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Foley Scandal Could Cost GOP Control of Congress

Posted on Oct 2, 2006
AP / Lawrence Jackson

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, sitting left, with Senate Leader Bill Frist, sitting right, Rep. Roy Blunt, right, and Rep. James Sensenbrenner, responds to a question Friday, Sept. 29, regarding the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley.  Foley resigned from Congress, effective immediately, in the wake of questions about e-mails he wrote to a male teenager who had been a page.

George Stephanopolous says that if Republican leaders knew of and kept quiet about the X-rated e-mails former Rep. Mark Foley sent to a page, “It’s game over. The leadership will have to resign…. As one top GOP aide told me this morning, ‘The place will burn down.’ ”

  • Truthdig says:
  • As badly as this country needs a change in the control of Congress, it would be awful for this to be the impetus. Democrats deserve the opportunity to win in November based on the strength of their ideas and policies—not via the fallout of a tawdry GOP sex scandal. But that’s the hand we’ve all been dealt.

    GOP-related fallout:

  • GOP leadership knew about non-X-rated “overfriendly” e-mails since 2005

  • A TPM reader makes an excellent point:

    There’s a weak excuse emerging from Republicans for Foleygate - they might have known about the e-mails to Rep. Alexander’s page, but they never knew about the explicit IMs. Too much of the media coverage right now is centering on that question, as if knowledge of the IMs is the only way to show the leadership was remiss.

    But that’s irrelevant, and here’s why: Once ABC got hold of the e-mails, it took them one day to flush out the IMs. That’s what an actual investigation looks like. The Republican leadership simply didn’t want to know how bad the Foley situation was. That’s just as morally negligent as if they had started digging and found the IMs.

  • Also from ABC: GOP staff warned pages about Foley in 2001

  • Conservative activists call on Hastert to resign

  • Foley timeline

  • Foley-specific issues:

  • ABC News: New e-mails show Foley sought to rendezvous with page

  • FBI opens investigation into Foley. He could be prosecuted under the very laws that he enacted as co-chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.

  • Foley checks into rehab for “alcoholism and related behavioral problems,” according to his statement

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    By mike, October 3, 2006 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What needs to be done?  For starters the House leadership (from both parties)  needs to demand that each member of the House issue a public on the record statement of what they knew about Rep. Foleys actions towards Pages   and what they did about it.  Will most of them lie through their teeth?  Yeah probably but at least we will have their deceit on the record.  If 16 year olds knew this guys reputation its a bit difficult to believe that members of Congress or their staffs were so blissfuly ignorant.  Maybe we need more off the record interviews with Pages.  It might be amazing the things we learn about our members of Congress.

    Report this

    By WMD located in GOP Senate (littered full), October 3, 2006 at 6:25 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Oh I can hear the lovely music from shore, as the Titanic ship slowly sinks a little MORE.

    Sorry No life jackets for GOP members as they didn’t use logic!

    Who in the GOP KNEW of Foley’s

          ”  behavioral problems ”
          and stood by to ignore?

    NO LIFE JACKETS for YOU either!

    So much for that “Psyche” right George.  Cycles always win, ALWAYS!
    And george says:

    “If you listen closely to some of the leaders of the Democratic Party, it sounds like - it sounds like - they think the best way to protect the American people is, wait until we’re attacked again,” Bush said Monday

    George, with your GOP Foley in the senate we are being attacked SEXUALLY even on American soil by your own GOP party members. 

    Maybe a GOP individual should have briefed you as to what was UNDER your ”  white ” napkin at the dinner table!  That is where those weapons of mass destruction are located!


    Full Account of IM (instant messages) found here

    Note to mother:
    Place in pressure cooker, place lid on tight, and simmer.

    Report this

    By Mad As Hell, October 3, 2006 at 3:00 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This is EXACTLY the kind of “family values” issue the pseudo-Christian Christofascist right likes to slam in our faces.

    Now THEY have egg all over themselves. Their guys, their avocates and defenders are doing EXACTLY what they scream about Dems doing. 

    They can defend, explain, obfuscate when it comes to Mad King George’s seizing of power, but when it comes to sex, especially gay sex, well, they can’t defend that.  But when it involves a sexual predator, going after minors, they are REALLY stuck!

    I suspect that EVERY member, and the GOP in general is now going to have a TERRIBLE time with their prime strategy, which is to “Mobilize The Base”.  That means getting all those well-organized christofascists out to vote.

    Who they gonna vote for?  I think a lot of individuals are going to just stay home if their pet Republican isn’t squeaky clean on this one.

    You see, for Democrats, we don’t care if a congressman is gay, or cheats on their spouse, or cheats on their spouse with the same sex, as long as they aren’t a predator or putting them on the government payroll (a la Jim McSleezy here in Joisey).  What consenting adults do is NOMB, as long as it’s legal.

    But to the “family values” crowd? Just bein’ Gay is a mortal sin, even when you don’t hurt anyone.  This is why they are saying Gay marriage “is the biggest issue we face”. 

    So let them stew in their own sauce!

