Friday, August 15, 2014

The Schaden, as Thunder Would Say...

Freudes itself. When I heard the news of Rick Perry's indictment on the radio while I was getting ready for work, I actually took a pause in order to laugh uproariously. So much for Perry's pre-2016 tough-guy cosplay... the guy whose stupidity dashed his 2012 presidential hopes just might see his criminality dashing his 2016 presidential hopes- not that criminality stops Republicans from backing a crook or deadbeat.

Monsieur Bouffant excerpted the NY Times article concerning the indictment. This was the kernel of the article for me:

The investigation centered on Mr. Perry’s veto power as governor. His critics asserted that he used that power as leverage to try to get an influential Democrat and elected official — Rosemary Lehmberg, the district attorney in Travis County — to step down after her arrest for drunken driving last year. Ms. Lehmberg is Austin’s top prosecutor and oversees a powerful public corruption unit that investigates state, local and federal officials; its work led to the 2005 indictment of a former Republican congressman, Tom DeLay on charges of violating campaign finance laws.

While it initially looks bad for Ms Lehmberg, further reading reveals that she may have been railroaded:

One night in April 2013, Ms. Lehmberg was found by sheriff’s deputies with an open bottle of vodka in the front passenger seat of her car in a church parking lot in Austin and was arrested for drunken driving. She pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

It looks bad, but was she actually driving in the church parking lot when she was arrested? Doesn't driving while intoxicated actually involve driving? Note that I'm not defending DWI perpetrators- when I get loaded, I do it within walking distance of home, or in a neighborhood to which I traveled by mass transit.

At any rate, Mr Perry's indictment still has me cackling with glee. It's nice to see a dumbass and a fraud taken down a peg or two. Here in New York State, our own not-a-real-liberal governor is facing an investigation about his dismantling of a contra-corruption commission that refused to back down from investigating Cuomo cronies. Maybe the two governors can end up as roomies in a federal hoosegow, rather than as candidates on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. That would make for an interesting "Odd Couple" type comedy.

Needless to say, here's a tip of the hat to Thunder.


M. Bouffant said...

Whoa again. I know in Calif. mere possession of an open container in a car is illegal; in Texas it used to be legal to drink while driving as long as you ween't over the legal limit. Like, your first beer.

Further investigation shows Texas has changed between '85 & whenever.

In Texas, drinking and driving is as common as the 7-Eleven store. The state has no law against quaffing a Lone Star or sipping on a Scotch and soda while cruising down the interstate. Often, trips here begin at the package store.

While that may seem odd indeed to residents of California, where such practices have been banned since 1961, drinking and driving is legal in 26 states, according to statistics provided by the National Safety Council. Drivers and passengers can drink as they roll down the road in Maine and Mississippi, Vermont and Wyoming, so long as they are not legally drunk.

Booking video.

mikey said...

Hmm. As much as I love the idea of a Rick Perry perp walk, and the 99 years seems fair to me, I'm a rule of law guy and this indictment is weird on a couple of levels.

First, you have to remember the problem is not the veto - that is undoubtedly within the governor's purview. So the accusation centers on the threat of the veto, which is a little more squishy.

To make matters worse, the indictment doesn't specify any statutory violation. I don't know how common that condition is, but it seems like it weakens the overall case if you can't point to an actual crime.

I'd expect this to get bargained down to nothing or for it to disappear completely, which is unfortunate because the man is clearly a criminal...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

the indictment doesn't specify any statutory violation. I don't know how common that condition is, but it seems like it weakens the overall case if you can't point to an actual crime.

That's not actually true. "abuse of power" while maybe a bit subjective for you, is still an actual crime, but the subjectiveness is why they use the Grand Jury to start the indictment.

And "Coercion of a public official" is also an actual crime, and seems to me that there is a bit more of an objective standard there; between the carrot and stick approach of going after the prosecuter for drunk non-driving (in TEXAS! where drinking while driving is not an actual crime) while also offering her an alternative state sinecure seems to me to quite clearly fall afoul of the law.