Texas politicians speak out on Gov. Perry indictment - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Texas politicians speak out on Gov. Perry indictment

Gov. Perry has been indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion. (source: Twitter) Gov. Perry has been indicted on charges of abuse of power and coercion. (source: Twitter)
Matt Schaefer stands with Perry. (source: Facebook) Matt Schaefer stands with Perry. (source: Facebook)
Senator Wendy Davis made a neutral statement. (Source: Wikipedia) Senator Wendy Davis made a neutral statement. (Source: Wikipedia)
Senator Eltife says the judicial system will do the deciding. (Source: KLTV news staff) Senator Eltife says the judicial system will do the deciding. (Source: KLTV news staff)
(KLTV) - On Friday, a grand jury indicted Governor Rick Perry on charges of abuse of power and coercion.

The indictment stems from an ethics inquiry into his veto of funding for the state's public integrity unit. The charges allege that the governor had improperly vetoed funding for the unit because District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, who had pleaded guilty to drunken driving last year, would not resign her position.
 
The news broke on Friday afternoon, and within minutes, politicians began issuing statements regarding the charges, whether they felt they were deserved or a disgrace.  KLTV reached out for comment from some Texas politicians regarding the charges.

Some stood with Governor Perry, like Republican State Representative Matt Schaefer of Tyler, who said:


 "Rick Perry stood up to a drunken Travis County District Attorney who had disgraced her office and lost the trust of elected officials. In the liberal twilight zone of Austin, doing right is a crime. I support what Gov. Perry did in demanding her resignation. This is all politics and no substance."

However, there were others who were strongly opposed to Perry's actions.

Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa was one of those; saying, “Governor Rick Perry has brought dishonor to his office, his family and the state of Texas. Texans deserve to have leaders that stand up for what is right and work to help families across Texas. The indictment today shows a failure of Governor Perry to follow the law. This is systematic of a broader problem: Ken Paxton is facing a possible indictment and Attorney General Abbott has refused to rule on whether Governor Perry can use taxpayer dollars to cover his legal expenses. We call on Governor Perry to immediately step down from office. Texans deserve real leadership and this is unbecoming of our Governor.”


“For the sake of Texas, Governor Perry should resign following his indictment on two criminal felony counts involving abuse of office,” asserted US Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-San Antonio.


Of course, not everyone wants to express an opinion either way, like former Tyler mayor and current State Senator Kevin Eltife (R), who simply said, "We will have to let the judicial system work."

Senator Wendy Davis also kept her comments rather non-committal, saying simply, "These allegations are troubling and I have confidence in our justice system to do its job."

David Botsford, counsel for Governor Rick Perry said, "I am outraged and appalled that the Grand Jury has taken this action, given the governor's constitutional right and duty to veto funding as he deems appropriate. This clearly represents political abuse of the court system and there is no legal basis in this decision. The facts of this case conclude that the governor's veto was lawful, appropriate and well within the authority of the office of the governor. Today's action, which violates the separation of powers outlined in the Texas Constitution, is nothing more than an effort to weaken the constitutional authority granted to the office of Texas governor, and sets a dangerous precedent by allowing a grand jury to punish the exercise of a lawful and constitutional authority afforded to the Texas governor."


Battleground Texas Executive Director Jenn Brown responded by saying, “Rick Perry's indictment for abuse of official capacity and coercion is just the latest example of Republicans failing to work for Texans. Whether it’s Rick Perry's indictment, Greg Abbott's sweetheart deals for campaign contributors, or Dan Patrick's blistering anti-immigrant rhetoric – the GOP has shown time and again they put politics and their friends ahead of Texas communities. That's why Battleground Texas and our partners will continue to register voters, engage them in the upcoming election, and make sure all Texans know they have a clear alternative in Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte."


As the story develops, stay with KLTV and KLTV.com for the latest.


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