Political Editors / Feb. 25, 2016

Rick Perry Cleared of Governing While Republican

But the frivolous prosecution did serve the Left's goal.

After costing him time, money, effort and possibly tarnishing his presidential bid, former Texas Governor Rick Perry on Wednesday was finally cleared of charges that he abused his office when he threatened a veto and then issued it in 2013. His real crime? “Governing While Republican.”

Perry said he would veto a bill funding the state’s Public Integrity Unit if its head, then-Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, didn’t step down. Why? Lehmberg had been arrested for driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit, and she was so belligerent with police officers that they strapped her into a restraint chair and slipped a spit mask over her. When she refused to resign, Perry vetoed the bill.

To a Democrat-influenced grand jury, Perry’s actions of, well, governing, meant he coerced a public servant and abused his office, and they issued an indictment. But Judge P.J. Keller, who wrote the court’s majority opinion dismissing the case, disagreed. “No law passed by the Legislature can constitutionally make the mere act of vetoing legislation a crime,” Keller wrote, and the court system cannot “examine the motives behind the veto or second-guess the validity of a veto.” Nevertheless, the frivolous prosecution did serve the Left’s goal: to stall a strong conservative’s political career. How much more support could the cowboy-boot wearing governor have generated if donors and voters weren’t wary that the indictment would stick?

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