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In our opinion: Perry indictment a concern

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 22, 2014 5:32 a.m.

    "Dershowitz calls the two felony indictments brought against Texas Gov. Rick Perry as “un-American” and part of an “extremely dangerous trend,”"

    I have to agree with Dershowitz.

    And, in general the Republicans will join with Dershowitz and yell "un-American" and "extremely dangerous" and the Democrats will defend this and list why this is substantive.

    And then we take the talk of impeachment of Obama and the actual law suit filed against him. This is also "un-American" and a "Dangerous trend". And the partisans will switch roles.

    And, I have little doubt the people on both sides will comment on how one is completely justified and the other is bogus.

    In the end, they are both partisan, political maneuvers, plain and simple.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    Boy, the world seems to have turned upside down. The Deseret News is quoting the likes of Alan Dershowitz, the Washington Post and David Plouffe to support their editorial position. Certainly the indictment against Governor Perry seems a bit over the top. But as you state so clearly "[b]y the weird logic of the indictment, Mr. Perry would have been in the clear if he had simply vetoed the funding without threatening to do so first." Too bad the governor wasn't smart enough to understand that.

    I also find it ironic that the DN calls this indictment, which has a political motive attached to it - from both sides - has ignored the House of Representatives attempt at "dragging a constitutional ...decision into the courtroom solely on the basis of a partisan disagreement" in their lawsuit against President Obama. Perhaps the DN would care to explain the difference. Or is it just that Alan Dershowitz hasn't yet spoken out about it?

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    Well, it's pretty simple to look ahead and see what track this thing is on. Beginning in January 2015 it is possible that President Obama will need to use the veto power quite a lot, as there could well be a Republican Congress that will be sending him a lot of legislation that he doesn't want to to sign. Imagine if the precedent of indicting a chief executive for using veto power was to become legal and fashionable.

  • ShaunMcC La Verkin, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    I never thought I'd say this but Alan Dershowitz is right. Actually I thought he was right a couple of other times, but his efforts to remove God completely from public discourse has made me a little cross with him. Nevertheless, bringing charges against political figures for doing their job according to the rules is more than chilling - no matter how much we disagree with the specific ways they do their job. The liberals support him here because they know if this can be done to Perry, it can also be done to any of the liberal politicians for doing their job in unpopular ways, even if they have the legal right to do so. Hopefully these charges will be thrown out without wasting a lot of time and money on something so frivolous and vindictive. Simply put and in agreement with this editorial, "If you don't like what an elected official does, vote them out of office."

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:28 a.m.

    As a Texan, I have admired Gov. Perry for many years. I agree with the author that these charges against him are bogus and dangerous to our political system.

    I would be aghast if he didn't have the chance to run for President because of these spiteful indictments. He isn't perfect, but he's a better candidate than any others that have been identified so far.

    If he is nominated as a Presidential candidate, I hope the people of Louisiana will remember his compassion for the refugees that Texas took in during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. Other states helped, but Texas received the majority due to Gov. Perry's leadership.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:31 a.m.

    Do you think?

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:36 a.m.

    This analysis is without depth. For an example of trying to make a political vendetta out of this I would pose the following questions to the writer or to any apologist for the Deseret News.

    What party appointed the judge to oversee the indictment? What are the political affiliations of the District Attorney who pursued the indictment? Where was the indictment rendered (what is the make-up of the county in that part of the state)? HIs veto aside, what are the other grounds for the indictment (it was not just about a veto)? Do any subsequent actions of the governor show a malicious intent? And finally, what law and precedent in Texas state law might determine the validity of the indictment?

    It must be fun to throw brickbats at the opponents of seemingly popular Republican/Tea Party governor's critics. However, it is facile in the extreme.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:46 a.m.

    There has been very little in the media about the legal theories underlying the indictments. On the surface, I might agree, but there is more to the story. I'll leave it up to the court to sort it out rather than try to spin this for a partisan purpose or a pseudo-concern about the Constitution, blah, blah, blah. JoeBlow makes a good point that some will decry the Perry indictment and then take the opposite position when it comes to the President of the United States. This hypocrisy is sickening.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2014 7:57 a.m.

