The left-leaning editorial board of the New York Times, no fan of Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), nevertheless wrote an editorial strongly backing him in his legal fight after he was indicted for allegedly abusing his office.
In the article, published online Monday night, the editorial board called Perry “one of the least thoughtful” politicians out there, but noted “bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony.”
“Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is one of the least thoughtful and most damaging state leaders in America, having done great harm to immigrants, abortion clinics and people without health insurance during his 14 years in office. But bad political judgment is not necessarily a felony, and the indictment handed up against him on Friday — given the facts so far — appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution,” the paper wrote.
Perry was indicted by a grand jury on two felony counts last Friday. A special prosecutor has accused him of abusing his power to try and coerce a resignation from a district attorney whose office runs a state-level public integrity unit. Perry said he ultimately vetoed the public integrity unit’s funding because the district attorney was arrested for drunken driving and was featured in a highly embarrassing video of some of her behaviour.
The Times insisted the funding veto threat was “ill-advised” — but probably not illegal.
“Governors and presidents threaten vetoes and engage in horse-trading all the time to get what they want, but for that kind of political activity to become criminal requires far more evidence than has been revealed in the Perry case so far,” the editorial board wrote. “Texas voters should be more furious at Mr. Perry for refusing to expand Medicaid, and for all the favours he has done for big donors, than for a budget veto.”
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