Skip to comments.Texans haven't impeached a governor since 1917
Posted on 09/01/2007 3:04:10 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Even though he didn't get a majority for re-election last year, Gov. Rick Perry's 39 percent was ahead of everybody else. And so he's now in a term that lasts into 2011.
In the eyes of some of his detractors in the blogosphere, that's too long. Political activist Linda Curtis has started a website calling on legislators in 2009 to impeach the governor (www.impeachperry.indytexans.org/).
That's a pretty rash idea. But since Texas doesn't allow for recall elections, like the one that nailed California Democratic Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, Texans' only way to toss Perry out before the 2010 election would be impeachment.
Curtis' top two (of 10) reasons for wanting to oust the governor are the imposition of toll roads during the Perry administration, including the possibility of condemning land, lots of land, for the Trans-Texas Corridor; and Perry's veto of $154 million for health insurance for community college staff members.
"We intend to take this campaign out across the state, to all political camps, and to neuter this administration," Curtis wrote. "Whether or not that leads to Perry's impeachment will be up to the Legislature. Let's see if history does indeed repeat itself."
Perry spokesman Robert Black's only response to the impeachment talk was to say "Free speech is a wonderful thing."
It's been 90 years since Texas had its first and last gubernatorial impeachment. That one, in 1917, bagged Gov. James E. Ferguson, primarily over a battle with The University of Texas. Ferguson, in his second two-year term, wanted the school's board of regents to can some professors he found objectionable. The regents refused. So Ferguson vetoed almost the entire appropriation for the university.
To say that irked the Legislature is an understatement. After the Texas House of Representatives voted he be tried for impeachment, the Texas Senate voted 25-3 - well above the required two-thirds of those present - to remove him from office.
Ferguson, however, resigned a day before his actual removal and maintained it didn't apply to him since he'd already resigned. His successor was then-Lt. Gov. William P. Hobby, Sr., whose son Bill later set the state record at 18 years' service as lieutenant governor.
Ferguson, known as "Pa," ran for governor again in 1918, but the elder Hobby beat him. Ferguson ran for the U.S. Senate in 1922, but lost. In 1924, he wanted to run for governor, but the Texas Supreme Court ruled he couldn't take office if he won. So he ran his wife Miriam, known as "Ma," who won, becoming Texas' first woman governor.
"Ma" Ferguson lost for re-election in 1926. She ran again and lost in 1930, but won in 1932 - her last term. She ran again in 1940, but finished a distant fourth to W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel in the Democratic primary.
There was brief talk by Republican Gov. Bill Clements in 1987 of impeaching Democratic Texas Supreme Court Justices William Kilgarlin and C.L. Ray, for allegations of conflicts. That never got off the ground. Later that same year, Democratic state Reps. Paul Moreno of El Paso and Al Edwards of Houston wanted to impeach Clements over the cover-up of a play-for-pay football scandal at Southern Methodist University while he was on its board of regents. That also went nowhere.
DAVE McNEELY is a former political columnist for the Austin American-Statesman.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
Perry ought to be impeached alone over the Trans-Texas Corridor abomination.
The last line says it all. The "Anti-American Statesman" is generally a Democrat Party mouthpiece and McNeely was its chief political writer.
There's a difference between impeachment and recall. Impeachment implies official misconduct. Recall simply means popular dissatisfaction.
Unless you can make an actual case for official misconduct, I think impeachment goes nowhere - particularly if one or both chambers are also run by Republicans who would make up the "jury".
So should Bush.
Well, if Dick loves immigration so much, perhaps he should move to Mejico.
I take it Perry is a Gringo de Mexico?
It was a 4-way race. 2 RINOs (Dick and Ma Strayhorn), a rodent (Bell), and a Libertoonian (Kinky Friedman).
I’d go for impeachment in a flash over the toll roads alone. It’s like my native Texas has become a third world country that’s too poor to keep up it’s infrastructure. Imagine where this country would be if the interstate highway system had been built as toll roads. Oh wait, they’re planning to give some of those away as well.
Of course they’d love to have you get one of their tracking tags in your car so they can keep up with your movements. Maybe their computers will detect changes in your routine and give them probable cause for a traffic stop.
Politicians always like to name stuff after themselves. I’d like to see these toll roads named after each and every one of the culprits before the next election. A big sign with their name posted in front of every frickin toll booth.
And I haven’t even gotten to the Trans-Texas Corridor yet. sheesh.
I save the rino label for those who truly deserve it, like a few certain senators(and presidential candidates.) How bad was Strayhorn?
Ma was the “Republican” version of Richards. An egomanaic who was determined to run for Governor, but refused to do it as a Republican, and openly courted rodents to install her. The worst kind of treacherous RINO.
In our household it's referred to as the "Altered Statesman".
Bunch of freaking loons.
You're right, this goes nowhere.
The man is not your average bought and paid for republican, he give all the rest of them a bad name.
Great! We know it can be done! Now Texans should do it!
Just because the McNeely and The Statesman said something doesn’t mean it’s wrong. I see a Bi-Partisan disgust with his policies.
Look at their top 10 reasons to impeach and tell me you can’t support at least 5. Get rid of him and we can fight over his successor later.
The HPV vaccine by the 6th grade and his Pharmaceuticals ties should be enough by itself.
If Perry took any bribes, DOJ will get him before impeachment does.
There were four major candidates last year: Perry, Chris Bell (D), Carole Strayhorn and Kinky Friedman (both Indies).