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Posted: 5/21/2003 8:40:01 AM EDT
[url]http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/news/breaking_news/5911486.htm[/url] Destroy Order Reportedly Sent in Texas Associated Press FORT WORTH, Texas - Texas Department of Public Safety captains were ordered to destroy all records gathered in the search for Democratic legislators who fled the state in a successful effort to prevent a redistricting bill from passing, according to a published report. The one-paragraph order, sent by e-mail, was obtained Tuesday by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram under the Texas Open Records Act. Also Tuesday, officials were asked to disclose how federal resources were used at state troopers' request to help track the plane of former state House Speaker Pete Laney when he and other Democrats didn't show up for the Texas House session May 12. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said he would review the decision to withhold information about his agency's involvement. He said there is an internal investigation into the matter. The DPS directive sent May 14 was apparently carried out, said Tom Vinger, an agency spokesman. It came one day before Democrats ended their boycott and returned to Texas. The order, addressed to "Captains," stated: "Any notes, correspondence, photos, etc. that were obtained pursuant to the absconded House of Representative members shall be destroyed immediately. No copies are to be kept." It was signed by the commander of the DPS Special Crimes Service, L.C. Marshall, the newspaper reported Wednesday. "That's unbelievable," state Rep. Kevin Bailey, chairman of the House General Investigating Committee, which is looking into law enforcement's role in the search. He was one of the 51 Democrats who fled to Ardmore, Okla., during the walkout. "I'm appalled. It would appear as though there is something to hide," Bailey told the newspaper. "The question is who was driving them so hard." Vinger disagreed that the order to destroy records was inappropriate. He said he could not say who, if anyone, gave Marshall the order to destroy records. "The investigation was complete. Since this was not a criminal investigation, we feel it would be inappropriate to keep any files," Vinger told the newspaper. Asked if all the records were indeed destroyed, Vinger said, "To the best of my knowledge, yeah." Texas law generally requires that records be kept for a period of time, but it was unclear how those guidelines would affect DPS' actions. A spokeswoman for GOP Attorney General Greg Abbott said it would be a crime to destroy records that had been requested under the Texas Open Records Act. Three Democratic state representatives filed a request Monday for all documents about DPS involvement in the search; however, it wasn't clear if any requests were made before the records were destroyed. "As a general rule, government agencies don't destroy records this quickly ... that is very unusual," said Rob Wiley, past president of the Freedom of Information Foundation of Texas. The Democrats fled to Oklahoma to avoid the reach of state troopers, who had been asked by the Republican House speaker to find them. House rules allow for the arrest of members who intentionally thwart a quorum - which requires at least 100 of the body's 150 members to be present. By thwarting the quorum, Democrats killed a Republican-backed redistricting bill aimed at grabbing five House seats from the Democrats in 2004. According to the newspaper, the e-mail destruction order was forwarded to DPS Lt. Will Crais. Federal officials and published reports have said Crais called for federal help in locating Laney's plane. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement has said it was led to believe the plane might have crashed. DPS would neither confirm nor deny that Crais called in the Air and Marine Interdiction Coordination Center, a division of Homeland Security. U.S. Rep. James Turner, the ranking Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee, has asked that Ridge release any recordings or related information to the plane tracking. Ridge, during a committee hearing Tuesday in Washington, said the department has referred the matter to the inspector general.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 8:43:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/21/2003 8:44:49 AM EDT by Cincinnatus]
Funny how the story mentions "who" ordered this, but doesn't have his response to the allegations. Just that they recieved an email. You'd think that if someone was so paranoid as to order such a thing, that they wouldn't send an email. They'd call. I say BS.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 8:45:57 AM EDT
Typical Democrat bullshit.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 8:48:10 AM EDT
God forgive me, but what a shame that airplane didn't crash....
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:03:58 AM EDT
That's alright. There's plenty of bar tenders and hookers that can attest to their whereabouts...
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:31:19 AM EDT
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:47:45 AM EDT
Being a Democrat means, you never have to be held responsible for your actions. Congrats to the Reps for at least trying to flush the Dems. Never, ever trust a Democrat.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 9:52:39 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sherm8404: If the Repubs did the same thing under the same circumstances y'all would be cheering them for a job well done.
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[BS]
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:08:12 AM EDT
Originally Posted By sherm8404: If the Repubs did the same thing under the same circumstances y'all would be cheering them for a job well done.
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As far as I know, the only people to have pulled this crap is the democrats. They did it before. We all voted, and they took office. They work for us, and represent us. If the democrats will lose seats: TOO FUCKING BAD. They are now the minority-- deal with it.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:40:59 AM EDT
I wonder how much taxpayer money was wasted by the Texas democrats shirking their duty by leaving the state? And is there a precedent for such behavior? Did Bill Clinton have anything to do with it? "Gore in '04!" Just kidding; Bush is the man! Panzer Out
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 10:57:55 AM EDT
Destroy the evidence? To a demoncrap, that means it never happened, right? "Where's my pants? Why's my car in the water?"
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 12:55:49 PM EDT
Excuse me. When a person is elected to represent the citizens in the legislature, their fucking job is to actually be present to represent those citizens. Who were they representing in Oklahoma? Their job is to vote yea or nay. It doesn't matter if they like it or not. I'd be pissed if Republicans ran away instead of debating and voting. Do you know how much other legislation wasn't voted on due to the Democrat's tantrum? There were bills in there that would save the State millions in addition to other important bills.
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