Rick Perry, Second Coming or Poker-Cheating Cannibal? Who the Hell Knows?

Categories: Schutze

Rick-Perry-Heritage.jpg
Governor Rick Perry, demonstrating the number of minutes it'll take to beat the indictment against him.
This is a first. In an editorial this morning The New York Times is defending Rick Perry. Sort of.

They offer major caveats, calling him, "one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office."

But then they say, "bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony," leading them to conclude that, "given the facts so far," Perry's recent indictment on criminal charges, "appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution."

They're actually willing to give the Perry indictment a little more credibility than I have been. Based on reporting I have been doing on an unrelated Austin story, the impeachment of Texas university system regent Wallace Hall, I figure it's not possible to come to any conclusion at all about the legitimacy of anything that happens in Austin, good, bad or interplanetary.

Hall is a Dallas man appointed by Perry in 2011 to the board of regents over all of the state's public universities and medical and health institutions, and the bottom line on the Hall story is absolutely stunning. In fact I can't think of a case in my own personal memory where the truth turned out to be so totally and overwhelmingly contrary to the original narrative.

Hall was absolutely vilified for what detractors said was a series of ginned-up, phony-baloney, unjust and even treacherous assaults against University of Texas at Austin President William Powers Jr. Almost every big newspaper in the state at one point was calling for his head (The Dallas Morning News, always cautious, said it was struggling with the question whether he was a "pain-in-the-neck").

A bipartisan junta in the Legislature convened impeachment proceedings against him. The Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney's Office, the same outfit at the center of the Perry indictment story, announced it was looking at criminal charges.

I will save the details for later, but the bottom line in the Hall story is truly stunning. Hall has been utterly and totally vindicated on every single charge he brought against the university. The impeachment junta in the Legislature includes several legislators who were personally implicated in the matters Hall had uncovered and were obviously going after him to cover their own hides.

And they accused him of what, again? The main accusation against Hall, enthusiastically endorsed by the Texas mainstream press in all of those editorials, was that he had asked the university for too much public information. The Texas press despised Hall (or worried he might be a pain in the neck). The sole reason the real guts of the matter ever got exposed was that two independent journalists, one in Washington and the other in Austin, took the story in their teeth like dogs with bones.

Wait a minute. Did I just say the major newspapers in the state wanted to see Hall kicked out of office because he was doing too much reporting? Yes. I did.

What did Hall uncover? Oh, not much. Just a secret slush fund in the University of Texas School of Law that was granting six figure gifts to an inside gang of professors in a scheme that was hidden from public view. Fraud in the reporting of contributions to the UT endowment fund. And, let's see, what else? Oh yeah, a backdoor black market admissions racket for the law school in which legislators, including the impeachment junta, were able to get their own unqualified kids admitted or the unqualified kids of politically wired persons admitted, producing an unusually large contingent of UT law grads who later couldn't pass the bar exam.

In my business, if you came up with stuff like that, they're supposed to give you a Pulitzer. For Hall it was impeachment.

The bottom line on all of it for me, when I saw the Perry indictments, was even more consternation than what the Times seems to expressing this morning. They say they actually doubt the legitimacy of the charges. My feeling is that I have absolutely no idea what's really going on, one way or the other, because the Perry charges come out of the same snake-pit loony-bin that produced the Hall impeachment proceedings.

As far as I'm concerned, the range of possibilities here is between two polarities: 1) By the time this is all said and done, we will find out that Rick Perry is the second coming of Jesus and the people behind the indictment are fiends from another planet, or 2) Perry is a cannibal and a poker cheat.

That's about what you can tell from Austin. If I were the Times, I wouldn't go betting any more money than that, yet.


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75 comments
rkm200
rkm200

So super-aggie Perry appoints Hall who spends his time find corruption (true or unfounded) at arch rival UT?  Sounds just right for Texas.

hwy77
hwy77

It's great fun when politicians accuse their accusers of playing politics; even more fun when media weighs in with sanctimonious positions, pro or con. These two groups are co-dependent at best, and, unfortunately, neither can be taken very seriously.  

EdCota
EdCota

If you want to get Perry, get him on the Texas Emerging Technology Fund or his 10 consecutive home-run land deals. 


There is nothing in this two page indictment that reads of anything other than the railroading attempts Ronnie Earle was putting on Republicans for years.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

The problem is not that he's a Republican and she's a Democrat. The problem is that both are politicians first, public servants a distant second (if that). The problem is partisan politics. 

ryan762
ryan762

This is the same New York Times that supported the overzealous prosecution meted out by Mike Nifong, even after it became clear that the "victim" had made the story up out of whole cloth.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I don't see what Perry did that is such a big deal.  He threatened to withhold funding for something if he didn't get something else.  The Feds held the entire country over that barrel back in the 80's to get the drinking limit raised to 21.  The choice was, either raise the drinking age or lose your highway funds.

