Washington D.C. Pages and Interns
September 28, 2006 2:06 PM   Subscribe

Congressman accused of sending 'sick' emails to 16 year old boy -- ""Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out."
posted by ericb (476 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Congressional Pages are the new altar boys!
posted by sourwookie at 2:09 PM on September 28, 2006


I don't know about 'sick', but it -could- be the start of a grooming campaign.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:10 PM on September 28, 2006


54 y.o. Congressman Mark Foley, co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus has a MySpace page.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2006


"Sick"? For grammarians, perhaps. Innocuous and slightly vacuous, perhaps. It's not like the Congressman was all "ASL & DO YUO LIEK CANDIE FROM MY VAN".
posted by boo_radley at 2:12 PM on September 28, 2006


Congressmen don't use bookmarks, 'cause they like their pages bent over.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:13 PM on September 28, 2006 [5 favorites]


I'm more upset at his apparent illiteracy.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:14 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


'Sick' is the term the boy used to describe the e-mail exchange with Congressman Foley.
"In another Foley writes, 'how are you weathering the hurricane…are you safe…send me an email pic of you as well…'

The page forwarded that e-mail to a congressional staffer saying it was 'sick sick sick sick sick.'"
And, yes, we can expect to be seeing/hearing highly-charged political activity next week as folks from Congress return to their home districts/states to campaign for the mid-term elections.
posted by ericb at 2:16 PM on September 28, 2006


Lets just outlaw men hugging. I think that would be best. And why are boxers half naked? That's sick. And get this, in the hall just now a guy said, "hi" and smiled at me. Fucking pervert.
posted by Ragma at 2:19 PM on September 28, 2006


I met this congressman 12 years ago. I was renting a room in a frat house (ugh) and I was introduced to him because he was in town and decided to visit his old frat. The frat brother who hooked me up with the room told me in secret that Foley was gay. And a few years ago, when I mentioned this on my blog because of the gay rumors surrounding him back then, I ended up being mentioned in a south Florida newspaper as a result.

That's my Mark Foley story. I'm guessing repression of sexual urges is a bitch.
posted by grubi at 2:19 PM on September 28, 2006


Yeah, I read that, ericb. I'm dismissing the lad's assertion.
posted by boo_radley at 2:19 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm more upset at his apparent illiteracy.

Gawker at first thought the e-mails were fake due to "semi-literate blogger claims." They've retracted, since they have been proven to be genuine and from the Congressman."We Fucked Up.
Mistakes were made.

Not skeptical enough about Jim Jeffords.
Too skeptical about Representative Mark “Perv” Foley.

The emails are real, as we learned about ten minutes after posting them. And now they’re gonna blow the fuck up!

We will make an effort, in the future, to not be skeptical about funny/creepy shit, and to not care about boring old people shit."posted by ericb at 2:21 PM on September 28, 2006


i call smear job ... come on, in these times you've got to get better dirt than that if you want to bury a politician
posted by pyramid termite at 2:23 PM on September 28, 2006


in these times you've got to get better dirt

Macaca...n****r.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM on September 28, 2006


He checked on the page's safety, offered him a birthday gift, and asked for a photo? WHAT A MONSTER
posted by brain_drain at 2:25 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


And, yes, we can expect to be seeing/hearing highly-charged political activity next week as folks from Congress return to their home districts/states to campaign for the mid-term elections.

Absolutamente. And as gratifying as it may be to see Foley hoisted on his petard, the vicious smear games of Election 2006 will be a double-edged sword, as much for Democrats and Republicans.

come on, in these times you've got to get better dirt than that if you want to bury a politician

Since when? Certainly not in Florida.
posted by blucevalo at 2:28 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm a Dem and I think that this is really shitty without any other evidence. Whether it's a calculated smear remains to be seen, but the only thing I see that's wrong in those emails is the overuse of ellipses and lack of capitalization...

Well, it might be a little weird that a congressman would be that friendly to a teenager, but the people that are screaming, "OMFG, KIDDY DIDDLER!" are overreacting at this point. The label of child molester is a life-ruiner, and it's not one you should be throwing around too lightly.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:30 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm really not getting this one. It looks like we might be dealing with an insanely homophobic 16-year-old boy here. Which isn't too unusual, I suppose.
posted by mr_roboto at 2:33 PM on September 28, 2006


"What happened was I gave certain people Thank-you cards, you know? I gave Foley one because he was a really nice guy to me and all. Then he asked me for my e-mail on the back of his. So I was like 'sure' because of course I had no suspicions."

Also, read the e-mails particularly regarding another male page 'Will.'
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on September 28, 2006


will be a double-edged sword, as much for Democrats and Republicans

Exactly. It's too bad that politics of the past 20-years has involved such tactics, but I guess they've always been employed. I'm sure there are some incredible examples in U.S. elections of the 18th. and 19th. centuries, as well.
posted by ericb at 2:38 PM on September 28, 2006


I'm sure I'll be hearing a lot more about this on the news than the suspension of habeas corpus and the legalization of torture.
posted by sonofsamiam at 2:40 PM on September 28, 2006


'Habeas corpus' -- what's that? Is it related to e-coli and the tainted spinach?
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on September 28, 2006


Well, it might be a little weird that a congressman would be that friendly to a teenager, but the people that are screaming, "OMFG, KIDDY DIDDLER!" are overreacting at this point.

I agree here. At worst, the letters by themselves are socially inappropriate. I wouldn't go so far as to call them "sick." Then again, I don't know the context either.
posted by jonp72 at 2:44 PM on September 28, 2006


#1 - gay /= child abuser.
#2 - maybe he likes kids? I like kids. I enjoy working with them, it’s probably the best thing I’ve had the opportunity to do. It’s great watching them achieve and grow as people.
I don’t have an opinion on the summer nudist camp (not my thing, but I don’t know much about how healthy or harmful it is or isn’t or whatever). But the Adam Walsh Child Safety and Protection Act wasn’t a bad thing (given, of course, that the criteria for being on the national sex offender registry database isn’t frivolous).
posted by Smedleyman at 2:46 PM on September 28, 2006


Perhaps the Congressman and Golan Cipel should become pen pals...or whatever. They're both self-loathing weasels who are lying about being gay.
posted by bim at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2006


'Habeas corpus' -- what's that? Is it related to e-coli and the tainted spinach?

No, it's the latest "Saw" sequel.
posted by blucevalo at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2006


"sick sick sick sick sick.'"

You know, like skateboarding tricks. "Dude, that fakey nosegrind was SICK!"

(No fire. All smoke.)
posted by klangklangston at 2:47 PM on September 28, 2006


Regarding context -- it appears that the boy (16 y.o. at the time; now 18 y.o.)" was asked by the Congressman for his e-mail address as he was leaving to go back to Florida for school. "...the exchange began within weeks after the page finished his program on Capitol Hill." It seems that the boy was taken aback on the very personal nature of the e-mails from a Congressman with whom he had little contact. He interpreted the familiar tone and the questions themselves as being odd. He got different advice from friends as to how he was reacting to the e-mails. He then reached out to full-time staffers in the congressional office of Foley to get their read on the matter.
posted by ericb at 2:51 PM on September 28, 2006


Since Nancy Grace will not be able to join us in this thread I will post in her place.

He's guilty! He's a pedophile!! Kill him!! KILL HIM NOW!!!

Thank you.
posted by MikeMc at 2:52 PM on September 28, 2006 [2 favorites]


#1 - gay /= child abuser. #2 - maybe he likes kids?

Exactly. Say Uncle.
posted by ericb at 2:53 PM on September 28, 2006


"Do you like gladiator movies, Joey?"
posted by JackFlash at 2:54 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Dude, that fakey nosegrind was SICK!"

Foley axegrind?
posted by solid-one-love at 2:55 PM on September 28, 2006


he's such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and he's in really great shape
posted by snofoam at 2:55 PM on September 28, 2006


To me it seems like a gay congressman kinda liked a couple of cute teenage boys, wanted to talk to them a little, but didn't really cross much of a huge line. God, I remember being a teenage girl -- I remember it being very common, albeit minorly creepy, for straight 50-year-old men to "chat me up" a bit (and sometimes a lot, certainly worse than this). Sure, it's a bit off, and he should knock it off. But it doesn't freak me out or make me hope he gets drummed out of office on account of this.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 2:56 PM on September 28, 2006


Yeah this is a bit ridiculous. I guess it was a little weird to ask for a pic, but the rest of the stuff? Is it really inappropriate for a congressman to be friends with a 16 year old boy now? What a fucked up world we live in if an adult can't even be friendly with a sixteen year old without being thought of as a pervert.

Also, here's another question. Is it inappropriate for an adult man to be "flirtatious" with a sixteen year old girl? If so: why? In a lot of places, 16 is the age of consent. I'm not talking about sleeping with them; I'm just talking about being 'flirty'. It seems over the top.

Furthermore there is a huge difference between being attracted to a sixteen year old (of any gender) and being attracted to like an eight year old. Having sex with a sixteen year old might be bad, but I would hardly call it "perverted".

Of course, the rules are quite different if you're running for office.
posted by delmoi at 2:57 PM on September 28, 2006


Is it inappropriate for an adult man to be "flirtatious" with a sixteen year old girl?

Yes, it's inappropriate. No, it shouldn't result in charges or accusations of pervert or child molester. That being said, I've recently watched a few French films (dubbed or subtitled, my French is horrile) on IFC and a recurring theme appears to be "man in his 40s-50s seduces teenage (15-17 year old) girl", and what's surprising is that people in the movies are responding with "That's kinda gross, but whatever floats your boat".

All that being said, I have a daughter and 5 acres worth of space for the shallow graves of men who come on to her before she's a legal adult.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:05 PM on September 28, 2006


Is it also possible that the teenage boys who would work in a GOP congressman's office are more right-wing than the norm? If so, would they be more likely to interpret a socially awkward congressman as making a homosexual pass at them?
posted by jonp72 at 3:05 PM on September 28, 2006


As much as I like to kick Republicans I don't see anything so "sick sick sick" about these emails. I don't even care if Foley was leading up to asking the dude if he wants his thingie fellated. He was 16 years old, not exactly a baby, and it's not like Foley had him at knifepoint or anything.

In just a few months now this "child in need of protection" will be old enough to vote and join the military; when Foley first emailed him he was already over the Age of Consent in quite a few states.

Part of me thinks the "outrage" wouldn't be there is Foley was a Democrat and/or if the "victim" was female, and part of me thinks most Americans are just mindlessly silly.

And yes, on preview, I am a slow typist; please excuse me for not disagreeing with everybody again.
posted by davy at 3:08 PM on September 28, 2006


Co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus

Not suspicious at all. Call me a crazy nut here, but I think that everytime a child feels threatened by the contents of E-mail sent by an adult, we should take notice.

Furthermore there is a huge difference between being attracted to a sixteen year old (of any gender) and being attracted to like an eight year old. Having sex with a sixteen year old might be bad

Except for this minor worked for Foley and any recommendation would have been dependent upon the Congressman. We are told in the article that they ask for photos to remember the face for recommendations.

Of course maybe that's not bad, but I seem to remember articles of impeachment regarding a similar situation with an intern.

Check the home computer.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:08 PM on September 28, 2006


He was just taking care of some HR duties:
Foley's office says it is their policy to keep pictures of former interns and anyone who may ask for a recommendation on file so they can remember them.
Isn't it always the congressperson who makes sure they've got photos of former interns?
posted by kirkaracha at 3:09 PM on September 28, 2006


jonp72: in my experience as a 16 year old boy, any adult male who even glanced at me was a potential pervert. If they asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for a picture of me, I'd be avoiding them from then on.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:09 PM on September 28, 2006


this minor worked for Foley and any recommendation would have been dependent upon the Congressman

Actually, not in this case. According to the first link, the kid didn't work for Foley.

He was just taking care of some HR duties: ... Isn't it always the congressperson who makes sure they've got photos of former interns?

Hee, good one.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:13 PM on September 28, 2006


jonp72 has a point. But then too even Republican senators have a right to be gay and/or pederasts.

As for Ironmouth, does the term Witch-hunt mean anything to you? What about homophobia?
posted by davy at 3:15 PM on September 28, 2006


Hmmmm . . . if he didn't work for Foley then why did his staff say this:

Foley's office says it is their policy to keep pictures of former interns and anyone who may ask for a recommendation on file so they can remember them.

Really? If he's not your intern, why do you want his picture?

There's got to be more here. Why is he getting the picture for the recommendation off his personal aol account?

Why does everyone over 50 use AOL almost exclusively?
posted by Ironmouth at 3:16 PM on September 28, 2006


All that being said, I have a daughter and 5 acres worth of space for the shallow graves of men who come on to her before she's a legal adult.

But after she's 18, she can date all the 50 year olds she wants and you're not going to have a problem? I mean maybe there's nothing you can do about it but seriously doubt you would just magically be OK with it on her 18th birthday.

The point is, why pick 18 as an arbitrary age when this all becomes "ok"? I mean in most states sixteen is legal.

jonp72: in my experience as a 16 year old boy, any adult male who even glanced at me was a potential pervert. If they asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for a picture of me, I'd be avoiding them from then on.

And by "pervert" you mean "gay" right?
posted by delmoi at 3:17 PM on September 28, 2006


"[E]verytime a child feels threatened by the contents of E-mail sent by an adult, we should take notice."

Do we strangle him or burn him alive?
posted by davy at 3:18 PM on September 28, 2006


When a child feels threatened by an adult in a sexual way, I think we need to take notice. Hell, when anyone feels threatened by another person, I think its important that they have the right to complain and have their concerns heard.

That's not a witch hunt, that's good sense.

pederasty, even with boys, isn't associated with homosexuality. That's an old carnard used to go after gay people.

Note also the kid complained to Foley's office first. Its not like he's going after him for points.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2006


in my experience as a 16 year old boy, any adult male who even glanced at me was a potential pervert

You would not have liked being a 16-year-old girl, then, I can guarantee you. Adult male attention was pretty much par for the course, as I recall, and something my friends and I negotiated as part of being teenage girls.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2006


Of course maybe that's not bad, but I seem to remember articles of impeachment regarding a similar situation with an intern.

