September 08, 2004
Ethics complaint filed against UH-CL for DeLay appearance

What's one more ethics complaint where Tom DeLay is involved?

A formal complaint was filed with the Texas Ethics Committee against the University of Houston-Clear Lake, because of the reception held at the university honoring House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

"I believe the university used funds for a political event, which goes against even the university's own ethics policy," said John Cobarruvias, vice president of the Bay Area New Democrats in Clear Lake.

Cobarruvias was one of the key organizers of the Aug. 24 protest that objected DeLay's presence on the campus. The protest included 100 protesters holding signs and one small group who interrupted DeLay's speech, and had to be physically removed from the building by university police.

Eric Gerber, interim director of communications for UH, said the university takes no political stand, but instead had invited DeLay to speak because he is a distinguished alumnus of UH and a "very important lawmaker."

"Tom DeLay is a friend to higher education," Gerber said. "No state funds were spent (for the reception)."

He added that DeLay has supported UH and NASA by helping obtain grant funding for space experimentation and studies, which was another reason for the visit.

Cobarruvias also alleged that the university was plainly showing preference by sending a mass e-mail that invited guests to the reception that would "introduce DeLay to his new district."

"This is not his district, and by the university stating this in their e-mail they are showing political preference," Cobarruvias said. "This isn't fair."

To make it "fair," Cobarruvias suggests the university "do the same for all candidates."

Via Taking On Tom DeLay. More on that protest here.

UPDATE: The complaint is against UH-CL, not Tom DeLay as I said originally. Thanks to Patrick for the catch.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 08, 2004 to Scandalized! | TrackBack

Of all the things one could go after Tom Delay for this has got to rank fairly low on the list. If no university funds were used for the reception, this is a complete non-issue.

And frankly from a PR standpoint Mr. Cobarruvias is hurting his cause. He sounds like he's a whiner.

Posted by: Patrick on September 8, 2004 9:15 AM

And another thing, Chuck, the complaint with the Texas Ethics Committee was filed against UH-Clear Lake and not Tom Delay.

Again, I think he's a grade 'A' a-hole, but I believe it is important to be accurate.

Posted by: Patrick on September 8, 2004 12:32 PM