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DeLay spokesman denies he wanted House Clerk fired for being gay

by PageOneQ

(Via Raw Story) - Although an ex- House Clerk claims that Tom DeLay had sought his termination for being gay, a spokesman for the indicted former Republican Congressman from Texas denied the story to a Capitol Hill newspaper.

"Jeff Trandahl, the gay former clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, broke his public silence on the Mark Foley scandal last week in brief remarks," reported in Wednesday's Washington Blade. "Speaking on a panel discussion related to gay rights on the first all-gay trans-Atlantic crossing aboard the Queen Mary 2, Trandahl said he had 'dozens' of confrontations with Foley over the years."

The article continues, "As clerk from 1998 through November 2005, Trandahl had oversight authority over the page program. House investigators have said Trandahl repeatedly urged staff members of House GOP leaders to rein in Foley’s inappropriate behavior."

The Blade also reported Trandahl claimed that "DeLay (R-Texas) had long sought to oust him from the job because he is openly gay."

However, Thursday's Roll Call reports, "A spokeswoman for DeLay dismissed the charge that her boss wanted to sack (that is, fire) Trandahl."

"We have no idea where this comes from, but it’s a very serious accusation and an outright lie," the spokeswoman said.

Excerpts from Roll Call article:

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Trandahl, who was Clerk from 1998 to 2005 and who had warned Foley about his contact with Congressional pages — the root of the scandal that led to Foley’s humiliating resignation last year — praised former Speakers Dennis Hastert

(R-Ill.) and Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) as well as current Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) for “supporting him during his tenure,” according to the Blade article. But he singled out DeLay for criticism.

Trandahl is now the executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

A former GOP leadership staffer who served during DeLay and Trandahl’s tenure seemed surprised by Trandahl’s claim that DeLay wanted him fired, doubting that he was even aware the former Clerk was gay. “No member of Congress has a worse gaydar than Tom DeLay,” the former aide said.

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FULL ROLL CALL ARTICLE CAN BE READ AT THIS LINK




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Originally published on Thursday June 7, 2007.


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