WASHINGTON — Reports of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison's, R-Texas, death were greatly exaggerated,
In an elaborately bizarre hoax, starting July 4th, four U.S. senators – Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Hutchison – were the subjects of nearly identical obituaries purportedly sent by e-mail to media outlets from their offices.
Hutchison, who gave a speech to the Rotary Club in Nacogdoches Wednesday, is alive and well.
"This morning a release was sent to a handful of T.V. stations with quotes attributed to me," said Hutchison press secretary Courtney Sanders. "It said the senator had died in Dallas. It's an absurd hoax."
“We’ve turned it over to the Capitol Hill police. We can’t comment further.” Television stations in Dallas, San Antonio and Houston received the e-mails.
Asked what Hutchison’s reaction was to the release announcing that she had reportedly died in Dallas of breast cancer, Sanders said, “I won’t speculate about it.”
According to Capitol Hill police spokeswoman Sgt. Kimberly Schneider, “The Capitol police have an ongoing investigation into the e-mails. We can’t discuss any details. The investigation has to run its course.”
Lautenberg was the subject of the first e-mail hoax Sunday, followed by Feinstein on Monday, Leahy on Tuesday and Hutchison on Wednesday.
According to Leahy spokesman David Carle, the Vermont Democrat “was in good spirits about it.”
“He has a number of events around the state today,” said Carle. “He thinks it’s important to deter the misuse of official web addresses that can be used to fool those receiving them.”