”
Lehmberg refused to quit, and Perry followed through on his threat, prompting a watchdog group to file a complaint accusing Perry of improper intimidation.
Critics of Perry note that at the time funding for Lehmberg's office was cut, the public corruption unit was investigating one of the governor's pet projects, the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- House to vote on cyber threat bill
- Senate deal clears way for vote on Lynch confirmation
- Pope accepts resignation of bishop in Kansas City, Mo. who failed to report suspected child abuser
- In defiant act, Boston bomber captured flipping off camera
- Obama chides Dems opposed to trade deal
- Charge reduced against trucker in fatal pileup on Wyoming interstate
- Tulsa deputy who mistook gun for Taser pleads not guilty, is cleared for vacation
- Feds to investigate man’s death while in custody of Baltimore police
- Report: Major changes needed for nation’s power infrastructure
- Residents near N.C. ash dumps told not to drink well water
- Reagan shooter Hinckley closer to permanent freedom