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Texas Dems strategy imploding

Texas Dems strategy imploding

Why are Texas democrats willing to bet on a weak case against Rick Perry?

The midterm elections in Texas are shaping up to be just as interesting as the run to 2016, and the recent indictment of Governor Rick Perry is only serving as fuel for the fire as battle lines are drawn between conservatives and progressives.

The apparent weakness of the charges against Governor Perry has drawn criticism from activists and the mainstream media alike, and is leaving many Texans wondering why Democrats seem to be banking on this indictment as the key to damaging the credibility and reputation of the Republican Party.

The Austin American-Statesman recently debunked a seriously misleading e-mail sent by Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, claiming that the real reason Governor Perry chose to veto funding for the ironically-dubbed “Public Integrity Unit” was to stop investigations into an $11 million CPRIT (Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas) grant to Peloton Therapeutics; Peltron has been a big donor to both Perry and current Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst, and democrats in Washington smelled blood.

Via the Statesman:

Elleithee’s email charges that the CPRIT investigation “was underway when the governor called for the head of that investigative unit to resign. Perry pushing Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign was a win-win. Lehmberg either resigned and he appointed her successor or he vetoed the PIU’s funding. Both would have the same effect: stopping the investigation into the CPRIT its tracks.”

Elleithee’s email, however, left out some key details about the CPRIT investigation — including that two months before Lehmberg’s arrest, she told reporters that none of Perry’s appointees to the CPRIT board were “under suspicion in the investigation.”

Perry’s veto, at least as far as the CPRIT grant was concerned, was politics as usual, but democrats have made the deliberate decision to ignore facts openly reported in favor of a weak attempt to whip up their small base.

In Texas, the Democrats have just begun to get used to the idea that they need to fight to regain their former dominance in the political scene. From 1874 until 1979, Democrats controlled both the governorship and the lieutenant governorship. It wasn’t until 1995, when George W. Bush was elected Governor, that Republicans gained control of the executive. The stats for the Attorney General’s office look similar; it wasn’t until John Cornyn’s election in 2002 that the AG’s office gained its current conservative reputation.

The problem for Democrats is that, as the demographics currently stand, it’s likely to be a long haul before they have a chance to regain control of the executive or the legislature.

A Gallup poll from earlier this year analyzed the effect of changing demographics and the power of the Hispanic vote against democrats’ chances to regain power, and the results don’t bode well for liberal hopefuls in the next few cycles:

At the same time, the path toward victory for Democrats may not be as smooth or linear as this logic might suggest. Hispanics in Texas are more likely to identify as Republican than are Hispanics elsewhere, and the Republican Party in Texas has seen more growth in Hispanic support over the past five years than the Democratic Party. While this has not changed the overall equation — Democrats still lead big among Texan Hispanics — it does suggest the GOP may be more competitive with this bloc than many assume.

Nor is it clear that Hispanics alone can alter the political trajectory of Texas. While nearly 38% of the Texas population is Hispanic — over double the national rate — political participation among this group is not high. So while Texas is a majority minority state in terms of population, differences in political participation by racial and ethnic group — despite those groups’ political leanings — continue to make Texas a solidly Republican state.

It follows that the biggest challenge for Democrats hoping to turn Texas blue may be in registering and turning out minority voters in that state. But the Democratic Party’s relatively poor standing with white Texans will continue to impede its ability to compete on a statewide basis for the foreseeable future.

If Democratic groups like Battleground Texas were the only ones seeking the favor and votes of Latinos and other minorities, they might have a chance to exact a quick turnaround; but this simply isn’t the case. Both private sector advocacy groups and high-profile Republican political candidates are spending a great deal of time and resources to get out the vote in neighborhoods and communities that conservatives have never paid a great deal of attention to.

At this point in the game, every move by democrats has to be a power play, or else it will be ignored completely. GOTV and base-building isn’t enough; they’re being forced to do whatever they can to turn white voters against not only Perry (who is leaving office in January) but an entire ticket featuring strong conservative candidates. They’re counting on their demonstrated ability to prey upon the emotions of low-information voters, not on any actual evidence showing corruption within Perry’s administration or the Republican Party at large.

So far, that strategy seems to be imploding in slow motion.


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It’s Jello desperation syndrome.

Democrats have become keenly aware of how pathetically weak Wendy Davis is as a candidate. Abbott has a 10+ point lead in every single poll. They can’t campaign for her on her merits because she doesn’t have any, and while her laughable abortion standoff earns her points with Democrats, it does NOT sell well in Texas.

Democrats are so desperate that they’re frantically throwing Jello at the wall and hoping something – ANYTHING — sticks.

This was never about whether Perry was going to be found guilty. This was a play to try and damage the Republican brand, and through it, Abbott, so Davis could swoop in and say, ‘look at the evil corrupt Republicans running things, we can’t have another one!!’

