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Tea Partiers reluctant to laud Rick Perry

by Betsy Woodruff

Rick Perry might be Texas Democrats’ Public Enemy No. 1, but the state’s Tea Partiers still aren’t all ready to make nice.

The Texas governor made headlines when he showed up at the Travis County courthouse in Austin to get booked following a much-ballyhooed indictment for abuse of power. He’s become an unlikely martyr of sorts through the process — even the New York Times’ editorial board came to his defense — but many conservative grassroots leaders in his home state don’t see his pillorying as a reason to circle the wagons. Perry might be a Republican’s Republican, but many Tea Partiers are still miffed.

“People are lining up behind him on this issue,” said Jonathan Stickland, a conservative Texas state representative. “But this doesn’t forgive all the sins he’s committed in the past against conservatives.”

Stickland said that while the governor is a solid conservative on social issues, he’s disappointed his base by supporting in-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants and mandating that girls be vaccinated for HPV. The state representative also said that the governor didn’t sufficiently follow through on his Texas Budget Compact. The base might rally around him now, Stickland added, but that doesn’t mean they will rally around his anticipated presidential run.

He isn’t alone. Katrina Pierson, a Tea Party activist who won Sarah Palin’s endorsement in an unsuccessful primary challenge against Rep. Pete Sessions, said she expects corruption charges against the governor to materialize.

“When this goes to trial, are we indeed going to find corruption? I think the answer is yes,” she said.

Pierson added that if the governor was comfortable using the line-item veto to punish a political opponent, he should have also used it to remove waste from the budget.

“Here he is being indicted for using veto power, which we couldn’t get him to use!” she said, adding that he should have vetoed a number of subsidies, including the Texas Moving image Industry Incentive Program, designed to boost film production in the state.

Julie McCarty, president of the Fort Worth-area NE Tarrant Tea Party, added that Perry is seen in some circles as insufficiently tough on illegal immigration and that many of the activists she works with believe he hasn’t done enough to secure the border.

“Just because we’re supporting him in this case doesn’t mean we support him across the board,” she said. “It doesn’t mean we want to see him [run] for president.”

None of this is to suggest that the governor’s response to his indictment has hurt his support with his base. Luke Macias, a Republican consultant based in Austin, said that of the state’s three top elected officials — Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker of the House Joe Straus and Perry — the governor by far has the strongest support from grassroots conservatives. Macias added that the state’s new abortion clinic regulations and its ban on abortions after 20 weeks wouldn’t have happened without the governor’s active support; activists have long memories, and the trust he won from pro-lifers will last.

That said, all the mug shots in the world couldn’t burnish some conservatives’ confidence in the bombastic governor. Grassroots Texan Network founder Ken Emanuelson, for instance, sounded tepid at best when he spoke to the Washington Examiner about Perry’s legal situation.

“I would feel uncomfortable stepping out publicly and saying that I’m confident that there’s no reason to think that Rick Perry’s been involved in cronyism,” he said. “I really believe the opposite is true.”

Perry might have won the news cycle, but many activists are still skeptics.

Deer Park citizens speak out against illegal immigration

by Erica Drexler

Citizens of Deer Park met at the Las Hadas restaurant on Center St., on Thursday, (August 14) to express their concerns with illegal immigration in Texas and the United States.

“We have nothing against legal immigration, that we encourage, but to encourage breaking the law is not acceptable. While our hearts go out to all the children involved in the massive flow of illegal aliens to the USA, we refuse to be a party to the enabling of policies and behavior that contribute to the horrors, even in some cases death, that befall these children attempting to reach the U.S. border in their belief of being granted amnesty,” activist Carol Greer said.

These citizens said they want the Deer Park City Council to do something to help stop illegal immigration.

“The Federal mismanagement of the border crisis is inhumane and exploitative and it is being allowed to worsen with little concern from those elected officials, with this Resolution, we are not in favor of a detention center for illegal aliens in our community with its crushing impact on our educational and security responsibilities,” Greer said.

The Federal Government is to blame for what is happening on the border, said Dale Huls, Executive Board Member of the Clear Lake Tea Party and Grassroots Activist.

