Thursday, October 05, 2006

More Dirt on Foley

Here's an article with detail on more of his exchanges with other kids...

Lawmaker's Intentions Appear Clear In Exchanges

By Jonathan Weisman and Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, October 5, 2006; A01

The message exchanges included plenty of kid stuff -- talk of killer finals and botched SATs, cramming to learn the lines of a school play, picking up a sister at cheerleading practice. But when two former pages sat down at their computers to furtively chat with then-Rep. Mark Foley, they were also acting out a parent's nightmare with a man with clear designs.

"BRB [Be right back] . . . my mom is yelling," one teenage boy wrote just after Foley coaxed him into discussing his anatomy with a lascivious "ummmmmmmmm . . . beautiful."

"back," the boy continued.

"cool hope s[h]e didnt see any thing," Foley responded.

"no no . . . she is computer dumb," the boy offered.

The instant messages that surfaced last Friday drove the Florida Republican from office and ignited a political firestorm over the handling of the matter that has engulfed House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.) and other senior Republicans. The controversy could tip the balance of Congress to the Democrats in an election that is just five weeks away.

Now, with the help of a former House page who served with the two male pages who conversed online with Foley, The Washington Post obtained dozens of America Online instant messages yesterday that illuminate the apparent predations of the disgraced former congressman. David Roth, Foley's attorney in Florida, said last night of the messages: "I'm not going to comment on anything unless it's in a public forum before everyone."

Some of the instant messages were previously reported by ABC News. The conversations occurred between December 2002 and October 2003, according to the date stamps on the computer files. The vast majority of the messages were between Foley and one of the two former pages. Some of the exchanges took place before the boy turned 18. Attempts by The Post to contact the two former pages were unsuccessful.

Taken together, the chats seem to make clear that Foley tried to lure the boys into sexual encounters, and certainly encouraged lurid behavior online. In one conversation, it appears clear that Foley met with one boy in San Diego.

There is no clear evidence that Foley and the boys had sexual contact. But they frequently talked about getting together.

At one point Foley wrote: "i miss you lots since san diego."

"ya i cant wait till dc," the former page replied. "did you pick a night for the dinner"?

"not yet," Foley said, "but likely friday."

In another sequence, Foley suggested that a page meet him at his house a few blocks from the Capitol.

"I could give you a massage here . . . just a block and a half," he wrote. Later in the online conversation, Foley asked, "so you do see us palyin around"?

"sure," the page responded. "weve gone over this before . . . havent we"? "i excuse your memory when you are drinking . . . cause i dont remember much when i drink," the page continues.

Foley then wrote: "I wish i would have jumped you after dinner in san diego, but I was good."

In another particularly lurid conversation, Foley and the teenager engaged in graphic Internet sex, with the boy apparently masturbating as time was running out on a vote the lawmaker had to cast on the House floor.

As the pornographic discussion concluded, the youth said, "ya go vote . . . i dont want to keep you from doing your job."

"can I have a good kiss goodnight"? Foley asked.

":-*," the boy typed.

Often implicit in the chats is an exchange of professional advancement in exchange for sex that plays on the allure of power that Foley used to entice one of the teenagers. Foley at one point promised to help him become the "stylish elite type" person the teenager said he wanted to be.

"We will make you successful," Foley promised, "as long as you don't mind me grabbing your [deleted] once in a while."

Such conversations occurred under the noses of parents who clearly took interest in their children but knew little about their online life.

"sorry my mom walked in," a page wrote after an interruption.

"whta did she want"? Foley asked.

"to spend time with me . . . she just came in and sat down . . . apparently she doesnt see enough of me or something," he replied.

"thats a good mom," Foley said.

Such instant messages were the subject of Foley's own political efforts when he helped sponsor legislation to lower the threshold for law enforcement officers to go after online predators.

But in his own messages, Foley encouraged mutual masturbation, even when the boys protested that they had too much schoolwork.

"im doing homework," one wrote.

"better do you[r] homework . . . I am a bad influence," Foley wrote.

He fished for compliments on his looks, flattered them on theirs, frequently brought up the subject of sex, encouraged their attractions and frowned on girlfriends. He was impervious to the misgivings of his online chat mates.

"so . . . where does that leave us"? Foley asked once, after he seemed to encourage a sexual encounter, to no avail.

"i dunno . . . same as we are now," the boy replied, ". . . just saying that im not sure what im totaly comfortable with . . . we will still have fun."

