Sunday, October 01, 2006

House Republicans Hushed Up Foley Sex Scandal

The sex scandal surrounding Republican Rep. Mark Foley is getting lots of attention from everyone. Apparently, many Republicans Leaders in the House of Representatives knew of Foley's sexually-laced IMs and e-mails to the young page and covered up the evidence. Some Republicans even accepted contributions from Foley. Was it Foley's way to buy their silence?

Here are some excerpts from an article from The Free Internet Press:

Top House Republicans knew for months about e-mail traffic between Representative Mark Foley and a former teenage page, but kept the matter secret and allowed Foley to remain head of a Congressional caucus on children’s issues, Republican lawmakers said Saturday.

The exchanges began with what Republicans now describe as an “overfriendly” e-mail message from Foley to the unidentified teenager, but news reports about the exchanges have led to the disclosure of e-mail correspondence with other former pages in which the discussions became more and more sexually explicit. Shortly after he was confronted by ABC News on Friday about the subject, Foley, who represented a south Florida district, resigned from the House.

The revelations set off a political upheaval, with Democrats and some Republicans alike calling for a full investigation of Foley’s conduct and whether House leaders did enough to look into it. Members of the Republican leadership sought Saturday to detail how they had handled the case in an effort to defuse the matter, even as it was emerging as an issue in Congressional races.

Among those who became aware of the communication in the fall of 2005 between Foley and the 16-year-old page, who worked for Representative Rodney Alexander, Republican of Louisiana, were Representative John A. Boehner, the majority leader, and Representative Thomas M. Reynolds of New York, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Reynolds said in a statement Saturday that he had also personally raised the issue with Speaker J. Dennis Hastert earlier this year......

...Aides to the speaker and other Congressional Republican leaders said that the messages brought to their attention - described as “over friendly” - were much less explicit than others that came to light after ABC News disclosed the first e-mail correspondence. In those messages, Foley asked about the well-being of the boy, a Monroe, Louisiana, resident, after Hurricane Katrina and requested a photograph.

He wrote: “How are you weathering the hurricane. . .are you safe. . .send me a pic of you as well.”

Confronted by ABC News on Friday with more graphic e-mail, Foley resigned.....

...In another example of the potential political consequences of the Foley case, the opponent of Representative Deborah Pryce of Ohio, the fourth-ranking House Republican, called on Pryce to return $5,000 in aid she received from Foley. Foley, who served on the powerful Ways and Means Committee, also gave at least $100,000 to the party campaign committee in July.....

The Buffalo Pundit has a good summary of some of the articles about the scandal. Here is one excerpt from the Buffalo Pundit that makes you wonder how many Republicans were involved in the cover up:

...UPDATE: Also: On July 27, 2006, the NRCC, which Reynolds chairs, accepted an unusually large contribution of $100,000 from Foley. Hard to imagine something of that size just slipping past the chairman....

Many of the Republicans have been taking money and favors from lobbyists and now they knowingly covered up a sex scandal with one of their own members. This is just awful.