The impeachment was for perjury about a consensual relationship between two adults.
posted by delmoi at 3:19 PM on September 28, 2006


Davy,

I haven't called for anything other than an investigation. I think that's what the complainant wants as well. Its perfectly possible that nothing was wrong. That doesn't mean we shouldn't look.

If this was just a regular guy running a car dealership in Florida, how would you feel about it? I'd feel the same way.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:21 PM on September 28, 2006


he's such a nice guy...acts much older than his age...and he's in really great shape

Yeah, that was the only line that read as a bit iffy. (Not that I think flirting with 16 year old boys is really iffy in and of itself. Just a bit bloody stupid if you're a congressman.)
posted by jack_mo at 3:21 PM on September 28, 2006


Tempest, meet teapot.
posted by wsg at 3:21 PM on September 28, 2006


When a child feels threatened by an adult in a sexual way, I think we need to take notice.

Since when is a 16 year old a "child". They a minor but not a child.

You would not have liked being a 16-year-old girl, then, I can guarantee you. Adult male attention was pretty much par for the course, as I recall

Exactly, this is all about different standards for gay people and straight people.
posted by delmoi at 3:23 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


"The e-mails were sent from Foley's personal AOL account, and the exchange began within weeks after the page finished his program on Capitol Hill."

"The young man in question did not work or intern for Foley's office."

Yeah -- why would a congressman be asking for a picture for 'the files' and from a boy who didn't even work with the congressman?
posted by ericb at 3:26 PM on September 28, 2006


I haven't called for anything other than an investigation. I think that's what the complainant wants as well. Its perfectly possible that nothing was wrong. That doesn't mean we shouldn't look.

Investigation into what? To see if he really is a pervert? How do you propose doing that? With some kind of pervertometer?

If this was just a regular guy running a car dealership in Florida, how would you feel about it? I'd feel the same way.
posted by delmoi at 3:27 PM on September 28, 2006


delmoi: "But after she's 18, she can date all the 50 year olds she wants and you're not going to have a problem? I mean maybe there's nothing you can do about it but seriously doubt you would just magically be OK with it on her 18th birthday. The point is, why pick 18 as an arbitrary age when this all becomes "ok"? I mean in most states sixteen is legal."

Well, for one thing, I'm Canadian, so legality in the U.S. doesn't matter, but even so it's been 14 for a very long time in Canada and just recently upped to 16, I believe.

But the point is, if I haven't done my job by the time that she reaches AOM, I'm not going to be able to do any better when she's a legal adult. Whether I'm OK with it doesn't matter. I'm not raising a child to be the mental clone of myself (feminine version), I'm raising a child to be the kind of adult I'd like to have in the world; and the kind of adult I want to have in the world can think for himself or herself.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:27 PM on September 28, 2006


Exactly, this is all about different standards for gay people and straight people.

You better bow out of this thread before you get your ass handed to you, IMO, because you are talking bullshit.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:29 PM on September 28, 2006


I am a young straight male living in NYC, and it's pretty common for old queens to hit on me, in a more or less creepy way. This doesn't even cross the line. (One time a cab driver pinched my nipple and asked me to come home with him). Since Foley is gay, it is natural that there be some sexual tension between him and another attractive male who wants something from him. Believe it or not, that's the case for older men and young women too. There is nothing improper about it, since he never did anything harrassing.
posted by nasreddin at 3:30 PM on September 28, 2006


It certainly could be a ‘flirty’ situation. I myself don’t do that. But I know people who do flirt but would never cross that line. As an adult I have talked to some youger kids to try to make some contact and get the sense that I was still in touch And made an idiot of myself. Although I did get into a nifty conversation (while in my suit, badge, crewcut, etc0 with a cashier and his assorted friends who had come to visit him (dressed in trad. punk attire) about Black Flag, the Misfits and the whole second wave of punk which made me feel young again. But for the most part in those encounters you come off looking like a dork or a pervert even with good intentions. I can only imagine ‘flirty’ types screw up similarly only more so. I think kids are smart enough to spot the dangerous ones though, typically. But this kind of overreaction I can only imagine would be harmful in relationships with adults. When I train younger adults and kids I’m *gasp* touching them, stretching them out, etc. At some level that requires a kind of trust and relationship that could be threatened by overreaction.
Was this particular thing appropriate? I don’t think so. But I’m pretty straitlaced. I don’t know that this is a teacher/coach - student relationship. Really, I don’t know WTF this is. Pretty alien to me. But then I kiss male members of my family on the lips. Pretty odd to folks outside our culture as well.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:30 PM on September 28, 2006


But the point is, if I haven't done my job by the time that she reaches AOM

Please. Most 18 year olds aren't very "mature" no matter how you slice it. People continue to mature most of their lives. I also doubt that an 18 year old is going to be much more mature then a 17 year old.
posted by delmoi at 3:33 PM on September 28, 2006


Investigation into what? To see if he really is a pervert? How do you propose doing that? With some kind of pervertometer?

No, but maybe a Gaydar would work.
posted by Big_B at 3:37 PM on September 28, 2006


Hey delmoi: raise your own kids. And when mine reaches AOM, you can seek her out and see if she qualifies for your mature-meter.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:38 PM on September 28, 2006


“Investigation into what? To see if he really is a pervert? How do you propose doing that? With some kind of pervertometer?”

“I think you're some kind of deviated prevert. I think General Ripper found out about your preversion, and that you were organizing some kind of mutiny of preverts.” - Colonel "Bat" Guano
posted by Smedleyman at 3:41 PM on September 28, 2006


"in my experience as a 16 year old boy, any adult male who even glanced at me was a potential pervert. If they asked me what I wanted for my birthday or for a picture of me, I'd be avoiding them from then on."

Jeez, project much?

As for why he was asking for a photo— even though the kid didn't work for him, it's totally possible that Foley thought he did. Clueless is not yet a crime.
posted by klangklangston at 3:46 PM on September 28, 2006


klangklangston: I'm not projecting anything. I'm explaining what it was like for me at age 16, in response to someone else's wondering about how 16 year old boys think.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:49 PM on September 28, 2006


Well, I was a 16 year old boy once as well, and honestly it never even occurred to me that any adult man would be attracted to me.
posted by delmoi at 3:52 PM on September 28, 2006


delmoi: That's great for you. You are not everybody.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:56 PM on September 28, 2006


As another once-16-year-old boy, uh... Delmoi's feelings are a lot more common. If someone asked when my birthday was, I'd think "Free shit!"
posted by klangklangston at 4:10 PM on September 28, 2006


"pederasty, even with boys, isn't associated with homosexuality."

The very first sentence of the already-cited Wikipedia article clearly says "The term pederasty or paederasty embraces a wide range of erotic practices between adult males and adolescent boys." The wording of the dictionary definition differs slightly, rendered by www.answers.com as "[a] man who has sexual relations, especially anal intercourse, with a boy" (etc.). Look it up yourself, even. Maybe you're thinking of pedophilia, which many (including me) hold to be a totally different thing? (By the way, I myself occasionally practice pedantry [Q.E.D.], a more satisfyingly sedentary hobby.)

I agree that "pederasty" and "homosexuality" (or even "faggotry") are not synonymous, and I think NAMBLA activist David Thorstad may have overstated the case a smidgen [warning: last link might be NSFW], but still, "pederasty" is associated with "homosexuality". (Those with the guts to click on the clearly "unsafe" link WWW.NAMBLA.ORG can read them make their case themselves; nobody's paying me here.)

As for Ironmouth's question "If this was just a regular guy running a car dealership in Florida", I'd feel the same way -- except that, because I don't kneejerkingly prejudge car dealers as "Fascist Monsters" like I do Republican Senators, I'd be less likely to feel slightly queasy seeming to defend a car dealer against a witch hunt. So what exactly was your point?

By the way, when I was 16 older men used to come on to me all the time, even 3 or 4 who didn't set off my gaydar at all and seemed damn awkward so I believed them when they said things like "I've never done this before." Now that I'm old, ugly, fat and poor I think I should have blackmailed a politician or two when I had the chance, eh? (Of course if there are any rich middle-aged Republican Senators reading this who ache to be blackmailed by an ugly old commie troll my email addy's in my Profile.)
posted by davy at 4:15 PM on September 28, 2006


This is clearly a Rorschach test.

That said, if an old guy who wasn't a relative or a teacher or a close (family) friend asked me for a photo and what I wanted for my birthday, at age 16 or 17, I'd be creeped out too.
posted by orthogonality at 4:18 PM on September 28, 2006


klangklangston: fair enough. I guess those feelings aren't as common as I though they were, though they were certainly existed in me and all of my friends at that age. FWIW, I was raised in a very homophobic (and racist and otherwise bigotted) small town society.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:19 PM on September 28, 2006


When I was 12 (a long time ago) a guy who I now guess was in his fifties befriended me.
I was fatherless and poor. I liked the attention being shown to me.
His next step was, "what would you like for your birthday?"
In time he made his move. Fortunately what he suggested was, to me, so repugnant ? repulsive ? whichever, that my reaction must have frightened him. He never showed up again.
Back then I had no clue about gay or child sexual abuse. And this was within twelve miles of broadway & 42nd.
And I was pretty street smart. Or so I thought.
Just sayin.
posted by notreally at 4:25 PM on September 28, 2006


So from the sound of it, this Congresscritter and this kid had never met. The Congresscritter is being friendly via email, and the kid thinks that somehow he, out of all the thousands of people that talk to the critter on a regular basis, is Somehow Special and worthy of a come-on? Without ever having met?

Sounds like a kid with serious Center of the Universe problems to me.

And I say this as someone who absolutely despises the Republicans. I figured this was a dirty trick they were pulling on a Democrat. I'm biased enough that, when I found out it was a Republican target, I didn't think it was a deliberate hatchet job by the Dems, but ... well, maybe they're nasty enough to do it. I dunno.

In any case, R or D, this is foolish and should never have hit the mainstream media.
posted by Malor at 4:29 PM on September 28, 2006


54 y.o. Congressman Mark Foley, co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus has a MySpace page.

Hey, he's friends with Tom too!
posted by cortex at 4:35 PM on September 28, 2006


So from the sound of it, this Congresscritter and this kid had never met

The boy didn't work for the congressman, but had met him. It seems he stopped by Foley's office to give him a thank-you card upon leaving the congressional page program...and that's when the congressman asked him to write-down his e-mail address on the back of the card. How much prior contact -- in person, via congressional e-mail, etc. -- is unknown, if any at all.
"What happened was I gave certain people Thank-you cards, you know? I gave Foley one because he was a really nice guy to me and all. Then he asked me for my e-mail on the back of his. So I was like 'sure' because of course I had no suspicions."
posted by ericb at 4:39 PM on September 28, 2006


Sounds like a kid with serious Center of the Universe problems to me.

I think he was a bit perplexed about the tone and the things that transpired in their e-mail exchange. He was confused as to why a congressman (for whom he didn't work) was so interested in him and candid in their online conversation. When you read the entire e-mail exchange between the boy and the congressional staffer to whom he turned you see that he was seeking understanding from friends (some thought it was creepy; others not) and from folks with whom he used to work.

His reactions are par for the course of a 16 year-old.
posted by ericb at 4:44 PM on September 28, 2006


wonder if there would have been the same reaction (or lack) if Foley had been a women?
posted by edgeways at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2006


If the kid wanted to initiate an investigation he should have told the police or a teacher, etc. or his parents could have come forward. Etc.
Did he do that? No, he alerted capitol hill staffers.
Now, I’m with Kickstart70, someone touches my kid and that person won’t be seen anymore. But if there is anything questionable going on well before that point, I’d want the police involved. I’d rather spare my kid the grief in the first place.
So, why didn’t that happen here?
Ah, yes. He’s not some car dealer. He’s political.
posted by Smedleyman at 4:46 PM on September 28, 2006


Also -- from the August 30, 2005 [11:12PM] e-mail the boy writes to the congressional staffer:
"Yes. I have his [Foley's] personal e-mail
This leads me to believe that the staffer wanted to confirm that the boy was communicating with Foley by way of personal e-mail. Hence, I suspect the Foley staffer found it unorthodox for the congressman to be communicating with the kid via his AOL e-mail and not his official congressional e-mail.
posted by ericb at 4:51 PM on September 28, 2006


Did he do that? No, he alerted capitol hill staffers.

He was 16 years old and turned to the people for whom he worked, seeking understanding. BTW -- this started two-years ago and is only coming out now. It's possible the kid is behind the leak, but more likely that someone in D.C. (a disgruntled former Foley staffer, a hacked e-mail accunt, etc.) is behind this dirty tactic.
posted by ericb at 4:53 PM on September 28, 2006


Part of me thinks the "outrage" wouldn't be there is Foley was a Democrat

Har har har. The difference is, if Foley had been a Democrat, Rove's minions would be sending out the press releases themselves and Rush Limbaugh would be using this to hammer same-sex marriage.
posted by digaman at 4:59 PM on September 28, 2006


If the kid wanted to initiate an investigation he should have told the police or a teacher, etc. or his parents could have come forward. Etc.

Nowhere in the e-mail trail is there any indication that the boy wanted an investigation, lobbed charges or even meant for this all to be made public.

It appears that he only sought advice from his friends -- in Florida and former coworkers in DC -- as to whether or not he was being "paranoid" in his assessment of the situation. As far as we can tell he never even raised the issue with his parents.

The staffers may have felt akward about the situation and did nothing more than counsel the boy. Now -- two-years later -- someone is exposing the e-mail exchange using it as a political trick.
posted by ericb at 5:00 PM on September 28, 2006


Congressmen don't use bookmarks, 'cause they like their pages bent over.

I just noticed that. Lol.

klangklangston: fair enough. I guess those feelings aren't as common as I though they were, though they were certainly existed in me and all of my friends at that age. FWIW, I was raised in a very homophobic (and racist and otherwise bigotted) small town society.

I think in the 1980s and before there was a lot of sort of informational programs aimed at kids so that they would be "afraid of strangers". This was done as a sort of way to 'harden' kids against being abducted. I certainly remember reading that sort of literature when I was a kid. Don't talk to strangers; don't get in their vans, etc. I don't think that many people worried about that at all in the past, but I don't really know. So I think there was a sort of change in that time period. I think people are way over paranoid though, especially since childhood abductions are pretty rare.

