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Rick Perry

August 18, 2014

Think of Josh Brolin playing George Bush in the movie “W.” And then think of a pol who could make W actually seem articulate and intellectual. Now you’ve got the current governor of the State of Texas, the Hon. Rick Perry.

Perry calls our nation: “Uh-mer-uh-kah.”  He says he’s “happy to cling to God and guns” even if people think its “simpleminded” to do so.

We know Perry because he came to New York earlier this year to try to poach businesses. His recruiting pitch is said to include disparaging references to the fact that same sex marriage is legal in New York.  “Do you really want to live in a state where guys can marry guys?”

Yup. He’s for God and guns. And he’s against gays.

Perry is the subject of several websites devoted to his many verbal gaffes. Not to be harsh, but you’ve got to be in the major leagues for the maladroit for that to happen.  

All that said, it’s preposterous that Perry has been indicted on federal coercion charges. 

Perry vetoed a funding line in his state budget.  He did so after warning repeatedly and publically that he was going to take the action. Yes, he was heavy-handed about it, but it was his prerogative and right to do what he did.

It’s called politics. It’s the way the system works. The governor has veto power and exercises it as he sees fit.

The only way such an exercise of power can be a crime is if it involves personal financial gain by the governor.  Authorities would need a tape recording like this:

Shady character: “Governor, if you veto funding for that organization, I’ll give you ten thousand dollars.”

Governor Perry: “Make it twenty thousand dollars and I’ll do it, but I want it in unmarked bills and I want it right away.”

Now there’s a crime.

But it is simply not a crime or even wrong to conclude that an expenditure of state money – whether for a member item or an ethics commission – is a waste of money and to veto it.

Thankfully, most observers are looking at what just happened in Texas and saying WTF! That’s common sense talking. Hopefully it prevails and the matter is resolved in Texas without paralyzing state government for an extended period.

Closer to home, is it possible that a U.S Attorney does something similar? Is it possible that the US Attorney intervenes and says that it was a crime for Cuomo to disband the Moreland Commission? Vetoing funding and disbanding are, in effect, the same things.

 Cuomo has the power to convene and disband the Moreland Panel he creates.  All one has to do is read the executive order – which also says that commission chairs were supposed to report to Larry Schwartz. 

Some people, though, are suggesting that everything changed when commission members were provided with “special deputy” status and equipped with secret decoder rings. They say that after that happened, the Governor lost the ability to disband the group. That’s nutty.   Moreland Commissions are governors’ panels plain and simple. Those that pretend otherwise are just trying to mess with Cuomo – which, while good sport and maybe even warranted up to a point, isn’t ultimately productive.  

As we’ve noted before, the only way Cuomo’s exercise of his gubernatorial power could be a crime here is if he concealed evidence.  PB will need a tape recording like this:

Moreland Commission chair: “Governor, we’ve found solid evidence that lawmakers are involved in federal crimes. “

Governor: “I order you to destroy that evidence. The lawmakers are paying me off to get rid of it, so do it now.”

Now there’s a crime, a crime with the 11 district attorneys who were a part of the panel being co-conspirators.

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that we don’t think anything like that happened.  Instead, what happened was that Cuomo made a political decision, which is what governors do all the time.

We hope the US Attorney doesn’t intervene and create a mess like currently exists in Texas.  New York is making progress now, but that would come to a screeching halt with another bizarre case of prosecutors reaching into politics.

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