Governor Rick Perry

Perry Indictment
11:15 am
Wed August 20, 2014

Perry Pleads Not Guilty to Felony Charges

Gov. Rick Perry addresses a gathered crowd of media, supporters and protesters at the Travis County Courthouse where he surrendered himself to county authorities to be fingerprinted and have his mug shot taken.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT News

Gov. Rick Perry has pled not guilty to charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, both felonies. The charges stem from Perry's threat to veto funding for the Travis County District Attorney's anti-corruption unit, unless DA Rosemary Lehmberg resigned.

The governor and his lawyers decided to waive Friday's scheduled arraignment at the Travis County courthouse. Perry's private lawyer David Botsford submitted the waiver of arraignment to the court yesterday when he was booked at the Travis County Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday.

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Perry Indictment
4:13 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

What Exactly is Governor Rick Perry Charged With?

During a press conference at the State Capitol Texas Gov. Rick Perry calls the indictment against him a farce and an "abuse of power."
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT Austin

Scandals involving governors usually have a bit more meat to them than the one going down in Texas right now.

In Illinois in 2010, former Governor Rod Blagojevich was caught on wiretaps trying to use a vacant U.S. Senate seat for personal gain. He’s now serving a 14-year sentence in federal prison. Right now in Virginia, former Governor Bob McDonnell is facing federal charges of corruption for allegedly taking illegal gifts and loans from the CEO of a dietary supplements company. But with the felony charges against Texas Governor Rick Perry, there’s very little the public knows yet, and that’s led to some confusion.

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Perry Indictment
11:15 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Here's What You Need to Know About Gov. Perry's Indictment

Governor Rick Perry at a press conference on August 16, 2014.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

On Friday, special prosecutor Michael McCrum announced a Travis County grand jury decided to indict the Texas’ longest serving governor, with two felonies – one charge of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant.

When Gov. Rick Perry makes his first appearance in court (at a date to be determined) he will have the charges read to him, but likely won’t face booking in the Travis County Jail, fingerprinting or a mugshot.

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Politics
8:31 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

TIMELINE: Governor Rick Perry's Felony Indictment

Gov. Rick Perry holds his Texas driver's license and his wallet as he heads to a west Austin early voting site on October 30, 2013.
Credit Bob Daemmrich via Texas Tribune

For the first time in nearly a century, the Texas governor is facing felony charges.

Rick Perry has been indicted by a Travis County grand jury for abuse of office and coercion. The charges mean the sitting governor will be booked and arraigned (with fingerprints and a mugshot); they carry possible jail sentences up to 109 years.

At the heart of the charges is whether or not Perry abused his power by threatening to veto $7.5 million in state funding for the Travis County District Attorney's Public Integrity Unit.

How did we get here? We've collected KUT's coverage of this story up until this point to bring you up to date. It begins with the arrest of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg last year.

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Politics
7:36 pm
Fri August 15, 2014

Governor Rick Perry Indicted on Two Felony Charges

Texas Governor Rick Perry.
Ben Philpott/KUT News

Editor's note: We are continuing to update this post with reaction and developments in this story.

A Travis County grand jury has indicted Texas Governor Rick Perry on two felony charges related to his 2013 veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

He's charged with abuse of official capacity (a first-degree felony) and coercion of a public servant (a third-degree felony). The two felony charges are the first against a Texas governor in nearly a century, and carry possible sentences of up to 99 and 10 years respectively. 

Since he's been charged with a felony, the governor will be booked and arraigned. The date for that is likely to be set Monday. The charges could lead to a trial.

The special prosecutor behind the case, Michael McCrum, said he interviewed over 40 people and reviewed hundreds of documents and dozens of cases to make his case before the Grand Jury. "I looked at the law and I looked at the facts," McCrum said. 

Governor Perry's office responded to the charges with a statement that "the veto in question was made in accordance with the veto authority afforded to every governor under the Texas Constitution." They maintain the governor acted within the law and power of his office. 

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Politics
8:10 am
Mon July 7, 2014

Free Tickets Available for President Obama's Speech During This Week's Austin Visit

President Obama during his last visit to Austin for a Civil Rights Summit in April
LBJ Presidential Library and Museum

Update: President Barack Obama will give a public address during his visit to Austin this week.

