Steve Chabot Confirms Passwords Not Related to Pet Turtles

Chabot confirmed his passwords are not related to his pet turtles. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In a Wednesday morning House Small Business Committee hearing on cyberattacks, Chairman Steve Chabot offered some sage advice on password security.  

"It can’t just be your, you know, cat's name or your dog's name. … You’ve got to put question marks after the cat’s name now, or whatever," said the Ohio Republican, opining on the way Capitol Hill's password security has evolved during his 10 terms in Congress. "It’s a bit more complicated." Perhaps realizing that cyber-hackers could be listening to the public hearing, Chabot clarified, "Just for the record we don’t have a cat — we have a turtle, and I’m not going to tell you what his name is."  

But Chabot's stonewalling was quickly foiled by Google. A simple search led HOH to a 1997 Cincinnati Enquirer column on political pets that revealed the name of Chabot's beloved reptile:

Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati, doesn't have a dog. He has turtles and believe us, we're biting our lip on this one. ''He lets his kids name his pets. I guess you can tell that,'' press aide Shannon Jones said. One is a box turtle, Lazarus, formerly named Michelangelo after the Teen-age Mutant Ninja Turtle. He was renamed when the family thought he was dead. ''They revived him,'' Jones said, ''and renamed him Lazarus.'' The other turtle, is a musk turtle named Shelly.
In a brief interview in the Speaker's Lobby, Chabot confirmed Shelly still lives. (Lazarus might be alive, too. The family released him into a park in the Cincinnati area "where we had found him to begin with," he said.) He even offered to show HOH a cellphone photo of the 5-inch long creature.  

Shelly has been a Chabot family pet for more than a quarter-century. (Photo courtesy Kelley McNabb)

Shelly has been a Chabot family pet for more than a quarter-century. (Photo courtesy Kelley McNabb)

"The kids thought it was a girl and I didn't want to break their hearts. …  Shelly's a boy," Chabot said. "It's a little hard to tell turtles what they are, but I've had turtles since I was a little kid. So that's Shelly, and Shelly's a boy."

Chabot also told HOH his passwords actually have nothing to do with his collection of pets, including the fish swimming in saltwater and freshwater tanks in his Rayburn office.  

"I can confirm to you that it has nothing to do with my turtles, or his name," Chabot said.  

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