"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

May 25, 2005

"Ex-FBI agent Rowley again mulls Congress run"

From the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Greg Gordon, Star Tribune Washington Bureau - Correspondent - May 24, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Former Minneapolis FBI agent Coleen Rowley, who gained fame by publicly assailing the bureau's pre-Sept. 11 counter-terrorism lapses, said Monday that she is pondering a run for the U.S. House.

Rowley, of Apple Valley, said she is "seriously, seriously considering" running as a Democrat in Minnesota's eastern suburban Second District, a seat held by second-term Republican Rep. John Kline. She said she hopes to make a decision in two to three weeks.

Rowley flirted for months with challenging Kline in the 2004 race, but decided against a candidacy that would have forced her to retire early from the FBI. She retired on Dec. 31, 2004, ending a 24-year career after turning 50 and qualifying for a full pension. Rowley said she and her husband, Ross, have discussed a possible House race since February, and consulted with numerous people. Some Democrats have encouraged her to run, she said.

Earlier this year, Rowley made a pitch for a seat on a new federal Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, to be created as part of an overhaul of U.S. intelligence agencies. She said she doubts the White House will select her.

As someone with no interest in keeping up with fashion trends and who favors substance over image, she said, she has snickered over suggestions that she may need a makeover to be a successful politician.

Rowley took the spotlight in 2002 -- and was named a Time Magazine "Person of the Year" -- when she charged publicly that bureau headquarters bungled the pre-Sept. 11 investigation of Al-Qaida captive Zacarias Moussaoui after his Twin Cities arrest.

Angelyn Shapiro, a spokeswoman for Kline, brushed off questions about a Rowley candidacy, saying that the election is 500 days away and that Kline is immersed in congressional business.

(Thanks for the lead, Alon.)

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