Moreover, Foley appeared aware that he was behaving badly, chastising himself but unable to stop. It was that behavior that his former chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, seemed to allude to when he said yesterday that he turned to the most senior House leadership officials to intervene when his own efforts to stop Foley's actions had failed.

"to be honest I am a little to interested in you," Foley said to one page, "so thats why I need to back off a little."

"ya slow things down a little im still young . . . like under 18 dont want to do anything illegal," the teenager cautioned.

"nothing will happen . . . just dreaming," Foley assured him. "i was good in SD."

"I am not a sicko," he concluded.

Yesterday, several Web sites said that bloggers had been able to learn the name of one of the two former pages because ABC News had briefly posted his screen name on its site.

"We always want to keep the identities of people involved in any kind of alleged sexual crimes confidential," ABC News spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said last night. "On Friday, there was a glitch in our posting, and it's possible that an actual, unredacted screen name was posted for an extremely short period of time. Obviously, it was fixed almost instantly."

Posted by crimnos @ 11:29 AM :: (0) comments

A Sample of Fox News "Headlines"

Thanks to the Something Awful Forums...

7:16pm: “Pres Chavez: Narcissistic personality disorder?”;

10:54am: “How dare Hugo Chavez blast the United States?”;

11:02am: “Should we stop buying Chavez’s gas from [Venezuela-owned] Citgo stations?”;

11:59am: “Chavez insults U.S.: Where is the outrage?”;

12:29pm: “Should U.S. continue to fund U.N. after applause for Chavez?”;

12:54pm: “Will leaders pay the price for supporting Chavez?”;

1:26pm: “Is President Chavez becoming a threat to U.S. national security?”;

4:06pm: “Taking cheap oil from Hugo Chavez: Act of treason?”;

5:34pm: “NY audience gives Chavez standing ovation… Why?”

Also, the comment: “U.S. giving U.N. $5 mil a day to get insulted.”

Posted by crimnos @ 11:20 AM :: (1) comments

Hypocrite Foley on America's Most Wanted

It's lolleriffic! Oh and what's the other word? Hypocritical. That's it...

Posted by crimnos @ 3:02 AM :: (0) comments

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sick of Fox News's Outright Lies? Nothing Can or Will Be Done

Here are just a few shots of how Fox is trying to spin this: selling Foley as a Democrat.



Surely this constitutes some kind of fraud, right? Well, according to the Florida Court of Appeals, Fox News is allowed to lie all it wants:

In February 2003, a Florida Court of Appeals unanimously agreed with an assertion by FOX News that there is no rule against distorting or falsifying the news in the United States.

Back in December of 1996, Jane Akre and her husband, Steve Wilson, were hired by FOX as a part of the Fox “Investigators” team at WTVT in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 1997 the team began work on a story about bovine growth hormone (BGH), a controversial substance manufactured by Monsanto Corporation. The couple produced a four-part series revealing that there were many health risks related to BGH and that Florida supermarket chains did little to avoid selling milk from cows treated with the hormone, despite assuring customers otherwise.

According to Akre and Wilson, the station was initially very excited about the series. But within a week, Fox executives and their attorneys wanted the reporters to use statements from Monsanto representatives that the reporters knew were false and to make other revisions to the story that were in direct conflict with the facts. Fox editors then tried to force Akre and Wilson to continue to produce the distorted story. When they refused and threatened to report Fox's actions to the FCC, they were both fired.(Project Censored #12 1997)

Akre and Wilson sued the Fox station and on August 18, 2000, a Florida jury unanimously decided that Akre was wrongfully fired by Fox Television when she refused to broadcast (in the jury's words) “a false, distorted or slanted story” about the widespread use of BGH in dairy cows. They further maintained that she deserved protection under Florida's whistle blower law. Akre was awarded a $425,000 settlement. Inexplicably, however, the court decided that Steve Wilson, her partner in the case, was ruled not wronged by the same actions taken by FOX.

FOX appealed the case, and on February 14, 2003 the Florida Second District Court of Appeals unanimously overturned the settlement awarded to Akre. The Court held that Akre’s threat to report the station’s actions to the FCC did not deserve protection under Florida’s whistle blower statute, because Florida’s whistle blower law states that an employer must violate an adopted “law, rule, or regulation." In a stunningly narrow interpretation of FCC rules, the Florida Appeals court claimed that the FCC policy against falsification of the news does not rise to the level of a "law, rule, or regulation," it was simply a "policy." Therefore, it is up to the station whether or not it wants to report honestly.