Anyway, from my perspective that was all about protecting kids which I did not consider myself at all once I was older then 14. I considered myself a teenager.

By the way, there were openly gay kids at my high school, more lesbians but there were a few gay kids and they even had a gay/lesbian/alliance club.

Do you think it would be 'perverted' for an older gay guy to hit on an out of the closet 16 year old gay kid?

A gay dude hitting on a 16 year old boy without knowing their orientation is probably pretty rude an inappropriate, but I certainly wouldn't consider it 'perverted' or 'dangerous' anymore then it would be if they hit on an 18 year old boy.
posted by delmoi at 5:00 PM on September 28, 2006


"Guess who? Sorry to leave you so many messages. Just lonely here. Thinkin' about the muscly-armed paperboy. Wishin' he'd come by and bring me some good news."

the above quote was meant only as an injoke and in no way reflects the actual way I feel about this matter which is: "meh"
posted by hoborg at 5:03 PM on September 28, 2006


wonder if there would have been the same reaction (or lack) if Foley had been a women?

Depends on if she had been hot.
posted by delmoi at 5:03 PM on September 28, 2006


The first e-mail sent from Foley to the boy was on July 29, 2005:
"do i have the right email

Mark Foley"
The boy get's "freaked out" around August 31, 2005 -- the day when he sent this e-mail to the staffer:
"Ok. I am forwarding them [presumably the e-mails from Foley] now.

Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously, this freaked me out.

But do tell me what you think about it all. I have one friend thinking I am being paranoid and the other saying she thinks it is wierd [sic] that he even asked me for my e-mail, much more what he said."
And "...I still haven't e-mailed him back, and I don't think I will for a while, if ever. What do you think about it all???
posted by ericb at 5:23 PM on September 28, 2006


BTW -- this started two-years ago and is only coming out now.

My mistake -- last year.
posted by ericb at 5:24 PM on September 28, 2006


Heh. In my country, 16 year old boys are fair game.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:36 PM on September 28, 2006


the "collecting interns photos" excuse would be much more plausible if: (a) one of the congressman's aides had sent the request (b) the request was sent from an official .gov e-mail address... not a personal AOL account
posted by pruner at 5:53 PM on September 28, 2006


"Nowhere in the e-mail trail is there any indication that the boy wanted an investigation, lobbed charges or even meant for this all to be made public."

It wasn't my intention to condemn the kid's actions. And I agree it's probably political dirty pool (which is why, y'know, I alluded to that). But I think it speaks volumes as to how 'creeped out' he was that he didn't go to the police. He had a 'WTF' moment which he handled however he handled and apparently didn't feel threatened enough to tell mom or dad or the cops. A weird and uncool encounter, but not threatening.
Ok, meanwhile Foley gets lynched by it because he's maybe gay. Well that sucks.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:00 PM on September 28, 2006


I think he was very puzzled by the congressman asking for a picture and what he wanted as a birthday present. Thinking more about the situation, it seems that the kid hardly knew the congressman who was the one to initiate what turned out to be a one-month e-mail exchange. He found it strange that a congressman was taking interest in him. If you think about it...it is strange and awkward, isn't it?

When Senator Kerry or Congressman Mike Capuano start sending me e-mails asking me what I want for my birthday and requesting a picture of me, I'll likely get a bit freaked out -- even as an adult.
posted by ericb at 6:11 PM on September 28, 2006


Meh...

Much ado about nothing. Even if Foley did want to fuck the boy, there's nothing overt in the emails about it. I think the kid's just a homophobe.
posted by MythMaker at 6:16 PM on September 28, 2006


Ok, meanwhile Foley gets lynched by it because he's maybe gay. Well that sucks.

I'm not sure the "gay" angle is the only angle here. There's also the issue of a person in a position of power seeking to form a relationship with this boy. I wonder what the boy's parents think about this. And let's change the gender. What would any parent think of a congressman communicating with their 16-year daughter, seeking her picture and offering to buy her a birthday present?
posted by ericb at 6:17 PM on September 28, 2006


i've been hearing for years that Congressman Mark Foley is gay, but it's supposed to be a secret.
posted by brandz at 6:41 PM on September 28, 2006


What's with Florida's Republican politicians? As a fifty year old type person - sixteen year olds just don't interest me outside my role as a parent or relative. So...this is weird.
posted by trii at 6:56 PM on September 28, 2006


wonder if there would have been the same reaction (or lack) if Foley had been a women?

Like, multiple women? Now that would have been kinky.

Look, women often just seem less threatening than men, for statistically good reasons. It's not OK to get hyperbolic about things and say stuff like "All men are rapists!" Hell, I even think men get shafted on car insurance. But it's OK to sometimes acknowledge differences in behavior and perception between genders. Of course the reaction might well have been more muted if Foley had been a woman.

Unless it'd been Hillary.
posted by namespan at 6:56 PM on September 28, 2006


I had men hit on me (more like flirting I suppose) when I was 16. As long as they did not harass me, I had no problem. I am not gay.

Wait. What's the problem again?

For once, I agree with delmoi.

Exactly, this is all about different standards for gay people and straight people.

Yep. Reminds me of how my friends responded in junior high when we saw two men kissing for the first time. OH MY GOD!! SICK SICK SICK SICK SICK!

Thank goodness for PDF Download, btw.

What would any parent think of a congressman communicating with their 16-year daughter, seeking her picture and offering to buy her a birthday present?

If she worked as a congressional page for him, I'd likely think little of it (depending on the gift (and what kind of picture), of course). I would sure as hell look into the relationship, also of course.
posted by mrgrimm at 6:59 PM on September 28, 2006


"What would any parent think of a congressman communicating with their 16-year daughter, seeking her picture and offering to buy her a birthday present?"

"What a good catch for you dear! Be sure to get lots of jewelry and don't sign any papers that our lawyers haven't vetted."
posted by davy at 7:00 PM on September 28, 2006


As a fifty year old type person - sixteen year olds just don't interest me outside my role as a parent or relative.

Well, I believe that children are the future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how it used to be.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:05 PM on September 28, 2006 [1 favorite]


If she worked as a congressional page for him, I'd likely think little of it

What if she didn't work for him -- as this boy didn't work for Foley?
posted by ericb at 7:08 PM on September 28, 2006


davy -- you owe me a new monitor!
posted by ericb at 7:09 PM on September 28, 2006


Rep. Foley's Opponent Calls for an Investigation into Allegations of Inappropriate E-mails with Former Page
posted by ericb at 7:17 PM on September 28, 2006


"The boy served as a page to a Louisiana congressman last year and came to know Foley, 52. He sent the [Florida] congressman a thank-you note when his term as a page ended. After the boy returned to his home in Louisiana, Foley used his personal email account to correspond with the teen.

In the exchange, Foley asked the boy about weathering Hurricane Katrina and wrote, 'send me an email pic of you.' In another email, Foley told the boy he was on a break from Congress and was in Florida. He asked the boy 'how old are you now?'

The boy forwarded excerpts from the emails to congressional staffers and said, 'Maybe it is just me being paranoid, but seriously. This freaked me out.'

The boy, who is not being identified because of his age, told the St. Petersburg Times in an interview last November, when the Times first learned of the emails, that he cut off correspondence with Foley.

'I thought it was very inappropriate, the boy told the Times. 'After the one about the picture, I decided to stop emailing him back.'

But the boy said he was not seeking publicity. 'I don’t want to get involved in any big thing,' he said.

The emails have been circulating since they were posted on an anonymous blog on Sunday. An ABC News Web site posted an item about them Thursday afternoon and was the first to report that the Mahoney campaign was calling for an investigation.

ABC News reported that Foley’s office said he routinely asked interns and job applicants for photographs. But when the Times asked Foley about the emails nearly a year ago, he did not mention that practice.

He said he was merely trying to be friendly and did not mean to make the boy uncomfortable.

Foley has had email exchanges with at least one other former page who told the Times he was surprised to get an email from a congressman."

[St. Petersburg Times | September 28, 2006]
posted by ericb at 7:24 PM on September 28, 2006


Foley has had email exchanges with at least one other former page who told the Times he was surprised to get an email from a congressman.

Ironmouth: There's got to be more here.

I agree.
posted by ericb at 7:26 PM on September 28, 2006


May 2003: Rep. Mark Foley denounces gay rumors:

During the conference call, Foley refused to say if he was gay or straight. "People can draw whatever conclusions they want to," he told the Associated Press. "There are certain things we shouldn't discuss in public. Some people may think that's old-fashioned, but I firmly believe it's a good rule to live by."

And there are still folks who think it's possible he's *not* gay? Would a straight politician in the USA ever give the above answer? Riiiight.

The five-term West Palm Beach congressman has been under fire since a story ran in a south Florida news weekly that suggested Foley's sexuality has been an open secret for years.

In the May 8 edition of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach, columnist Bob Norman criticized mainstream media outlets for ignoring Foley's sexuality, while at the same time pointing out his pro-gay voting record.


There really is a double standard here that allows closeted Republicans to be hypocrites while using gay rights as a club. Those days are o-v-e-r.

davy: Part of me thinks the "outrage" wouldn't be there is Foley was a Democrat

Ok, so if a Democrat long rumored to be queer got caught sending the exact same emails to a page out of his office, with the page's "sick sick sick" reaction the same, are you seriously saying the Republican noise machine wouldn't be all over the story like flies on shit? What planet are you on?
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on September 28, 2006


*(the using gay rights as a club isn't directed at Foley specifically)
posted by mediareport at 7:35 PM on September 28, 2006


Some younger members may not recall that Congress had a major sex scandal with its pages 23 years ago. Well, two Congressmen. It led to certain reforms of the program. There was also a problem about a decade ago involving alcohol (and sex?) partying amongst pages.

A little before that I had looked into becoming a page, but my Congressman had people with better GPAs etc. than mine so it never went anywhere.

My take on these is "weird and socially inappropriate". For example, when I corresponded with my Congressman I got a formal letter in return roughly "How nice to hear from you! I remember your parents well, and say hello to your mother for me. As it happens ..." etc. There was one paragraph that was like that and the rest was a boilerplate letter from a Congressional office, probably put together by a staffer.

Even in this case, with the working relationship, I'd expect something much more along the lines of "How is your education at XXXX Academy going? What colleges are you considering? I would be happy to write a recommendation." Yes, even on AOL e-mail.

Birthday and picture, though? WTF? Either this is his grooming game or he's sublimating something and has no idea how to get a real conversation going. Basically has no idea what his boundaries are.

Anyway, it's a dirty trick only in timing. These e-mails have by report been circulating around Washington for a while; the Congressman surely heard via his office grapevine and has known it was only a matter of time. His reaction, and whehter this shakes any other rotten apples out of the tree, will be telling.

But you've got to be mighty stupid to be playing with fire like this. Especially when you make protecting children from predators one of your major planks.

And as for age of consent, most jurisdictions have a clause limiting the age of the other person, at most usually 10 years age difference, until they're of full majority. You'd have to be a mighty young first-term Congressman to fit into that one. Florida's law, for example, says:

(1) A person 24 years of age or older who engages in sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 years of age commits a felony of the second degree
posted by dhartung at 7:37 PM on September 28, 2006


Sorry I wasn't clear enough, mediareport; actually I meant the "outrage" HERE, on Metafilter, with its noisily partisan pseudo-liberal Democratic coterie. My take on Metafilter is that were Foley a Democrat the majority would be cussing out the "evil Republican smear campaign."

And sorry about the monitor Eb, but I can't be responsible for failing to anticipate that your sense of humor would be as puerile as my own. At least you can't hear me say "Bitch set me up!" in my "Joan Rivers" voice. And oh, to show how erudite I am, "It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

And dhartung, in Florida how often are 24 year olds cavorting with 17 year olds actually prosecuted, and what in FL is a "felony of the second degree"? Are we talking drawing and quartering or 30 days in county jail? (Not that I care personally; the age of consent for both sexes here in KY is 16, but I'm aging so badly that all I'd want is a neck rub and some stimulating intellectual conversation -- which pretty much rules out most people under 30.)
posted by davy at 9:54 PM on September 28, 2006


If the kid wanted to initiate an investigation he should have told the police or a teacher, etc. or his parents could have come forward. Etc.

Yeah, right. I can tell you how well that would go over.

"Hello? 9-1-1-? I want to report a suspicious person. He asked me personal stuff like my age and then he all but threatened to send a birthday card or something. He wanted a picture of me and everything. He is sick, sick, sick! Do something!"

Unless there's something else, this doesn't exactly rise to the level of police or investigations. What the hell do you think there is to investigate?
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:24 PM on September 28, 2006


This is a total fucking non-issue. Who gives a shit whether or not some half-literate Congressman has a crush on a page? "Hey looky here: a powerful filthy old man who could shoot you in cold blood and get away with it wants to bone somebody; this is way less pressing than the implosion of democracy."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 PM on September 28, 2006


Look, is this bad from a political standpoint? Obviously, it was inappropriate and he shouldn't have done it if he was worried about being re-elected.

But an "investigation"? What would that even entail? How would it be done? What exactly are you proposing should be done?
posted by delmoi at 1:22 AM on September 29, 2006


Jonp72:

Is it also possible that the teenage boys who would work in a GOP congressman's office are more right-wing than the norm? If so, would they be more likely to interpret a socially awkward congressman as making a homosexual pass at them?

Well, it may well be true that the more right-wing a person is, the less likely they are to be tolerant or accepting of homosexual behaviour – but I don’t think there’s any reason to think they’re necessarily more likely to misread friendliness as something more.

dhartung:

Either this is his grooming game or he's sublimating something and has no idea how to get a real conversation going.

