The so-called "abuse of power" indictment of Texas Gov. Rick Perry is not only not going to hurt him in the 2016 GOP sweepstakes but it might actually help him. I say that because Perry immediately fired back at the charges with no hesitation, labeling the indictment the partisan political ploy that it really is. And in terms of threatening to veto legislation that would have funded the state's Public Integrity Unit, run by Travis County district attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, Perry held his Texas constitutional ground. In a number of TV appearances, Perry not only said that he was legally authorized to defund the DA but that he would do it all over again if he had the chance.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry has mastered a critical political skill: Take advantage of your opportunities. First on the border crisis and now on his own indictment, he has shown an uncanny ability to seize the national stage and convey his impressive leadership skills. He is also going a long way toward rebutting the notion that he is a swaggering, not very serious pol — the image that was affixed to him after his disastrous 2012 presidential run.
Prosecutorial abuse for partisan purposes is common these days, and the latest display is taking place in the all-too-familiar venue of Austin, Texas. On Friday a Travis County prosecutor indicted Governor Rick Perry for the high crime of exercising his constitutional right to free speech and his legal power to veto legislation.
Lest you think we oversimplify, read the two-count indictment. It's all of two pages. It charges Mr. Perry with abusing his office by "threatening to veto legislation that had been approved and authorized by the Legislature of the State of Texas to provide funding for the continued operation of the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney's office unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned from her official position as elected District Attorney."