In an age where identity theft and hacking of personal data are rampant, the privacy of personal information is extremely important to Texans. The public should expect elected officials to protect their personal information, not profit from it. But some politicians like State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) view personal information as just another way they can get ahead in elections and business.
Driver license records in Texas can only be obtained from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) after paying a fee and signing an agreement that the records will not be sold or given to other individuals or organizations.
In 2008, Bohac obtained driver license records to enhance voter data for his political consulting firm, Campaign Data Systems. Cleverly, he did not obtain driver license records under his or his company’s name. Instead, Bohac had someone else get the records, then pass them along to him. Receiving driver license records from anyone other than the DPS is a violation of Texas Transportation Code, Sec. 730.013.
Ed Johnson, then Harris County’s Assistant Voter Registrar, had access to voter registration and election data. After being hired by Bohac, Johnson made the data available to Bohac’s business and clients. Johnson failed to disclose his employment with Campaign Data Systems to Harris County, his full-time employer.
Johnson was the only connection between Campaign Data Systems and the drivers license records. DPS documents show Johnson, as a representative of the Harris County Tax Office, went through the process to obtain the drivers license records.
Once the connection between Bohac and Johnson surfaced, 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 Assistant Voter Registrar to another county job.
Collaborating with another person to obtain driver’s license records for commercial and political gain is a violation of the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act of 1994. Instead of doing his job and protecting the privacy of his constituents and all Texans, Dwayne Bohac violated the public trust. How can the people of District 138 trust him?