So – according to these two options, either way, Foley had sexual interests in the boy. But I don’t see how we can safely dismiss a third, apparently perfectly legitimate option: He was genuinely trying to be affable and was, even if naively, showing an innocent interest in the boy and his life.
posted by ed\26h at 6:07 AM on September 29, 2006


IM IN UR CONGRESS EMAILING UR TEENAGE BOYZ

Frankly this whole story seems a little silly.
posted by clevershark at 7:12 AM on September 29, 2006


While there are ambivalencies here, the root issue for me is that Foley represents the potential for reaping the whirlwind. He is not only a member of the party that crusades to curtail rights and torture people, but the party that beds down with the paranoid, repressed religious right. He -- in a leading way within his party -- panders to the sex panic in the US shamelessly with righteous efforts to brand perverts in the pubic square. And his party has made hatred of gays (and other practitioners of alternative sexualities) a standard appeal the party uses iin elections on every level to whip up mob sentiment -- most especially in the last presidential election, in which the GOP machine in several states engineered anti-gay-marriage bills onto the ballot in order to draw out a reliable GOP constituency: homophobes and haters.

Yes, America confuses its classes of perverstions. But who has helped this along -- mixing up legitimate despisal of child molesters with heinous hatred for homosexuals -- more so than Republicans of Foley's ilk?

Watch that thing when you throw it, assholes. You live in a glass house and it's a boomerang stone.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:23 AM on September 29, 2006


And I will bet money the kid in question is a republican, his parents are republican contributors, and this was revealed to the press via a chain of republicans of the sanctified sort.

This is not a media-initiated hit job, and it didn't start with the Dems either. I guarantee it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:25 AM on September 29, 2006


Whatever its source or motivation, it's basically .
posted by davy at 8:52 AM on September 29, 2006


But an "investigation"? What would that even entail? How would it be done?

Florida Rep's Emails to Male Page Raise Eyebrows
"Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley exchanged personal emails with a 16-year-old former male page for a month, asking how old the young man was, if he wanted a photo, and requesting a photo.

Reports of the emails have rocked the House, bringing back memories of a scandal involving two members of Congress who had sex with two Congressional pages in the 1980s.

While Foley denied doing anything improper, sources say the Capitol Hill Police department is now looking into the Congressman's behavior.

In 1983, the House censured Illinois Republican Congressman Phil Crane and Garry Studds (D-Mass) after both admitted having sex with pages. Crane's lover was female while Studds' was male. Crane, who cried on the floor of the House and asked his colleagues to forgive him, lost his re-election campaign the following year.

Studds, however, refused to admit any guilt and became the first member of the House to openly admit his homosexuality while saying he did nothing wrong. He served several more terms before retring."
posted by ericb at 9:00 AM on September 29, 2006


"Trisha Biggers Peterson, a Gainesville mental health counselor and consultant to businesses on sexual harassment issues, called the e-mails 'troubling.'

'What's most troubling to me is it's a peer letter. It's not an appropriate letter for a 52-year-old and a 16-year-old,' said Biggers Peterson. 'They're not age mates at all in any shape or form.' [source]

"...there are strict rules about contacts between members of Congress and the teenage pages who serve as their messengers. [source]

"According to sources familiar with the e-mails, the page - who lives in Monroe, La. - forwarded copies of Foley's e-mails to Danielle Savoy, a former scheduler for U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, a Republican from Monroe. Savoy could not be reached for comment and Alexander's office did not return phone calls.

No official complaints about the e-mails have been filed with congressional authorities, according to Salley Collins, a spokeswoman for the House Committee on Administration, which oversees the House Clerk's Office, which runs the congressional page program. Pages serve as runners carrying messages and other items between congressional offices and elsewhere in the Capitol.

...The only contact Foley had with the teen, [Foley spokesman Jason] Kello said, was during a speech Foley gave to a group of House pages and when the boy was running errands for House members, including Foley.

In a online diary the page kept, he wrote about his experience as a congressional page several times and talked about meeting a number of politicians, but never mentioned Foley. The teenager also describes himself as a Republican who wants to be president." [source]
posted by ericb at 9:08 AM on September 29, 2006


According to sources familiar with the e-mails, the page - who lives in Monroe, La. - forwarded copies of Foley's e-mails to Danielle Savoy, a former scheduler for U.S. Rep. Rodney Alexander, a Republican from Monroe.

So -- it appears that the boy sought advice from someone in the office in which he worked and not someone in Foley's.
posted by ericb at 9:12 AM on September 29, 2006


"Especially when you make protecting children from predators one of your major planks."

It was obviously research. He was seeing how at-risk this kid was for being totally chickenhawked.

"But an "investigation"? What would that even entail? How would it be done? What exactly are you proposing should be done?"

Easy. We put electrodes on his cock and show him pictures from the Abercrombie and Fitch catalog. If he gets a stiffy, he's guilty.
posted by klangklangston at 9:12 AM on September 29, 2006


What do the electrodes do?
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:14 AM on September 29, 2006


What don't they do?
posted by klangklangston at 9:42 AM on September 29, 2006


"If there was no stiffy, the prosecution is iffy!"
posted by cortex at 10:42 AM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


If you were trying to hit on a 16 year-old boy, would you really use the line "what do you want for your birthday?" If Foley is trying to get laid, he sucks at it.
posted by mullacc at 11:19 AM on September 29, 2006


“If you think about it...it is strange and awkward, isn't it?”

Yep.
...you wouldn’t happen to have a full body shot you could send me do you?

‘What would any parent think of a congressman communicating with their 16-year daughter, seeking her picture and offering to buy her a birthday present?” - posted by ericb

I don’t know that it was an offer to buy a birthday present so much as a ‘what kind of stuff do you like’ question. But it certainly could be that too.
But (the above quote) is exactly my point. His parents think nothing of it apparently. Whether that’s because he didn’t tell them or whatever. I would have called the police. Wouldn’t have even thought twice about it. I’d want a record of pre-existing contact established so if anything did happen I’d know who’s ass to fry.
(which speaks to leftcoastbob ‘s comment: “What the hell do you think there is to investigate?” - that’s exactly why the police are there. My taxes don’t go to them to sit on their asses and eat donuts).

But again - didn’t happen here. So, kinda weird both ways. And indeed - inappropriate. But again - most people with a lot of wealth and/or in positions of power are fairly divorced from reality to start with. Doesn’t cut the guy any slack, just recognizing the calls for an investigation weren’t initiated by the kid or his parents but from the political sphere which is inbred to begin with.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:36 AM on September 29, 2006


He's going to resign, according to AP.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:57 AM on September 29, 2006


I think that this sort of criticism and discussion is entirely legitimate. Foley is a public representative of a political party that is going out of its way to try and outlaw same-sex marriage, while sending bumblingly flirtatious emails to a 16 year old boy. If Foley were a Democrat, I think this would all be less of an issue, because the Democrats have not propogated a virulently anti-gay agenda. The Repugnicans have. This episode exposes Foley as a hypocrite, that's all. And in politics, such public shaming is legitimate.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:59 AM on September 29, 2006


If the page were a 16 year old girl who didn't even work in his office, who would be defending a 50-year-old congressman sending her private emails asking for her picture?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:02 PM on September 29, 2006


He's not running for reelection--CNN just said--good.
posted by amberglow at 12:03 PM on September 29, 2006


His parents think nothing of it apparently.

No one knows what they think, since the boy has not been identified publicly and the parents appear to have not spoken out or been interviewed.
posted by ericb at 12:06 PM on September 29, 2006


Well, the election is now so buh bye Mark. Maybe now he can relax and get out of the closet.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:06 PM on September 29, 2006


I suspect that the boy kept the exchange from them and they are just now learning about it. Who knows?
posted by ericb at 12:11 PM on September 29, 2006


*from them his parents*
posted by ericb at 12:12 PM on September 29, 2006


REPORT: Rep. Mark Foley Will Not Run For Reelection, Fears More Emails Exist.
posted by ericb at 12:13 PM on September 29, 2006


Oh -- there were sexually explicit AOL instant messages from Foley to the boy and others.

Foley To Resign Over Sexually Explicit Messages to Minors
posted by ericb at 12:15 PM on September 29, 2006


Holy shit -- "Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts."

Nice -- and Foley is co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus.

Sick. I need to take a shower.
posted by ericb at 12:16 PM on September 29, 2006


Oh -- there were sexually explicit AOL instant messages from Foley to the boy and others.

I misread the report. It never mentions that the boy in question received IMs from Foley. It is other congressional pages who did.

It looks like the boy's instinct was right. He felt something seemed strange about Foley's intentions.
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on September 29, 2006


Looks like AOL will be receing a subpoena for access to Maf54' account.
posted by ericb at 12:22 PM on September 29, 2006


About to hit the wires that Foley is considering resigning. I think he's about to go.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:26 PM on September 29, 2006


Yup. He's toast. He just resigned.
posted by bim at 12:29 PM on September 29, 2006


Ironmouth, were did you get that?
posted by now i'm piste at 12:30 PM on September 29, 2006


"Foley, 52, had been considered a shoo-in for re-election..."

Folks in the Florida Deocratic caucus are dancing in the aisles.
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2006


Wow, what a sicko. Hypocrisy at its absolute worst-- he was the co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus.
posted by cell divide at 12:31 PM on September 29, 2006


Why do pedophiles always have creepy bug eyes?


posted by thefreek at 12:39 PM on September 29, 2006


Foley Retiring, Plans to Devote More Time to MySpace.
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on September 29, 2006




Caption?
posted by ericb at 12:45 PM on September 29, 2006


Seems the conversation has shifted to the other thread.
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on September 29, 2006


Caption?

"Sure, son, I'd be happy to coach your little league team!"
posted by bim at 1:09 PM on September 29, 2006


Since the other thread has been closed, I'll repost my comment here:
Foley sponsored a bunch of relevant legislation.
posted by MrMoonPie at 2:35 PM on September 29, 2006


amberglow in the closed thread: "There must be really really sick or filthy stuff that's not being released or reported on--otherwise he would have tried to stay."

On "Hardball" just moments ago an NBC News analyst and a Washington Post reporter made a similar point. They said the typical pattern in congressional scandals has been "deny, deny, deny, wait it out, wait it out, evidence is revealed, apologize." That's what Gerry Studs did in his page scandal -- and he went on to get reelected two more times.

The fact that Foley resigned immediately leads them to believe that there's some really damaging evidence out there -- and Foley knows it.
posted by ericb at 2:41 PM on September 29, 2006


I suspect AOL will receive a subpoena for Foley's account -- and the Capitol Police and/or FBI will subpoena his home and office computers.
posted by ericb at 2:42 PM on September 29, 2006


From ABC News:
"Congressman Mark Foley, Republican from Florida, resigned today just hours after ABC News questioned him about a series of sexually explicit instant messages involving current and former underage male Congressional pages. Foley used the login name Maf54.
Maf54: Do I make you a little horny ?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.
Foley was the Chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children and has long crusaded for tough laws against those who use the Internet for sexual exploitation of children.
"

Methinks we'll be seeing more AOL IM transcripts coming out in the press.
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on September 29, 2006


Note that this IM exchange is not with the boy in question, but with one of the "minors" who handed the transcripts over to ABC News yesterday:
"Hours earlier, ABC News had read excerpts of instant messages provided by former male pages who said the congressman, under the AOL Instant Messenger screen name Maf54, made repeated references to sexual organs and acts."
posted by ericb at 2:49 PM on September 29, 2006


*gloats*

The reason that Republicans think all homosexuals are secret pederasts is that that's the only kind they've ever met.
posted by dhartung at 2:49 PM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's called ephebophilia or hebephilia.
posted by cookie-k at 2:55 PM on September 29, 2006


“No one knows what they think, since the boy has not been identified publicly and the parents appear to have not spoken out or been interviewed.” - posted by ericb

Yes. That’s. Right. Which. Is. Why. I. Said. That. And then. I said “Whether that’s because he didn’t tell them or whatever.”
WHATEVER
Function: adjective
1 a : any...that : all...that b : no matter what
2 : of any kind at all -- used after the substantive it modifies with any or with an expressed or implied negative
Whether he told them or not or whatever.

Then. I said: “I would have called the police.”
Meaning had he told them, before the fact, my actions, as a parent, had I known, would have been to call the police. This is predicated on the concept of parenthood and me being an average parent concerned with the welfare of my child. And the impetus of knowing and the matter not being of substance enough to the kid to tell his parents as opposed to someone clubbing him on the head, dragging him into a van and molesting him, which I think he might inform his parents of.

Are you not reading the comment fully or intentionally trying to argue with me over minutiae that would otherwise be baseless? I’m not trying to be acrimonious, but clearly you’re not getting what I’m saying. Perhaps I’m not expressing the point well, but I don’t know how to make that much clearer or plainer.

“The fact that Foley resigned immediately leads them to believe that there's some really damaging evidence out there -- and Foley knows it.” -posted by ericb

Indeed.
Re: IM exchange.
Well there ya go. He is indeed short eyes. Moot point.

posted by Smedleyman at 3:07 PM on September 29, 2006


Are you not reading the comment fully or intentionally trying to argue with me over minutiae that would otherwise be baseless?

Neither. I misinterpreted you original post.
posted by ericb at 3:14 PM on September 29, 2006


Do I make you a little horny?
posted by MegoSteve at 3:30 PM on September 29, 2006


"The language gets much more graphic, too graphic to be broadcast, and at one point the congressman appears to be describing Internet sex.

Federal authorities say such messages could result in Foley's prosecution, under some of the same laws he helped to enact.

'Adds up to soliciting underage children for sex,' said Brad Garrett, a former FBI agent and now an ABC News consultant. 'And what it amounts to is serious both state and federal violations that could potentially get you a number of years.'"
posted by ericb at 3:34 PM on September 29, 2006


meta
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:35 PM on September 29, 2006


And this points out the issue of power:

"One former page tells ABC News that his class was warned about Foley by people involved in the program.

Other pages told ABC News they were hesitant to report Foley because of his power in Congress."
posted by ericb at 3:37 PM on September 29, 2006


He can't much plead ignorance, as he wrote most of the laws himself!
posted by delmoi at 3:45 PM on September 29, 2006


"A dead girl or a live boy"

Congratulations, Mr. Foley, you just hit jackpot no. 2!
posted by Skeptic at 3:55 PM on September 29, 2006


Wow...not to be newsfilterish, but the amount of followup facts here in this thread almost make it worth a MetaTalk post to draw people back to the discussion.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:10 PM on September 29, 2006


So, just for kicks, I googled Foley, and found an address, one that is, conveniently, on my way home from work. So I dropped by just now; it's the yellow house. There were a few reporters out and about, but nothing too entertaining.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:16 PM on September 29, 2006


I wonder if his searches are on that AOL list that was released a few weeks ago.
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:25 PM on September 29, 2006


Maf54: Do I make you a little horny?
Teen: A little.
Maf54: Cool.
Maf54: What ya wearing?
Teen: tshirt and shorts
Maf54: Love to slip them off of you


What was he thinking?!!
posted by LarryC at 4:26 PM on September 29, 2006


What was he thinking?!!