During their appeal, FOX asserted that there are no written rules against distorting news in the media. They argued that, under the First Amendment, broadcasters have the right to lie or deliberately distort news reports on public airwaves. Fox attorneys did not dispute Akre’s claim that they pressured her to broadcast a false story, they simply maintained that it was their right to do so. After the appeal verdict WTVT general manager Bob Linger commented, “It’s vindication for WTVT, and we’re very pleased… It’s the case we’ve been making for two years. She never had a legal claim.”

Posted by crimnos @ 5:07 PM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It Just Gets Better: White House Possibly Involved in Coverup


October 3, 2006 -- WMR has learned from informed sources in the Justice Department that the salacious e-mails from Rep. Mark Foley were leaked to ABC News by career Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents who are incensed that Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales covered up the House page scandal for political reasons. The back story of Pagegate is that there was a criminal conspiracy by the top political leadership of the Justice Department to cover up the predatory activities of Foley and other GOP members of Congress since at least 2003 and, likely, as early as 2001.

Other informed sources in the nation's capital report that Pagegate will soon implicate a number of GOP staffers in both the House and the Senate who intimidated and pressured male pages into inappropriate sexual relationships. One source confided that the staff members' contact with pages was "more egregious" than Foley's behavior.

The Pagegate scandal also involves senior officials of the Republican National Committee, located near the House Office Buildings, according to our Capitol Hill sources.

The bottom line is that the GOP is facing its worst political scandal since Watergate and the White House, already under assault from the revelations in Bob Woodward's insider account of the Bush presidency and the Iraq war, has told GOP members of Congress that they are on their own as far as Pagegate damage control is concerned.

Posted by crimnos @ 5:04 PM :: (0) comments

Oh snap: ABC producer says network to name names in Foley scandal

Check this out!

ABC producer says network to name names in Foley scandal

Published: Tuesday October 3, 2006

Print This Email This

ABC will soon report who had knowledge of the Mark Foley page scandal, and when they became aware of it, RAW STORY has learned.

In an interview with DemocracyNow, ABC's Maddy Sauer shared some startling facts about the story.

Pages have, according to Sauer, been able to produce instant message conversations going back as far as five years. Some of them are reportedly sexually explicit.

The FBI, Sauer claims, will be interviewing pages starting today.

Sauer also indicated that ABC's next wave of reports on the Foley scandal will focus on who in Congress was aware of the situation, how much they knew, and when they were alerted.

Posted by crimnos @ 5:02 PM :: (0) comments

You Cannot Be Serious: The Fifth Column Idea Returns

Jesus Christ.

In THE ENEMY AT HOME, bestselling author Dinesh D’Souza makes the startling claim that the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist acts around the world can be directly traced to the ideas and attitudes perpetrated by America’s cultural left.

D’Souza shows that liberals—people like Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, Bill Moyers, and Michael Moore—are responsible for fostering a culture that angers and repulses not just Muslim countries but also traditional and religious societies around the world. Their outspoken opposition to American foreign policy—including the way the Bush administration is conducting the war on terror—contributes to the growing hostility, encouraging people both at home and abroad to blame America for the problems of the world. He argues that it is not our exercise of freedom that enrages our enemies, but our abuse of that freedom—from the sexual liberty of women to the support of gay marriage, birth control, and no-fault divorce, to the aggressive exportation of our vulgar, licentious popular culture.

The cultural wars at home and the global war on terror are usually viewed as separate problems. In this groundbreaking book, D’Souza shows that they are one and the same. It is only by curtailing the left’s attacks on religion, family, and traditional values that we can persuade moderate Muslims and others around the world to cooperate with us and begin to shun the extremists in their own countries.

Posted by crimnos @ 12:14 PM :: (0) comments

GOP ready to concede "nearly a third" of critical House seats

How about this...

Republican strategists said yesterday that public revulsion over the sexually graphic online conversations between Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) and former House pages could compound the party's problems enough to tip the House to the Democrats in November -- and could jeopardize the party's hold on the Senate as well.

As House GOP leaders defended their role in handling revelations that forced Foley on Friday to give up his House seat, party strategists said the scandal threatens to depress turnout among Christian conservatives and could hamper efforts to convince undecided and swing voters that Republicans deserve to remain in the majority.

