Monday, October 02, 2006

The Foley Scandal Grows

The fallout from the Mark Foley scandal grows in many directions - from the political to the criminal. The Florida GOP has decided upon a replacement for Mark Foley. He's three-term state legislator Joe Negron. Mark Foley, meanwhile has entered a rehab center. That has done little to stem the political fallout from the scandal:
White House press secretary Tony Snow, asked about that Monday on ABC's "Good Morning America," urged greater efforts to "figure out what happened here." He called it "a terrible story" and said he considered it unfortunate that "people are thinking, 'OK, can I get political advantage out of this'."

Hastert, in a letter sent Sunday to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, asked the Justice Department to "conduct an investigation of Mr. Foley's conduct with current and former House pages."

Republican candidates, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from Foley and seeking inquiries. Some Republicans also are calling for accountability from GOP leaders who knew about some of Foley's behavior and failed to take action.

"If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem, they should not serve in leadership," said Rep. Christopher Shays, a Republican in a competitive re-election fight in Connecticut.

Like other Democrats, his opponent Diane Farrell called the scandal indicative of House Republicans run amok, saying: "This leadership, which has been so terribly wrong on so many policies, now seems willing to cover up events to protect its members."

Privately, some Republicans concede that the party now is in even more danger of losing control of the House and a few fear the scandal could spill over to the Senate as well. Democrats need to win 15 GOP-held House seats and six in the Senate for control after a dozen years of Republican rule.
The Florida Masochist sends me the following links that are worth checking out including those from the Florida Beach Post what they knew about Foley's story and when.

Stop the ACLU has more on some of the hypocrisy creeping into this story.

Meanwhile, Denny Hastert's office says that they had no knowledge of the IMs that contained the sexual advances and suggestive language. I think some folks are trying to conflate the instant messages with the emails. While the emails contain suggestive language - like asking for photographs, it is the instant messages that contain exchanges that are of a highly sexual nature.

ABC's Blotter notes that Foley was trying to arrange a nighttime meeting with one of the pages.

It should come as no surprise that quite a few on the right are slamming the GOP leadership over the Foley scandal. Add the Wall Street Journal editorial board to that list.

Macranger continues to pursue the setup angle of the Foley scandal, based on the fact that quite a few leftist sites knew about the emails and IMs and yet sat on this information until right before the election. Yes, there is a problem with the timing of this scandal coming about 40 days out from the election.

The problem is that Foley's conduct is completely inexcusable and it appears that the GOP leadership conduct is questionable as to what they knew and when they knew it. That Democrats would wait til the last possible moment to unleash this information is politics as usual. The questions for the GOP leaders are numerous: Should Reynolds have done more to press the issue with Hastert and get to the bottom of the matter? Did Hastert investigate matters as fully as he should have?

Whatever the answer should have been, we're going to see lots of investigations into the situation from the FBI and DoJ.

LaShawn Barber calls for Hastert's resignation. Her voice joins that of Ed Morrissey and my own.

And yet, there is the possibility that some of those instant messages were doctored. That's right folks. Doctored. Passionate America has more.

I think there are still discrepancies in the story, and those will come out, as will the role played by the group C.R.E.W. Mark Levin has more on that angle.

Others blogging: Sister Toldjah, QandO, Newsbusters, Dan Riehl, Michelle Malkin, Flopping Aces, AJ Strata, In Search of Utopia, and The Moderate Voice.

Ann Althouse and Don Surber have interesting takes on whether this is a matter of sex. I think this is about power - the abuse thereof. Sex sells the papers and inflates the blog statistics, but the core of this scandal is the abuse of power.

If the GOP loses power in either the House or Senate, they really have no one to blame but themselves. The Democrats have no policies or ideas of their own, other than to oppose whatever the GOP is doing (the odd exception being the fence legislation, where about half the Senate Democrats jumped the aisle to vote with the GOP on authorizing the fence).

Ace notes that the Washington Times is also calling for GOP leadership heads to roll. Add Beltway Blogroll to those calling for Hastert to step down. Even Instapundit thinks that Hastert should not be reelected to the majority leader slot - though that was after his handling of the Rep. William Jefferson scandal (aka the $90,000 cold cash in freezer story).

Prior coverage: Has Foley Scandal Gotten Worse?, Rep. Mark Foley Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Emails

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