Democrats were counting on the media only reporting on the fact that Perry was criminally indicted.

Unfortunately for them, they misjudged horribly on how pathetic Lehmbert looks, and the media’s willingness to report on it.

So the whole thing is backfiring on the Democrats.

But hey, they don’t care. Davis is still losing, so stand by for more Jello in the near future.


I dunno nuthin about grand jury misconduct. It isn’t my area of law at all.

But this is beginning to stink (not a technical term).

She’s also a grand juror who has been speaking about the indictment, with is a no-no.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Ragspierre. | August 20, 2014 at 1:07 pm

    Shoot you beat me to it.

    PS: Anyone out there from Missouri, I have some questions about how grand juries work in that state?

      sequester in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 20, 2014 at 7:22 pm

      AMY MILLER the article I reference in American Thinker specifically refers to you. According to the article by Thomas Lifson at least two Grand Jurors in the Perry case have now made public statements. Public statements by Grand Jurors violate Texas Law.

      Texas law, grand jurors are not supposed to talk to the media about their cases.

      That did not stop several of the Gov. Perry grand jurors from breaking the law, specifically, talking to the Houston Chronicle.

      The jury, which met weekly for four months, “really tried to keep an open mind and come to a fair decision given all the testimony that we heard,” said Janna Bessin, one of the 12 Travis County residents appointed to serve on the grand jury.

      “It’s too bad,” Bessin said, calling the criticism unfair. “But I guess that his side’s job – to really spin it.”

      In addition to Ms. Bessin, another grand juror named Rho Chalmers spoke on the record to the Houston Chronicle. These two jurors have violated Texas law:

      Art. 19.34. [365] [416] [404] OATH OF GRAND JURORS

        Let’s see if DA Lehmberg is compelled to open criminal cases into the actions of these Grand Jurors, or if that becomes another HAMMER to hit her over the head with to show her Partisan foolishness.

        If not, I think that becomes part of the platform to have someone run against her for DA. Even in Travis County, SOMEBODY has to stand up to a CORRUPT DA.

        If nothing else, simply play the YouTube video of her demanding special treatment over and over and over again.

    retire05 in reply to Ragspierre. | August 20, 2014 at 1:53 pm

    As well as a delegate to the state Democrat convention and on the rules committee, no less. Of course, she will claim no political bias but saying “Oh, it was not political but when you see the evidence, you will understand we were right.” Yeah, no bias there are trying to taint a trial.

    sequester in reply to Ragspierre. | August 20, 2014 at 2:21 pm

    I don’t know Texas Law either. But in mant states the public statements of the grand juror and her obvious bias would be enough to disniss. Chu k Skinner, can you help us out?

      As discussed in one of the other threads, the Judge will have the inherent power to dismiss, given his elected role as a District Judge, if there is some reason to think that lack of Probable Cause, or some other defect was present in the Grand Jury’s proceeding.

      The question will be if he will choose to dismiss. The likelihood of that is no, because the Judges dislike having to face public ire in the following election cycle if they get it wrong. As discussed (at length) elsewhere, that is not where I think this is headed, but to a Court of Criminal Appeals decision on Jurisdiction of the District Court to hear the case at all.

      All a Grand Jury has to get to is “probable cause” in order to indict. That is a very LOW standard to meet: ~25%. The old saying about a DA being able to indict a ham sandwich is true because the DA gets to present his side ONLY to the Grand Jurors, and will rarely get called on his presentation being provably false. Usually the DA will simply “forget” to present the exculpatory evidence, if he/she has taken the time to actually perform an investigation and has discovered any “Brady” exculpatory material, which usually they have not bothered. However, if they get caught doing this, it is technically a DISBARRABLE OFFENSE for misleading the Court as an Officer of the Court (which all attorneys in Texas are, by Oath).

      Regardless of their actual mental motives, I think that the Grand Jurors can reasonably say that they found “probable cause” to vote to indict, and to let the District Attorney proceed to attempt to prove the case to the standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt” (a very HIGH standard of proof).

      Now, that doesn’t address the Grand Juror’s misconduct AFTER their service by talking about it. EACH of those that discussed it is subject to 30 days imprisonment and/or a $500 fine. The journaLISTs who RECEIVED the information directly are ALSO subject to 30 days imprisonment and/or a $500 fine, as are any writers of the article who assisted in disseminating the information. Tex. Code of Crim. Proc. Art. 20.02(a)-(c).

