Governor Perry’s veto textbook blackmail, motivated by politics

Opinions Columnist | Journalism senior

Texas Governor Rick Perry is facing potential time behind bars due to a recent indictment. The indictment came after his decision to veto millions of dollars that was to fund the Public Integrity Unit. The official indictment accuses Perry of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, the latter a felony for which he can face up to 99 years in prison.

In a short speech that seemed more like a presidential rally, Perry stated that the actions he took were “lawful, legal and proper.” Supporters of the governor stated that this was the perfect time for more followers to perk up and pay attention should he run for president in 2016.

First off, Perry was not just exercising his power as governor of Texas when he threatened to veto all the funding that was going to go to the Public Integrity Unit. Using veto power to change the course of legislation is not an uncommon strategy, but using it to force Rosemary Lehmberg to step down from office is textbook blackmail. His brutish antics did not stop there either. A video was also released further slamming and embarrassing Lehmberg with highlights from her 2013 DWI arrest.

The plan behind removing Lehmberg from her office was a good one. Force Democratic Lehmberg out of the District Attorney position by any means necessary, replace her with a Republican DA and all the investigations against his precious fellow Republicans would come to a halt. Perry would have gotten away with it if it was not for those meddling investigations appointed by Lehmberg.

Of course, what Lehmberg did was wrong and in bad judgment and character, seeing as she is viewed as the most powerful District Attorney in the State of Texas. However, she served her time, paid the price and continued on with her life. What Perry did by drudging up the past and using it against her to force her to step down from office is nothing more than a desperate move for a coward that has nothing else up his sleeve.

Whatever the decision may be, it is still unclear to see where his motives lie and what Perry’s true intentions are. Whether he was honestly trying to right a wrong or just using his power to gain media attention to start his campaign for the 2016 presidency, the United States has a lot to think about before voting.