Postcards from the edge ...
"Once our wives tell them they don't know where we are, that should be the end of it and once they know where we are that should be the end of it," said Craig Eiland of Galveston, one of 51 Democrats holed up in an Ardmore, Okla., motel.
He and others there said state House Speaker Tom Craddick, R-Midland, used Texas Department of Public Safety officers to intimidate their families and staffs.
Eiland said a Texas Ranger questioned nurses late Monday night at the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston neo-natal intensive care unit, where Eiland's premature twins are patients. The Ranger later went to Eiland's home to question his wife.
Denise Pickett, the wife of El Paso Democrat Joe Pickett, said she received a call on her cell phone about 8 p.m. Monday from her 17-year-old daughter, who reported that officers were at the Pickett home questioning her about her father's whereabouts.
When she arrived back home, she said officers emerged from the front door.
"I have a lot of respect for police officers so I was just trying to answer their questions as well as possible," she said. "However, reflecting back I do wish I would have asked them, `What are you doing in my house without my being there?' "
Reports that federal law enforcement officials may have helped look for the missing Democrats led all but one of Texas' congressional Democrats to demand that Ashcroft, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and FBI Director Robert Mueller disclose whatever help was provided.
U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas, the driving force behind the Texas redistricting effort, said Tuesday that he consulted an attorney in his office to determine for the Texas House speaker whether FBI agents and U.S. marshals could be used to arrest the Democrats.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay said Monday he wants federal authorities to pursue Texas Democrats dodging a vote on a plan he authored to increase Republican seats in Congress.
The Sugar Land Republican told reporters that bringing in either U.S. marshals or FBI agents is justified because redistricting is a federal issue, involving congressional seats.
One federal agency that became involved early on was the Air and Marine Interdiction and Coordination Center, based in Riverside, Calif. -- which now falls under the auspices of the Homeland Security Department.Hopefully we can democratize Iraq quickly enough that they can come back and democratize us ...
The agency received a call to locate a specific Piper turboprop aircraft. It was determined that the plane belonged to former House Speaker Pete Laney, D-Hale Center.
The location of Laney's plane proved to be a key piece of information because, Craddick said, it's how he determined that the Democrats were in Ardmore.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram