Sunday, October 01, 2006

Has the Foley Scandal Gotten Worse?

What did they know, and when did they know it? Those are the questions being asked about GOP House leaders about what they knew about accusations about improper emails and instant messages regarding Rep. Mark Foley's conduct towards Congressional pages. GOP leaders deny that they knew about the extent of the sexually explicit messages being sent by Foley to former and current pages. House leaders actually take Foley to task for the emails. Yet, they did nothing to strip Foley from his post as Chair of the Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children.
Hastert said he does not remember talking to Reynolds about the Foley e-mails, but did not dispute Reynolds' account.

"While the speaker does not explicitly recall this conversation, he has no reason to dispute Congressman Reynolds' recollection that he reported to him on the problem and its resolution," Hastert's aides said in a preliminary report on the matter issued Saturday.

The report includes a lengthy timeline detailing when they first learned of the worrisome e-mail in the fall of 2005, after a staffer for Alexander told Hastert's office the family wanted Foley to stop contacting their son. Alexander's staffer did not share the contents of the e-mail, saying it was not sexual but "over-friendly," the report says.

Hastert's aides referred the matter to the Clerk of the House, and "mindful of the sensitivity of the parent's wishes to protect their child's privacy and believing that they had promptly reported what they knew to the proper authorities," they did not discuss it with others in Hastert's office - including, apparently, their boss.

After the issue was referred to the clerk, it was passed along to the congressman who oversees the page program, Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill.

Shimkus has said he learned about the e-mail exchange in late 2005 and took immediate action to investigate.

He said Foley told him it was an innocent exchange. Shimkus said he warned Foley not to have any more contact with the teenager and to respect other pages.

Democrats charged Reynolds did far too little and said more digging should be done.
Of course Democrats will make those charges. It's politics as usual. Yet, there are quite a few Republicans who are angry at the whole situation they're facing. This goes beyond politics.

Ed Morrissey thinks that the GOP have actually figured out a way to make an already bad scandal worse by their conduct in the matter. He thinks that Hastert and Boehner should resign their leadership positions because of their inability to deal with this issue with the gravity they deserve. I concur.

Don Surber thinks that the Democrats and Leftists are a bunch of hypocrites, especially as Jim McGreevey is making a bunch of coin over his relationship with another man, Golan Cipel, who he put in charge of the NJ DHS even though he was utterly unqualified for the position. Instead of treating his resignation as one being due to his ethical lapses and other assorted misdeeds, McGreevey turned his resignation into a claim of being outed as a gay American. Flopping Aces sees this as a Democrat hit job.

I have to disagree. The Foley mess is on Foley alone. That the GOP leaders knew, or had reason to know of those misdeeds and have issued statements that are misleading or inaccurate as to what they knew and when they knew it, makes this about the GOP leaders.

Others blogging: Hot Air, The Shape of Days, AJ Strata, Patterico, John Cole, and Liberty and Justice.

Prior coverage: Rep. Mark Foley Resigns Over Sexually Explicit Emails

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