ivyhall
ivyhall

The truth his that Lehmberg has not done her job well as Travis County DA for a very long time and has been called out by  several in Austin-- including the Austin American Statesman over many months-years--  even preceding  her  over the top drunk driving spectacle recently.  Remember the (as yet unsolved) "Austin Yogurt shop murders"?  Four high school girls were raped and killed execution style and their bodies set on fire --most likely by a seasoned criminal. She (Lehmberg) had a chance to re-examine the evidence and chose  to ignore the coercion by police of DNA proven innocent high school boys lazily targeted by law enforcement.  As for CPRIT, well what can anyone say after the Peletron "Jerry" Cobbs and Alfred( UTSW) Gilman PhD emails were "lost" in the course of Cobbs' legal problems.  There is so much more to that story than anyone in Dallas wants exposed.  The PIU needs to be in the hands of an unbiased party-not someone with alcohol problems.  Also Mr. Mc Crumb seems to have some deep seeded baggage of his own , if anyone would care to really do some in depth reporting/examination.


dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

Having liberal prosecutors and judges being tasked with being a watchdog on conservative state politicians can produce some excellent entertainment.

roo_ster
roo_ster

I read a little about Hall before, I seem to have missed a bit.  Is there a comprehensive post/article about the Hall/UT Law deal?

Sotiredofitall
Sotiredofitall topcommenter

On the plus side we get to enjoy the replays of a massively drunk public official  


On the minus side Perry will beat this and we get to pay for his defense

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

These felony indictments are only the tip of the iceberg.  However, bear in mind that Republicans overwhelming dominate the judgeships in Texas, and OOPS will escape punishment every time. 

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

The truth us Perry used the DA drunkeness episode as a pretext to gut the Public Integrity Unit of monies, as the PIU was after the Governor's use of his Enterprise Fund money to his cronies for their personal enrichment.

However, being a slimeball is not a criminal offense even if one is the Governor, and the Texas Constirution gives the Governor absolute right to line item veto appropriations. He doesn't need to give a reason to the veto, it's his decision to strike the funding.

Perry will not be found guilty, he very well may get a positive uptick in ratings by his party's faithful for standing up to the DA.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@hwy77

leaves you in a very lonely spot, my man.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@wontunow

I looked at this tape twice, and I thought she did great. But I'm 68.

j.scott.wells
j.scott.wells

@wontunow I can't believe Perry didn't give her $7 million in taxpayer dollars to oversee ethics! Absolutely shocked, clearly she is exactly who the state of Texas needs. 

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@RTGolden

Same with the 55mph limit. It's how the Feds get states on board with dumb ideas.

JimSX
JimSX topcommenter

@dfw_maverick

But in this case, the prosecutor and judge are Republicans.

JackJett
JackJett

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz  Sometimes he just can't control that 15 year old girl trapped in his feeble body. Notice when he is in FULL CHICK MODE he tends to make more sense.  


I remember this day because he finally found a butt plug he could wear 24/7 .

Myrna.Minkoff-Katz
Myrna.Minkoff-Katz topcommenter

Gotta give him credit for one thing.  When OOPS is high he's a lot funnier than poor Rosemary Lehmberg.

ivyhall
ivyhall

@mavdog Except that you always have the wrong "slimeballs" as your targets.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

@mavdog

Sadly, he'll run for Oops in Chief again, and people will think it's hilarious, then some weird last minute disaster will cause him to win.

Then we all lose.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@bvckvs  He's already been convicted?

Or did you just wake up and decide to slander somebody?

dfw_maverick
dfw_maverick

@JimSX @dfw_maverick  Interesting that President Obama, definitely not a republican, nominated McCrum for a U S Attorney slot in Texas.  McCrum also was selected by President Obama for one for the four U.S. Attorney posts in Texas.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@Myrna

Imagine yourself in court for DWI, and across from you sits your prosecutor, a power-abusing alcoholic hag with a God complex. Would that be funny?

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@bvckvs

This indictment has united the left and right like few things do.

Kudos to Travis County for sacrificing its reputation for the good of the country.

James080
James080

@Sotiredofitall @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

Because for truly partisan political operatives, party loyalty trumps ethical considerations. JPW is a great example, "he may be a crook, BUT HE'S OUR CROOK DOWNTOWN!"

Why aren't more Republicans upset that Perry, Dewhurst and others apparently used the Enterprise and Cancer Funds to secure contributions? Or shall we pretend they were unaware their pals were getting grants and loans that by-passed the approval process. Right....

ivyhall
ivyhall

@Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @dfw_maverick @JimSX Cornyn is not very astute and Hutchinson, as you recall, ran against Perry in the last gubernatorial primary.  (no love lost there) Lloyd Doggett D- Travis Co is also a  a McCrumb supporter--and forwarded his name but you miss the point--dig deeper.

TheRuddSki
TheRuddSki topcommenter

@James080

I would prefer at least four times the legal limit, minimum

James080
James080

@Sotiredofitall @everlastingphelps @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz 

Of course. It's a game to them. They play both side against each other while Dems and Repubs  pursue their nefarious schemes to enhance their political power and confer contracts, jobs and government cash to friends and family.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@ivyhall @RTGolden1 @Myrna.Minkoff-Katz @dfw_maverick @JimSX YOU are the one trying to make some point.  Don't mistake indifference with laziness.  It isn't that I can't or won't do the research, this just isn't that high on my priority list.

You, however, seem to be laboring vigorously to get everyone on-board with your 'point', which you refuse to make.

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