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The Brief: Aug. 20, 2014

Call it the frozen custard heard round the world. Gov. Rick Perry and his booking on two felony counts late Tuesday afternoon captured national attention — on social media, most of all.

Mugshot of Governor Rick Perry, booked on two felony counts at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.

The Big Conversation

Call it the frozen custard heard round the world.

Gov. Rick Perry and his booking on two felony counts late Tuesday afternoon captured national attention — on social media, most of all. A screenshot of a TweetDeck captured the frenzy that followed the release of Perry's mug shot with his, yes, defiant visage everywhere like the front of some demented slot machine.

Perry planned carefully for this one, from his supporters arriving to rally for him to the surreal touch of going out for a frozen custard, of all things, with his legal team after their business was done at the courthouse.

Meanwhile, grand jurors talked to reporters from the Austin American-Statesman and the Houston Chronicle to refute Perry's assertion they were politically motivated in their deliberations. Juror Scott Hillman told the Chronicle's Brian M. Rosenthal and Patrick Svitek that Perry was "disrespectful."

"I see him laugh at these charges, and I think he's laughing at the process, and he's laughing at the grand jurors," Hillman said, as reported by the Chronicle. "We took our role very, very seriously."

The Statesman's Chuck Lindell reported that Perry might not be the only one interested in a quick resolution of the charges. The presiding judge in the case, Bert Richardson, is the GOP nominee for the Court of Criminal Appeals. Should he win, he would take office Jan. 1.

Much will depend on how quickly Perry’s case proceeds. The governor has said he will push for a quick resolution, but Richardson must first confer with Perry’s lawyers and with Michael McCrum, the special prosecutor, to begin working out a schedule.

But even if the case lingers and Richardson joins the state’s highest criminal court, the judge could sit by assignment on Perry’s case — if he wants to continue.

Trib Must-Reads

Texas' Nuclear Waste Dump Poised to Get Wiggle Room, by Jim Malewitz

Abbott's Remarks on Business Tax Spark Confusion, by Aman Batheja

UT System Regents Consider Campus Budget Relief, by Reeve Hamilton


Tom DeLay to Rick Perry: 'This is what they do', Politico

After August recess, Cuellar planning to fund RGV immigrant expenses, Central American aid packages, McAllen Monitor

Dallas County DA opponents clash over Watkins’ car accident, The Dallas Morning News

Amid strong sales, Von Ormy to abolish property tax, San Antonio Express-News

Arlington approves gas royalty settlement with Chesapeake, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

LCRA proposes water plan changes that keep more water in lakes, Austin American-Statesman

Quote to Note

“The brisket I’ve had in New York lately is better than a lot of places in Texas.”

Daniel Vaughn, the barbecue editor of Texas Monthly magazine, daring to say to The New York Times something that might have many a Texan choking on their Pace picante sauce.

Today in TribTalk

The case against high-speed rail in Texas, by Bernard L. Weinstein

Trib Events for the Calendar

•    A Conversation With UT System Regent Wallace Hall, on Sept. 4 at The Austin Club

•    A Conversation With Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa and Republican Party of Texas Chairman Steve Munisteri, on Sept. 10 at The Austin Club

•    The full program has been announced for the 2014 Texas Tribune Festival, which runs from Sept. 19-21 at the University of Texas at Austin. Featuring 10 tracks, 44 sessions and over 200 speakers, this weekend is not to be missed!

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Energy Environment Politics Greg Abbott Henry Cuellar Rick Perry