A “Public Integrity Unit” with no integrity — so that’s what they mean by “Keep Austin Weird.”
Texas governor Rick Perry has been indicted on two felony charges and could, in theory, spend the rest of his life in prison — for the so-called crime of vetoing a piece of legislation.
This, Democratic prosecutors argued, was a criminal attempt to coerce a public official and a misuse of government power. The irony in that argument is simply tremendous.
Travis County prosecutors have long abused their power to pursue political vendettas, and the Democrat-controlled Public Integrity Unit is routinely deployed as a political weapon. This is the same gang that, under the cracked leadership of Ronnie Earle, destroyed Representative Tom DeLay’s political career using the inventive means of charging him with having broken a law that hadn’t even been passed at the time he was alleged to have broken it. That project ultimately ended in a scathing judicial rebuke, and DeLay was cleared of all charges – but convictions are not the point: Using the criminal-justice process to harass, defame, and bankrupt political enemies is the point. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was given similar treatment, though she was not driven from office.
Austin is a deeply, and perhaps irrecoverably, corrupt place. From the impeachment of University of Texas regent Wallace Hall in retaliation for his role in exposing political favoritism in law-school admissions to prosecutors’ throwing around felonies for partisan political ends, the malicious and dishonest deployment of official force against political rivals in the Texas capital is a reminder of just how illiberal liberals truly are. Austin’s hippie-dippy ethic is just New Age window dressing on old-fashioned, bare-knuckled, power-mad politics: Papa Doc Duvalier in Birkenstocks.
Governor Perry is standing by his veto, and he is right to do so. The Public Integrity Unit should be dissolved, and every responsible officer associated with it should be sent into retirement with extreme prejudice. Theirs is the real crime.