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POLITICS: PennAve

Rick Perry supporters plan rally to greet him at courthouse

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Photo - Rick Perry may get a warm welcome when he turns himself in at the Travis County Courthouse this afternoon. (iStock Photo)
Rick Perry may get a warm welcome when he turns himself in at the Travis County Courthouse this afternoon. (iStock Photo)
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Rick Perry may get a warm welcome when he turns himself in at the Travis County Courthouse this afternoon.

Perry supporters, including members of the Travis County Republican Party and staffers for statewide Republican campaigns, are planning to greet the governor when he arrives to be booked.

Brendan Steinhauser, Texas Sen. John Cornyn’s campaign manager, created a Facebook event to drive turnout.

“There’s a lot of folks gathering today to stand with Gov. Perry because they feel like this whole episode is an abuse of prosecutorial power and a political farce,” Steinhauser said.

Perry was indicted on Friday for allegations that he abused power when he used a line-item veto to eliminate funding for a public integrity unit. After its director, District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, was arrested for drunk driving, Perry told her he would eliminate its funding unless she resigned.

She chose not to, so he struck $7.5 million that would have gone to the group from the state budget.

Perry’s detractors charge this was a politically motivated abuse of power, as Lehmberg is a Democrat and has investigated high-profile Republicans.

Perry’s supporters disagree, and many plan to show up when he arrives at the courthouse Tuesday to be booked.

David White, Perry’s 2010 political director, said he emailed friends last night urging them to show up and support the governor.

“This indictment is outrageous and is uniting both Republicans and Democrats in denouncing the prosecution as politically motivated,” White said.

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