      Further, any recordings that were made of the Grand Jury procedure, and any statements made by the Jurors themselves CAN be turned over to Gov. Perry’s legal team under 20.02(d), although they will ALSO be prohibited from talking about it by 20.02(f)

I think Conservatives are underestimating the Big Lie technique here. For the next X weeks, the mainstream media will run endless articles which give *Equal Time* to the governor and his carefully edited (by the media) soundbites about defending himself, pitted against the endless experts who will bloat and blather on about how this action (which they will carefully avoid mentioning) is a direct attack on an elected official using the merciless power of the government to protect cronies and strike out at political enemies, etc… In the end, media will frame this as an obviously guilty governor whining about being caught, and the vague insubstantial allegations of his corruption that he will be unable to defend against, and totally ignore the corrupt machine pressing the attack.

Conservatives have to keep the focus on the obvious questions:
Should a Public Integrity Unit be headed by someone who attempts to use her position to get out of a DUI?
Is threatening a veto a criminal act?
Is vetoing a spending bill a criminal act?
Based on your answers to the previous three questions, is a prosecutor who files criminal charges in this case using his position for political gain?

(Answers: No, No, No, and Yes)

    I disagree. Perry is coming out of this smelling like a rose and is getting uncontested press time well in advance of a 2016 run.

    The more they mention Perry / presidential candidate… the more the notion of Perry / president sounds legit.

    This is going very badly for dems.

      clintack in reply to Andy. | August 20, 2014 at 5:52 pm

      Almost makes you think Hillary *wants* to run against a white man from Texas…

        TrooperJohnSmith in reply to clintack. | August 21, 2014 at 12:16 am

        I agree. This smells like a payback to the Clintons.

        Hitlery wants to run against Perry, because she thinks he will be a punching bag for her, after his 2012 slip-up. So, what better way to get him out front than to pull out some partisan Austin bullsh!t indictment to fire up HIS base by making Perry a “victim”. Only Jimmuh Caw’vl could have come up with that gem.

At what point ?

Ummm.. Desparation to have yet another distraction between now and November 7 ???

I was searching on the internet, but could not find an answer to this question.

Reading the newspaper articles, they state that it is not democrat’s going after Perry, but Republican’s.

I understand why Travis Co has the authority but I don’t understand why a Republican judge and a Republican prosecutor would go after Perry.

Is this set up this way in Travis Co. If it’s a republ politican that a republican would be leading the indictment and vice-versa if it was a democrat?

I get the impression that McCrum is going out of his way to indicte Perry.

    retire05 in reply to oldman51. | August 20, 2014 at 1:58 pm

    You have to look at who is really behind this indictment: Texans for Public Justice. The lame stream media will not tell you who funds TPJ; George Soros’ Open Society group and trial (tort) lawyers who evidently still have their Hanes in a wad over Perry pushing for, and getting, tort reform in the State of Texas. Perry hit those clowns in the wallet, and they didn’t like it a bit.

    McCrum is not a Republican, per se. He has donated to both Democrat and Republican judges who are elected in Texas. He also donated to the judge that handed down the indictment.

      oldman51 in reply to retire05. | August 20, 2014 at 2:04 pm


      sequester in reply to retire05. | August 20, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      Yes the Democrats are putting out some canard that McCrum was appointed an Assistant United States Attorney by George Bush.

      The job of Assistant US Attorney is a non-political career position. Technically, the appointment comes from the Attorney General. However, the hiring decisions are usually made in the local US Attorneys office. It is not a Presidential appointment.

No worries. Bill Clinton lowered the bar — he’s still a celebrity even though he is an impeached, disbarred, serial rapist.

You can indict a ham sandwich — or, if you’re a Democrat in predominantly Democrat Austin, Texas, a vegan sandwich.

No one will gives a patoot about this. Really.

Henry Hawkins | August 20, 2014 at 3:31 pm

At the very least, they wanted a mug shot for campaign ads and to be able to forever refer to him as “the once indicted governor of Texas.”

At best, they hoped it might actually go somewhere, somehow.

What they’ve done, based on Limbaugh’s nostrum that the Dems always let you know who they fear, is they’ve identified Rick Perry as a feared GOP candidate for 2016, so strong a candidate that they’re already taking desperate measures to shut him down and out. That’s what it looks like.


I had a very hard time typing the words “feared GOP candidate”. It is practically an oxymoron anymore.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 20, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    PS: Since much of what the Dems claim as their economic successes actually is a result of GOP states doing so well they affect the nat’l numbers, Texas at the top of that list, Perry has that for him in 2016, plus he’s naturally to the right of the RINO models currently be dragged across the GOP runway (Christie, Jeb Bush, etc.).

    Now, if Rick Perry could now secure Texas’ section of the border, he’d shoot to the top of the list for 2016.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Henry Hawkins. | August 20, 2014 at 3:44 pm

    This is exactly what I said when the news of the indictment first broke and my guess that internal ‘rat polling shows Perry is very strong, probably because of his stance on the border.

If the Democrats assume that people are going to vote for them because they are this or that race or demographic, just bear in mind that being openly crooked and incompetent will drive away voters of any persuasion away. If not to the Republicans, but at least away from the polls.