There was intense anger among social conservative activists in Washington yesterday, and some called for House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) to resign.

Republican operatives closely following the battle for the House and Senate said that they are virtually ready to concede nearly a third of the 15 seats the Democrats need to recapture control of the House, and that they will spend the next five weeks trying to shelter other vulnerable incumbents from the fallout of the Foley scandal in hopes of salvaging a slender majority.

Districts in which Republicans have effectively walked off the field include Foley's own in South Florida. House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a radio interview with conservative commentator Sean Hannity that the party's replacement candidate is all but doomed. Because of ballot procedures in Florida, "to vote for this candidate, you have to vote for Mark Foley," Boehner said. "How many people are going to hold their nose to do that?"

Others warned that the impact could be much greater. Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and an important social conservative leader, said "there's a real chance" that the episode could dethrone the Republican majority. "I think the next 48 hours are critical in how this is handled," he said, adding that "when a party holds itself out as the guardian of values, this is not helpful."

Series of blows

Foley's sudden resignation came at the end of a week that had delivered a series of blows to Republican hopes in November. A National Intelligence Estimate asserted that the war in Iraq is fueling new threats from Islamic jihadists faster than the United States and allies can contain them, then a new book by Bob Woodward of The Washington Post said the administration's private assessments of Iraq are far worse than officials are telling the public. Taken together, GOP strategists said, the events of the past 10 days reversed what some Republicans had seen as a modest rebound in September after the worst days of the summer.

By yesterday, a number of GOP strategists reported widespread gloom about the party's prospects, combined with intense anger at the House leadership.

Joe Gaylord, who was the top adviser to Newt Gingrich (Ga.) when Republicans seized control of the House in 1994, was pessimistic about the party's midterm prospects. He said the fallout from Foley's resignation comes "very close" to ensuring a Democratic victory in November.

"The part that causes the greatest fallout is the obvious kind of pall that an incident like this would put on our hardest-core voters, who are evangelical Christians," he said. "The thing I have said almost since this cycle began is the real worry you have is that [Republicans] just won't turn out. This is one more nail in that coffin."

Depressed turnout would not only hurt vulnerable House incumbents but also make it more difficult for Republicans to hold the most competitive Senate seats -- many of those races are now virtually even, according to recent polling.

Hastert faces a spreading revolt among some conservatives over the way he and other GOP leaders handled the matter when first alerted to the contact between Foley and one former House page. Hastert said again yesterday that no House Republican leader knew about the most graphic communications until they surfaced on Friday, but that did little to satisfy some conservative activists.

David Bossie, who runs a group called Citizens United, called yesterday for Hastert's resignation and said other conservative leaders are likely to follow suit. Bossie said the initial e-mails alone, which included Foley's request of a minor's picture, should have prompted an immediate inquiry. "That was a cry for an investigation," Bossie said. "Why couldn't the speaker of the House muster the will to stop this?"

Leaders from about six dozen socially conservative groups held a conference call late yesterday afternoon, and participants were described as livid with House GOP leaders.

‘Let down, left aside’
"They are outraged by how Hastert handled this," said Paul M. Weyrich, a conservative activist who participated in the call. "They feel let down, left aside. How can they allow a guy like [Foley] to remain chairman of the committee on missing and exploited children when there is any question about e-mails?"

Vin Weber, a GOP lobbyist close to the White House and to congressional leaders, said many Republicans outside of Washington are echoing Bossie.

"From what I hear, it is resonating badly and our candidates are on the defensive about this," Weber said. "The maddening thing about this is if they had done the right thing" by informing Democrats early on and investigating it fully, "there would be no political fallout," he said.

Top GOP strategists said party leaders will concentrate on trying to keep the focus of the unfolding story on Foley, rather than on how House leaders responded when informed about his contacts with former pages.

"I don't know of any race ever where the action of one member has impacted the race of another," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Bracing for ads
Republicans are bracing for ads that link previous scandals with the Foley case and ask, "Had enough?" Several strategists said this could be devastating in tight races. The most optimistic scenario offered by GOP strategists is that no new information surfaces and the controversy ends in the next five weeks.

Republicans have designated state Rep. Joe Negron as the substitute candidate in Florida's 16th District, even as Boehner and others denigrate his prospects.

Republicans say they are in grave danger of losing the seat of former House majority leader Tom DeLay (Tex.), as well as those held by Rep. Robert W. Ney (Ohio) -- who agreed to plead guilty to corruption charges in the investigation into the activities of convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- and Rep. Don Sherwood (Pa.), who has been embroiled in a scandal over an affair.

