Malicious Prosecution in the Lone Star State
The charges against Rick Perry are baseless.
Outsiders were stunned by the August 15 indictment of Governor Rick Perry by a Travis County grand jury, but they shouldn’t have been. The common perception that Texas is uniformly red is mistaken. Yes, Texas voters have elected only Republicans to statewide office since 1994, and the GOP has controlled both houses of the state legislature since 2002, but the partisan divide in the Lone Star State is sharp and highly polarized. In 2012, Mitt Romney trounced President Obama by 16 points statewide, but over 40 percent of the Texas electorate was resolutely blue. There are pockets of liberal Democrats throughout the state, mainly in the large cities (Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio), but Travis County (encompassing Austin) is the epicenter of the liberal political establishment in Texas, which thrives on the flagship campus of the University of Texas, in the halls of the legislature, and in the ultra-liberal media organs based there: the Texas Monthly, the Texas Tribune, and the Austin American-Statesman. Democrats control Travis County and the City of Austin as thoroughly as the GOP dominates statewide offices. And Texas liberals — frustrated by decades of electoral impotence — seethe with hatred at the symbol of Republican hegemony: Governor Rick Perry, who has served longer (14 years) than any governor of any state in U.S. history.
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