Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Dep't of Partisan Security: Another example of "I am the federal government."

The Daily DeLay: T-Minus 7 Days and Counting
DeLay Calls on Federal Agency to Help Track Down Political Opponents

From the New York Times on October 7, 2004:

"Representative Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, was admonished by the House ethics committee on Wednesday night for the second time in less than a week, this time for appearing to link legislative action to political donations and for sending federal officials to search for Texas legislators during a fracas over redistricting in that state."


DeLay had staffers call federal officials to track down and locate the plane of Texas State Representative Pete Laney (D) on suspicions that Laney's plane was transporting state lawmakers away from Texas to avoid a quorum in Austin. The Texas State Legislature was due to take up DeLay's redistricting plan.

The evidence:

According to the Electronic Privacy Information Center,

"The May 12, 2003 audio recording of telephone conversations between the FAA's Washington Operations Center and various FAA field employees clearly indicate that the FAA employees were misled into believing that the request from DeLay's office was part of 1) a formal Congressional investigation; 2) a formal Congressional inquiry; and 3) part of a Congressional hearing process. In addition, the FAA was not made aware of the reason for DeLay's interest in the aircraft. No names were provided, merely the aircraft call sign: N711RD." [Emphasis added.]

The Electronic Privacy Information Center requested and received, under the Freedom of Information Act, transcripts and recordings of the conversations.

DeLay was subpoenaed earlier this week in a civil lawsuit on the matter brought by a Texas lawmaker. He is refusing to give a deposition about his involvement.