    "Politicians who make decisions people don’t like ought to be voted out of office..."

    Couldn't this also apply to Gov. Perry's attempt to induce the DA to resign?

    I actually have no opinion on the charges. I've seen this before in Texas - from both sides - and have learned to remain skeptical. But I'm annoyed with the argument put forth in this editorial. Its primary foundation seems to be, "Even people we normally disagree with see it as we do!" Well, then it must be true!

    It also left out not insignificant details found in an op-ed also appearing today. Author Catherine Rampell notes:

    "Problem is, that Public Integrity Unit was investigating a cancer research institute that was one of Perry's pet projects. (One of its former high-ranking officials now faces a felony corruption charge.) If the district attorney had stepped down before she was up for re-election, Perry would have picked her replacement, who could then presumably have quashed the investigation."

    As for such actions being totalitarian in nature, if this is true then I've been living in a totalitarian state for decades now.

  • one old man Ogden, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:16 a.m.

    Political?

    Maybe.

    But sometimes, when a politician has become powerful and entrenched in his office, it may be necessary for people who are not part of his political machine to stand up against the tide and try to see that what's right is done.

    Remember our own Shurtlef / Swallow mess?

    One side wanted to sweep it under the rug and keep it there.

    The other wouldn't allow it.

    Remember all the political posturing by the GOP before the Tribune brought it all out into the open?

    It's in court now. Let the courts do their job.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    They do everything BIG in Texas, including slimy, mud-slinging politics. What goes round, comes round.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:24 a.m.

    This type of thing is in the Democrat play book page one.

    Some have alluded to the Republican lawsuit against the president. If Obama would actually follow the law instead of making it up as he goes along, the House wouldn't have to sue him. That said, the House Lawsuit is extremely dumb. If Obama has broken the law then there is a Constitutional remedy already in place.

  • Anonymouse Galveston, TX
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    The vetoed funding for the state's Integrity Unit had been designated to investigate the actions of the governor and his friends who had directed money set aside for cancer research to instead fund businesses contributing to his campaign funds. The drunk driving incident is unacceptable and drunk drivers need to be punished for endangering our lives, but Mr. Perry saw this as an opportunity to put a stop to an investigation that he didn't like. There are three reasons why many of us Texans don't want him to run for president: 1. He is an embarrassment to the state of Texas, 2. He does not work well with anyone who disagrees with him (which is great if you like government shutdowns), and 3.... um.... 3... um... oops, I forgot the third one.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:42 a.m.

    Perry’s use of the veto to force a resignation rather than out of objection to the appropriation itself was an abuse of power. Whether he broke the law will be up to the courts to decide. How Mr. Dershowitz reasons that this particular use of legal redress to resolve a dispute is un-American is the most curious statement I’ve ever heard the learned law professor make.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:52 a.m.

    @JoeBlow,
    I agree with Dershowitz too. This is an extremely dangerous trend.

    I also agree that both sides have overreached when they do this.

    I have to point out one point of disagreement. You equated this and Republicans suing President Obama. I agree they are basically the same thing, but there are some critical (Constitutional) differences you deftly avoided when equating them....

    The Governor clearly has the Constitutional authority to Veto legislation (it's right there in their Constitution). The President also has the authority to veto legislation, but he does NOT have the right to ignore laws he didn't veto and allowed to go on the books, or to pass his own laws if the Legislature will not pass the laws he wants, or to nullify the Legislative Branch's oversight of his power and actions by "Going it alone". THAT... is NOWHERE in the Constitution.

    One is authority clearly given in the Constitution... The other is not.

    So there's a difference. But in the end the result is the same... because the other side feels injured and wants to retaliate... and they do... and we get this dangerous trend...

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    DUI is a serious offense.

    Rather than choosing whether or not to resign, how about we enact federal and state laws that automatically removes anyone who pleads guilty to or is convicted of a serious crime.

    Heck, that may even solve the term limit issue.

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:53 a.m.

    You can always tell who the Democrats fear, and who rising Republican candidates are. The Chicago playbook and Alinsky's Rules for Radicals demand that you personalize your opponent and destroy them by whatever means.

