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state & regional govt & politics

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Rick Perry surrenders to authorities

Update 5:25 p.m.: Gov. Rick Perry emerged from the Travis County criminal justice center about 15 minutes after he arrived.

“As required by law, I reported to the county authorities a few minutes ago,” he said, adding that sheriff’s deputies showed “great professionalism.”

“It is our system of constitutional checks and balances that is being challenged here today,” he said to more than 100 supporters. “It is a chilling restraint on the right of free speech.”

“This indictment is fundamentally a political act that seeks to achieve at the courthouse what could not be achieved at the ballot box,” he said to loud cheers.

“We will prevail. We will prevail. And we’ll prevail because the rule of law will prevail.”

He said he would continue to carry out his duties as governor. “I will not be distracted by these baseless political charges,” he said.

Update 5:15 p.m.: Gov. Rick Perry arrived at the Travis County criminal justice center shortly after 5 p.m. to surrender to authorities and be fingerprinted and his mug shot taken.

Wearing a dark blue suit, white dress shirt and light blue tie, he confidently strode to a podium outside the courthouse to cheering supporters and proclaimed: “I’m here today because I believe in the rule of law. And I’m here today because I did the right thing. I’m going to enter the courthouse with my head held high knowing the actions I took were not only lawful and legal but right.”

“If I had to do so, I would veto funding for the Public Integrity Unit again,” he said.

“This issue is far bigger than me. It’s about the rule of law,” he said, interrupted by cheers. “This indictment is nothing short of an attack of the constitutional powers of the office of governor.”

“I will not allow this attack on our system of government to stand. I’m going to fight this injustice with every fiber of my being. And we will prevail.”

He then turned and walked into the courthouse in downtown Austin, trailed by television cameras and to chants of, “Perry, Perry!”

Update 3 p.m.: Gov. Rick Perry plans to arrive at the Travis County Jail at 5 p.m. Tuesday for “processing,” the governor’s office said.

Perry will have his mug shot taken and be fingerprinted, the same as any criminal defendant.

He is expected to speak before and after entering the building.

“This is a complete waste of time and money,” Perry’s lead lawyer Tony Buzbee told CNN.

Earlier: Texas Gov. Rick Perry could turn himself in late today, although neither law enforcement officials nor his office are confirming any plans.

A Perry spokeswoman said she could neither confirm nor deny Perry will be booked into the Travis County Jail at 4:45 p.m. today, despite numerous reports that he intends to do so.

Meanwhile, reporters are lining the streets of the criminal justice complex, awaiting Perry’s possible arrival.

Perry supporters also are conducting a rally at 5 p.m. today outside the criminal justice center, according to a Facebook page.

Perry was indicted Friday on two felony charges — abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant — stemming from his efforts to force Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg to resign following her drunken driving arrest.

The judge assigned to the case, Senior District Judge Bert Richardson of San Antonio, signed a personal recognizance bond for Perry, meaning that he will be released after paying a $20 administrative fee after surrendering.

Perry’s initial court date is scheduled for Friday, but Perry doesn’t have to be present. Perry, who is considering a second run for the White House, is scheduled on Friday to be in New Hampshire, the nation’s first primary.

Report: George Clooney may run for governor of California

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Is George Clooney planning to follow in Arnold Schwarzenegger's footsteps?

According to the Sunday Mirror, Clooney's friends – who were not identified in the article – said the star may run for governor of California in 2018.

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Democrats want Clooney, 53, to run for office in 2018, the Mirror says. The actor, a political activist focused on Darfur, has several political contacts, including President Barack Obama.

“George is hugely popular with the Democrats, and where better a place to put him than as the governor of California, the home of Hollywood?" a friend told the Mirror.

Clooney plans to wed human-rights lawyer Amal Alamuddin in September, according to People magazine.

Would you vote for George Clooney? Weigh in by voting in our poll.

Swank! George H.W. Bush and his colorful socks

Utah town forgets to hold elections - again

Just before what would have been Election Day earlier this month, a new city employee in charge of overseeing the voting in the Wasatch County mountain town of Wallsburg, Utah, realized he had forgotten to deal with it. By the time he did realize, it was too late to organize a vote in time for the Nov. 5 deadline.

"Wallsburg never advertised or prepared for an election this year, so no one signed up," Wasatch County Clerk Brent Titcomb told the Salt Lake Tribune. "They're going to have to appoint the current mayor and council for two more years and they'll advertise and have people elected [in 2015]."

The director of the state elections office, Mark Thomas, said that's the same thing that happened two years ago; the mayor and council members were automatically reappointed for two years when the 2011 election was overlooked.

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Amazing images of SF Bay Area wildfire

Packing heat? Some businesses may not let you shop at their store

Mayor Mike McGinn and Washington Ceasefire Board President Ralph Fascitelli launched the Seattle Gun Free Zone program Monday morning at Oddfellows Cafe & Bar on Capitol Hill. >>> Essex Porter attended the official launch of the Gun Free Zone Program and will be asking McGinn and Fascitelli about the program. Watch KIRO 7 Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. for a full report. Several businesses have signed up for the voluntary program: 5 Point Café, Barboza, Big Mario's Pizza, Brenthaven, Bus Stop Espresso, Café Paloma, Café Racer, Century Ballroom, Elliott Bay Books, First United Methodist Church, Fish Fry, Freddy's Junior, Havana, Linda's, Lost Lake Café & Lounge, Manhattan Seattle, Moe Bar, all six locations of Molly Moons, Neumo's, Nube Green, Oddfellows, Office Nomads, Platinum Records, Quinn's, Smith, Southern Street Kids, Sweatbox Yoga, The Saint, Totokaelo and Zoe. Cities in Washington can't pre-empt state gun laws, but businesses can prohibit guns. Businesses can opt into the program by visiting washingtonceasefire.org, signing the pledge to participate, and placing a "Gun Free Zone" decal in their window. Fascitelli said that every business that Ceasefire has approached about the program has been positive about it. The program is designed to address "the culture of violence," said Fascitelli, who likened Ceasefire's "cultural war" to the war MADD has fought against drinking and driving. "Businesses have a right, as private proprietors," to disallow guns, Fascitelli said. McGinn said that the program mirrored the values of Seattle residents. Banning guns from individual businesses is a hot-button topic, especially with a controversial policy at Starbucks that allows customers to openly display their guns. Gun rights advocates say the program won't reduce gun violence and will only alienate customers.

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