August 25, 2004
DeLay protested at UH-Clear Lake

The protesters were out in force at the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where Tom DeLay was scheduled to speak yesterday.

Signs proclaiming "Dump DeLay" and "Exterminate DeLay" showed the theme for some who gathered at the University of Houston Clear Lake to protest House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's presence on campus

While trying to be heard over cries of protest, DeLay spoke at the UH-CL alumni reception held Tuesday at 6 p.m.

As DeLay entered the building before the reception began, he waved and smiled to about 100 protesters who chanted, "No way Tom DeLay."

"UHCL is spending money on partisan events," alleged Karl Silverman, who joined protesters.

Silverman and other protesters were given permission to gather in designated areas outside the Bayou Building because they believe the reception was a violation of UH's ethics policy.

"The reception is an implied endorsement of Tom DeLay," said Tom Gederberg, alumnus and protest organizer.

Protesters couldn't be held back by the glass doors of the building, and some of them paraded into the reception.

"You are a crook, you dirty schnook," sang Elizabeth Nash and Chris Landry during DeLay's speech to alumni.

Much as I enjoy the spectacle of DeLay being heckled, I do not condone interrupting a speech like that. Shouting someone down is not right. You made your point, and since UH-CL showed respect for the First Amendment by not shunting you off to some bogus "free speech zone", you should show an equal amount of respect for the First Amendment by letting DeLay speak when it was his turn.

Some university officials were shocked by the protesters.

"I've worked here 12 years and (we've had politicians in and out), but I've never seen this before," said Theresa Presswood, director of communications for UHCL.

Well, maybe you've never had a politician who's inspired such strong feelings as Mr. DeLay before.

Taking on Tom DeLay has a first-person report from a protester.

After sending 7500 invitations paid for by the University of Houston, for a reception honoring Tom DeLay, less than 100 attended, 50 of which were staff or worked at the university.

Outside in the hot sun were 150 enthusiastic protestors chanting "Don't DeLay. Indict today!" and "Tom DeLay has got to go". Three times as many protested Delay than those that honored him.

Also, only 2 elected officials from the city of Houston attended, no NASA employees or management, or any other type of dignitary.

There's more, so check it out.

Finally, another entry in the DeLay Must Be Worried files:

U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay threatened Tuesday to block congressional passage of a six-year transportation funding authorization unless the bill sends more highway dollars to Texas.

"I am working on the conference committee to guarantee that bill will not go on the floor of the House until we guarantee every state gets at least 95 cents of every dollar back that they put into the highway fund," the U.S. House majority leader told a lunch meeting in Houston of the Alliance for Interstate 69 Texas. "It's high time Texas highway dollars stayed here to create Texas jobs."

Nothing says "I need help with my re-election effort" quite like a little pork-barrelling.

UPDATE: Here's another picture from the protest, courtesy of Juanita.

UPDATE: Still more pictures from Sarah.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 25, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack

Actually he has had that policy for transportation funding for 5 years, it's nothing new.

Posted by: Thomas Vincent on August 29, 2004 11:34 PM

This is WAY off-topic, but can anyone explain how the proposed I-69 got assigned that number? It seems way out of line with the other odd-numbered (north-southish) interstates in the area (35, 37, 45).

Generally, the odd-numbered interstates increase from west to east: I-5 goes through CA, and I-95 up the east coast. You'd think any I-69 would go through eastern Kentucky and/or Tennessee, and this one would be I-39 or I-41 or some such.

Posted by: Mathwiz on August 31, 2004 4:49 PM