    Gov. Sarah Palin was hounded out of office by endless, baseless lawsuits. Gov Scott Walker was harassed by numerous lawsuits and a recall drive, all of which failed, but probably damaged him as a candidate. Gov. Chris Christy has been attacked by frivolous allegations about "bridgegate".

    Now, Gov Perry is the latest target.

    Meanwhile, Obama's actual violations of laws go unchallenged.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 8:58 a.m.

    Hey one old man – “'Political.' Maybe"

    No, not really. A recognition of Perry’s criminality is NOT just political. Perry's criminal abuse of his authority should be transparently obvious to everyone.

    According to the Republican narrative, the DA had been found guilty of a DUI, and that meant that Perry had the right and the duty to pressure her to resign by threatening a veto.

    OK . . If it’s good for the goose . . . Then President Obama has the right to pressure Republican Senator Mike Crapo to resign through by threatening a veto, doesn’t he?

    As you may recall, Idaho’s Mormon Republican Senator Mike Crapo was convicted of a DUI just outside the DC beltway in 2012.

    Do Perry supporters think it would be OK if Obama threatened to veto a funding bill in order to get this convicted Republican lawbreaker to resign from the Senate?

    If not . . . Why not?

  • SharpHooks Lake Sammamish, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    @DN Sunscriber
    Where there's smoke there's fire. Perry is walking the very edge of legality here, and indictments are NOT like simple accusations. They don't fall out of the sky.
    I see no indictments of our esteemed President anywhere on the horizon.

    The GOP better wise up, and fast. They continue to send unsavory nominees for president, and they keep getting shot down.

    The GOP is it's own worst enemy.
    I see a democratic president again, and very likely for 2 terms.
    What a nice change it would be to see a worthy candidate form them...but alas....

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    Yeah, this whole fiasco reminds me of Boehner threatening to sue Obama. When will we read the op-ed on that?

  • CWEB Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:35 a.m.

    The "reason" the indictment was brought, was that in TEXAS, a republican rule, not democrat, it only applies to republicans--that any political leader who is indicted, is "required" by republican rules in Texas, to immediately step down. Democrats saw a chance to get rid of Perry. It is as simple as that. He won't step down.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    What it all boils down to is that Perry had NO RIGHT to use the threat of a veto force an elected official and political opponent out of office.

    . . . Just as Obama would have no right to force a Republican Congressman out of office through the threat of a veto.

    It is astoundingly unethical, and it is revealing of the supreme arrogance and bad judgment on Perry's part that he would even consider such an action.

    Perry's behavior clearly demonstrates his unsuitability to hold high office.

    It is completely senseless on any practical, moral, or ethical grounds to support this governor and his actions.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:47 a.m.

    What's dangerous are the Alinsky tactics that the Left is using to smear Republicans. Perry may be guilty, if so, let a grand jury examine the facts; but, don't let Democrats use their Saul Alinsky tactics to steal an election.

    Everyone knows that one of those tactics is to falsely smear the opponent, but to never address the facts. Many who post in the Deseret News do the same thing. They partially quote someone or "recall" what they thought someone said, all in an effort to draw the discussion away from the point made in the editorial or in the letter. That's a Saul Alinsky tactic. (Look up Saul Alinsky if you don't know why using his tactics is wrong.)

    Now to a point being made by the Democrats who compare this with the threat to sue Obama. The politician in Texas was caught driving drunk and sentenced to 45 days in jail. To me, that would be sufficient grounds to demand a resignation. Obama can't be tried and sent to jail. There is no comparison.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    @ DN Subscriber, Palin was not hounded out of office. She saw dollar signs and chased them. That's all. She got no more heat than anyone else who serves in those kinds of positions. She didn't want to bother.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:52 a.m.

    @ Mike Richards, "Alinsky tactics"? My goodness, that is a creative argument, worthy of the political propaganda hall of fame....

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    I agree this is not a cut and dry situation. I can understand the need to indict, but I also can understand the need for extreme caution.