    Report this

    By DM, October 3, 2006 at 2:44 am Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Is it just me or is it a bit sad that after committing the gravest of crimes against humanity (an aggressive war), indefinitely incarcerating numerous people kidnapped for bounty payments, torturing prisoners, running up the biggest deficit in history, raising the level of pork-barrell politics to unprecedented levels, failing to come to the aid of people suffering from a catastrophic disaster and generally making the U.S. an international pariah that this government is in danger of going down because of a paltry sex scandal?

    If that is the only thing that excites the Republican “base” and they are so numerous that this is the only way to unseat this government that is a sad sad state of affairs on many levels.

    Report this

    By Lorenzo, October 2, 2006 at 9:07 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Lance (26707) says that this Foley issue is a magician’s wand that is a distraction & that we should be focused on Sec. Rice’s denial of the allegation made by Tenet via Woodward.  Perhaps.
    But I think the “magician” is the wrong metaphor and instead a better one would be the “juggler” and the Foley issue & the Rice issue are but two of the balls that need to be jugggled until the 8th of November. The Foley issue however has the magic word that gives the best fuel to political fires in America, SEX.  It was well known in the GOP House that Foley had a “thing” for teenaged boys (whispers have it that so did (does?) Speaker Hastert).  Why then when the word had been out (by Cong.Alexander) about inappropriate behavior for at least a year did the House leadership choose to do nothing about it?
    Are we to accept that that is the sort of care Americans are sending their boys and girls to be subjected to in the Page Program?  And this in the hands of the so-called god- fearing- family- values- Republicans??  This is the sort of scandal that can be the undoing of any leadership much less one as tenuous as the the one of Speaker Hastert who not only has grossly mismanaged this situation but(so some say) has a past of his own from Chicago days that will not bear careful scrutiny.  My friend Sal & I have been hoping for a SEX SCANDAL and I hope at last we have one that runs true and deep. The same American electorate that yawns at torture, illegal wars, the bankrupting of the Treasury and endless violations of the Constitution will NOT stand for the text of the IMs sent by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to a naked-16 year-old-boy-child down somewhere, in of all places, Louisiana.
    And to think, we thought Katrina would do in the GOP but it will probably be this skinny kid with no name & X Congressman Foley jerking off in his boxers.

    Report this

    By Chris, October 2, 2006 at 6:39 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Lance is right on. Do not take the bait. Foley has been doing this since 2001 (at least). And you don’t think the GOP knew this? Of course they did. They just kept it in the vault until they needed to change the subject. Look at the confluence of events the past week,  NIE, Condi and 911, Woodward’s book, Abramhof…  They needed a diversion big time before the election. It might backfire, but give them credit for their brass balls.

    Report this

    By Anna Daniher, October 2, 2006 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    We should make this short and to the point. Whoever has to go should go without a fight. The bodies are piling up in Baghdad.  There are many more important things to attend to. This guy is not worth any more time than is absolutely necessary. Lance is right-let’s get rid of some of the liars while we’re at it. This can’t be allowed to monopolize the news. It obscures issues that the Republicans don’t want to deal with. IRAQ IRAQ IRAQ Thanks, ANNA

    Report this

    By Jen, October 2, 2006 at 6:16 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I agree with Lance, yet I still think this is an importamnt story because the GOP has claimed the high moral ground for so long, and exploited voters with it.

    Should get interesting.

    Report this

    By D Allen, October 2, 2006 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    LANCE:  You are so right! This Foley thing while somewhat amusing is being blown (yeah, blown) up in our faces.  What we should be talking about is why Condi chose not to remember that Tenet warned her two months before the 911 attacks that somethng was in the works, and also conveniently forgot that she evidently also didn’t give a shit. WHAT ABOUT THAT?  How in the hell could she have forgotten such a conversation??????

    Report this

    By gaius, October 2, 2006 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    What is an IM?

    Report this

    By OCPatriot, October 2, 2006 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This smacks, by the way, of the same type of cover-up that the Catholic Church has now disavowed.  It cost the Church millions of dollars and resulted in great shame.  Hastert & Co. are as smarmy as the Church was in their cover-up.  One, they need to go in shame.  Two, a fund needs to be created for the interns affected by all this, carved out of Hastert’s personal fortune, or a lawyer needs to be appointed to charge Hastert with conspiracy and perjury, and to sue for injuries and damages.  If those who perpetrated this, and helped to conceal it, are taken care of, the Republican Party can claim clean hands.  Remember, this is not the rank and file, this is the Leadership of the Party.

    If you don’t think that “Power corrupts. Absolutely power corrupts absolutely,” think again, all you have to do is look at the Foley-Hastert scandal.  There was talk of taking Foley’s campaign contributions and giving it to another Republican group; Hastert wrote the letter to the FBI; why isn’t an independent counsel called for when the fact is these were not rank and file, these were the Republican Party Leadership?

