Gov. Rick Perry was indicted on counts of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.
Below is a collection of statements from various groups about the indictment.
Mary Anne Wiley, General Counsel for Gov. Rick Perry:
The veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution. We will continue to aggressively defend the governor’s lawful and constitutional action, and believe we will ultimately prevail.
David Botsford, criminal defense attorney and special counsel to the governor:
I am outraged and appalled that the Grand Jury has taken this action, given the governor’s constitutional right and duty to veto funding as he deems appropriate. This clearly represents political abuse of the court system and there is no legal basis in this decision. The facts of this case conclude that the governor’s veto was lawful, appropriate and well within the authority of the office of the governor. Today’s action, which violates the separation of powers outlined in the Texas Constitution, is nothing more than an effort to weaken the constitutional authority granted to the office of Texas governor, and sets a dangerous precedent by allowing a grand jury to punish the exercise of a lawful and constitutional authority afforded to the Texas governor.
Wendy Davis, State senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate:
These allegations are troubling and I have confidence in our justice system to do its job.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst:
I’m disappointed with Travis County’s attempt to criminalize state politics, in Gov. Perry’s case, threatening a veto if a state subdivision did not act responsibly. As I understand the facts, Governor Perry’s acts were consistent with what any House or Senate Finance Chair would do to get the attention of a state agency.
Ray Sullivan, former Perry chief of staff, former presidential campaign communications director, and current advisor:
Unfortunately, this is typical Travis County liberalism, attacking powerful Republicans on phony political charges. They’ve done it time and again, garnering headlines but almost always losing in court.
Texas Governors have clear constitutional authority to line item veto funding. he vetoed state funding to an office occupied by a convicted criminal drunk driver who was abusive to local law enforcement.
The special prosecutor has applied for an Obama appointment and has been mentioned as a would be Democratic candidate for DA.
The strongest response to these ridiculous political charges is to show the Lehmberg drunk tank video, complete with the spit mask.
James Dickey, Travis County Republican Party Chairman:
The Travis County District Court is, unfortunately, often used as a weapon by Democratic strategists to attack the leaders of our strongly Republican state. This indictment comes as no surprise given the politicization of our local justice system — the same system that denied justice by giving our Democrat District Attorney a mere slap on the wrist for her DWI charges. We’re confident in our Governor’s ability to overcome these politically motivated attacks against him.
Gilberto Hinojosa, president of the Texas Democratic Party:
We call on Governor Perry to immediately step down from office,” he said.”Texans deserve real leadership and this is unbecoming of our Governor.
Joaquin Castro, Democratic congressman representing the San Antonio area:
For the sake of Texas, Governor Perry should resign following his indictment on two criminal felony counts involving abuse of office.
Rick Perry’s indictment for abuse of official capacity and coercion is just the latest example of Republicans failing to work for Texans. Whether it’s Rick Perry’s indictment, Greg Abbott’s sweetheart deals for campaign contributors, or Dan Patrick’s blistering anti-immigrant rhetoric – the GOP has shown time and again they put politics and their friends ahead of Texas communities. That’s why Battleground Texas and our partners will continue to register voters, engage them in the upcoming election, and make sure all Texans know they have a clear alternative in Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.
Republican gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Greg Abbott has yet to comment on the indictment. Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg had no comment.