Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Are Gov Rick Perry's Indictments Just the Tip of the Iceberg?

by Nomad

Texas Governor Perry's indictments may be the tip of the iceberg if one investigative writer's theory is correct.

A New York Times bestselling author and Emmy winning former TV news correspondent, James Moore, offers a some important background to the Rick Perry indictments in a recent blog post.
Moore suggests there's a lot more to this story than meets the eye.

The narrative widely promoted by the mainstream media runs something like this: The Texas governor has been indicted for using some high pressure tactics to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign. 

That move came, so the story goes, after Lehmberg was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol. The police report shows blood alcohol content at three times the legal limits.
However, as Moore observes in his article, drunk driving - for which there is absolutely no excuse- is not something that Rick Perry cared too much about in the past.
Two other Texas D.A.s were arrested for DUI during Perry’s tenure in office and he spoke not a discouraging word about their indiscretions.
When it came to Lehmberg, it was a completely different story  According to Perry, the governor eliminated the $7.5 million dollar budget that Lehmberg managed for the Public Integrity Unit (PIU) because “the person charged with ultimate responsibility of that unit has lost the public’s confidence.”  

Moore thinks it's important to look at the details a little closer.

The Public Integrity Unit prosecutes insurance fraud, motor fuels tax fraud and most importantly, government corruption. Last year, the PIU investigated 425 cases. 
As a different source tell us, Perry did everything he could to cut funding for the PIU.
It’s no mistake the Unit is housed at the Travis county DA’s Office, in the capital of Texas where some element of these types of crime can take place. Since 1982 under former DA Ronnie Earl’s watch, The Public Integrity Unit had been state-funded under a reimbursement scheme to the county. In June 2013 when Governor Perry ordered the funding shut off, the unit was left to fend for itself.
What were the effects of that cut?
  • saw staff cut by a third from 34 to 24 (a few were transferred to the regular County payroll)
  • sent back insurance tax fraud cases to referring agencies (except already indicted cases)
  • no longer heard statewide cases (134 in 2013 according to Lehmberg)
A defiant DA Lehmberg  said last summer,
“It is not Rick Perry’s job to fire me or to relieve me..He did not elect me, Travis County voters elected me, and I answer to them.”
According to Moore, Rick Perry may have had a far better motive and it had nothing to do with public trust or drunk driving.
The PIU had been investigating the Cancer Research and Prevention Institute (CPRIT), a $3 billion dollar taxpayer funded project that awarded research and investment grants to startups targeting cancer cures. The entire scientific review team, including Nobel Laureate scientists, resigned because they said millions were handed out through political favoritism. Investigations by Texas newspapers indicated much of the money was ending up in projects proposed by campaign donors and supporters of Governor Perry. In fact, one of the executives of CPRIT was indicted in the PIU investigation for awarding an $11 million dollar grant to a company without the proposal undergoing any type of review.
Had Lahmberg resigned. Perry as governor would have had the authority to find her replacement. It is a near certainly that whoever  Perry would have apponnted would have been both Republican and a very uncurious type. In short, the investigations would have been closed down. 

If Moore's theory is correct, it could explain why the grand jury had ao little problem indicting the governor of the state. Governor Perry attempted to paint it as a politically motivated attack on him. 
In fact, says Moore, Perry is trying to pull a fast one on Texas voters. 
There wasn’t a single Democrat involved in the investigation and indictment. In fact, Perry appointed the presiding judge in the case, Billy Ray Stubblefield of the 3rd Judicial District.
So much for a political bias.
Stay tuned.. this could get plenty interesting before it is all over.