Obama will be at The Paramount Theater on Thursday for a speech on the economy. Tickets are free and available to the public. They’ll be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 Tuesday morning at The Paramount (713 Congress Ave). The White House will only distribute a limited number of tickets.

Doors will open for the speech on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are required for entry and are not for sale or re-sale. The White House says all attendees will go through airport-like security.

Original Story (July 2, 2014): Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez will host a fundraiser for President Obama on Wednesday, July 9, according to a Democratic Party source who wished to speak on background. Tickets for the event will range from $5,000 to the legal limit of $32,400. The proceeds will go to the Democratic National Committee.

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Politics
9:48 am
Wed April 23, 2014

Governor Perry Facing Possible Grand Jury Indictment

Gov. Rick Perry's veto of funding for Travis County's Public Integrity Unit could lead to a grand jury indictment.
Ben Philpott, KUT News

UPDATE: Governor Rick Perry has been indicted on two felony charges related to his veto of funding for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit. Updates can be found here.

ORIGINAL STORY (4/23/14): A Travis County grand jury is considering whether or not to indict Gov. Rick Perry over his veto of funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit.

Gov. Perry could be charged with several offenses, including bribery, coercion of a public servant, and abuse of power after vetoing more than $3 million in state money for the unit that investigates political corruption.

Perry's veto came as the result of an ultimatum given by Perry to Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Last April, Lehmberg was arrested for drunk driving. She pleaded guilty and served jail time, but refused to step down.

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SXSW 2014
12:33 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

WATCH: Gov. Rick Perry Talks Pot on 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' in Austin

Jimmy Kimmel is broadcasting his late night show from Austin the week of South by Southwest.
youtube.com/JimmyKimmelLive

Governor Rick Perry appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night.

The talk show has relocated to Austin for the week of South by Southwest. Gov. Perry got a mix of cheers and boos when introduced. He hinted he may run again for president, saying “America is a great place for second chances.”

Perry and Kimmel also talked about efforts towards decriminalizing marijuana.

"For over a decade we’ve lowered the penalties," Perry told Kimmel. "We’re trying to be smart about it. You don’t want to ruin a kid’s life for having a joint.”

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Business
10:29 am
Thu January 2, 2014

Beyond Perry, Future of Deal-Closing Fund Uncertain

Since creating the fund 10 years ago, Gov. Perry's Texas Enterprise Fund has given $508 million to businesses relocating to Texas.
Photo illustration by Gage Skidmore / Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

When Gov. Rick Perry steps down at the end of this year, he will have awarded more than $508 million from the taxpayer-financed Texas Enterprise Fund to businesses looking to relocate to the state or expand existing operations here.

But the future of the fund, which critics call corporate welfare, is unclear. The two front-runners to replace Perry, Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott and Democratic state Sen. Wendy Davis, have offered mixed messages on the economic development fund in the past, leaving questions about whether it will extend beyond Perry's tenure. 

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Politics
10:00 am
Thu July 4, 2013

Audio: Filibuster Fallout and Gov. Perry's Exciting Future Plans

The Tribcast Crew review the week's big political moments
Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

TribCast: Filibuster Fallout and Exciting Future Plans by KUT News

On this week's Texas Tribune Tribcast, Reeve Hamilton, Evan Smith, Ross Ramsey and KUT's Ben Philpott discuss the fallout from last week's filibuster by state Sen. Wendy Davis (D-Fort Worth), the Voting Rights Act, the effort to impeach a university regent, and Governor Rick Perry's coming announcement of "exciting future plans."

Texas
6:38 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

Travis County Looks at Funding Options for Public Integrity Unit

After the governor's announcement to de-fund the Public Integrity Unit in Travis County — an investigative unit with cases across the state. County Commissioners discussed future funding options at their meeting today.
Image by Matt Largey for KUT News

The future of the Public Integrity Unit - an arm of the Travis County's District Attorney's Office with about 600 statewide fraud cases open that was recently defunded by Gov. Rick Perry - is anything but certain. 

Today, the Travis County Commissioners Court  looked at some alternatives to fund the office, which could shutter its doors on Sept. 30 and leave 31 employees jobless. 

