Meet Rosemary ".239" Lehmberg, Austin's Democrat DA with a DWI

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Whoever wins the August 26 runoff for District Attorney in Tulsa County, I'm pretty sure we'll be better off than Austin, Texas, which is stuck with Democratic DA Rosemary Lehmberg, who was arrested in April 2013 for Driving While Intoxicated with a .239 blood alcohol level. Lehmberg disgracefully treated the law enforcement personnel who arrested and processed her. Sentenced to 45 days in jail, Lehmberg refused to step down, displaying a Clintonesque "brazen it out" approach to the consequences of her disregard for the law. Lehmberg identifies herself as a homosexual.

The night of her arrest, Lehmberg was driving in a bike lane, braking erratically, and swerving into the oncoming traffic lane, prompting a driver to call 9-1-1. Lehmberg pulled into a church parking lot, where a sheriff's deputy was parked and writing reports.

He described Lehmberg as "disheveled" and "disorganized," testifying that she grabbed at him and his flashlight. Malinger said Lehmberg told him she had not been drinking.

The DA had a bottle of vodka under her purse in the passenger seat, Malinger said.

Surveillance footage from the church parking lot showed Lehmberg fail field sobriety tests and put into handcuffs.

Deputy John Ribsam was in the patrol unit that took Lehmberg to central booking at Travis County Jail. Lehmbeg told him from the back seat she had two vodka sodas, he said. Ribsam testified Lehmberg "ordered him" to take off her hand cuffs because she was the DA, cussing at him to remove them.

As the District Attorney for the county that contains the state capitol, Lehmberg oversees the state's Public Integrity Unit, handling the prosecution of elected officials accused of corruption. After Lehmberg refused to resign, Texas Gov. Rick Perry used his line item veto to deny funding for the unit, on the grounds that someone publicly displaying such a lack of integrity should not be prosecuting other officials on public integrity charges. For this veto, Perry has now been indicted by a grand jury for abuse of his office.

Here are several videos showing Lehmberg's behavior when she was arrested and booked for DWI.

During her ride to jail, she told the driver, "You have just ruined my career.... My career is over." She's still in office and still empowered to go after Rick Perry and other Republicans. I guess she underestimated the willingness of Austinites to stand by a lesbian Democratic elected official, no matter how badly behaved.

When they meet next year, Texas legislators may want to consider whether they should continue to give the voters of Texas's most left-wing county the power to wage political war by prosecution against the conservatives their constitutents elect to serve in the State Capitol.


Andrew McCarthy says the Perry indictment is "politics as combat," similar to what was done to Tom DeLay (whose conviction was ultimately tossed out by a higher court), but Democrats no longer feel compelled to accuse a Republican official of an actual crime. Exercising legitimate executive authority -- vetoing a bill -- becomes a crime.

In the American Spectator, Dallas-based columnist William Murchison writes about the criminalization of political disagreement:

We may imagine if we like that a grand jury in one of America's most liberal counties concluded, without bias or rancor, that one of America's best-known conservative politicians illegally vetoed funding for that same county's "public integrity" unit, presided over by a DA convicted of drunk driving. It was illegal for the governor to use his legal power? That seems essentially the narrative the jury bought from [Special Prosecutor] McCrum.

Austin, where conservatives feel like Southern Baptist missionaries in western Iraq, doesn't cotton to a Republican governor who doesn't cotton to the hand-tooled, leather-bound liberal agenda. Nor can the capital city be described as grateful to Perry for his part over the last decade in keeping Texas safe from liberal policies. Democrats hold not one single statewide office in Texas. You can see from any political perspective how the very mention of Perry's name in Austin might bring on dyspepsia, if not angina.

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Roy said:

Currently at work on machines at Kaspar Wire in Shiner TX small town (pop 2500). Locals asked me if I knew about the DDD (Democrat DWI DA). Wondered who paid her to take a fall in order to besmirch Perry.

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on August 16, 2014 3:55 PM.

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