Word Play

How Many Ways Did Billy Tauzin Say ‘No’? Just Count

Posted January 28, 2004 at 5:37pm

After nearly a year of denials about his boss’s future, Ken Johnson’s armor finally cracked last week. The spokesman for Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) finally confirmed a year’s worth of rumors that his boss had been considering a lucrative job as head of the Motion Picture Association of America. But Johnson’s job isn’t quite over yet: Tauzin is now considering becoming the head of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturing Association.

Here’s a look back at the oft-repeated denials and nondenials from Johnson and Tauzin about the Energy and Commerce chairman’s future.

“I don’t expect any decisions to be announced for a couple of weeks.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Jan. 27, 2004

“Billy has a great reverence for Jack and they are great friends, as well. But at this point in his life, Billy did not believe this was the best fit for him and his family.”
— Johnson, The Washington Post, Jan. 24, 2004

“I don’t expect any decisions to be announced for a couple of weeks.”

“Absolutely nothing has changed and he has no plans on stepping down at this time. The only place Tauzin is headed right now is back to work as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Jan. 22, 2004

“A number of people have approached him about the possibility this year and he has told all of them that he wasn’t interested.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Nov. 24, 2003

“No decision has been made. No one has offered him a job and he has not been negotiating with the MPAA.”
— Johnson, The Advocate (Baton Rouge), Nov. 3, 2003

“Nothing has changed.”
— Tauzin, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), Oct. 29, 2003, Hurrying into a negotiating session over Medicare reform

“Absolutely nothing has changed. He’s still got a job he loves. And it’s Chackbay, Louisiana, 70301 — not Beverly Hills 90210.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Sept. 25, 2003

“I love my job and have lots more work to do.”
— Tauzin, The Washington Post, Sept. 22, 2003

“Nothing has changed. Nobody has made me an offer, and I’m not considering accepting any offer.”
— Tauzin, The Times-Picayune, Sept. 24, 2003

“No job has been discussed and no one here is packing their bags and moving to Hollywood.”
— Johnson, Times-Picayune, July 17, 2003

“I’m not going anywhere. Why would I want to walk away from that?’’
— Tauzin, Roll Call, June 25, 2003, Noting that he still has more than three years left in his tenure as chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee

“I have no intention of leaving” the House before the end of this term. “I’ll make a decision about re-election next year as I always do. I have every intention of running again.”
— Tauzin, Roll Call, June 4, 2003

“Billy has a job and he’s not looking to take anyone else’s.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Feb. 17, 2003

“I’m going to be as emphatic as I can. Yesterday it was the CTIA, today it’s the MPAA and tomorrow it will be the RIAA. Frankly, we’re f-e-d-u-p with all the rumors. Billy has a job and he’s not looking to take anyone else’s.”
— Johnson, Roll Call, Jan. 27, 2003