Rick Perry’s Theatrics Ignore Reality

Today Rick Perry responded to felony indictments against him. In his speech, he talked about vetoes, but the reality of the case is one he didn’t address: using the powers of office as leverage to make threats.

“He can sugarcoat it all he wants, but the fact remains that Rick Perry used the powers of his office to leverage a threat against a public official,” said Ed Espinoza, executive director of Progress Texas.

Perry said “those responsible will be held accountable,” which is another threat, which is exactly how he got into this mess in the first place. Oops.

And in calling this a partisan attack, the Governor is choosing to ignore that special prosecutor Mike McCrumb is a Republican and served as assistant US Attorney under President George W. Bush.

That’s a heavy dose of bluster to ignore the heavy does of reality he got on Friday.

His Real Motive – and it’s not drunk driving

Added Espinoza: “Rick Perry has been looking the other way on Republican drunk driving charges for years – let’s call this what it is, a cover up of an investigation into the Cancer Research Fund.”

In 2009, Kaufman County District Attorney Rick Harrison was found guilty of drunk driving after driving the wrong way in traffic. In 2003, Swisher County DA Terry McEachern was found guilty of a DWI. In both cases, Rick Perry made no public statements against these officials (via the Dallas Morning News).

The difference is that these district attorneys were Republicans. More importantly, these district attorneys were also not overseeing investigations of the governor’s signature project – the Cancer Research Fund – that has since resulted in a felony indictment. Had the Travis County DA in question resigned, it would have been up to Rick Perry to appoint the person who would – or more likely would not – continue investigations into his projects.

Legal Fees

Espinoza continued, “Rick Perry is not thin on cash, he needs to man up and pay his own bills.”

While Rick Perry is talking about accountability, let’s explore the idea of accountability when it comes to his billing the taxpayers $450/hour and more than $40,000 for his legal defense. This on the surface is appalling by itself, but becomes even more appalling when one sees that he has nearly $5 million cash on hand in TEC and FEC political accounts.