“It’s a false pretense to bring these people from these other countries, because they really don’t have the money to pay the cartels to bring them in, somewhere they’re gonna have to pay that debt, the cartels are not going to give that money up and there’s no way that the federal government cannot be paying the cartels, that’s not immigration that’s not migration, that’s an invasion, because they’re breaking the law, so I’m all for legal immigration but what we’re doing now, I think is we’re creating this humanitarian crisis,” said Mary Huls, Executive Board Member of the Clear Lake Tea Party and Grassroots Activist.

The Huls said they are adamant about helping the youth in south Texas because they are born into poverty stricken families with no way out.

N.H.-bound Rick Perry set to capitalize on indictment

by Noah Bierman

Governor Rick Perry, fresh off an indictment and then a brief stop Tuesday at a Texas courthouse to be fingerprinted and released, is shining up his boots to stage a New Hampshire comeback tour this week.

Yet in an odd political twist, Perry’s clash with the law may prove to be a valuable selling point in his bid to run for the GOP presidential nomination.

New Hampshire political scientists say they cannot recall another would-be presidential candidate showing up while under indictment. But many New Hampshire Republicans are rushing to Perry’s defense, talking about what they consider a politically motivated indictment last week, instead of focusing on Perry’s disastrous 2012 run for president.

“It would be in his favor for a lot of Republicans, I think,” said Bill O’Connor, a commercial airline pilot who is chair of the Strafford County Republican Party, which includes Dover and Durham.

“The indictment is the craziest thing I’ve ever heard,” said Spec Bowers, chair of the Sullivan County GOP in west central New Hampshire, who is also an innkeeper and candidate for state representative.

Perry, who has led Texas since December 2000, was indicted by a grand jury Friday on two felony counts of coercing a public servant and abusing his official capacity.

The case stems from Perry’s decision last year to carry out a threat to veto $7.5 million over two years from a statewide public corruption unit run by the office of District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. She had refused his demand to resign after her arrest on drunken driving charges that was documented in an embarrassing video.

Perry has stood by the veto.

“We’ll prevail because we’re standing for the rule of law,” he said Tuesday in a speech carried on live television outside a courthouse in Austin, just before he was officially booked.

He is scheduled to speak at a Heritage Foundation event on immigration in Washington Thursday before holding six events in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, his first appearance in the state since he dropped out of the last GOP presidential primary in 2011. Next week, he will appear in Iowa.

The New Hampshire Republican Party was quick to welcome Perry with a press release this week, citing comments made by prominent Democrats disparaging the charges against Perry.

John H. Sununu, the former governor and one of the state’s most prominent Republicans, said he plans to introduce Perry at a party rally on Saturday in Stratham.

“This hurts the Democratic Party,” said Sununu, who hasn’t endorsed. “It shows how desperate they are to avoid talking about issues.”

New Hampshire Democrats gave no indication they will back down, reissuing a statement from the Democratic National Committee mocking Perry’s “bluster.”

“This isn’t a partisan witch hunt,” said Mo Elleithee, the DNC’s communications director. “It’s our legal process. An independent and nonpartisan special prosecutor was tapped by a Republican-appointed judge to look into allegations Perry abused his power, and he presented his case to a nonpartisan grand jury.”

All the attention on the indictment may distract New Hampshire’s Republicans, at least for now, from Perry’s last run, when he entered with lots of money and lofty expectations before finishing sixth, with a mere 1,764 votes. His October 2011 speech at a conservative conference in Manchester, where he appeared loose to the point of wooziness, became a YouTube hit, drawing questions about his sobriety.

Less than two weeks later, at a Michigan debate, Perry forgot the name of the third federal agency he was dead set on shutting down, stammering amid follow-up questions and effectively ending his chances for winning the primary.

“I can’t. The third one, I can’t,” he said. “Sorry. Oops.”

It was later reported that he may have been taking pain medications for his back during the campaign.

“He embarrassed his supporters last time, and that’s beyond just letting them down,” said Fergus Cullen, a former state GOP chairman. “Sometimes your first impression leaves such a bad taste in people’s mouth that you don’t get a second chance.”

Dante Scala, a University of New Hampshire political scientist, said Perry, who drew 5 percent among potential GOP contenders in an NBC News/Marist poll of New Hampshire voters last month, may not be a good fit in the state, where social conservatives have not fared as well as economic conservatives.

