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."
Governor Perry delivered his State of the State address this week, proposing to consolidate or suspend non-critical state agencies in order to make state government more streamlined and efficient. The governor also outlined his priorities for the 82nd Legislative Session, including balancing the budget without raising taxes, preserving essential services, and strengthening Texas' position as a national economic leader through sound policies. Check out the Governor's entire State of the State address below.
Join over 100 groups in supporting Gov. Perry for re-election
HOUSTON – Today Gov. Rick Perry received the endorsement of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush for the general election. They were joined by representatives from more than 100 organizations and hundreds of leaders who have endorsed Gov. Perry’s re-election, highlighting his diverse, statewide support, which represents millions of Texans.
“Gov. Perry’s leadership and proven track record is an essential component in keeping Texas a national leader in job creation,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “Texas has become a prime example of what happens when you mix fiscal responsibility, strong leadership and a vision of moving a state forward. It is an honor to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for the general election.”
George H.W. Bush was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1989 and served until January 1993. During his term in office, the Cold War ended; the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced; the Soviet Union ceased to exist, replaced by a democratic Russia with the Baltic States becoming free; the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunified with Eastern Europe; and he put together an unprecedented international coalition to liberate Kuwait.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush is a tireless advocate of volunteerism, helping countless charities and humanitarian causes. Today she and President Bush serve as Co-Chairs of C-Change, an organization that represents more than 150 individuals and groups that fight cancer. She also enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation.
“I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush,” said Gov. Perry. “His devotion and leadership, to our country, has brought forth inspiration to us all.”
Gov. Perry’s endorsements highlight the broad-based support he has from diverse groups and industries, ranging from agriculture, health care and retail sales, to construction, law enforcement and education.
In his remarks, Gov. Perry emphasized the creation of 850,000 Texas jobs in the last ten years and the recent drop in the unemployment rate in Texas; leaving the national rate nearly two points above ours. He also touted our state’s low taxes, predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and education efforts as crucial elements that have helped make it a national leader in exports and Fortune 1000 companies.
AUSTIN – Today Gov. Rick Perry received the endorsement of the Houston Police Retired Officers Association for the general election.
“Gov. Perry, both as a legislator and as governor, has consistently demonstrated his dedicated and loyal service to the citizens of Texas,” said Bill Elkin, executive director of the Houston Police Retired Officers Association. “He is specially recognized for his support for law enforcement and the peace officers who valiantly serve throughout all of Texas. With over 1,400 members, we proudly endorse Gov. Perry for re-election.”
The Houston Police Retired Officers Association (HPROA) was created by a group of retired officers, dedicated to improving pension and other benefits for retirees and surviving spouses. The HPROA is recognized by all elected officials, the general public, and members of the Law Enforcement Community as the representatives of all Houston Police Department retired officers.
“It is a real honor to receive the endorsement of the dedicated professionals of the Houston Police Retired Officers Association,” said Gov. Perry. “These brave men and women have given a life of service and sacrifice to families and communities across our state. They have protected our quality of life for years and I look forward to continue making sure that Texas remains the best state to find a job and raise a family.”
The Houston Police Retired Officers Association joins the following list of regional supporters: Harris County Deputies Organization, Houston Police Officers’ Union, Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 341, and the Houston Realty Business Coalition.
AUSTIN – Today Gov. Perry received the endorsement of the Investigative and Security Professionals for Legislative Action for the 2010 general election.
“Gov. Perry has been a supporter of the professional investigation and security community for years and we are appreciative of his efforts,” said Peter Psarouthakis, chairman of the Investigative and Security Professionals for Legislative Action. “We look forward to our continued relationship with Gov. Perry.”
The mission of ISPLA is to monitor and identify critical legislative and regulatory issues in order to provide a forum for debate and discussion within the investigative and security professions and to serve as an advocate for these professions.
Their primary functions include reviewing proposed federal and state laws and regulations in order to identify critical issues; implementing action plans; serving as a resource to the profession, government and the media; providing a forum for debate and discussion within the investigative and security professions; conducting educational seminars and workshops; identifying third-party stakeholders with mutual interests and acting as their liaison to government; and creating and administering a bipartisan federal political action committee among other functions.
“The efforts of the people in the Investigative and Security Professionals for Legislative Action is crucial in making sure that our fellow Texans can have a safe place live, a good job and good education,” said Gov. Perry. “I am honored to receive their endorsement and I will continue to champion their efforts so that Texans can know that the quality and integrity of investigative and security professions are upheld.”
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the political action committee of the Pasadena Police Officer’s Union for re-election in 2010.
“Gov. Perry has been a champion of the law enforcement community,” said E.R. Rogge, president of the Pasadena Police Officer’s Union. “While some folks are content to talk about leadership, Gov. Perry has been busy leading the charge to make Texas the safest state in America.”
The Pasadena Police Officer’s Union represents more than 200 members of the Pasadena Police Department and is a member of the Texas Municipal Police Association.
