Nov. 25, 2015 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: Do You Know Who I Am, Part II

There’s something in the air these days — or at least in the airports. On Monday, Rep. Peter DeFazio lost his temper in the Portland International Airport while going through security for a flight back to Washington, D.C.

The Oregon Democrat became frustrated when he was singled out for a random inspection by Transportation Security Administration personnel. DeFazio admitted to HOH that he denounced the extra security as “stupid” and complained to the screeners that he was a Member of Congress who had actually helped found the TSA.

A source inside the airport said the Congressman was visibly angry, used the word bulls--- (the Congressman “doesn’t recall” using that word) and caused a ruckus that drew extra security officers.

Unlike some Congressional airport meltdowns — such as the March 5 incident at Dulles International Airport in which Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) set off a security alarm and lost his cool with an airline worker — DeFazio’s airport anger was less about his own personal inconvenience than an affront to his security expertise.

DeFazio, a longtime member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Aviation, told HOH that the random searches — conducted after the regular electronic baggage screenings — were unnecessary. “I want to know why they’re wasting resources ... as a taxpayer and as an expert on security, this is not a good use of my money or their time,” he told HOH.

DeFazio said he has convened a meeting in his office today for TSA officials to explain the security measures, which he called ineffective. He said he was told several weeks ago after noticing other additional security measures at the Portland airport that the airport was participating in a voluntary pilot program for high-threat flights.

A TSA spokesman would not comment on the matter.

But DeFazio said he sees his own airport agitation as a learning experience. “By experiencing security, I can improve it,” he said.

Too bad Vitter didn’t think to use that line of defense.

Presidential Photo Goof. There’s a snazzy new piece of artwork in the Senate Daily Press Gallery — although it has a flaw that would boil the blood of copy editors everywhere.

Photographer Abbas Shirmohammadi took a breathtaking panoramic photograph of President Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration ceremony at the Capitol, which is now beautifully framed (replete with gold trim) and hanging in the gallery for all to see.

Included on the photo itself is white text marking the occasion: the swearing-in ceremony of “President Brack Obama.”


The misspelling has since turned the panoramic into a bit of an attraction among gallery inhabitants, especially since the place is filled with spelling-conscious wordsmiths. (Read: nerds.)

So how was the “Brack” blunder overlooked?

HOH contacted Shirmohammadi at his studio, Panoramic Visions Photography, to find out how exactly the error went unnoticed — and whether the image would be replaced.

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