But Perry’s supporters, and many uncommitted New Hampshire Republicans, believe he can rehabilitate his image. They point to Texas’s robust job growth, to the governor’s leadership and tough talk on immigration, and to New Hampshire’s history of granting second chances.

Michael Dennehy, a New Hampshire political veteran who advised Senator John McCain’s two presidential runs, was hired by Perry’s political committee, Americans for Economic Freedom, in April. Dennehy acknowledged Perry’s poor performance in the run-up to the 2012 primary and the bad taste he left in some Republican activists’ mouths.

“If he ends up running for president, he’s starting from scratch,” Dennehy said. “It’s a slog and it’s a lot of work and I know that’s what he’s trying to assess right now.”

Dennehy described a methodical approach this time around in New Hampshire, saying Perry plans to return in October to campaign for Republicans running on the November ballot if his reception this weekend is positive.

“Republicans in New Hampshire kind of hit a reset after each presidential primary,” said Bryan K. Gould, chairman of the Merrimack County GOP, which includes Concord, and general counsel to the state party. “The candidates can come back, and if they can prove themselves and make the case, the voters really give the candidate a clean state.”

Archbishop of Mosul: “I have lost my Diocese to Islam – You in the West will also become the victims of Muslims”

Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.

Archbishop Amel Nona
Chaldean Catholic Archeparch of Mosul, now exiled in Erbil
August 9, 2014

by Lorenzo Cremonesi, [Corriere della Sera’s] envoy to Erbil


August 9, 2014. The young ask for guns. The elderly approve. “Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future,” says Amel Nona, 47, Chaldean archbishop of Mosul exiled in Erbil. The message is unequivocal: the only way to end the Christian exodus from the places that witnessed its origins in the pre-Islamic age is to respond to violence with violence, to force with force. Nona is a wounded, pain-stricken man, but not resigned. “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.” He is very glad to meet Western media. “Please, try to understand us,” he exclaims. “Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal,” Archbishop Amel Nona continues, “but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.






Wendy Davis defends ad that hits Greg Abbott over rape ruling

by Gromer Jeffers, Jr.

Wendy Davis on Tuesday defended her television campaign ad that decries a 1998 Texas Supreme Court decision when-then Greg Abbott sided against a rape victim in a liability case.

“His record demonstrates that he sided with a corporation against a victim of sexual assault,” Davis said during a news conference outside Dallas City Hall. “Texans deserve to know who is asking for the privilege of serving as their next governor.”

In 1993, a Seguin woman was raped by an independent vacuum salesman from Kirby Co., while her children were asleep in the next room. The victim sued Kirby for damages and won. And the Supreme Court eventually determined that she had that right. Abbott wrote a separate dissent, saying that an independent contractor hired the salesman and the Kirby had no duty to the victim under the circumstances of the case.

Abbott’s campaign has described the ad as “gutter politics.”

“This ad is a continuation of the type of rhetoric we’ve seen from a candidate who is paper-thin on substance and running a failing campaign devoid of any real vision for the future of Texas,” said Abbott spokeswoman Amelia Chasse. “Texans deserve better than the gutter politics they are getting from Sen. Davis. No one has a stronger record fighting the heinous crime of sexual assault than Greg Abbott.

On Tuesday Davis stood with several rape victims and discussed her efforts in the Texas Legislature to curb the backlog of untested rape kits.

Davis said legislation she pushed to get rape kits tested led to numerous rape victims receiving justice.

The state senator from Fort Worth is casting herself as a candidate who identifies with the struggles of “hardworking Texans,” while portraying Abbott as an “insider working for insiders.”

In her underdog campaign for governor, Davis needs to attract women and soft Republicans to beat Abbott, who enjoys a political advantage in Texas because the state’s electorate is mostly Republican.

Governor Perry Assembles All Star Defense Team

by Sarah Rumpf

This afternoon, in a ballroom at the InterContinental Stephen F. Austin hotel in downtown Austin, a press conference was held by the legal team that will represent Texas Governor Rick Perry regarding the indictments entered against him for his veto of the funding for the Public Integrity Unit (the PIU) after Rosemary Lehmberg, the Travis County District Attorney whose office oversees the PIU was arrested for DWI and caught on videotape being belligerent to police officers. Governor Perry did not appear.

