AUSTIN - Have you seen Governor Perry's mugshot yet? Yep, the grinning GOPer was officially charged with abuse of power in an Austin courtroom. And now that he's been booked and fingerprinted, you can bet the bill for his legal defense ain't going to be cheap. And by the way, Texas, you'll be picking up the check for this one.
The Governor was indicted on charges of coercion and official oppression after carrying out threats to veto funding for the state's public integrity unit when Travis County District Attorney, Rosemary Lehmberg, refused to step down following a DUI last year. And while no one knows exactly how much Perry's defense will cost, since the charges stem from actions performed in his official capacity as Governor, a good chunk of the fees will be paid by taxpayers.
"If I had a charge against me - a criminal charge - I would have to pay my own attorney's fees," Houstonian Julia Holmes laments.
Oivier Gabriel agrees. "If he's gotten himself into this particular pickle by using an abuse of power - if that is found out to be the truth - then I think he should pay for his own defense."
So far taxpayers have shelled-out at least $80,000 on Perry's behalf. And while it's possible that some of the cost could come from a legal-defense fund, or private contributions, Perry supporters say it's money well spent.