Texas Governor Rick Perry is facing criminal charges for threatening to withhold funding from a Texas County unless a local District Attorney resigns from her post. While it is difficult to judge whether the DA should or should not be removed, it is very difficult to process that Governor Perry would host needed funds hostage in order to have a political enemy displaced from office. Additionally, concerns about funding of a charity organized by the Governor are hard to ignore.
Rick Perry attempted to coerce an elected official into resignation. Not only that, but he vetoed funds that were supposed to go to an anti-corruption agency. If his actions were within his powers of governorship, he would not be the first governor of Texas in 100 years to be indicted.
Many people have argued that Rick Perry is the victim of a retribution campaign. As we all know, he pulled funding from the office of a district attorney convicted of drunk driving. People say, then, that this was a justified move fully within his powers as state governor, and that what is happening now is simply a revenge campaign. What is lost in this conversation is, one, that the state attorney prosecuting the case is a Republican appointed under the Bush administration, it is not being prosecuted by the attorney who's funding was pulled, and two, that in two similar cases in the same period of time, two other district attorneys who were also convicted of drunk driving did not have their funding pulled. Given this, it is entirely justified to ask whether he abused his power.
Rick Perry did abuse his power. He told his subordinates that they must support his cause or else he would take funds away from there projects. This is an abuse because his denial of support was not due to anything legislative but his own personal bias. This is not the role of a politician.
The actions of Rick Perry were well within established precedent. Former governors have welded their power is similar manners with no ramifications. Additionally, given the location from which the charge has been levied makes it clear that this is a politically motivated allegation that seeks only to destroy an opponent.