National Democrats should be grateful to Gov. Rick Perry. Without the massive job creation that has taken place in Texas, the national job growth figures might be even less flattering to President Obama than they are.
But Texas’ job creation has, perhaps, made Perry a viable contender for the presidency. And this doesn’t sit well with Democrats.
Accordingly, Mo Elleithee, communications director for the Democratic National Committee, sent out an email attempting to bolster the allegations against Perry. Elleithee contends that Perry’s veto of money for the Travis County Public Integrity Unit was linked to that unit’s investigation into the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas (“CPRIT”).
Elleithee argues that the investigation of CPRIT “was underway when the governor called for the head of that investigative unit to resign.” By pushing Rosemary Lehmberg (the drunk and disorderly Travis County District Attorney) to resign, Perry created a “win-win” for himself, says Elleithee. “Lehmberg either resigned and he appointed her successor or he vetoed the [Public Integrity Unit’s] funding. Both would have the same effect: stopping the investigation into the CPRIT its tracks.”
Why would Perry want to stop the CPRIT investigation? Because, the theory goes, his appointees were under investigation for helping Peloton Therapeutics obtain a grant without proper review. A Peloton investor had contributed to Perry’s campaigns.
But the Austin American-Statesman, a strongly left-leaning newspaper, undercuts Elleithee’s narrative:
Elleithee’s email. . .left out some key details about the CPRIT investigation — including that two months before Lehmberg’s arrest, she told reporters that none of Perry’s appointees to the CPRIT board were “under suspicion in the investigation.”
Lehmberg made this statement in January 2013. It meant that her investigation was focusing only on CPRIT staff members, none of whom was appointed or hired by Perry. And Perry knew this when he vetoed the funding months later.
Furthermore, the American-Statesman points out that Perry’s veto did not have the effect of stopping the investigation into the CPRIT. Perry vetoed state funding for the Public Integrity Unit in June 2013. The investigation continued, producing an indictment of CPRIT commercialization chief Jerry Cobbs in January of this year. Lehmberg says that no other indictments are expected.
In sum: (1) when Perry vetoed funding for the Public Integrity Unit, he knew that it wasn’t investigating his appointees, (2) the veto did not halt the investigation or prevent the PIU from issuing indictments, and (3) the sleazy and dishonest attack on Gov. Perry by the Democratic National Committee is too much for the liberal Austin American-Statesman to stomach.
Via Bryan Preston at PJ Media.