Saturday, October 07, 2006


Rats Leaving Ship—Is It Sinking?

The Republican mishandling of Mark Foley’s follies just gets crummier and crummier. Hastert’s staff members are trying to escape the sinking ship of fools and perhaps be able to have post-Bush careers. What’s obvious is that Foley’s proclivities for young men were well-known long before the ABC revelations, and that “well-known” includes high-level Republican operatives. No matter how many flacks try to blame the scandal on Nancy Pelosi and ABC news (as well as secular humanism, Bill Clinton, and the Reformation), the smelly mess is sitting squarely on the Republican leadership.

Staffer Cites Earlier Role by Hastert's Office
Confrontation With Foley Detailed
By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, October 7, 2006; A01

House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's chief of staff confronted then-Rep. Mark Foley about his inappropriate social contact with male pages well before the speaker said aides in his office took any action, a current congressional staff member with personal knowledge of Foley and his behavior with pages said yesterday.

The staff member said Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, met with the Florida Republican at the Capitol to discuss complaints about Foley's behavior toward pages. The alleged meeting occurred long before Hastert says aides in his office dispatched Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.) and the clerk of the House in November 2005 to confront Foley about troubling e-mails he had sent to a Louisiana boy.

The staff member's account buttresses the position of Foley's onetime chief of staff, Kirk Fordham, who said earlier this week that he had appealed to Palmer in 2003 or earlier to intervene, after Fordham's own efforts to stop Foley's behavior had failed. Fordham said Foley and Palmer, one of the most powerful figures in the House of Representatives, met within days to discuss the allegations.


Hastert maintains that he knew nothing of Foley's actions until last week, when the story first broke and Foley resigned. His stance contradicts that of House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Thomas M. Reynolds (R-N.Y.), both of whom said they had informed Hastert this spring.


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