In addition, Republicans have largely given up on holding the seat of retiring Rep. Jim Kolbe (Ariz.), and strategists are pessimistic about retaining open seats in Colorado and Iowa and the seat now held by Rep. John N. Hostettler (Ind.).

Some Republicans also said Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds (N.Y.), the NRCC's chairman and one of the GOP leaders who knew about a non-graphic communication between Foley and a former page, could face an even tougher challenge for his Buffalo area seat. Reynolds and Hastert sniped at each other over the weekend about who knew what and when.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:54 AM :: (0) comments

North Korea to Test Nuke

Will this be as much of a farce as the missile tests, or is there genuine cause to be concerned? How will China react? What a can of worms...

N. Korea Says It Will Conduct Nuke Test
Oct 3, 7:14 AM (ET)


SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea said Tuesday that it will conduct a nuclear test to bolster its self-defense capability amid what it calls increasing U.S. hostility toward the communist regime.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton, said that the U.S. would bring up North Korea's statement for discussion Tuesday morning in a regular meeting of the U.N. Security Council.

"A nuclear test by North Korea would be extraordinarily serious," Bolton said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The threat is serious enough that we're certainly going to take this action in the council this morning, by raising it."

Using the acronym for the country's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's Foreign Ministry said in the official English translation of its statement that: "The DPRK will in the future conduct a nuclear test under the condition where safety is firmly guaranteed."

The statement gave no precise date of when a test might occur.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso called the purported nuclear test plan a threat to peace, and said a nuclear test would have graver implications than North Korean missile tests in July. Aso called the North's self-described plan "totally unforgivable," and said Japan would react "sternly" if the North conducted a nuclear test, according to Kyodo News agency.

China, North Korea's neighbor, ally and chief benefactor, had no immediate comment. The North Korean announcement appeared to have caught Chinese officialdom off-guard, coming in the midst of a weeklong National Day holiday.

Pyongyang has said it has nuclear weapons, but is not known to have conducted any test to prove its claim. It has not mentioned a nuclear test in previous public statements.

"The U.S. extreme threat of a nuclear war and sanctions and pressure compel the DPRK to conduct a nuclear test, an essential process for bolstering nuclear deterrent, as a corresponding measure for defense," said the statement, carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

The North's "nuclear weapons will serve as reliable war deterrent for protecting the supreme interests of the state and the security of the Korean nation from the U.S. threat of aggression and averting a new war and firmly safeguarding peace and stability on the Korean peninsula under any circumstances," the statement said.

Multilateral talks on the North's nuclear program have been stalled for almost a year. Pyongyang has boycotted the six-nation talks to protest U.S. financial restrictions imposed for its alleged illegal activity, including money laundering and counterfeiting.

The North said Tuesday that its ultimate goal is "to settle hostile relations between the DPRK and the U.S. and to remove the very source of all nuclear threats from the Korean Peninsula and its vicinity," accusing the U.S. of posing a nuclear threat in the region.

Posted by crimnos @ 9:47 AM :: (0) comments

Monday, October 02, 2006

Mark Foley: A Scandal Writ Large

Why did this have to break on Friday? Holy crap, the ins and outs of this thing are going to make it incredibly difficult to catch up with. At the moment, however, it appears that House Republicans were aware of Foley's predilection for teenage boys and even warned pages about it as early as 2001, Republicans are trying to cover their ass by calling for investigations, and the Democrats are trying their damnedest to press their advantage here. Meanwhile it's turning out that Foley took at least one boy out to a "private dinner", and has now settled on the alcoholism defense, as if that somehow makes him unaccountable for his behavior. Oh, and somewhere in there is a faction that thinks that this is entirely about people attacking the guy for being gay - but let's make this clear - it has nothing at all to do with that. If this had been a 16-year-old girl, the outrage would be just the same.

This is going to be an interesting one to cover...

Foley in Alcoholism Treatment Center

Monday, October 2, 2006; Posted 9:00 a.m. (CDT)

MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Former Rep. Mark Foley, who resigned Friday amid allegations that he sent inappropriate e-mails to teenage pages, told a Florida television station that he is in a treatment facility for alcoholism.

A letter containing the information was faxed by Foley to WPBF in West Palm Beach, said David Roth, Foley's attorney.