    But a simple consistency check, if Obama were to threaten to pull funding from the Border Patrol in Texas unless Rick Perry stepped down, and veto any legislation that would go to that affect, and a grand jury were to indict him on that... would that be dangerous precedent, or a step in the right direction?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    @Mike Richards

    Governor Perry was indicted by a Grand Jury.

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:00 a.m.

    The criminalization of politics -- almost exclusively the province of the Left -- is something that both conservatives and true liberals ought to be appalled at.

    From these comments, I see that many people who call themselves liberals are actually leftists. Noted.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:01 a.m.

    @GaryO,

    Re: "Then President Obama has the right to pressure Republican Senator Mike Crapo to resign by threatening a veto"...

    You're playing a game of hypotheticals...

    #1. The President didn't ask him to resign.

    #2. What exactly would change, and how would individual people have reacted IF he HAD asked him to resign?... Who knows!

    IMO President Obama has the right to veto ANY legislation he wants... for ANY reason he wants.

    But I don't pretend to speak for others or know the thoughts of anybody else (like some people do).

    =============

    Let's get back to the point of the letter... does this NOT concern you? Not at all???

    I mean playing hypothetical games with it is one thing... but the letter asks if it's a concern or not!

    Evidently to some... it's not a concern, or they dodge the question.

    Is it a concern?

    I mean you know sooner of later someone's going to use this same tactic when a popular Democrat governor threatens to veto something (especially if he's thinking of running for President)

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    "that any political leader who is indicted, is "required" by republican rules in Texas, to immediately step down."

    Well? He was indicted. He has not stepped down.

    Must have been more of a suggestion than a requirement.

    That, or you are mistaken

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    "Do Perry supporters think it would be OK if Obama threatened to veto a funding bill in order to get this convicted Republican lawbreaker to resign from the Senate?"

    Yes. The veto power is the veto power. It can be exercised for any reason at all. The remedy for an exercise of that power you don't like is to elect someone else to hold it.

    And it's not a function of being a "Perry supporter" or not. It's about the rule of law. You don't care about it.

    Regarding the lawsuit against Obama -- different. Suing an official *civilly* to force someone to comply with the law is how the system is supposed to work. Our firm defends public officials in such proceedings all the time.

  • SharpHooks Lake Sammamish, WA
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Is there no end to the inanity of republicans?
    Blame, accuse, impede, gripe, and obstruct... and then say that Dems use "politically motivated tactics". Seriously?
    This is laughable!
    AND-- This is also why you don't see a republican president.
    And why you won't for quite some time.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Esquire,

    Apparently you aren't familiar with the tactics that YOU use. Here's one from Alinsky: "pick the target, preferably a person, then freeze it, personalize it, and polarize/isolate it from sympathy"

    That is exactly what the Left is doing in Texas. Do you support that tactic?

    I made a mistake when I said to let a grand jury examine the facts. As someone pointed out, a grand jury made the indictment. The next step is to prosecute in open court, not in a closed grand jury session. Let ALL the facts be presented in open court and let a jury of his peers decide whether the Democrats in Texas should be allowed to smear their Governor or whether they should clean out dirty politicians from their own Party first.

  • ThornBirds St.George, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    Perhaps the DN is hoping the deletion of Perry makes it easier for Mitt Romney to give it the old college try, again?
    Just think of the increasing number of Mitt Romney articles on the horizon!
    Just not sure that everyone else in America is as in love with Mitt as the people in Utah are.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:18 a.m.

    gmlewis

    And I'd like to add that a lot of the people Gov. Perry helped during Katrina were African American. I mention that because many who post here have a knee jerk belief that Republican or conservative equates to racist.

    DN Subscriber

    Finally, after reading all that one sided stuff, you point out that the Democrats use lawsuits, recall drives, and frivolous attacks to do personal harm to Republicans all the time. Something many who post here like to ignore. And like you said, you can tell who they are afraid of by who they sling the most mud at.

  • riverofsun St.George, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    Leftists, Rightists, Middle grounders..
    Hey, aren't we all having a great time?
    If we did not have this local Utah political forum, and we weren't sitting in front of our computers, we might be doing something crazy like exercising and trying to become healthier.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:53 a.m.

