Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) joined the Republicans who are jumping on board Rick Perry’s sinking ship by announcing that he is standing with the indicated Texas governor. If Republicans stand too close to Perry, they all could be brought down with him.
Rick Perry could be facing 109 years in prison for a reason, but none of this seems to bother Ted Cruz.
Cruz posted a statement on his Facebook page, “Unfortunately, there has been a sad history of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office engaging in politically-motivated prosecutions, and this latest indictment of the governor is extremely questionable. Rick Perry is a friend, he’s a man of integrity – I am proud to stand with Rick Perry. The Texas Constitution gives the governor the power to veto legislation, and a criminal indictment predicated on the exercise of his constitutional authority is, on its face, highly suspect.”
It is important to know what the person who Ted Cruz considers to be a man of integrity actually did, “Perry got himself into hot water by threatening to withhold $7.5 million in funding unless the Democratic Travis County DA resigned. Perry wanted her to resign after she was convicted of a DWI. The Democrat promised not to run for reelection, but refused to resign. Perry’s actions put a cloud of uncertainty over hundreds of criminal investigations and were illegal. The governor can’t withhold funding in order to pressure another elected official to resign. The matter of the DA and her DWI is an issue between her and the voters.”
The problem isn’t that Gov. Perry wanted her to resign. The problem is that Perry threatened to withhold funding for her office unless she resigned. That is illegal, and the textbook definition of abuse of power. Republicans have a decades-long legacy of claiming that any criminal investigation against them is politically motivated by their partisan enemies. This tactic was pioneered by Richard Nixon, who is not a name that Rick Perry should want to be associated with in any way right now.
Republicans are playing fast and loose with the facts. They are making claims that Perry was indicted for trying to cut the DA’s budget. This isn’t true. Republicans have been desperately searching for a moral vindication for Perry’s actions, but the law is clear.
Sec. 39.02 of the Texas penal code states:
ABUSE OF OFFICIAL CAPACITY. (a) A public servant commits an offense if, with intent to obtain a benefit or with intent to harm or defraud another, he intentionally or knowingly:
(1) violates a law relating to the public servant’s office or employment; or
(2) misuses government property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to the government that has come into the public servant’s custody or possession by virtue of the public servant’s office or employment.
Rick Perry broke the law. Any Republican who stands with Rick Perry is supporting a suspected criminal. If Republicans aren’t careful, Rick Perry will drag down anyone who supports him. The statement by Cruz speaks volumes about the moral and ethical core that is lacking in the Republican Senator. The Republican Party is on thin ice when it comes to Perry, and the governor could take the rest of the GOP down with him.