Heading up the legal team is Tony Buzbee, a nationally recognized trial attorney based out of Houston, with nearly two decades of experience. Joining Buzbee are:

  • Austin attorney David Botsford, a board certified criminal and criminal appellate attorney with 37 years of experience, who has represented Perry during the grand jury process the last few months;
  • Tom Phillips, former Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court;
  • Bobby Birchfield, Washington, D.C.-based criminal attorney who has never lost a jury trial, has argued two cases before the United States Supreme Court, and served on George H. W. Bush’s reelection team; and
  • Ben Ginsburg, partner at the Washington, D.C. office of Jones Day with three decades of experience on presidential, gubernatorial, and congressional campaigns, including the Bush-Cheney election team and the 2000 Bush recount legal team;

Buzbee led the press conference and delivered remarks before answering questions. Echoing Perry’s confident and indignant tone from his press conference Saturday, Buzbee condemned the indictments as an “outrageous assault on the rule of law,” and vowed that “Governor Perry will fight this indictment one hundred percent, and he will prevail.”

Buzbee characterized Perry’s veto of the PIU funding as not just within his constitutional authority as governor, but also as “the right thing to do,” considering Lehmberg’s conduct. Despite the good work of PIU employees, Perry had felt that he could “not in good conscience support state funding” when the leader of the agency had “lost public confidence,” and the only way for the state to hold the PIU accountable was to veto the funding.

Select highlights from Lehmberg’s arrest video were played, showing her berating the police officers, demanding to see “Greg” (Greg Hamilton, the Travis County Sheriff), crying, yelling, being restrained, sticking out her tongue, and other unflattering behavior. “That is the Travis County District Attorney, [who is] responsible for $7.5 million of state money,” said Buzbee, referring to Lehmberg. He also pointed out other poor behavior by Lehmberg, including her refusal to finish the field sobriety test, being “belligerent” to the arresting officer and the officers at the jail, threatening that the officers would go to jail themselves, kicking, screaming, and so on.

The video and story of Lehmberg’s arrest were well familiar to the press in the room and got little reaction, and Buzbee continued, “The issues raised in this case are much bigger than Governor Perry. We don’t settle political differences in the criminal court in Texas or in the United States; we settle them at the ballot box…[this is] nothing more than banana republic politics.”

Buzbee then went deeper into the legal issues underlying the indictments, pointing out that, like all citizens, Perry has free speech rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as the authority granted to him as governor under the Texas Constitution. (See Breitbart contributor Lana Shadwick’s take here.) Of particular importance is the concept of separation of powers and checks and balances between the branches of government (executive, judicial, and legislative), with the veto power serving as a very important power of the executive branch.

Supporting their aggressive opposition to the charges against the governor, Buzbee noted that he had nothing to hide, had issued the veto threat and veto itself publicly and transparently, and was responding to this indictment the same way. “Rick Perry did not plead the Fifth, he did not run and hide…within 48 hours [of the indictment] he had a press conference.” Special prosecutor Michael McCrum had announced earlier today that an arrest warrant for Perry would not be issued, and Buzbee said that they were working out the details for when he would appear for booking and processing. The Houston Chronicle reported earlier today that the governor would still have to have a mugshot, and would be processed according to standard procedures. Buzbee emphasized that they were cooperating completely with the special prosecutor and would let the press know when the booking would be scheduled.

When asked about how the legal expenses would be paid, Buzbee said that the arrangements had not been completely worked out. Some of the legal fees would be paid by the State of Texas as related to the official duties of the office of the Governor, some would come from “other sources,” presumably campaign or PAC funds or Perry’s personal funds.

Ginsberg then addressed the room, citing his long legal career and unique nature of this case. “I’ve been doing this a lot of years,” he said, “and there are just some cases that go beyond the pale…[this is simply a] matter of a governor exercising his constitutional authority.” Ginsburg also expressed concern that the indictment “makes an attempt at setting a harmful precedent in [the] separation of powers” between the branches of government. Ginsburg concluded his portion of the remarks citing the large number of prominent legal scholars across the ideological spectrum who have criticized the indictments, including liberals like Alan Dershowitz, David Axelrod, Rick Hasen, Lanny Davis, and others. “The Democrats that have expressed questions and in some cases strong disagreement is significant…[They] expressed proper concern about the scope of this indictment and the actions of the district attorney.”

