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The Criminalization of Politics

On Apr 13, 2013, Rosemary Lehmberg was pulled over for dangerous driving. She was found with an open bottle of vodka in a car, that is opposite a law, and her blood-alcohol turn was .239 percent. (The authorised extent is .08 percent. As a sequence of thumb, during .1 you’re happy, during .2 you’re drunk, during .3 you’re upheld out, and during .4 you’re dead. In other words, to use a technical term, she was blotto.) Taken to a military station, she was violent and disinclined to a indicate of being put in shackles and leg irons. She pled guilty to DWI and was condemned to 45 days in jail and a $4000 fine. She served 20 days. Her permit was dangling for 180 days.

This arrange of thing happens each night in each city in a country. What done this surprising was that Lehmberg is a district profession of Travis County, Texas, that is a county where Austin, a state capital, is located. That gives a district profession of Travis County a lot of energy to examine open corruption. Indeed she heads a state’s Public Corruption unit.

Governor Rick Perry, not unreasonably, suspicion she had ashamed herself and should renounce her office. She refused. To force her out, he threatened to halt a allowance for a Public Corruption section and, when she stilled refused, vetoed it.

For this a administrator was indicted by a special prosecutor on dual transgression depends that, in theory, could send him to jail for a rest of his life. He is charged with, “misus[ing] supervision property, services, personnel, or any other thing of value belonging to a supervision that has come into a open servant’s control or possession by trait of a open servant’s bureau or employment.”  According to a special prosecutor, melancholy a halt is a “misuse.” Since a halt is conjunction a chairman nor a thing, it’s tough to see how this applies.

Further, he is indicted of, “influenc[ing] or attempt[ing] to change a open menial in a specific practice of his central energy or a specific opening of his central avocation or influenc[ing] or attempt[ing] to change a open menial to violate a open servant’s famous authorised duty.” The government excepts, “an central movement taken by a member of a ruling body.” But, again, a prosecutor argues that while arising a halt is an central action, melancholy to do so is not.”

I suppose each arch executive in a story of a nation has, during one time or another threatened a halt in sequence to get what he or she wanted. That’s called politics. President Obama has threatened a halt dozens of times in his 5 and half years in office.

This is about as blatantly a domestic complaint as can be imagined. Jonathan Chait, no fan of Rick Perry, calls it unbelievably ridiculous. Even David Axelrod called a complaint “pretty sketchy.” Indeed a blow behind from left, right, and core is so heated that Perry might good be a initial open central to indeed benefit domestic poke from being indicted.

This is by no means a initial time that a Travis County District Attorney has dissipated his energy for domestic purposes. In 1993, he indicted Kay Bailey Hutchinson, newly inaugurated to a United States Senate, for injustice of her bureau as Texas State Treasurer. The box collapsed in mins after a hearing began and a decider systematic a jury to find her innocent. In 2005, he indicted U. S. Representative Tom Delay, a infancy personality of a House, for misusing debate supports and income laundering. The decider threw out one charge, though a jury convicted on a other two. Last year, a state appeals justice topsy-turvy a hearing justice and clear Delay.

Nor is it only Travis County, Texas. The Democratic district profession of Milwaukee attempted to go after Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin. Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska had his self-assurance for temptation overturned after a hotchpotch of bungle by a prosecutors was revealed. This is partial of what Rick Hasen calls, “the criminalization of politics.” It is, to put it mildly, a unfortunate trend and a mortal hazard to American democracy.”

Article source: http://www.commentarymagazine.com/2014/08/17/the-criminalization-of-politics-rick-perry-soemary-lehmberg/

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