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Sheehan brings protest here
She makes a symbolic visit to DeLay's office, attends anti-war rally at a church
By KRISTEN MACK
Copyright 2005 Houston Chronicle
She went to U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay's office in Stafford and an evening anti-war rally at a local church.
At DeLay's office, she asked to meet with the Republican power broker and supporter of the Iraq war. But DeLay wasn't there to hear her plea.
"We didn't get an appointment. We were told by his staffer we could put in a request and perhaps we would get a meeting," Sheehan said in an interview with the Houston Chronicle.
She acknowledged that they didn't really expect a meeting and that the visit was largely symbolic.
Shannon Flaherty, DeLay's press secretary, said the group didn't request to meet with the congressman until Thursday.
"He already had a set schedule of packed events today," she said. "It's obvious they never wanted to meet with the congressman and were just looking for another publicity stunt."
DeLay, R-Sugar Land, was in town. He toured the Astrodome, which is sheltering Katrina evacuees, talked to Coast Guard officials at Ellington Field and participated in a conference call with Bush, Flaherty said.
Sheehan pulled up stakes Wednesday at Camp Casey, the site near Bush's ranch in Crawford named after her son, who was killed last year in Iraq.
Sheehan arrived in Crawford on Aug. 6 when Bush began his five-week vacation. She vowed to stay until she could meet with the president or until he returned to Washington, which he did Wednesday. Her 26-day vigil sparked new attention to a peace movement that she hopes will grow as she and others on three buses stop in dozens of states before converging in Washington, D.C., for a march and rallies Sept. 24.
The visit to DeLay's Stafford office was a last-minute change. Sheehan originally had planned to go to the Clear Lake office, and about 80 people assembled there, about evenly split between Sheehan and Bush supporters.
"Anyone that loses a son, you have to feel sorry for," said Cyril Hosley, whose son Rick was deployed to Iraq with the Marines last week. "But she gives comfort to the enemy. The time for rhetoric is before the troops go, not once they're committed."
John R. Cobarruvias, president of the Bay Area New Democrats, said Sheehan is "standing up for us, we came out here to stand up for her. This war was a mistake, and someone should be held accountable."
Sheehan spoke at a rally Thursday night at Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church in northwest Houston, then was to head to her California home for a few days.
Today, her supporters plan to go to Shreveport, La., to deliver more than 5,000 pounds of supplies left over from Camp Casey to hurricane victims.