"Oh man this is so fucking hot *fapfapfap*"
posted by cortex at 4:35 PM on September 29, 2006



posted by pruner at 4:59 PM on September 29, 2006


Reporter's Notebook: Sexuality and Secrecy -- The Journalist Who First Raised the Question of Foley's Sexuality Recalls Congressman as 'Master of Aversion.'
posted by ericb at 6:01 PM on September 29, 2006


"As somebody who has met Mark Foley personally and has mutual friends, I am sad for Mark and I hope he doesn't go to jail. The last time I saw Mark, he was 19 years into a relationship. That was sad that it had to be hidden. I hope the Republican Party continues to evolve so it's not so difficult to be an openly gay Republican. Will this play into the fears that all gay people are pedophiles? I hope not. There are heterosexual situations as well. Everybody decries this kind of situation. Even Mark Foley did, but he couldn't control it.'

• [Openly gay] Finance writer Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee
posted by ericb at 6:03 PM on September 29, 2006


Oh -- this is interesting --

House GOP Leadership knew about Foley almost a year ago, let Foley remain in House leadership, let him remain as chair of House sex offender caucus.

Full transcripts of some IM sessions are reproduced at that link.
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on September 29, 2006


ABC posts the transcripts [PDF].
posted by ericb at 6:06 PM on September 29, 2006


MetaFilter: 'If there was no stiffy, the prosecution is iffy!'

Kickstart70 writes "I have a daughter and 5 acres worth of space for the shallow graves of men who come on to her before she's a legal adult."

Remember, you can pack them a lot tighter vertically.

From the other thread: "XQUZYPHYR writes: Well, after whatever time period you feel is appropriate, you can also feel ok about a guaranteed pickup for the Democrats. Florida law sez the GOP can replace the candidate, but not the name on the ballot. In other words, the Democrats just won this seat."

Can someone explain this to me? Does this mean the replacement canidate would have to be a write in?
posted by Mitheral at 6:07 PM on September 29, 2006


So -- the parents did know about the e-mail exchange between Foley and the boy.
"Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who sponsored the page from his district, told reporters that he learned of the e-mails from a reporter some months ago and passed on the information to Rep. Thomas Reynolds, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Republican campaign organization.

Alexander said he did not pursue the matter further because 'his parents said they didn't want me to do anything.'

Carl Forti, a spokesman for the GOP campaign organization, said Reynolds learned from Alexander that the parents did not want to pursue the matter. Forti said, however, that the matter did go before the House Page Board — the three lawmakers and two House officials who oversee the pages.

It was unclear what the officials did.

...Alexander said the boy notified a staffer in his office about the e-mails. The congressman said he learned of it from a reporter 10 or 11 months ago and promptly called the boy's parents.

'My concern then was the young man's interests and the parents' interests,' Alexander said Friday. 'We weren't trying to protect anybody except the parents. ... They told me they were comfortable with it and didn't want to pursue anything, didn't want to talk about it anymore.'"
posted by ericb at 6:12 PM on September 29, 2006


"Florida Republican Party lawyers were reviewing the process to pick a replacement. Party Chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan said she hopes a replacement will be chosen by Monday. Among the possibilities was state Rep. Joe Negron, who was a candidate for attorney general before dropping out of the race to avoid a primary with former Rep. Bill McCollum.

'It would be very time sensitive so the nominee would have the opportunity to get around the district and campaign in a very short amount of time,' Jordan said.

David Johnson, a former state Republican chairman who worked as a strategist for Foley, said it will be difficult for the party's pick to win with Foley's name on the ballot."

[source]
posted by ericb at 6:15 PM on September 29, 2006


As shocking, disgusting and upsetting this situation is there is an element that is kind of sad. It's like a cry for help. Foley had to know that this behavior was likely to be discovered by others someday. Or was he just delusional? Granted there are likely heavy doses of self-loathing, but what is strange is his position as co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus, enacting tough laws against exploitation of children. I guess we can chalk it up to another instance of "he who doth protest too much. Paging, Fred Phelps,to the pink courtesy phone.
posted by ericb at 6:23 PM on September 29, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is a total fucking non-issue. Who gives a shit whether or not some half-literate Congressman has a crush on a page? "Hey looky here: a powerful filthy old man who could shoot you in cold blood and get away with it wants to bone somebody; this is way less pressing than the implosion of democracy."
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:40 PM PST on September 28


You gave a Republican the benefit of the doubt and now you look like an idiot. I hope you learned a valuable lesson.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 6:25 PM on September 29, 2006 [5 favorites]


After rereading the IM trancripts, I'd put Foley under a suicide-watch.
posted by ericb at 6:25 PM on September 29, 2006


Foley to teen: "i am hard as a rock...so tell me when you reaches rock"
posted by ericb at 6:28 PM on September 29, 2006


ericb writes "ABC posts the transcripts [PDF]."

I can't get that link to work for me. Any mirrors?
posted by chiababe at 6:35 PM on September 29, 2006


I can't get that link to work for me. Any mirrors?

Some are reproduced here.
posted by ericb at 6:37 PM on September 29, 2006


What boggles the mind is that congressional leadership knew about the boy's situation almost a year ago. In that time did they dig deeper into the situation? It seems ABC News was able to dig up the more incriminating stuff in just one day.

And why did Hastert allow Foley to remain as co-chairman of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus?
"And just as importantly, why did Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert let Foley lie publicly yesterday about the emails, claiming they were innocent, and simply a dirty attack from the Democrats, when the House leadership knew the real story?

And finally, we find out that the FBI was contacted two months about this story. Was there any follow-up..."

[source]


From Hastert's website: Hastert Drives Effort To 'Keep Kids Safe In Cyberspace'
posted by ericb at 6:45 PM on September 29, 2006


Mitheral: Does this mean the replacement candidate would have to be a write in?

According to Florida law, since it is after the primary, Foley's name remains on the ballot. Florida Republicans can designate a replacement candidate. All votes for Foley automatically go to the designated replacement, so a write-in is not necessary. Still, this will cause confusion for the voters so it is of some advantage to the Democratic opponent, but by no means is a gimme in a heavily Republican district.

By the way, this is just the opposite of the Texas election law in which Tom Delay's name remains on the ballot since he resigned after the primary. In that case the replacement candidate does not get Tom Delay's votes. All votes for the replacement must be written-in.
posted by JackFlash at 7:30 PM on September 29, 2006


To expand on Jack Flah's post...

"The following summarizes Florida election law on the resignation of members of Congress before a general election:
Once the Secretary of State receives the resignation letter they will notify the Republican Party of Florida.

The Party then has seven days to submit a name to replace Rep. Mark Foley as the Republican candidate in the general election.

Rep. Foley's name will remain on the ballot because the resignation occurred after the certification of the primary results.

When a voter casts a vote for Foley in the November election, the vote will count for the new Republican nominee.

There will not be a special election to fill the vacancy because it is too close to the general election.
For the complete statute, click here."posted by ericb at 7:36 PM on September 29, 2006


Source for above post.
posted by ericb at 7:37 PM on September 29, 2006


...The number of Republican representatives who knew about the Foley advances towards young pages nearly a year ago appears to include House Speaker Dennis Hastert; Tom Reynolds; John Shimkus; Alexander; and as Josh Marshall points out, Tom Delay and/or Roy Blunt.

Jesus. They knew for nearly a year, and covered it up. The "corruption" frame just got a hell of a lot more serious. Today, Dennis Hastert said an investigation would be forthcoming. I'll bet he's right, and I'll bet he's going to be one of the ones investigated -- because he knew of it ten months ago. ...


posted by amberglow at 7:46 PM on September 29, 2006


"Scarborough Country", Feb 6th 2006
SCARBOROUGH: Congressman Foley, let me bring you in here.
It seems to me we can pass laws that stop predators from sending porn in the mail, U.S. mail. Why can‘t we pass laws in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals to stop this type of smut going into e-mails to kids?

REP. MARK FOLEY ®, FLORIDA: Well, Joe, that‘s one of the big problems.

The courts are ruling, repeatedly, that this is a First Amendment issue. We have been able successfully to stop Internet pornography or pornography by the mails. We have been able to stop it from a number of venues.

(CROSSTALK)

SCARBOROUGH: Hey, hold on.

Hey, Mark, are you telling me that courts in this country are saying, it‘s a pervert‘s right to send an e-mail to a 14-year-old kid and try to pick that kid up for sex? That‘s protected by our Constitution?

That‘s why our men and women have died over the past 220 years, to protect perverts‘ rights to profile 14-year-old kids?

FOLEY: As frightening as that seems, we have been foiled, if you will, by the courts repeatedly by using the First Amendment and people‘s rights to have free speech.

I agree with you 100 percent. That‘s why we have tried to toughen the laws. That‘s why we tried to create a more difficult time for predators to roam free. But the “Dateline” piece has probably done more than any law we can create. Hopefully more people will be forewarned. More parents will be taking advantage of the chance to talk to their kids, instructing them about the dangers of the Internet.

And, certainly, more people that have seen this segment that may be thinking about interacting with a child may go ahead and get mental health counseling.
Maybe he can be on "Dateline" now.
posted by Tenuki at 8:12 PM on September 29, 2006


Jesus. They knew for nearly a year, and covered it up. The "corruption" frame just got a hell of a lot more serious.

Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do.


posted by ericb at 8:22 PM on September 29, 2006


Maybe he can be on "Dateline" now

...and "get mental health counseling."
posted by ericb at 8:24 PM on September 29, 2006


I piss myself off when I fall for it every time and give the bastards the benefit of the doubt.

Yesterday I was saying that it seemed pretty innocuous just asking about his birthday and the hurricane and all. Partisan politics if they are trying to turn this into something dirty.

Today I read about stiffies and how many inches.

I should know better by now than to believe them. I feel like Charlie Brown and the Republicans are Lucy with the football.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:37 PM on September 29, 2006


Foley Interviewed About Page Last Year; Democrats Not Told
"Ex-Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who resigned Friday after reports of his improper communications with a former male House page were made public, was interviewed about some of those contacts by the chairman of the House Page Board and the then-Clerk of the House last year.

And late Friday night, the House passed a resolution directing the ethics committee to begin an inquiry into Foley’s behavior.

'I'll just simply say that the House has given us direction to look into this matter and we intend to do so,' said Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the ethics panel.

Ranking member Howard Berman (D-Calif.) added that they will do it 'quickly.'

Both Hastings and Berman declined to comment when asked if they would look specifically into leadership and when they knew information about Foley.

Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), who chairs the page board, and then-Clerk Jeff Trandahl, who administered the program, met with Foley in 2005 after learning of Foley’s e-mail exchange with the former page by Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.). Shimkus released a detailed statement Friday night.

House sources said that Foley denied any improper sexual activity when confronted by Shimkus and Trandhal. Their information only included some August 2005 e-mails that contained no references to sex or other improper behavior, and not the other messages that have been cited in media reports.

According to a senior House GOP leadership aide, Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) office was informed of the interview shortly after it occurred, but Hastert himself was not told.

Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.), who serves on the page board, was never told of the interview with Foley.

'I became aware of it this afternoon when [Shimkus] came by my office. I think we should have had a page meeting right away,' Kildee said, referring to last year's discovery of Foley's e-mails.

When asked if was upset about being excluded, Kildee said yes, adding, 'I've been on the page board for 20 years.'

'I'm the chairman of the page board,' Shimkus said when asked why he didn't include Kildee. 'The Clerk and I addressed this issue.'"

[more]
posted by ericb at 9:01 PM on September 29, 2006


'I do believe that... [Foley]...had unhealthy sexual advances to these guys because he was living his life as a closeted gay man,' [journalist Michael] Rogers said. "Healthy gay men who are mature and dealing with their sexuality in a mature way don't hit on kids who are 16 years old. What's his signature issue? You don't know whether to laugh or cry.'

[source]
posted by ericb at 9:12 PM on September 29, 2006


TPM: "Everybody's running for cover," including House Majority Leader John Boehner (and it's pronounced "B-A-Yner," you sick bastards.)
posted by homunculus at 10:56 PM on September 29, 2006


Republican Underage Sex Scandal: Boehner Says Hastert Knew
"And the wheels are off the bus. Boehner says Hastert knew about the investigation, and told Boehner 'we're taking care of it.' From the Washington Post:
The resignation rocked the Capitol, and especially Foley's GOP colleagues, as lawmakers were rushing to adjourn for at least six weeks. House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) told The Washington Post last night that he had learned this spring of some 'contact' between Foley and a 16-year-old page. Boehner said he told House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), and that Hastert assured him 'we're taking care of it.'
...Hastert's toast. If he can survive this with his leadership position intact, it will only be because the GOP is so riddled with corruption that it has literally nobody else to fall back on.

You don't protect a sexual predator using the tools of your office. No, not even if you're a Republican."
posted by ericb at 11:09 PM on September 29, 2006


If Hastert is in on the cover up, maybe they will let him scurry off to the Vatican like Cardinal Law.
posted by JackFlash at 11:15 PM on September 29, 2006


"...the AP has the story. And here's why there may be a lot more fall out from the Rep. Foley (R-FL) story.

The page in question worked for Rep. Rodeny Alexander (R-LA). And the page brought the matter of his contacts with Foley to the congressman's attention via a staffer, who I'm told has since left Rep. Alexander's employ.

Here's the key passage from the AP article ...
'The page worked for Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-La., who said Friday that when he learned of the e-mail exchanges 10 to 11 months ago, he called the teen's parents. Alexander told the Ruston Daily Leader, "We also notified the House leadership that there might be a potential problem," a reference to the House's Republican leaders.'
I assume that passage doesn't need much unpacking. But let's do it anyway.