“I’m truly honored to receive the endorsement of Pasadena’s finest, who do such a tremendous job at protecting and serving Texans,” said Gov. Perry. “The bravery and service of our state’s law enforcement community are crucial to making Texas the best place in the nation to live, work and raise a family.”
Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the San Antonio Police Officers Association (SAPOA) for re-election.
“Gov. Perry has been a relentless advocate of the law enforcement community and always championed our legislative agenda,” said Dean Fischer, Vice President of the San Antonio Police Officers Association. “The resources that the State of Texas has provided to police across the state under Gov. Perry’s watch have helped modernize and improve how we protect and serve our communities. For these reasons the San Antonio Police Officers Association is proud to endorse Governor Rick Perry in the Texas Republican primary on March 2, 2010.”
The San Antonio Police Officers Association, an organization whose primary purpose is to benefit police officers and their families, was established in 1946 and consists of over 2,000 members.
“The sacrifices Texas peace officers make day in and day out to protect our communities and secure our state are crucial to upholding our state’s outstanding quality of life,” said Gov. Perry. “I am incredibly proud of our law enforcement community, especially the San Antonio Police Officers Association, and grateful for their dedicated service and support. I remain committed to ensuring our peace officers have the tools they need to keep Texans safe.”
IRVING – Gov. Rick Perry today visited the Irving Police Association to discuss the impact of Texas’ border security efforts and reiterate his commitment to upholding the security of Texas communities.
“I deeply respect the Federal Border Patrol Agents who work with our local and state law enforcement in the border region, but they have consistently been shortchanged when it comes to the resources that they need to do their job,” said Gov. Perry. “That is why Texas keeps stepping up with resources to fill that gap. I am proud of what Texas has done to bolster border security by putting more boots on the ground with the technology, coordination and support they need.”
Gov. Perry specifically highlighted efforts to combat the threat of transnational gangs across the state, which have become an increasing threat to Texas communities and recruit members from Texas schools and prisons.
“As we have made life and business tougher for the drug cartels, they have relied increasingly on transnational gangs fueling their growth in size and influence in communities across our state,” said Gov. Perry. “That is why we have provided close to $4 million in grants to local police departments across the state in 2008 in the effort to provide adequate resources to peace officers on the front lines of the ongoing conflict with these gangs.”
Specifically in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as part of the state’s transnational gangs initiative, $225,000 grants were awarded to Arlington, Garland, Fort Worth and Irving, along with a $500,000 grant for Dallas.
The governor cited the success of the state’s anti-gang strategy, noting 2009 reports from police departments across the state that show close to 1,000 felony arrests and the seizure of more than half a ton of drugs. In addition to grants allocated in 2008, the 81st Legislature passed an omnibus gang bill which provided for the electronic monitoring of gang members, the creation of gang-free zones, and the establishment of civil liability for gang members and the damage they cause. The Legislature also funded a gang intelligence section within the Texas Fusion Center as well as gang investigations and prosecutions.
“These gangs most certainly know that we mean business and the drug cartels that fund them are working even harder to overcome our efforts,” said Gov. Perry. “Fortunately for us, we have the resolve, and more importantly, we have Texas peace officers who have sworn to defend our citizens and do so with great courage. I thank them for their service and the safety and security they preserve with their sacrifice.”
Because the federal government has failed to secure Texas’ international border, Gov. Perry has been instrumental in providing the necessary resources to fill the gap by implementing a border security strategy based on putting boots on the ground and equipping law enforcement with the technology, training and funding they need to stem the flow of crime across our border:
• At Gov. Perry’s request, the Texas legislature allocated $110 million in state funds in 2007 to amplify border security efforts through Operation Border Star, which has funded more personnel, and provided assets like aircraft, patrol boats and better technology for communications, data management and coordinated efforts.
• At Gov. Perry’s request, legislators renewed border funding at $116 million in 2009, which includes funds to combat the emerging threat of transnational gangs infiltrating our communities and threatening the safety of our citizens, recruiting members from Texas schools and prisons.
• In Oct. 2009, Gov. Perry launched the Ranger Recon Teams, which utilizes the specialized criminal intelligence and apprehension capabilities of the Texas Rangers to protect Texans who live in remote areas of the border, and whose lives and whose property are threatened by border crime.
• Since Jan. 2009, Gov. Perry has urged the federal government, through letters to President Barack Obama, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, to approve his request for 1,000 Title 32 National Guardsmen to support civilian law enforcement efforts to enhance border security in Texas.
• Gov. Perry has consistently fought to fund and utilize innovative technology to support border security strategies which include the Texas Border Sheriffs Coalition’s Virtual Border Watch program, a system of cameras along the border, which creates a virtual online patrol presence, allowing the public to view and report suspicious activity to law enforcement. Other technology resources include five state-of-the-art helicopters with forward-looking infrared, electronic fingerprint booking stations, night vision goggles for law enforcement, license plate readers and enhanced radio interoperability to allow communication between different law enforcement jurisdictions.