Junk Justice: A Texas appeals court wadded up and threw out the “abuse of power” indictment against Gov. Rick Perry this week, the latest in a line of such harassment suits against effective political officials.  It was the right move.
But given what it cost Perry, where’s the “abuse of power” charge against his odious assailants?
It was a travesty. The distinguished governor of Texas, just finishing 14 years in office characterized by a dazzling economic record and a wagon-train of newcomers to his state, was hit with a nuisance indictment claiming “abuse of power” and “intimidation of a public official” after he vetoed funding in 2013 for a portion of a state prosecutor’s office called the “public integrity unit.” That followed after its top prosecutor, Rosemary Lehmberg, refused to resign after being picked up by the cops for driving drunk and then, in a spectacular video caught on YouTube, drunkenly attempting to intimidate the officers from filing charges. The governor’s veto of funding was worthy, given the need to protect the public.
After that, rabidly left-wing activists from the trial-lawyer and George-Soros-funded Texans for Public Justice sprang into action, making common cause with the Austin prosecutors’ office to persuade a grand jury in left-wing Austin to indict Perry — for responsibly doing his duties.
From the beginning it was obvious the charges were politically motivated garbage. But the purpose wasn’t justice. The explicit aim was to halt Perry’s continued political rise by damaging his 2016 presidential campaign. Perry himself said the charges had a “corrosive” effect on his campaign. He also ended up spending $2 million dollars for his defense. That’s not justice, that’s banana-republic tactics for eliminating opponents, the sort of “justice” commonly found in places like Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela, Rafael Correa’s Ecuador or Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Texas is getting famous for this abuse. The same activists who went after Perry with impunity, Texans For Public Justice, launched a pile of phony charges at former House Speaker Tom DeLay. As with Perry, these too were all fake and all thrown out. But the tactic worked. They ruined his career. Former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison endured similar junk-justice attacks as well.
That pattern signals unfinished business at hand. With a record like that, Texans for Public Justice and other radicals have no right to be playing their slimy little indictment games for the true purpose of sidelining political opponents. It’s not democracy, it’s tyranny from unelected radicals using tactics only a tinhorn dictator could love.