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Austin
2:58 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Live Blog: Following the Protests at the Texas Capitol

As the second special session begins, protestors have gathered at the Capitol to debate the future of abortion regulation in Texas. A gathering on the south steps of the Capitol featured a performance from Austin band The Bright Light Social Hour
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon

To keep you up-to-date on all the action going on at the Capitol today, we've created a Storify to monitor the protests on the first day of the special session. Click below to see the timeline.

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Politics
6:11 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

After Perry Kills Funding, What’s Next for Austin Corruption Unit?

Filipa Rodrigues, KUT News

A member of the Texas House of Representatives is calling on his fellow lawmakers to look for ways to pay for the Public Integrity Unit of the Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Governor Rick Perry used a line-item veto to cut off the Unit’s state funding, citing D.A. Rosemary Lehmberg’s DWI conviction.

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Politics
3:53 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

UT/TT Poll: Texans Favor Cruz Over Perry for President

Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz starts as the Texas favorite in a fantasy 2016 Republican primary for president, swamping Gov. Rick Perry and a number of other big-name candidates in the latest University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

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PolitiFact
5:45 am
Wed June 5, 2013

PolitiFact: How Many Schools Offer $10,000 Degrees?

Gov. Perry said recently that 13 schools offer $10,000 degrees, but how does that rank on the Truth-O-Meter?
flickr.com/skobo

Since 2011, Governor Rick Perry challenged lawmakers to provide “a bold, Texas-style solution” to the challenge of affordable higher education: a $10,000 degree for Texas students.

In a recent press release challenging Texas schools to initiate the low-cost degree, Perry said that 13 schools in Texas already offer or are planning to offer such a degree.

We talked to Gardner Selby of the Austin American-Statesman’s PolitiFact Texas to check the accuracy of the claim. Listen to our conversation using the player above and read the fact check online.

Politics
5:30 pm
Fri May 31, 2013

Agenda Texas: The Post Session Horse Race Begins

Election Day is never far off for lawmakers
Photo by KUT News

The end of a legislative session usually triggers the beginning of the next election cycle. But before anyone could throw his or her hat in the ring, we had an incumbent exit the arena.

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PolitiFact
5:22 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Politifact TX on KUT is Two Years Old! (And a Fact Check, Too)

KUT and PolitiFact celebrate 2 years of fact-checking and we examine a claim from Gov. Perry about Sam Houston.
KUT News

The story as it aired on KUT News 90.5 FM.

In today’s PolitiFact Texas segment, we celebrate the two-year anniversary of the partnership between KUT’s Emily Donahue and the Austin American-Statesman’s Gardner Selby!

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Texas
7:11 am
Fri May 10, 2013

Latinos May Need More Than a 'Miracle' to Prosper in Texas

Latino unemployment in the U.S. is higher than the national average, though in Texas, Latinos may have more low-wage opportunities. Pictured here a woman sells food at the Historic Market Square in San Antonio.
Veronica Zaragovia for KUT News

Story as it aired on KUT 90.5 FM

President Obama brought a message of economic recovery when he visited Austin yesterday, the first stop in his “Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Tour.” Latinos in the U.S., however, are trailing behind the national average in unemployment. So how are they’re doing when it comes to finding work in the home of the “Texas miracle?"

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Texas
3:38 pm
Thu April 4, 2013

Perry Attends DA's Funeral With Eye on Border Security

Gov. Rick Perry says tougher border security is needed in the wake of assassinations of North Texas prosecutors.
Spencer Selvidge, Texas Tribune

Gov. Rick Perry attended today’s memorial service for a North Texas district attorney and his wife who were shot to death in their home over the weekend.

The death of District Attorney Michael McClelland comes about two months after the killing of another prosecutor in that county.

In an interview today with Fox News Channel, Perry tied the killings to border security.

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Politics
4:33 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

Policy Group Supports Perry on Medicaid Expansion

Expanding Medicaid eligibility is a non-starter for top Texas officials.
Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

A report released today by the Texas Public Policy Foundation criticizes the state’s Medicaid program, calling its access to healthcare providers “inadequate” and its health outcomes “poor.”

Gov. Rick Perry has refused to accept federal money to expand access to Medicaid, citing much the same reasons.

Perry says he would prefer a “block grant” of the federal money, allowing Texas to decide how best to spend it.

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