    For those who still want to vote Republican, think, really think, about the alternative. Sure the Democrats are spineless and whimpy. But what you’re proposing, not voting for them is playing the victim, and that seems to be the role they’ve assigned for yourselves. When you get over it, and strike back to reclaim the electorate by asking the hard questions and not dumbing down statements like “Bush lied today”, or “Bush made wildly conflicting statements today” or “Bush didn’t answer the question he was asked.” When this begins to happen, when influential people say, Stop the madness, they won’t be victims any more. So if you help Republicans in any way, by not voting or by not persuading your friends and family to vote, by not contributing to the Democrats, you’ll be helping to promote a draft, long term war, destruction of this country as we know it, among other things too stupid to mention. So make sure the Democrats win this time around, and don’t jawbone about it or prevaricate or think about how inept or stupid they are, just vote for them. Right now the Democrats are the only force that will balance off the Republican’s march to a totalitarian state; they may become corrupt but it’ll take some time for that to happen.

    Report this

    By Darryl Cox, October 2, 2006 at 4:46 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    There is no magician and most folks are quite capable of keeping track of Condi’s poor memory and Foley’s alcohol made me do it defense. We should be talking about everything. The Foley Follies is only a “net PLUS” for Republicans if all the rest of us agree that NAMBLA is a great organization for our sons to join.

    Report this

    By CJ, October 2, 2006 at 4:42 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    I’m SHOCKED to learn that America’s (or any nation’s) political/business elite doesn’t practice what it professes! Whoda thought?

    All be sure to get out and vote.


    Report this

    By Terry, October 2, 2006 at 4:35 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    So Snow thinks they’re just ‘naughty emails’ how would he feel if Foley or any other member sent his kids naughty emails, there’d be a black and white outside his door right away, hypocrites and pure evil is what Rep’s are, led by the evil in chief himself.

    Report this

    By Darryl Cox, October 2, 2006 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Stephanopolous is missing the point, too. Bay Buchanan appears to be the only member of the punditocracy who understands that the so-called not sexually explicit emails that Foley sent to the 16 year old page should have served as a red flag for the House leaders. Anybody presumed to have enough sense to come in out of the rain could have seen that those emails were as filled with sexual innuendo as the ones deemed “explicit.”

    “One does not have to learn how to fall into a pit; all it takes is the first step, the others take care of themselves.”

    Report this

    By seeingred, October 2, 2006 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Get real, folks.  The GOP dominated Congress can do whatever the hell they want.  It’s not a matter of spin.  It’s not a matter of righteousness.  It’s not a matter of decadence.  It’s a matter of who controls the voting machines and tabulations in critical voting districts.  Consequently, Dubya is out there saying that he knows Republicans will retain control.  Let’s face it.  There are just too many wealthy interests who stand to lose enormously if Repubs and their pathetic Christ-child, lose.

    Report this

    By TEX, October 2, 2006 at 3:54 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    My take on this is that there could be more members involved in these e-mail?  Would i dare to guess?

    Maybe this is why there was the cover up for over a year, when they were made aware of Foley’s e-mail.  Man, it’s getting crazier and crazier just before elections…..

    The only thing that can somewhat neutralize this story is that “Bin Laden has been captured!!!!” and with this administration, I would not be surprised..

    Report this

    By angryspittle, October 2, 2006 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    This country is in such dire distress that I am willing to accept anything that will rid us of this scum, even if it is a tawdry sex scandal.  It would be great if we could impeach all these bastards on the basis of destroying the constitution and war crimes and treason, but I’ll take the sex scandal if that will do it.

    Report this

    By kevtao, October 2, 2006 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Wow, the holier than thou GOP in congress knew about the pervert and did nothing. Is anyone who is capable of using the gray matter in their head surprised at this?! If this doesn’t turn out to be the catalyst for the collapse of the GOP controlled cesspool of a congress, what would it take to bring it about?

    Report this

    By John C. Bonser, October 2, 2006 at 2:34 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    The GOP leadership has demonstrated its condecending contempt for the “values voters” who have been loyal to it and looked to it for moral leadership.

    Report this

    By name, October 2, 2006 at 2:19 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    1. what did IM’s say
    2. who were they going to?
    3. he was sending x-rated (thats sorta ambiguous term here) to ppl who he knew and they were offended

    this whole article seems interesting then….nada

    im liking this site find for me

    Report this

    By john worden, October 2, 2006 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Is there a rethuglicunt out there who isnt a perv?PA-LEASE COME FORWARD.

    Report this

    By Lance, October 2, 2006 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
    (Unregistered commenter)

    Folks, this is the hand the magician wants you to watch.

    Today we should be talking about why Condi chose not to remember that Tenet warned her two months before the 911 attacks that somethng was in the works, and also conveniently forgot that she evidently also didn’t give a shit.

    “If we had known…we would have moved Heaven and Earth to prevent the attacks.”

    Instead we’re talking about a Congressman who can’t keep his pecker in his pants, and the Republican spin machine is using this as an opportunity to remind Aemricans that, after all, Clinton did the same thing.  Oh yeah, and to infer that homosexuality is synonymous with child predation.

    This “issue” is a net PLUS for Republicans.

    Report this
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