The fax was apparently sent from Clearwater, Florida, but Roth would not say Monday if that's where Foley is being treated.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday it was launching an investigation into allegations Foley sent sexually suggestive e-mails to pages.

FDLE spokesman Tom Berlinger said that the agency on Sunday contacted the FBI -- which is looking into whether any federal laws were broken in the matter -- to inform federal authorities of the Florida probe.

The state agency will be trying to determine whether any of Foley's alleged communications originated in Florida.

The Justice Department, at the request of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, also is considering an investigation of how lawmakers handled the allegations against Foley.

The rare move by Hastert followed calls by Democratic leaders in the House and Senate for a swift inquiry, questioning whether the GOP leadership in the House had improperly squelched concerns about Foley's contacts with pages.

The Florida Republican resigned Friday amid scrutiny of his e-mail and instant-message contacts with pages.

Foley, a six-term Florida congressman, was co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children's Caucus and a prominent backer of legislation to crack down on online predators and criminalize child pornography on the Internet.

The House voted to launch an investigation of his dealings with pages. But in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Hastert urged the Justice Department to look into who knew about the content of any sexually explicit messages involving Foley "and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement."

Justice Department spokesman Brian Roehrkasse said the department will review "whether we can conduct an investigation."

Hastert, an Illinois Republican, also asked the Justice Department and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to investigate whether the former lawmaker violated federal or state law.

Earlier Sunday, White House Counselor Dan Bartlett said he expected a criminal investigation. The administration was unaware of the Foley allegations until last week, he said.

Top House Republicans have said they were aware months ago of e-mail contact between Foley and a teenage male page, but that they had no knowledge of sexually explicit messages that have subsequently come to light.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said House Republican leaders knew of the Foley allegations and "chose to cover it up rather than to protect these children."

In a letter to the leaders of the Ethics Committee, the California Democrat said that GOP leaders should be questioned under oath immediately and that a preliminary report should be issued within 10 days.

After Hastert's request for an investigation, she said the Ethics Committee still needs to look into the actions of the GOP leadership. "Congress must not pass the buck on investigating this cover-up," she said.
Too graphic to report

In a brief resignation statement, Foley apologized to his own family and constituents but did not mention the allegations. He has made no public comment since his resignation.

After the e-mails were publicized, ABC News released instant text messages allegedly sent by the congressman to other teenage male pages in 2003. (More details)

The chamber's three top Republicans -- Hastert, Majority Leader John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri -- said in a joint statement Saturday that Foley's "improper communications" were "unacceptable and abhorrent."

The scandal comes just weeks before the November 7 midterm elections. Republicans are hurriedly trying to find someone to replace Foley.

Foley had been favored to defeat Democratic candidate Tim Mahoney and win re-election to a seventh term.

"The Republican leadership knew this was going on, and they had to make a choice," Mahoney said. "They decided to try to hold on to a seat."
Reynolds informed Hastert

Rep. Tom Reynolds, R-New York, said during the weekend that he told Hastert about the initial complaint -- that Foley had been e-mailing a 16-year-old Louisiana boy who had served as a page, asking for a picture of the teen and asking what he wanted for his birthday.

Reynolds chairs the National Republican Congressional Committee, which is the election campaign arm for House Republicans.

Reynolds said that when Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Louisiana, told him about the e-mails, he said the teen's parents didn't want the matter pursued. Alexander was the boy's sponsor.

After an initial denial, Hastert's office said Reynolds brought up the issue of the e-mails in a meeting with the speaker earlier this year.

Reynolds told Hastert in that meeting that an investigation had been done by Rep. John Shimkus and the clerk of the House, who manages the work-study program for youths under 18. Shimkus is an Illinois Republican and chairman of the House Page Board.

Rep. Dale Kildee, the only Democratic member of the House Page Board, insisted Saturday the board did not investigate Foley.

Boehner learned about allegations against Foley from Alexander in the spring, said Kevin Madden, the majority leader's spokesman.

Shimkus said Foley told him he was only mentoring the teen in the first complaint and was concerned about his fate after Hurricane Katrina.

Shimkus said he warned Foley "to cease all contact with this former House page" -- and he said Foley assured him the e-mails would stop.

Approximately 100 youths age 16 and older serve as congressional pages at any one time. Both boys and girls may serve, usually for a semester or two or a summer session, according to congressional documents.

Posted by crimnos @ 11:11 AM :: (3) comments