A question was then asked about whether Perry’s veto of funding was to thwart any investigation by the PIU into Perry or any of his allies, such as questions that have been raised regarding the distribution of funds by CPRIT, the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas. The legal team universally rejected such allegations, with Bodsford stating that there was “absolutely no motive that I’m aware of” along such lines, and Ginsburg agreeing that they “have not seen any proof of that whatsoever.” Ginsburg also noted that Perry was not actually under any obligation to give a reason for a veto, but he did, and “that’s good government.”

Asked whether the threat of the veto could potentially be criminal when the veto itself was not, the legal team again pushed back strongly, mostly on free speech grounds. Buzbee again mentioned that a governor had free speech rights like the rest of us, the “right to say what he chooses,” “a very important right we all have,” and mentioned that he, Buzbee, had served in the military to protect that right (Buzbee served in the United States Marines Corps). Buzbee also noted that governors have not just the right to veto bills and funding, but the “obligation” to do so where it is “good governance.” Ginsburg followed that up with a comment that if a governor says why he is vetoing a bill, that is transparency in government, and he would think that the press would be supportive of that. Botsford cited Perry’s First Amendment and Texas Constitutional free speech rights to declare why he’s vetoing, and said that they had tried to educate special prosecutor on all these concerns, but “that education apparently did not get through.”

Intriguingly, the legal team indicated that there was not necessarily proof that Perry had even directly made the veto threat to Lehmberg, noting that the only such proof was an Austin-American Statesman article.

Lucy Nashed, Perry’s press secretary, told Breitbart Texas that it was “not unusual” for a governor to communicate what he thinks about a piece of legislation as it goes through the process. Nashed deferred to the attorneys on the legal issues underlying the case but noted the standard practice for governors was to publicly discuss their thoughts about potential vetoes. “The entire legislative process is a give and take. There is constant communication happening there.”

(Disclosure: The Jones Day law firm is representing the author of this article in an unrelated matter, Halbig v. Burwell, but she is not represented by Mr. Ginsburg and has never communicated with him.)

3 rescued, 1 missing after fishing boat overturns in Cedar Bayou

by Keith Garvin

The search for a missing fisherman in Cedar Bayou in Baytown, near the Houston Ship Channel, was scaled back after nightfall Monday evening. The man is the sole missing fisherman after his three companions were rescued earlier in the day.

The rescue of the third fisherman, a woman, was seen on KPRC Local 2 from the air by Chopper 2. After finding a crack in the hull of the capsized boat, crews were able cut it open and rescue her before resuming the search for the fourth person.

The Coast Guard said the four were in the boat around 3:30 p.m. Monday when it somehow capsized. Searching by air and boat, the Coast Guard and the Baytown Fire Department teamed up to rescue the first two fishermen early on. The woman was trapped under the vessel for about two-and-a-half hours before crews made it to her.

“The water, especially in the Ship Channel, the currents are pretty bad,” said fisherman Roque Garcia.

It’s unknown how the boat overturned, but Garcia, who said he fishes in the area two to three times a week, said the water in the channel and the bayou can be treacherous.

“There’s riptides, there’s underground currents,” said Garcia. “The current underneath the water is the one that’s bad. And it’s always there no matter the weather conditions or not. And all these big ships coming through here, that makes it worse.”

Later in the evening, the Baytown Fire Department suspended its portion of the search using divers. The Coast Guard continued its portion of the search using a boat into the late-night hours.

Authorities have not identified any of the fishermen.

Continue reading here (+ video)

Former Waco, Baylor linebacker blames concussions for prison sentence


A former standout linebacker at Waco High School and Baylor University is blaming concussions he suffered playing football as the reason he is going to prison.

LaCurtis Jones, who had brief playing stints with two NFL teams and a Canadian professional team, was sentenced to concurrent prison terms Monday of three and two years after pleading guilty to assault family violence and evading police in a vehicle.

Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court ordered those two sentences to run consecutively with another sentence. Jones is already serving a 10-month state jail felony theft sentence from Williamson County.

Jones, 42, was a plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit more than 4,500 former NFL players filed against the league over concussion-related brain injuries, said his attorney, Thomas West. Those injuries may have led to Jones’ problems with anger management, which caused his legal problems, West said.