So Rep. Alexander knew about this 10 or 11 months ago. And he says he notified the House leadership. That means Hastert and (at the time) either Tom DeLay or Rep. Blunt (R-MO). We don't know it was either of those three men yet. But that's what Alexander means when he says he 'notified the House leadership.' They're the House leadership.

If I'm understanding this correctly, that means that the leaders of the House Republican caucus have known for almost a year that a member of their caucus was having cybersex with an underage congressional page. And apparently they did nothing about it.

I think this story is about to get a lot bigger."

[source]posted by ericb at 11:26 PM on September 29, 2006


...By staying so deep in the closet and browbeating others to keep his secret for him, Foley probably thought he was invincible. But secrets have a way of bringing down the powerful. As we can see, the kinds of "relationships" Foley had were quite relevant -- his ghastly behavior involves preying on young pages -- and no one in the House leadership stopped him.

When do you think we'll hear from Daddy Dobson, Concerned Women for America or any of the other "pro-family" organizations about this government's coverup of a predator serving on the Hill?

posted by amberglow at 11:39 PM on September 29, 2006


and another FL GOPer is being outed-- Is Charlie Crist gay? No, of course not. He’s a Republican candidate for governor. In Florida. Republicans don’t elect Marys in this state. They won’t even elect those suspected of Maryhood; go ask U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, whose 2004 United States Senate campaign was derailed by a report that he was a flamer. More on him here
posted by amberglow at 11:47 PM on September 29, 2006


Nothing like a Republican to give ya a good sex scandal.

I wonder how many of them were involved in this. Ten-to-one it's something of an underground culture/sex ring there in the House & Senate.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:53 PM on September 29, 2006


Ten-to-one it's something of an underground culture/sex ring

Lest we forget --

Washington Post, June 29, 1989: Homosexual Prostitution Inquiry Ensnares VIPs with Reagan, Bush.
posted by ericb at 11:57 PM on September 29, 2006


Correction: *Washington Times, June 29, 1989*
posted by ericb at 11:58 PM on September 29, 2006


I feel really cynical for thinking this, but is it possible that the Republican leadership decided to sacrifice on of thier (skeevy) own to force the discussion back toward 'the gays' and away from torture? Not that I think it'll work, but they knew about this for so long... and now here's the scandal.
posted by maryh at 1:08 AM on September 30, 2006


If I'm understanding this correctly, that means that the leaders of the House Republican caucus have known for almost a year that a member of their caucus was having cybersex with an underage congressional page. And apparently they did nothing about it.

I think this story is about to get a lot bigger."


Thank you baby Jesus!!!!
posted by bim at 1:09 AM on September 30, 2006


good grief, perhaps there is a gilmmer of hope the GOP will implode afterall. The start of this week saw slightly etter numbers in general for the Rs, but it's been a hell of a long week in politics, and if things don't quiet down (which they still might) there is going to be some black eyes and bloody lips.
posted by edgeways at 1:45 AM on September 30, 2006


but they knew about this for so long... and now here's the scandal.

The timing is really weird. It seems like the stuff was circulating for a long time, though (John Aravosis of AmericaBlog saw it), so a lot of people "knew". Some are asking what ABC knew and how long ABC sat on the story and why.

The flip side is that this happened after he was already on the ballot, forcing an awkward situation. I don't think the GOP knowing the stakes could be a House majority would risk a single seat.

It wasn't a super-conservative district, btw, it was 51% Bush in 2000. Foley did well as a moderate incumbent. His opponent is a former Republican so also a moderate, and with all other advantages this is probably much more than a toss-up.

The only question now is how many other seats will be jeopardized by the fallout.
posted by dhartung at 4:46 AM on September 30, 2006


The timing is weird--and ABC had to have known for a while--it could have been them that forced this all to happen--they've been doing good stuff online, if not on-air.

Everyone on the committee that knew about this is now in danger, especially if the story stays alive--since it's a gay thing, and not a straight one, it might not--look at Gannon/Guckert. But the kid thing and he being a "child-protection" guy---who knows?
posted by amberglow at 5:07 AM on September 30, 2006


if any of the kids do tv interviews, it'll stay alive.
posted by amberglow at 5:10 AM on September 30, 2006


I feel really cynical for thinking this, but is it possible that the Republican leadership decided to sacrifice on of thier (skeevy) own to force the discussion back toward 'the gays' and away from torture? Not that I think it'll work, but they knew about this for so long... and now here's the scandal.

And implicate their own House leadership in a child molestation cover-up scandal? I don't know. I'd like to think they're that desperate about their chances in November, but I doubt it.
posted by EarBucket at 5:37 AM on September 30, 2006


the leadership is safe--Boner already retracted his statement about telling Hastert at the time.

Freepers out the Foley page
posted by amberglow at 6:04 AM on September 30, 2006


I don't know if that helps them, amberglow--if anything, it makes them look more guilty, like they can't keep their story straight.
posted by EarBucket at 6:11 AM on September 30, 2006


they are guilty--and the story won't fully be disseminated out to the public til Monday, if at all.

I'm wondering about whether the Pages' parents were all wealthy GOPers with Cocnnections, and what they're saying to various congresspeople now. And what other non-Page teens Foley was jerking off to, and luring, online.
posted by amberglow at 6:17 AM on September 30, 2006


Plus, I think it argues against this being a purposeful leak by the GOP. If they were putting it out there as a political diversion, they'd have their stories together before they started talking to the press. Boehner's behavior smells like fear.
posted by EarBucket at 6:18 AM on September 30, 2006


Cocnnections
freudian slip? ; >
posted by amberglow at 6:18 AM on September 30, 2006


What this has done tho, is knock the new Abramoff revelations right into the garbage.
posted by amberglow at 6:19 AM on September 30, 2006


amberglow writes "And what other non-Page teens Foley was jerking off to, and luring, online."

Despite the fact that he is clearly a hypocritical, self-loathing gay man who has made much political hay off denying rights to the rest of us homos, I think there are a few important points to make:

1) He's not a pedophile. That term gets thrown around an awful lot by people who don't actually know what it means. Pedophilia is an attraction to children--that is, pre-pubescent human beings. He's an ephebophile.

2) There is absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever with having an attraction to 16 year olds. How many of you heterosexual guys out there turn your head when a hot 16 year old girl walks by? That's what I thought. Note: I said the attraction is blameless--acting on it when in a position of power is not. That said, it doesn't look like he was telling anyone on IM that he had any power.

3) It doesn't look like he was luring or enticing. Talking explicitly about sex, yes. But (unless they haven't released it) there is nothing to indicate he was trying to set up anything in meatspace. Castigate him all you will--but let's not tar him with an overly-wide brush.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:42 AM on September 30, 2006


You don't know he wasn't luring or enticing at all. I don't know a single guy who wouldn't try to take it further than just emails. Look at that GOP Mayor West. Look at Schrock.
posted by amberglow at 7:34 AM on September 30, 2006


Boehner objects to Pelosi’s investigation and Republicans boo her as she calls for it (with video)
posted by amberglow at 7:42 AM on September 30, 2006


The Washington Post has edited out the quote by Hastert saying he was taking care of the Foley scandal.
posted by amberglow at 7:53 AM on September 30, 2006


That said, it doesn't look like he was telling anyone on IM that he had any power.

Actually, the current and former pages knew they were Im'ing with Foley. It appears he had a habit of requesting their e-mail addresses and struck up online communication with them.
"One former page tells ABC News that his class was warned about Foley by people involved in the program. Other pages told ABC News they were hesitant to report Foley because of his power in Congress."
posted by ericb at 8:17 AM on September 30, 2006


TIME Magazine: Behind Foley's Swift Fall From Grace.
posted by ericb at 8:19 AM on September 30, 2006


Foley Interviewed About Page Last Year; Democrats Not Told... At least four Republican House Members, one senior GOP aide and a former top officer of the House were aware of the allegations about Foley that prompted the initial reporting regarding his e-mail contacts with a 16-year-old House page. They include: Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.) and Reps. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) and John Shimkus (R-Ill.), as well as a senior aide to Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) and former Clerk of the House Jeff Trandahl. ...
posted by amberglow at 8:50 AM on September 30, 2006


God, how sad and pathetic. Even the IMs with XXXXXXXX (not sure the number) -- the teenager seems so uninterested in Foley, just trying to be "nice" to the old man. I have to agree with the quote by Michael Rogers that ericb posted.

Re house leadership scandal -- I think their story is they knew about the emails, not the IMs.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 9:03 AM on September 30, 2006


ericb writes "Actually, the current and former pages knew they were Im'ing with Foley. It appears he had a habit of requesting their e-mail addresses and struck up online communication with them."

Pages, yes... unless I missed something, those other IM sessions weren't?



amberglow writes "You don't know he wasn't luring or enticing at all. I don't know a single guy who wouldn't try to take it further than just emails. Look at that GOP Mayor West. Look at Schrock."

And you don't know that he was. Look--the guy is clearly a creep, and clearly doesn't understand boundaries. But let's not start accusing him of things that, to our knowledge, he hasn't actually done. Hell--I like talking to people online about sex. Am I going to go and fuck them? No.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:47 AM on September 30, 2006


I like talking to people online about sex. Am I going to go and fuck them? No.

I bet this is the new R. strategy: He was only talking about sex with kids...we wasn't going to do something as sick as FUCKING them.

And then when an illicit encounter comes out: Ok, sure he was going to 'make love' to these boys, but that's just because he love kids. And it was all oral, so no feces was exchanged.

And then a kid talks about getting ramrodded up the poohole: Well yeah, but Foley was in love with the boy, who was almost a man. Are you against gay love?

Look, to hell with the Republicans. They let a congressman abuse the power of his position to hypocritically get sexual with kids. They deserve to be punished for their part in this, and to find out what their part was, an investigation is needed. The more they block investigations, the worse they will look in the voters eyes.
posted by Kickstart70 at 10:15 AM on September 30, 2006


Flip-flopper!

"Mr. Speaker, I'd like unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks.

Boehner calls the Post back to change his story ...
Boehner later contacted The Post and said he could not remember whether he talked to Hastert.
See earlier version here."

From the Washington Post's description of Foley:"
"He was a respected House member cruising toward a seventh term..."
posted by ericb at 10:54 AM on September 30, 2006


Why Did Tom Reynolds Cover Up Congressman's Sex Crimes?
posted by ericb at 10:57 AM on September 30, 2006


"...one detail here isn't getting enough attention. Rep. Alexander (R-LA), the first member of Congress to be alerted to the problem, says he contacted the NRCC. That's the House Republicans' election committee, a political organization entirely separate from the House bureaucracy and the Congress. (The head of the NRCC this cycle is Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY).) That is, to put it mildly, not in the disciplinary and administrative chain of command of the House of Representatives. Considering that the issue involved a minor, it seems highly inappropriate to discuss the matter with anyone not charged with policing the House. More to the point, however, you tell the head of the NRCC because you see the matter as a political problem. Reynolds is the one in charge of making sure Republican House seats get held. If an incumbent might have drop out or be kicked out you want him to know so that he can line up someone to replace him. You at least want to keep him abreast of the situation if you think a problem might develop. I cannot see any innocent explanation for notifying the head of the NRCC while not information the full membership of the page board."

[source]

posted by ericb at 11:02 AM on September 30, 2006


Oops -- bad closing on the underline tage
posted by ericb at 11:03 AM on September 30, 2006


I take it back.
posted by wsg at 11:36 AM on September 30, 2006


Kickstart70 writes "I bet this is the new R. strategy: He was only talking about sex with kids...we wasn't going to do something as sick as FUCKING them."

And you entirely missed the point. Some people get off on talking about it, not doing it. I am not saying he definitely didn't intend to take it into meatspace at some point--just that there is nothing there that shows he was intending to do so, and how about we only castigate him for what he has actually done, rather than what he might have thought of doing?

Seems to me as if attacking someone for something they might have thought of doing is a very Republican tactic.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:16 PM on September 30, 2006


Andrew Sullivan:
"...the news about Mark Foley has a kind of grim inevitability to it. I don't know Foley, although, like any other gay man in D.C., I was told he was gay, closeted, afraid and therefore also screwed up. What the closet does to people - the hypocrisies it fosters, the pathologies it breeds - is brutal. There are many still-closeted gay men in D.C., many of them working for a Republican party that has sadly deeply hostile to gay dignity. How they live with themselves I do not fully understand. But I have learned you cannot judge someone's soul from outside. That I leave to them and their God, and some I count as good friends and good people.

What I do know is that the closet corrupts. The lies it requires and the compartmentalization it demands can lead people to places they never truly wanted to go, and for which they have to take ultimate responsibility. From what I've read, Foley is another example of this destructive and self-destructive pattern for which the only cure is courage and honesty. While gays were fighting for thir basic equality, Foley voted for the 'Defense of Marriage Act'. If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all."
posted by ericb at 12:21 PM on September 30, 2006 [1 favorite]


No Legs to Foley Story, He’s a Republican.
posted by ericb at 12:32 PM on September 30, 2006


Putting GOP Interests Over Child Safety Is NOT Acceptable
posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on September 30, 2006


This story is getting even more interesting.

I think we're just now only scratching the surface of this affair.
posted by ericb at 1:23 PM on September 30, 2006


I wonder if Foley's sexually explicit IMs (i.e. words) to the boys fits the definition of "the transfer of obscene material to minors," or if such only applies to images. One has to wonder if he ever transmited or shared pornography with any of the boys?
"Foley's signature achievement came just two months ago amid smiles and handshakes, capped by a splashy bill-signing ceremony in the White House. After years of prodding and maneuvering, Foley saw final passage of his pet project: a bill designed to get tough on sexual predators.

The new law imposes mandatory 10-year prison sentences for sex crimes against people under the age of 18. With the Internet in mind, it outlaws depictions of the sexual abuse of children and the transfer of obscene material to minors. It also shores up requirements for sex offenders to regularly report their whereabouts to authorities.

Along the way, his office sent out one public statement after another, often in bold capital letters, warning that convicted sex offenders were running loose, evading public scrutiny despite a law requiring them to be listed in a national registry.

'We track library books better than we track sex offenders,' was his frequent refrain."

