Local news blogging: Texas Gov. shake-up, cover-up

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Texas Governor Rick Perry is defending against allegations of a cover-up after he replaced the chairman of the Texas Forensic Science Commission. The commission was slated to hear testimony in Dallas Friday raising more doubts that Cameron T. Willingham really murdered his three daughters by igniting his house. Willingham was executed in 2004 for the deaths. 

The newly appointed commissioner, John M. Bradley, the district attorney in Williamson County, described as Perry’s political ally, has put Friday’s meeting on indefinite hold. In 2004, Mr. Perry denied Willinghams bid for a stay of execution, even as a forensic expert hired by Willingham stated evidence of arson was faulty.

As a GOP primary race looms, critics charge Mr. Perry with attempting to hide a fatal mistake.    

Texas bloggers opine:

Burka Blog:
Perry dug a hole for himself by mocking the investigation of his own commission.

Grits for Breakfast asks if commission will continue Willignham case, and offers much more.

“Of course, the Willingham investigation precisely fits with the commission’s ‘mission.’ The real problem is that the inquiry’s outcome doesn’t mesh with the governor’s campaign themes. Perry told The Times it was ‘premature’ to exclude arson in the Willingham case, but in reality all the same evidence was available when the governor approved Willingham’s execution in 2004: Admitting this wasn’t arson isn’t ‘premature’ but in fact egregiously belated.”

Gubernatorial Candidate Hank Gilbert weighs in on controversy.

Eye on Williamson:

“After reading several items, on this issue it’s obvious this was a political decision for Perry.  This action has little to do with the truth, or finding out what went wrong and correcting it so it doesn’t happen again.  It appears to have more to do with making sure the investigation stalls, and that Perry’s reelection isn’t mortally wounded by this horrible mistake.”

Dog Canyon:

“Do we really want the State to take such a murderously cavalier and political approach to the killing of Texans?”

Gubernatorial Candidate Kinky Friedman writes open letter to Texans regarding the controversy:

The StandDown Texas Project: story captures national headlines.

Off the Kuff’s message for John M. Bradley, newly appointed Forensic Science Commission chairman:

“If you have any respect for the Commission and its members, then your unfamiliarity with the Beyler report should not prevent you from making a commitment to hold the hearing that was scheduled for tomorrow at another time.”

Burnt Orange Report:

“Call the Governor’s office to STRONGLY protest his cancellation of the meeting and his replacement of the chair of the commission. (512) 463-1782.”

Grits for Breakfast

“Perry is the only governor ever to appoint members to the Forensic Science Commission so this signals his displeasure, one assumes, with his prior appointees. Perry has said previously he believed Cameron Todd Willingham was guilty even if the arson science presented at his trial was wrong.”

Quote of the Day:

“Let’s call this what it is: a cover-up.

-Burka Blog

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Anthony Bowe

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