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DeFazio tries to find out who is behind mysterious attack ads

Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon chairs a House Transportation Committee subcommittee hearing on Highways and Transit, May 24, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The hearing explored state and user perspectives on public-private partnerships to develop highway projects. Photographer: Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg News
Representative Peter DeFazio of Oregon chairs a House Transportation Committee subcommittee hearing on Highways and Transit, May 24, 2007, in Washington, D.C. The hearing explored state and user perspectives on public-private partnerships to develop highway projects. Photographer: Chris Kleponis/Bloomberg News (Chris Kleponis)

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On Friday, DeFazio hiked over to the Capitol Hill townhouse listed as the group's address to deliver a letter asking it to release the names of its donors by the end of next week.

With journalists from The Washington Post and the Huffington Post in tow, the congressman rang the bell, knocked on the door and then shouted through the mail slot.

Then DeFazio peered through the front window. "It doesn't look too lived in," he said. "A couple of pieces of furniture, some garden chairs."

Finally, a young man answered the door.

He said he was a renter who was not acquainted with Concerned Taxpayers of America or its treasurer Jason Miller.

Miller later acknowledged that the young man at the house does indeed work for him. "He's a junior staffer who didn't know what to say when he got ambushed by DeFazio," Miller said. "He shouldn't have said that."

Staff writer T.W. Farnam contributed to this report.


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