    Hey 2 bits - "Let's get back to the point of the letter... does this NOT concern you? Not at all???"

    I understand that you're frustrated . . . And I would like to empathize with you, but I cannot. I'm just too much in touch with reality I guess.

    Instead, I would suggest that you empathize with me, and just try to face the facts.

    Perry broke the law, and he has been indicted for breaking the law. It’s that simple.

    And yes it concerns me that a Republican leader, an arbiter of Republican thought, had the arrogance and the audacity to trample his state's Constitution and very blatantly and vocally exceed his authority and break the law.

    I believe Perry's behavior emphasizes the lack of respect for government and Constitutional authority now so prevalent in "Conservative" circles.

    I find his heinous behavior un-American and tragic . . . Because it demonstrates an anti-American mindset extending beyond Perry and his gravitas-inspiring horn-rimmed glasses. It demonstrates the mindset of millions of anti-government, anti-American types who call themselves Conservatives.

  • happy2bhere clearfield, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 10:55 a.m.

    riverofsun

    I'd like to be out there exercising and becoming healthier, but instead I'm sitting here at a job that pays less now that it did during the Bush years, just glad that I'm not part of the discouraged true double digit unemployed.

  • Anchovey Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:24 a.m.

    It is very sad that good men and women are hounded out of office. Everyone has at least one skeleton in the closet. In the case of Speaker John Boehner threatening to sue Obama, I think it is a ploy to get the President off the golf course and the fund-raising trail. Someday, Obama may thank Speaker Boehner for this wake-up call. Obama was elected to lead. So, show some leadership, Mr. President! You've excluded the Republicans out of the ACA negotiations. Doing so is exactly what Obama has accused the recently "retired" Iraqi Prime Minister of doing, is it not? The "pen and phone" method of governing is not what the Constitution is all about. Hence, the frustration in Congress and Speaker Boehner's threatened lawsuit.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:27 a.m.

    It is not hypocritical at all to be very concerned about the action taken against Perry while still supporting the lawsuit against Obama. A civil lawsuit is completely different than a criminal indictment.

    If Democrats think Perry overstepped his bounds, then take it to civil court and let a judges weigh in on the issue just like Obama's opponents have done.

    Lawsuits, recall elections, and impeachment are political tools to restrain power. Threats of criminal indictments when you just disagree with someone politically are out of bounds.

    If this indictment is just, then it would be also just to indict Obama for breaking the law numerous times. Not a smart move at all by those who would support such a thing, but if it is fair in this case it would also be fair in the other.

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    Remember, liberals have no problems with questionable legal maneuvers designed to cripple the opposition. Whether it's this indictment, the completely partisan persecution--without a shred of evidence-- of Republican Governor Walker in Wisconsin; the tendency of Democrat legislature members to flee to deny quorum in an attempt to prevent the other side from passing a law and on and on.

    Democrats, simply put, abuse the legal system. It's one law for Republicans and the rest of the country, and no law for Democrats. Laws like filing deadlines don't apply to Democrats: ask Torrecelli in New Jersey and Charlie Rangel--they are above the law! Obama believes that Congressional laws are just suggestions, to be rewritten by the Executive at will.

    Democrats have rammed this indictment of Perry through a grand jury that, apparently, has at least one if not more Democratic campaign operatives on it. Yet the liberals here at Desnews seem to think that we should be happy about this abuse of law! Whatever the faults of Swallow and Shurtleff, at least they never decided that the appropriate solution was to arrest their political opponents under pretense--only Democrats like that sort of banana state system.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    @GaryO,

    The letter asked if the INDICTMENT is a concern (not Perry's behavior). You went on and on about what Perry did, but the question is... Is the indictment a concern?

    Sounds like no concern to you.

    But... will you be consistent and not be concerned when a Democrat Governor is indicted for vetoing something, or talking about vetoing it to warn the legislature that he expects changes before he will sign it?

    And you will be consistent and support the recent law suit against Obama for breaking the law... Am I right?

    Or is it a one-way street with you?

    I said BOTH are a concern (Obama suit and this one). That's consistent. But you think one is a travesty and the other is just fine... what does that say? Partisan blinders?