“The NFL has finally acknowledged that concussions have played a large role in the mental and physical difficulties of its former players, and we believe it’s possible that Mr. Jones’ history of concussions has led to his anger control issues,” West said after Jones was sentenced to prison.

Jones won All-Southwest Conference honors at Baylor in 1994 and 1995 after a stellar career at Waco High. He was a fourth-round draft pick by the Miami Dolphins in 1996, but was released during training camp.

He later was picked up by Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers also cut him before the regular season started.

After his release in August 1997, NFL security alerted Tampa Bay officials that Jones made a veiled threat against the coaches and staff and tried to buy a handgun at a pawn shop. Jones was not arrested and the incident was quelled after Tampa Bay officials bought Jones a plane ticket back to Texas to see his family, according to published reports.

Jones pleaded guilty Monday to choking his wife, Renatta, during an altercation at his mother’s house on Fisseler Drive on Feb. 8.

He also pleaded guilty to running a stop sign in Waco in September 2013 several blocks from his home.

He was not speeding, but he did not pull over until he got to his driveway because Jones didn’t want his car to get towed, West said.

As a result, he was charged with evading police in a vehicle.

Jones also has convictions for burglary of a building and misdemeanor assault and a previous assault family violence conviction, according to court records.

Jones likely will serve about two years before he can be considered for parole, court officials said.

No arrest for Gov. Perry, but mug shot to be taken

A Texas judge opted Monday not to issue an arrest warrant against Gov. Rick Perry, but the Republican still faces the unflattering prospect of being booked, fingerprinted and having his mug shot taken — and has assembled a team of high-powered attorneys to fight the two felony counts of abuse of power against him.

Leading conservatives around the country have mostly lined up to support the longest-serving governor in Texas history, and Perry’s aides said the case won’t derail his busy travel schedule, which includes visits to several key presidential battleground states as he continues to eye a second run for the White House in 2016.

“This is nothing more than banana republic politics,” Tony Buzbee a Houston-based defense attorney who will head a cadre of four lawyers from Texas and Washington defending Perry, said at a news conference. “The charges lobbed against the governor are a really nasty attack not only on the rule of law but on the Constitution of the United States, the state of Texas and also the fundamental constitutional protections that we all enjoy.”

Perry on Friday became the first Texas governor since 1917 to be indicted, and is facing charges of coercion and official oppression that carry a maximum sentence of 109 years in prison for carrying out a threat to veto funding for the state’s public integrity unit last summer.

The governor has emphatically stood by his veto and denied all wrongdoing. The judge overseeing the case, Republican Bert Richardson, decided against issuing an arrest warrant and instead the special prosecutor appointed to the matter, Michael McCrum, was planning a simple legal summons. That still means a booking is in Perry’s future.

Buzbee said he didn’t know exactly when that would occur but that the governor has no intention of hiding: “That’s going to be something, that when he goes in to be booked and take his picture that we’re going to let you know about.”

In an email Monday night, McCrum said that Friday, as well as Aug. 29, had been discussed as possible dates for an arraignment. But he also said that Perry may waive his arraignment altogether.

Felix Browne, a spokesman for the governor, said no arraignment date had been confirmed — and that Perry wouldn’t need to appear personally.

A grand jury in Austin, a liberal bastion in otherwise largely conservative Texas, indicted Perry for carrying out a threat to veto $7.5 million in funding for the state’s public integrity unit after Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, a Democrat, refused to resign following a drunken driving arrest. The ethics unit is housed under Lehmberg’s office.

No one disputes that Perry has the power to veto measures approved by the Legislature, but his threat to do so before actually carrying it out prompted a complaint from a left-leaning watchdog group.

The grand jury met for months before handing down its indictment, and Perry’s $450 per-hour defense attorney was paid using state funds. Buzbee said the public will continue footing the bill for the governor’s now-pricier legal team, though he said a private foundation could eventually be established to handle some of the costs.

Word that Perry avoided an arrest warrant raised questions of favoritism, but legal observers said forgoing an arrest warrant is common in white-collar cases. Former U.S. Attorney Matt Orwig said that insisting on an arrest warrant for Perry would have been “grandstanding.”

