consultants are sandburs

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rick Perry lawyering up. If this is not a "the whole world is watching" thing, I bet somebody is watching quietly but with interest.

Chris Cristie's Bridgegate. Perry's Vetogate. One expects Rand Paul is quietly staying informed. [However, see UPDATE, Paul family link].

Lawyering up, an AP item carried by Strib.

HuffPo: "Rick Perry Uses Media To Defend Himself As Lawyers Say They Won't Try Case In The Press" Posted: 08/18/2014 6:12 pm EDT Updated: 47 minutes ago. Murdoch's WSJ, "Rick Perry's Lawyer Calls Indictment 'Banana Republic Politics' - Texas Governor's Expanded Legal Team Shows Glimpse of How It Will Defend Republican," By Nathan Koppel and Miguel Bustillo, Updated Aug. 18, 2014 8:08 p.m. ET [behind a subscription wall, basically only the headline is freely available]. LA Times Reader Reactions, here. NBC News, here, mentioning Christie, Perry, and the Scott Walker indictment too. Guardian's Rick Perry coverage, including this oped.

This link.
Googling the term, "BANANA REPUBLIC POLITICS," and finding this Bloomberg exposition headlined on that theme but not questioning the intent behind the usage while nonetheless having content of general interest:

According to the nonprofit group that filed the initial complaint, Perry’s bid to remove Lehmberg was part of a cover-up designed to derail an investigation of a cancer research-funding program he championed. The Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has been criticized for funneling state funds to Republican donors, and a former official was indicted last year for mishandling grant money.

Buzbee [one of the Perry lawyer team] said Perry was following the state constitution and exercising his First Amendment rights when he vetoed funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit.

At yesterday’s press conference, the attorneys played a brief recording of Lehmberg after her arrest, in which she accused police of ruining her “entire political career.”

Buzbee said the state appropriations bill had $7.5 million in Texas taxpayer money in it to fund Lehmberg’s unit, and that Perry couldn’t release that money in good conscience as long as she was in charge.

“The issues raised in this matter are much larger than just Governor Perry,” Buzbee said. “This is nothing more than banana republic politics.”

[...] Michael McCrum, the white-collar defense lawyer brought in to lead the Perry investigation, expressed confidence in charges he said are based on more than 40 interviews and hundreds of documents.

“I looked at the law and I looked at the facts,” McCrum, a Republican, said last week. “The grand jury has spoken that at least there’s probable cause he committed two felony crimes.”

Perry was indicted Aug. 15 on two charges, one of abuse of official capacity and one of coercion of a public servant.

[italics added]

So it's the lawyer saying, "banana repubic politics." What in the world do these folks mean by that term? Other than to insult Hispanic speaking Central American nations?

How in the world does that apply to abuse of power indictments against a political strongman? Is it to emphasize the latter Perry status, that Perry's folks use the term? What meaning, direct and/or subliminal is intended?

Why not call it something like a "dastardly Beta Dog Move" or such, which would be how you'd expect a local Texas long-time spoiled alpha dog to be barking?

But, "Banana Republic?"

Please explain. Was that cancer institute Bloomberg mentions claiming a treatment from an extract or derivative of banana peels? Is it some indirect thought of the slipping on a banana peel routine? What?

Bananaman's, photo, here; with coverage. The Paul family's response. First link:

“This is nothing more than banana republic politics,” said Houston personal injury attorney Tony Buzbee, who is leading the legal team.

Perry is accused of threatening to withhold funding last year for an anti-corruption unit overseen by Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg unless she resigned. Perry has said he lost confidence in Lehmberg, a Democrat, when she was charged with drunken driving and became belligerent with sheriff’s deputies.

She refused to quit, and Perry vetoed the $7.5 million for the Public Integrity Unit, which investigates state officials. But even after the veto, Perry’s office continued to try to entice her to step down, promising to restore the funding and to allow her to stay working in another job at the DA’s office, according to reporting by the San Antonio Express-News.

The governor’s lawyers made clear that Lehmberg’s behavior the night of her 2013 arrest would be a big part of their case, playing video of her shouting at officers. [...]

[... One of the Perry legal team,] Ben Ginsberg, a veteran GOP lawyer who led George W. Bush’s legal team during the 2000 Florida ballot recount, said that he has seen “a lot of cases that go beyond the pale. This goes furthest beyond the pale of any I’ve seen in my time.”

Democrats contend Perry wanted her out so his own appointee could control the Public Integrity Unit and shut down an investigation into a cancer research institute, which Perry had championed. They said Perry’s attorneys were trying to hide the real issue — that the governor used public money to try to coerce an official.

“We didn’t expect Governor Perry to take responsibility for his actions, but smearing Rosemary Lehmberg and complaining the indictment was political does not answer the charges,” said Joe Deshotel, a spokesman for the Travis County Democratic Party. “Perry’s defense by character assassination and deflection may work in the court of public opinion, but it won’t work in a court of law.”

Coercion to shut down an investigation; offering an incentive to a pubic official to gain a sought-after outcome; these sound like troubling things. As in, what is the crime of bribery? What's feared in the investigation?


Anonymous said...

Now the "Publically Correct Dems" want us to curtail criticism of the South American (lack of ) criminal Justice system. What do you think of freedom of speech these day or do you only find that offensive when is your horse that is getting gored.

Anonymous said...

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki submitted his resignation - don't you think it was explained by Obama or a surrogate that his getting fired was less desirable?