    I think I'm dealing with reality. It may be you that has partisan blinders on.

    I'm consistent... Obama can veto for any reason, and talk about his plans to veto (he's done it... on the budget). And Perry can veto any bill he wants... for ANY reason he wants. And he can warn them of his plan to veto.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 11:56 a.m.

    @JoeCapitalist2

    I find it somewhat hypocritical, or your understanding somewhat limited and bias.

    The Constitution provides no remedy for disputes between Congress and the President that involves the Courts. The Congress can impeach a rogue President (overstepping Constitutional authority is a crime) and can override a veto. And in cases of impeachment, the only role the Courts play is to preside over the trial in the Senate (because the Vice President would have an interest in the outcome)

    The President can veto for any reason he wishes, that is his check on Congress.

    Lawsuits are not part of the remedy. A law that Congress has passed, and the President signed can be challenged in court, but that is not one branch suing the other.

    An impeachment is an indictment, nothing more, nothing less.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:00 p.m.

    I am no expert in Texas Constitutional law, but to me the greater concern is indicting a Governor outside of impeachment for crimes he had committed while executing his office.

    If he had been caught driving under the influence, a civil indictment is one thing; questioning a veto...I think an impeachment would be more in order.

  • OneWifeOnly San Diego, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    The indictment charges that Perry used what would otherwise be a perfectly legal tool for an illegal purpose, and thus committed unlawful acts. Perry was using his official capacity to coerce a public servant to resign. It looks like Perry saw an opportunity to replace a Democratic DA whose office was investigating his dealings with the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. Perry is effectively saying “Staff the department that is in charge with investigating my conduct with a person of my liking or I will defund that department until you do.”

  • TheProudDuck Newport Beach, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 12:40 p.m.

    The criminal indictment of Perry for exercising a statutory power, and the contemplated civil lawsuit against the President for admittedly failing to enforce various laws, doesn't bear comparison.

    First, a civil lawsuit is designed to require a person to perform a legal duty. A criminal prosecution is designed to punish a person -- to put him in jail. If you can't see the difference, (a) you've never been in jail; and (b) you belong in a banana republic, where criminalizing politics is the name of the game.

    Second: There is ample precedent for the executive branch being sued to enforce the law. Train v. New York, for starters (which compelled President Nixon to expend funds appropriated by Congress rather than "impounding" them, as he claimed he had the right to do). The only question is whether Congress, as an institution, has what's called "standing" to bring the lawsuit. Previous lawsuits against the executive (mostly by Democrats) were rejected because it was individual legislators, or small groups of them, proposing to sue, as opposed to the institution itself.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Aug. 22, 2014 1:01 p.m.

    This isn't a question of whether Rick Perry was using his prerogatives as Governor inappropriately - the question is whether he broke the law. Unless there is more to this story than what the prosecution has made public, the case should be dismissed and I suspect it will be.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    Aug. 22, 2014 2:54 p.m.

    "....Unless there is more to this story than what the prosecution has made public, the case should be dismissed...."
    ______________________________

    Based on what the prosecution charges, I'm not about to dis its case as not being a good one.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    Wait a sec. This is not a partisan Democratic indictment of Rick Perry. In fact, the Democratic county prosecutor is not in the picture at all. He recused himself so as NOT to color the process with partisanship. The indictment was from a grand jury led by a special prosecutor, a REPUBLICAN, formerly a federal prosecutor appointed by President GHW Bush. In turn, that special prosecutor was chosen by a senior state judge, a REPUBLICAN originally appointed to the bench by none other than Texas Governor George W. Bush.

    The charges against Perry are serious. His attempt to remove this particular prosecutor goes to the integrity of government itself. Earlier in his term, two prosecutors from other counties, both Republicans, ran into the exact same DWI problems, arrests and jail. Perry took no action against those two gents, who still serve, so his actions in this case clearly had something to do with the government oversight function of this particular county's prosecutor, and the ethics situation in his administration. The only one making this a partisan circus is him.

  • deseret pete robertson, Wy
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:07 p.m.