[source]
posted by ericb at 1:44 PM on September 30, 2006


Boehner objects to Pelosi’s investigation and Republicans boo her as she calls for it

You keep forgetting the 11th Commandment.
posted by eriko at 2:36 PM on September 30, 2006


i know, eriko : < it's spreading to other races now: i> “Holding happy hour fundraisers with people who cover-up the cyber-molestation of children should be below even the questionable morals of Don Sherwood,”...“Sherwood should immediately cancel his upcoming fundraisers with Hastert and Boehner. Don Sherwood has already brought Washington’s values back to the district, now he wants to bring a depraved cover-up home.”
posted by amberglow at 2:45 PM on September 30, 2006


Thanks, ericb, (and amberglow, of course, to a lesser extent) I knew this would be a great thread. I don't get over here as much as I'd like lately, but finding out about this story just today (I was incommunicado yesterday) I knew this would be the definitive chronicle of how the story unfolded. Didn't expect ericb to actually be the original poster, but knew there would be a great bunch of updates. Fascinating stuff, and somehow I don't think it's over yet.

(Sorry, in a way, to everybody who went on record dismissing the original story and/or defending Foley back at the top of the thread - sucks to be you, but like Optimus Chyme said, that's what you get for giving a Republican the benefit of the doubt.)
posted by soyjoy at 2:53 PM on September 30, 2006


Time ignores other scandal in Foley conflagration.

How Mark Foley Represents The Entire Republican Party.
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on September 30, 2006


Rep. Reynolds Confirms: Hastert Knew
"Roll Call reports that Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) issued a statement today in which he said that he informed Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) in early 2006 of allegations of improper contacts between then-Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) and at least one former male page. 'Hastert’s response to Reynolds’ warning remains unclear. Hastert’s staff insisted Friday night that he was not told of the Foley allegations and are scrambling to respond to Reynolds’ statement.'"
posted by ericb at 2:56 PM on September 30, 2006


So -- Boehner's original statement to the Washington Post that he, too, had told Hastert is likely the truth. Denny, you, too have some 'esplainin' to do.
posted by ericb at 3:01 PM on September 30, 2006


(and amberglow, of course, to a lesser extent)

: P

we're a tagteam!
posted by amberglow at 3:09 PM on September 30, 2006


Thanks for the nod, soyjoy.
posted by ericb at 3:17 PM on September 30, 2006


"Remember one key fact: When Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) first learned about the Foley e-mails, he went to Rep. Tom Reynolds, the chair of the GOP House campaign committee. Not, the Ethics Committee. Not the Speaker. Not the Capitol Police. He went to the top GOP House political operative."

They obviousy weren't thinking about an investigation or the welfare of the other young pages.
posted by ericb at 3:22 PM on September 30, 2006


And, I believe it's been mentioned, but it seems pretty clear that this is being treated far differently than it would have been if it had been female pages, or a female senator.

Older man/younger woman -- most (hetero) men of a certain type (money, power) want to know that younger women will find them desirable etc. So if he'd been going after girls, in the back of a lot of these guys' heads would have been "Oh yeah, I wonder if she squeals or moans?"

But older man/younger man... THAT IS GAY AND SICK AND WRONG AND...

*sigh*
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:40 PM on September 30, 2006


I don't think the people who were initially skeptical should feel bad. They were weighing the situation on the merits of the information presented to them and didn't want to rush to judgement. It's the same skepticism (not cynicism) pointed out here, and it's a Good Thing. I thought the initial reports were pretty iffy, too.

Oh, and for the record--a fifty-year-old man propositioning sixteen-year-old girls over the internet is just as gross.
posted by EarBucket at 3:49 PM on September 30, 2006


what is the age of consent in the USA? Puts me in a minority on this thread I know, but if it's 16 I can't see what the guy has done wrong (apart from draft bullshit laws)
posted by dydecker at 3:51 PM on September 30, 2006


The age of consent in D.C. is 16, but I think it's 17 in Florida. Ironically, however, Foley took the lead on passing legislation making it a crime to sexually solicit anyone under the age of 18 on the internet.


posted by EarBucket at 3:58 PM on September 30, 2006


I think the issue of "age of consent" has no bearing on this case. There are strict guidelines and rules about what is and isn't appropriate in the interactions with congressional pages. Foley broke those guidelines. He was preying on minors -- mani naive youths, away from home and in an environment where their parents felt they would be protected. The original boy in question himself found it inappropriate -- he was "paranoid" and found the situation "sick". Others have come forward who also felt Foley's interactions with them were inappropriate. Furthermore, Foley himself was instrumental in enacting laws which provide severe punishment for inappropriate behavior enacted online with minors -- or, as his amendment states 'youths.'
H.R.5749
Title: To amend title 18, United States Code, to protect youth from exploitation by adults using the Internet, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep Foley, Mark [FL-16]
I have the same opinion/reaction to the Foley situation as I would if I were to learn that the 52 y.o. headmaster at my 16 y.o. nephew's school was engaging him in sexually explicit banter on AOL. Same goes for if it was his 52 y.o. English teacher, soccer coach or guidance counselor (male or female). Now, if I were to learn that my nephew was engaging in similar activity online with a fellow student (male or female) that's an entirely different story.
posted by ericb at 4:29 PM on September 30, 2006


But didn't he send his emails after the guy had left his internship? And didn't he have nothing to do with him during his internship anyway? It's different from a teacher in a school because he didn't interact with him while the guy was working there.

When I was sixteen I had bosses and stuff coming onto me. You just say "I am not interested" and then that's the end of it. Reading those chatscripts it seems his sex talk didn't faze a couple of the teenagers, they were enjoying it.

Whether the kid found it "sick" or not, I think it's unduly harsh for someone to lose their job over that. All the kid had to do was send back an email saying "I am straight and you've got me wrong, wrong, wrong" and he would have backed off.
posted by dydecker at 5:05 PM on September 30, 2006


"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction."
--Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), commenting on President Clinton, following release of the Starr Report, September 12, 1998
posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on September 30, 2006


that's an entirely different story.

Meaning -- I'd have no problem with it.

BTW -- I can envision a possible "modus operandi" which Foley may have followed.

(1) Ask the page for his e-mail address (as he did with the boy after he had given Foley a thank you card -- "What happened was I gave certain people Thank-you cards, you know? I gave Foley one because he was a really nice guy to me and all. Then he asked me for my e-mail on the back of his. So I was like 'sure' because of course I had no suspicions.").

(2) Make first contact with the page (Foley sends the first e-mail to the boy "do i have the right e-mail. Mark Foley').

(3) Establish e-mail back-and-forth, ever so slowly testing the waters as to what the page is willing to reveal about himself, etc. ("how old are you now?"; "what do you want for your birthday coming up"; "what stuff do you like to do"; "send me an email pic of you as well"). Notice that these requests are always at the closing of his e-mails and after Foley has shared info about himself -- likely seeking to establish a tone of familiarity. If it continues without the page feeling awkward, I suspect that Foley may have then offered up something like: "Hey, I like our e-mail conversations. Wouldn't it be more fun to have them via AOL IM? What's your screen name? The same as your e-mail address name?"

(4) And -- the great unknown is whether the online activity later progressed to a point where Foley requested nude pictures, the sharing of pornography -- and then meeting a page in the "real world." Any investigation will likely determine if Foley followed any urges and desires to that extent.
posted by ericb at 5:18 PM on September 30, 2006


dydecker -- let's agree to disagree. I think it is entirely inappropriate for a United States congressman to betray the trust of any of these pages, their parents and families. He crossed a line -- and one that he himself set in the laws of our land. Morally, his behavior is reprehensible.
posted by ericb at 5:20 PM on September 30, 2006


Age of Consent:
Hey, Ma, Dad, I've met a really cool guy online. We've kind of being having fun getting to know each other. I think I like him enough for him to be my boyfriend. Well, anyways, he's like got a really important job. Like, um, he's a congressman from Florida. He doesn't look as old as his age. He says he rides his bike to retain his youthful vigor. I met him briefly when I was on the Hill two-months ago, ya know when I was working as a page. Yeah -- he seemed really interested in us pages. Says he wants to buy me a birthday present. He thinks Tim's got a hot body and told me he'll show me how to develop bigger pecs. He's also got some tips on, um, on, um...how to enhance the male sexual experience. We even experimented together online. Well, ya' know is it alright if he comes down here to Louisiana for a visit? It'll be no problem. He can sleep in my room with me. Waddya' think? Huh? Can he? Can he?
posted by ericb at 5:43 PM on September 30, 2006


Any investigation will likely determine if Foley followed any urges and desires to that extent.

But that would require a real law-enforcement investigation--there isn't one, so far.
posted by amberglow at 5:44 PM on September 30, 2006


True. And there wasn't one before: Kildee Confirms No Investigation Happened.

And this ... Hastert: I might have known even though I said I didn't know.
posted by ericb at 5:47 PM on September 30, 2006


How many times are they going to change their stories? And will the media let them get away with it? (i say yes)

Palm Beach Post Editorial: Foley exploited children he pledged to protect (in his district)
posted by amberglow at 7:06 PM on September 30, 2006


Associated Press: Foley e-mails an open secret in D.C.?
posted by ericb at 7:10 PM on September 30, 2006


Confidential Hotline Set Up
"The House leaders said it is their duty to ensure House pages are safe. They said they are creating a toll-free hot line for pages and their families to call to confidentially report any incidents..."
posted by ericb at 7:11 PM on September 30, 2006


NBC Nightly News: What Next in Rep. Foley’s District? [video]

NBC Nightly News: Foley’s Follies an Open Secret? [video]
posted by ericb at 7:16 PM on September 30, 2006


I bet the Sunday shows will be all Woodward and no Foley.
posted by amberglow at 7:22 PM on September 30, 2006


I bet the Sunday shows will be all Woodward and no Foley.

Not so sure about that. Likely 60% - Woodward/"State of Denial"; 30% - Foley; 10% -other.

It'll be intersting to see if tonight's season opener of 'Saturday Night Live' will spoof Foleygate.
posted by ericb at 7:26 PM on September 30, 2006


"'Anyone who was involved in the chain of information should come forward and tell when they were told, what they were told and what they did with the information when they got it,' said Representative Peter T. King, Republican of New York. Mr. King called it a 'dark day' for Congress and said, 'We need a full investigation.'

Representative Christopher Shays, Republican of Connecticut, said any leader who had been aware of Mr. Foley's behavior and failed to take action should step down. 'If they knew or should have known the extent of this problem, they should not serve in leadership,' Mr. Shays said."

[New York Times | September 30, 2006]
posted by ericb at 7:32 PM on September 30, 2006


And, I believe it's been mentioned, but it seems pretty clear that this is being treated far differently than it would have been if it had been female pages, or a female senator.

Fuck, now that would have made for a helluva scandal! Cute white girls always get the most media attention. It'd have been a real media firestorm.

The reason Foley's actions are wrong is entirely this: he abused his power over a child. The age thing makes it icky, but it's the power relationship that makes it wrong. And that wrongness is at least doubled when it turns out he was supposed to be guiding the law in dealing with issues of adult-child relationships.

"It's vile. It's more sad than anything else, to see someone with such potential throw it all down the drain because of a sexual addiction." --Rep. Mark Foley

I love karma. Oh, do I loooooove karma.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:32 PM on September 30, 2006


Frog-marched...


posted by ericb at 7:49 PM on September 30, 2006


The Spoof/UK -- Rep. Foley Resigns After Breaking "Live Boy/Dead Girl" Rule.
posted by ericb at 7:49 PM on September 30, 2006


October 1st. -- "April 2006 National Intelligence Estimate" + Bob Woodward's "State of Denial" + "Foleygate" = October Surprise ???

"Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy ride."
posted by ericb at 7:57 PM on September 30, 2006


Ahh! They're hanging him to save themselves now-- GOP House leaders call for criminal investigation of Foley
posted by amberglow at 8:09 PM on September 30, 2006


They think that it insulates them, but it doesn't. A real criminal investigation would find them guilty of covering it up for a year.
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on September 30, 2006


I bet the Sunday shows will be all Woodward and no Foley.

And certainly no Habeas Corpus. Too abstract.

But I expect taht they'll have plenty of Foley. Just look at Law & Order or the other TV shows like it: nothing entertains the American public more than seeing a pervert crucified. That's good ratings!
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on September 30, 2006


Rove is going to dig up something now---by Monday night, he'll have the media talking about something else. Maybe a Rumsfeld or Cheney resignation?
posted by amberglow at 8:11 PM on September 30, 2006


Not when it's gay stuff or gay Republicans. They didn't spend a minute on Schrock or West on the Sunday shows.
posted by amberglow at 8:12 PM on September 30, 2006


I really can't over how transparent it all is--they change and retract their stories a bunch of times, and now say there'll be a criminal investigation after killing Pelosi's call and booing her.
posted by amberglow at 8:23 PM on September 30, 2006


Oh, and now they'll say "we won't comment on an ongoing investigation"
posted by amberglow at 8:42 PM on September 30, 2006


Or is there not going to be an investigation? CREW gave the FBI the emails two months ago. The FBI isn't investigating, but says they're interested in seeing if any crime was committed, but don't plan to investigate. Uh, apparently not that much interest. Then again, it's only a child sex offender.
posted by amberglow at 9:28 PM on September 30, 2006


Washington Post:
"House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) was notified early this year of inappropriate e-mails from former representative Mark Foley (R-Fla.) to a 16-year-old page, a top GOP House member said yesterday -- contradicting the speaker's assertions that he learned of concerns about Foley only last week....

Yesterday's developments revealed a rift at the highest echelons of House Republican ranks a month before the Nov. 7 elections, and they threatened to expand the scandal to a full-blown party dilemma.

Only after Reynolds's definitive statement did Hastert concede yesterday that he may have been notified of some of the questionable activities of Foley....

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, questioned yesterday why Alexander had gone to the House Republicans' chief political operative, rather than to other party leaders. ‘That's to protect a member, not to protect a child,’ Emanuel said.

With his statement, Reynolds, who is locked in a difficult reelection campaign, signaled he was unwilling to take the fall alone amid partisan attacks that were becoming increasingly vituperative....

