Gov. Rick Perry will turn himself in to authorities Tuesday over charges that he abused his powers by threatening to veto funds to a department led by a Democrat arrested for drunk driving. But as BuzzFeed noted, before he goes, his new political action committee — deftly named RickPAC — released an ad "setting the record straight."
Republicans have called the indictment a "witch hunt" and several prominent liberals have criticized the indictment as "sketchy" and "unbelievably ridiculous." But the ad doesn't focus on why Perry's veto was legal, so much as why Lehmberg's behavior was embarrassing and reckless enough to warrant it. Here's how RickPAC laid out the last 16 months:
- April 12, 2013: District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg is arrested for drunk driving.
How drunk was she, you might ask:
As a montage of clips from her arrest plays, various supposed news reporters say she was "weaving in and out of traffic" and "her blood alcohol level was three times the legal limit."
- April 19, 2013: Lehmberg pleads guilty.
During another voice over, "From putting people behind bars to going behind bars himself." We're not sure why this clip is in black and white.
- April 27, 2013: Lehmberg refuses to resign.
Here there's a voice over of a lot of people saying a lot of people think she should resign.
- June 14, 2013: Perry vetoes funding for Lehmberg's Public Integrity Unit
Now we get to the part about setting the record straight. It's not against the law for a governor to veto a bill, though as Politico notes, "he threatened to veto millions from her public integrity unit if she didn’t [resign], leading to criticism he had overstepped his authority."
- June 26, 2013: A liberal watchdog group files a complaint against Perry
The Austin American-Statesman actually reported on the complaint on June 14.
- August 15, 2014: Perry indicted by Grand Jury
Just dramatic music here.
- August 16, 2014: Perry defends his veto in speech
Finally, Perry makes his case. "We don't settle political differences with indictments in this country," he said over the weekend. "I exercised this authority to veto funding for an office whose leadership had lost the public's trust." Here it fades to another clip of Lehmberg trying to walk in a straight line.
Watch the full ad here:
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.