    If gov. Perry is indited for abuse of power,How come obama hasn't been served an served one ?

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:30 p.m.

    We need Mitt Romney to Run in 2016. The only opposition they ever had on Mitt (Dog on the roof of the car, Successful family, Successful career, Faithful, Actually has business experience, Likeable, Better looking than any of the Kennedy's, oh and a comment about the 47% which turned out to be true, comments about Iraq-which turned out to be true, comments on the economy-which turned out to be true....

    Run Mitt Run!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:38 p.m.

    @A Quaker,
    If it's a question of ethics... you take care of THAT at the ballot box, not by sending somebody to jail.

    You need to differentiate between unethical... and criminal. Is what he did "Criminal"?

    Could it have been taken care of at the ballot box??

    I think so.

    But he kept winning at the ballot box... so they tried this....

  • 65TossPowerTrap Salmon, ID
    Aug. 22, 2014 3:58 p.m.

    Yes Mitt run - please. That would be very entertaining.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    There are a lot of things going on behind the scenes, but the principle problem is that Democrats have a double standard. They think that a political person should be able to "officiate from her jail cell to "prove" that the Republican Governor was guilty of something.

    Let's look at that. A convicted and sentenced Democrat wants to bring down a Republican Governor, who has not been convicted of anything. She wants us to think that driving drunk is just a minor offense, when the court told us that it was a major offense, requiring 45 days in lockup. She thinks that she is sufficiently "sober" to lead a group of Democrats to the "truth" about Perry, when she insists that her "indiscretion" was minor, compared to his "crimes".

    That brings back images of Clinton shaking his finger at us as he declared that he did not have sex with that woman. He was found to be a liar. His license to practice law was revoked. He was a hero to the Democrats.

    Not much has changed. The more offensive the crime, the more that the Democrats cheer.

  • RFLASH Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 22, 2014 4:58 p.m.

    Oh please! If Obama did the exact same thing, your opinion would be to somewhat different, wouldn't it? You would be screaming about it for weeks, if not months or years! I am not exaggerating! They even wanted and have talked about impeaching the president! Well, republicans or should I say many conservatives are good at pointing their fingers at what others do, when they are doing the same or worse! You must admit, the one thing republicans have excelled at, since Obama first took office, is the ability to point their fingers in more ways than anyone could ever imagine. What road are you talking about? Maybe you should think twice. Republicans went down that road years ago!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:37 a.m.

    Part of the story is being missed or ignored. Pressuring a convicted lawbreaker to leave office probably sounds legitimate. Problem is, that Public Integrity Unit was investigating a cancer research institute that was one of Perry's pet projects. (One of its former high-ranking officials now faces a felony corruption charge.) If the district attorney had stepped down before she was up for re-election, Perry would have picked her replacement, who could then presumably have quashed the investigation.

    There is a very good chance that Perry was exercising improper political pressure to help a crony. If so he needs to be held accountable.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 9:40 a.m.

    I've read several "liberal" commentators that are concerned with criminalizing rough and tumble politics. The gist of the argument is: Is Rick Perry a nice guy? No, but that's just politics and we shouldn't bring the criminal justice system into it. I can agree with that, but it doesn't make me like politics very much. (When either side does it.)

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 23, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    Abuse of power is a sign of his future.

  • Paul Timothy Gibbs Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 25, 2014 5:42 a.m.

    After months of politically motivated attacks on and an absurd lawsuit against our President for doing his job, the same conservatives who have brought politics to this shameful level are now defending Rick Perry for ABUSING (not merely using) his veto power? I find this almost.comically absurd.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Aug. 25, 2014 11:36 a.m.

    “[b]y the weird logic of the indictment, Mr. Perry would have been in the clear if he had simply vetoed the funding without threatening to do so first.”

    Well that's true of extortion in general. You are perfectly within your rights to report someone to the IRS but you can't use the threat of reporting to extort something from the individual.

    I'm somewhat of a fan of Perry and also believe it's disgraceful that the DA is still holding her position, but I see these charges as serious. That said, I find criminal prosecution in this situation extremely troubling and hope that Derschowitz et al are right.