“He’s obviously not a flight risk or danger to the community,” Orwig said.

The public integrity unit also led the case against former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a fellow Texas Republican who was convicted in 2010 on campaign finance charges, but eventually had them overturned on appeal.

Dick DeGuerin, a Houston attorney who defended DeLay, said the congressman was originally issued a summons — and it wasn’t until DeLay’s legal team had some of the indictments against him thrown out that prosecutors sought an arrest warrant. DeLay eventually turned himself in and, wearing a suit and American flag lapel pin, smiled wide for his mug shot.

“It turned out to be kind of a glamour shot,” DeGuerin said.

Aides said the case wouldn’t prevent Perry from maintaining his packed upcoming schedule, which includes visits to the key presidential battleground states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in the next two weeks. Perry also has a Thursday speech on immigration at the Heritage Foundation in Washington.

The governor is attempting to rebrand himself to a national audience after stumbling badly during his short-lived 2012 presidential campaign.

Potential 2016 presidential rival and Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie released a statement Monday saying he has “complete faith and confidence in Governor Perry’s honesty and integrity,” echoing similar sentiments from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, all of whom may eventually seek the GOP White House nomination. Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad said the charges “could well help” Perry.

“It is an attack. It also is coming out of a county where you wouldn’t expect even-handedness,” said Branstad, a Republican.

Conservatives also have been quick to note that a video recording made at the jail showed Lehmberg shouting at staffers, kicking the door of her cell and sticking her tongue out at deputies. Perry’s attorneys showed the “outrageous” video again while addressing reporters Monday.

Not everyone was backing Perry, though. In Pennsylvania, Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s re-election campaign removed a video endorsement by the Texas governor from its website following Perry’s indictment.–election.html

Reflecting On the Alamo – What You Can Do To Save It

When I was a teenager, my dad used to tell me, “How you act in public is a reflection on how I raised you.” I didn’t completely understand at the time what that meant. I just wanted to be me.

Now that I’m older and have my own grown children, my dad’s message is very obvious. What he did years ago has molded me into what I am now. In addition, as I matured, each new influential force in my life became more visible through my thoughts, my speech, and my actions.

In much the same way, what we do as a people reflects on the legacy of our forefathers. The men who fought and died for what we know today as liberty. They have left behind reminders of their sacrifices and it is up to us to ensure that, when our future generations see those places and things, they see a true and accurate representation of the price that was paid.

The Alamo. Shrine of Texas Liberty. It is known the world over. It is a symbol for more than just Texans, but for all lovers of freedom and liberty. This symbol “besieged,” much as it was in 1836 when Travis penned his, now famous, letter.

Alamo Plaza, where the bulk of the battle occurred, is littered with snow cone vendors and, at times, protestors of various causes. It has been witness to boxing matches and political rallies. Visitors to the shrine are not given a correct representation of the battlefield.

Across the street, perhaps the most disturbing transgression takes place. Directly on top of what were the Alamo compound walls resides a row of carnival type businesses with fright show characters pacing the spot where some of the fiercest fighting of the battle took place. Vulgar messages can be found in many shop windows looking out onto the plaza.

The blame cannot be placed solely on the proprietors who are simply adhering to rule number one of business, location, location, location. The responsibility is ours. For decades the City of San Antonio and the people of Texas have failed to protect the sacred site and now it is at risk of disappearing forever.

The City of San Antonio has appointed a committee to make recommendations for a plan concerning the future of Alamo Plaza. This committee will hear from citizens on August 26th. The Texas Nationalist Movement will be there to present your letters of support for our recommendations which include:

• The Alamo Battleground be restored to its original hallowed footprint to include the original walls of the compound.

• That the Battleground be closed off to vehicular traffic and that vendors be restricted to the outside perimeter of the battleground complex.

• A museum complex be built to house a permanent collection of important artifacts of the Alamo, the war for independence, and The Republic of Texas

• A memorial and educational facilities be included in honor of the indigenous peoples who were buried on these grounds.

• Ownership of the battleground complex, including the current Alamo Plaza, be transferred to the people of Texas.

• Any attempt to designate the Alamo as a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site, be rejected and prohibited.

To be a part of this battle and to have your voice heard, click here and register your support for our recommendations to the committee. 

Remember the Alamo!