Privacy of personal information is extremely important to Americans, especially Texans. However, some politicians view personal information as a way they can get ahead in elections and business.
Driver license records can only be obtained from the Department of Public Safety after paying a fee and signing an agreement that the records will not be sold or given to other individuals or organizations.
In 2008, Dwayne Bohac, Texas House Representative of Houston, was able to obtain driver license records to enhance voter data at his political consulting firm, Campaign Data Systems, but did not sign or purchase driver license records as himself or Campaign Data Systems. Receiving driver license records from anyone other than the DPS, is a violation of Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 730.013.
Ed Johnson, Harris County’s Assistant Voter Registrar, gained access to voter registration and election data, which became available to Bohac, Campaign Data Systems, and Bohac’s clients when he was hired as an employee. Johnson knowing of the possibility of problems surfacing from this arrangement, did not see it important enough to disclose Harris County about his employment with Campaign Data Systems.
Not only providing inside information, Johnson was the only connection between Campaign Data Systems and driver license records. In documents received from the DPS by The Lone Star Project, is evidence that only Johnson, representative of the Harris County Tax Office, went through the process to receiving the driver license records.
By Bohac and Johnson collaborating together and using driver license records for commercial political purpose, violation of the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994, they were able help themselves and Bohac get ahead in office. But once information surfaced Bohac and Johnson collaborating together, Bohac quickly pulled down Campaign Data Systems’ website and refused to answer questions about his ties to the Election Office. Johnson was also reassigned from his position as Harris County’s Assistant Voter Registrar.
Working in office means protecting the rights and personal information of Texans to gain voters trust, not using it for their own personal gain.
In the wake of another mass shooting in El Paso, Gov. Greg Abbott announced the formation of a domestic terrorism task force on Wednesday charged