Editor's note: Gee, this sure sounds like a political endorsement to me. I guess Mike had a chat with a lawyer about the Hatch Act.
District 22 congressional race gets crowded, Galveston County Daily News
"The congressman did pick up surprisingly out of the norm endorsement over the weekend when NASA director Michael Griffin asked those in the space community to send DeLay back to Washington.
In his keynote speech to the Rotary National Award for Space Achievement Friday night, Griffin said DeLay was "the best friend NASA has" in Congress. He also said every effort should be made to re-elect him to office."
Mike Griffin After Nine Months, Orlando Sentinel
"Orlando Sentinel: 2006 is an election year. Your predecessor, Mr. [Sean] O'Keefe, went out and campaigned for some candidates. Do you plan to do the same?
Griffin: No. I don't know if Mr. O'Keefe did that or not, but my understanding of the Hatch Act is that I am prohibited from engaging in political activities or supporting particular candidates. So I certainly will not be doing that."
Mike Griffin May Be a Great Engineer But ..., earlier NASA Watch post
Editor's Update: Dean Acosta just called me and said that he had spoken directly with Mike Griffin about this - and that Griffin was very specific in saying that his intent was not to endorse anyone - and that if people mistook his comments (in Texas) as being an endorsement, then that was unfortunate. Acosta also acknowledged that a presidential appointee such as Griffin (or O'Keefe) can indeed make political endorsements - but that Griffin had made it very clear (as he stated earlier) that he does not intend to be making any such endorsements.
This is somewhat in contrast to the comment Griffin made earlier i.e. that "my understanding of the Hatch Act is that I am prohibited from engaging in political activities or supporting particular candidates."
NASA is trying to get a hold of a recording of the event such that Griffin's actual words can be reported - this article only makes a partial quote.