Republican insiders said Reynolds spoke out because he was angry that Hastert appeared willing to let him take the blame for the party leadership's silence.

A House GOP leadership aide, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of losing his job, said that Reynolds realizes he has taken a shot at his leader but that it is understandable.

‘This is what happens when one member tries to throw another member under a bus,’ he aide said.

Last night, Hastert, Boehner and Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said in a statement that Foley's communications with former pages are ‘unacceptable and abhorrent,’ and that his resignation ‘must now be followed by the full weight of the criminal justice system.’

The House clerk's office ‘has taken possession of Congressman Foley's office, and Capitol police officers have been posted in front of his office around-the-clock’ to preserve Foley's records and correspondence, said Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean."
posted by ericb at 10:20 PM on September 30, 2006


Orcinus: There's Always Dirt, Part MMMCLXXXIV ...We might also glean a lesson here about the right wing's continued insistence that male homosexuality automatically equals pedophilia. For progressives, accustomed to gay men who've been allowed to grow into a healthy adult sexuality, this assertion is simply preposterous. The gay men we know aren't like that at all. But if the gays that most Republicans are familiar with are people like Foley -- closeted souls still stunted and stuck in their own adolescence, and therefore seeking partners among their developmental "peers" -- they're simply reporting the pervsion that they're seeing with their own eyes. What they won't acknowledge is the role their own insistence on keeping the closet door locked down tight plays in creating that perversion in the first place. ...
posted by amberglow at 10:23 PM on September 30, 2006


The Foley Coverup Timeline.
posted by ericb at 10:28 PM on September 30, 2006


ooo---fablog: ...What the boy wrote to Foley, who is single, wasn’t available.”

“Single”? Foley has a boyfriend who has been living with him for years. Wonder where he is now. ...

posted by amberglow at 10:28 PM on September 30, 2006


Okay, since we Republicans are in the "shits" this week it seems the right time to release a 'terrurist' diversion: Apparent Atta Martyrdom Tape Emerges.

Americans, be very, very afraid. Forget about your underage sons and daughters in Washington. There's bigger fears about which we should all be focused.
posted by ericb at 10:38 PM on September 30, 2006


Foley: "If I were one of these sickos, I'd be nervous with 'America's Most Wanted' on my trail."

Rep. Mark Foley and America's Most Wanted's John Walsh discuss Foley's new anti-child predator legislation [YouTube video]

Rep. Foley remained as Co-Chair of the Missing and Exploited Children Caucus for almost a year after the email issue came to light."

[source]
posted by ericb at 10:47 PM on September 30, 2006


There's bigger fears about which we should all be focused.

*on which*
posted by ericb at 10:48 PM on September 30, 2006


amberglow writes "The gay men we know aren't like that at all. But if the gays that most Republicans are familiar with are people like Foley -- closeted souls still stunted and stuck in their own adolescence, and therefore seeking partners among their developmental 'peers' --"

Yeah, it's funny, neither Jim Kolbe or Steve Gunderson -- both Republican Congressmen, gay, and out -- spent their time instant massaging kids. Only the closeted Republican did.
posted by orthogonality at 11:44 PM on September 30, 2006


mad TV was ahead of it's time
posted by delmoi at 12:25 AM on October 1, 2006


I have found myself obsessively reading about this over in Freeperville--which is something that I rarely do and something that I would advise against if you ever want to smile again.

Even scarier than the Republican leadership, which seems to have been covering this up for political ends, are the number of American citizens who bleat and whine, blame the Democrats and blame the victim(s).

Americans frighten me, which is really frightening since I am one of them.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:22 AM on October 1, 2006


The Foley Coverup Timeline.

Of interest to those still following who may be slightly obsessed, some early history.

Early August: CREW receives copies of e-mails, notifies FBI.

Aug. 21, 2006: Foley opponent Mahoney speaks of a "dirty little secret" in the campaign, supposedly Foley's false moderate stances. Some thought he may have been alluding to Foley's 2004 outing. Others now wonder if he knew too. Stretch. But hmmm.

Aug. 30: StopSexPredators blog created. Potentially backdated.

Sep. 4: Washington Times publishes light-hearted story about the season of "skinterns", aka hot-looking summer interns. Blogged at StopSexPredators.

Sep. 5: single-purpose account "WHInternNow" on DailyKos posts quiet tip-off tagged FL-16.

Sep. 21: StopSexPredators publishes several e-mails purportedly from interns and staffers, apparently sent in response to the Skinterns story. Could still be fabricated/backdated.
* One talks of the "Terrible Three" -- Frank, Kolbe, and Foley. Two are out, one isn't (although he had been outed and the info was easily googled).
* Two specifically target Foley as a chickenhawk and groper.
* A fourth is just about Foley: "genuinely afraid of this man".

Sep. 24: StopSexPredators scoops with apparently first publication of e-mails.

Sep. 24: WHInternNow posts the URL to DailyKos. Kossacks skeptical.

Sep. 27: StopSexPredators noticed at Wonkette. It's probably after this that posts BlogActive and the Miami Herald request more information in comments.

Sep. 28, 3pm: ABC Blotter publishes.

Sep. 28: St. Petersburg Times publishes story (may have been online earlier than ABC as some have said they broke it).

Sep. 28: ABC apparently has the more explicit instant messages in hand but questions Foley first. Foley resigns within hours.

Sep. 29: ABC publishes IMs.

Sep. 29: John Aravosis, well known gay blogger, says
I certainly heard some rumors about Foley over the years, and when I got a copy of these emails several months ago, the rumors were not inconsistent.

Just thought that might be helpful as most stories "start" with ABC. When you put this together it certainly looks like someone was trying to shop this around without getting their hands dirty.
posted by dhartung at 8:40 AM on October 1, 2006


NCCC Chair Tom Reynolds May Have Donated To Foley After He Knew About Emails.
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on October 1, 2006


Another Foleygate Timeline.
posted by ericb at 8:56 AM on October 1, 2006


Former Page: We Knew About Foley 'For Years'
"Sexually explicit messages from former Rep. Mark Foley to one former congressional page might be just the tip of the iceberg, the leader of an alumni association for former congressional pages told Scripps Howard News Service on Saturday.

While Foley resigned this week after published reports of 'friendly' e-mails to one 16-year-old male page and the pending broadcast of more sexually explicit instant messages, similar graphic messages from him were received by at least three other teenage boys who once worked in the page program, said Matthew Loraditch, a Maryland college senior who runs the U.S. House Page Alumni Association's Internet message board.

'I've known about them (messages) for several years now,' he said Saturday.

...Loraditch said his friends all thought the messages were disturbing, but they did not report them, either because they did not think the messages posed a serious threat or because they might have worried about career consequences.

He added all his friends received the questionable messages only after they had graduated and left the program, when, theoretically, that would not raise the same in-house sexual harassment issues as if they had been sent when the former pages still worked for Congress.

'This all happened after we were outside the protective umbrella of all our supervisors, not when we were there,' Loraditch said. 'To me, that indicates some sort of thought process going on in Foley's mind.'"

[Scripps Howard News Service | October 1, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:05 AM on October 1, 2006


Agencies Consider Whether Foley Should Face Charges
"A spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed late Saturday the agency is deciding whether to press charges against former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who hastily resigned from office Friday.

'We will be discussing this matter with the FBI in an effort to determine if there are grounds for a criminal investigation and if so, who has jurisdiction,' said Tom Berlinger, chief media spokesman for the FDLE.

Berlinger said the decision would be made this week. He added the FDLE had not contacted Foley about the matter.

FBI officials could not be reached for comment Saturday."

[TCPalm Florida News | October 1, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:08 AM on October 1, 2006


five fresh fish writes "The age thing makes it icky, but it's the power relationship that makes it wrong. And that wrongness is at least doubled when it turns out he was supposed to be guiding the law in dealing with issues of adult-child relationships."

Agreed, wholeheartedly. If he was some random guy coming on to teenagers, sure it's a little icky, but that's it. The power dynamic is the key issue.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:13 AM on October 1, 2006


"One thing that seems to be missing from the GOP reaction is shock or surprise. Maybe I've simply overlooked them, but I haven't seen any quotes along the lines of what you usually expect when something like this breaks: the befuddled reactions of those who knew the alleged perpetrator but had no idea he was even capable of what he is being accused of." [source]

"When you see Majority Leaders and Speakers and Committee chairs calling each other liars in public you know that the underlying story is very bad, that the system of coordination and hierarchy has broken down and that each player believes he's in a fight for his life." [source]
posted by ericb at 9:19 AM on October 1, 2006


From the "comments section" here:

And by the way Mr. Carpenter, his fellow Republican House colleagues were investigating him , not democrats because that behavior is condoned by the Dems. Only republicans think there is something wrong with Man/Boy relationships.Not Democrats.NOt liberals, and not people from San Fransisco. Maybe Foley should move and run for office out there as a Dem. He would be elected in a heartbeat.
8:48:38 a.m. on October 1, 2006
STEVE COTTRELL


Good plan! Blame it on the Democrats.

What a Sleazy way for the Democraps to try to win a House Seat !
Vote for Joe Negron !
12:35:17 p.m. on October 1, 2006
HOMER LEE GOTTATALK


And you wonder why I fear for the future of this country??
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:50 AM on October 1, 2006


A minor blip . . . Foley is a Scientologist?
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:58 AM on October 1, 2006


Among the comments on this story from here:

this makes me think about clinton and the intern monica lewinsky....why wasnt that creep thrown in jail as foley should be.....they were both in so called respected positions and positions of trust and both of them took advantage of young people.
8:44:25 a.m. on October 1, 2006
ELIZABETH YELTNUH

posted by leftcoastbob at 11:34 AM on October 1, 2006


"[Matthew] Loraditch's [who now heads up the alumni association for former congressional pages] ... friends began receiving messages in July, 2002, he said. 'The first few were kind of normal,' he said, similar to the emails reported on Thursday. The program had ended in the first week of June, and Foley had given his email address to a number of pages then.

Eventually, he said, the messages became more sexual. Loraditch couldn't remember specifics, since he hadn't seen the messages since 2002, but said, 'I remember them being quite sexual and explicit.' He said that his friends, who'd shared the emails with him then, did not wish to speak about their experience, but did say that he'd spoken to two of them about their correspondence with Foley since Thursday.

Loraditch said that his three friends were the only other pages he had direct knowledge of who'd been contacted by Foley, 'but in a situation like this,' he said, 'where there's three, there's more.'"

[source]
posted by ericb at 11:39 AM on October 1, 2006


Wow, depressing. This reminds me of the Bob Packwood scandal -- how everyone knew about Packwood's groping for years and no one did anything.

I, too, wonder about the disclosure of the story. Whether someone or ones decided to blow the lid on Foley's behavior and then planned out the steps to do so. It would be cool if it were the teenagers themselves who had enough and took action. Less cool if it were adults who were political opponents or otherwise acting with mixed motives.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:47 AM on October 1, 2006


Loraditch said that his three friends were the only other pages he had direct knowledge of who'd been contacted by Foley, 'but in a situation like this,' he said, 'where there's three, there's more.'"

At least three from 2002? And this guy has been in office for six terms or 12 years ... To me this volume makes it far more likely that among the teens contacted by Foley are teens who were actually injured and abused by the interactions (harmed beyond being grossed out or skeeved).
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 11:56 AM on October 1, 2006


A minor blip . . . Foley is a Scientologist?

He gets money from them certainly, but if Clearwater is in his district that's not surprising, as most Scientologists are pretty damned conservative. I don't think he's actually a declared Scientologist.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:03 PM on October 1, 2006


"Think Progress reports on the NY Daily News blog post about an 'unusually large' $100,000 contribution from Foley to the GOP House campaign fund controlled by Congressman Reynolds. Foley transferred the money in July of this year. Reynolds had already contributed $5,000 to Foley in May of 2006. Remember, from his perch as chair of the NRCC, Reynolds is the top House Republican political operative this cycle. As TP reminds us, Reynolds was one of the House leaders who knew early on about Foley's email problems -- well before this money changed hands."

[source]
posted by ericb at 12:50 PM on October 1, 2006




Speaker of the House Denny Hastert meet Cardinal Bernard Law.
posted by ericb at 12:53 PM on October 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


"...under the so-called "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006" (of which Foley was a co-sponsor), along with 18 U.S.C. 2251, discussion or solicitation of sexual acts between Foley and any 'minor' under the age of 18 would appear to be a criminal offense (see Adam Walsh Act, Sec. 111(14) ('MINOR.--The term "minor" means an individual who has not attained the age of 18 years') and 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2256 (1) ('minor' means any person under the age of eighteen years').

But those are just the criminal aspects. It goes without saying that having a predatory Congressman sexually solicit teenage Congressional pages is a serious problem and the House leadership had a responsibility to act when they learned about it."

[source]

How to be hoisted by your own petard:


posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on October 1, 2006


"'Recent news stories remind us that there are predators using the Internet to target children,' Hastert said. 'And just as we warn our children about "stranger danger" when they are at the park or answering the door or telephone, we need to be aware of potential dangers in Cyberspace..."

- Dennis Hastert, August 29, 2006
posted by ericb at 1:09 PM on October 1, 2006


Regarding Foley's financial contributions to the NRCC:

"...while Foley's campaign committee has given significant sums to the NRCC in the last 2-3 years, the amount involved is what you would expect veteran GOPers like Foley to be contributing. By themselves, Foley's donations don't stand out.

...senior members of the House GOP caucus, including committee chairmen, are required by the GOP, at least implicitly, to meet certain fundraising thresholds for the NRCC in order to maintain their committee positions. This is especiallly true of those who occupy safe seats, like Foley did.

Foley was not THE go-to guy for the NRCC. He was one of many go-to guys. That's not to say campaign cash didn't play a role in the kid gloves treatment Foley received from the GOP leadership. It's just that those campaign contributions alone don't add up to that conclusion."

[source]
posted by ericb at 1:19 PM on October 1, 2006


I've heard all Congressmen (D and R) must give to their CCs--it's like a law--they have to produce a certain amount each year thru fundraising.
posted by amberglow at 1:41 PM on October 1, 2006


In what universe does that 100 grand not look like a payoff?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:09 PM on October 1, 2006


GOP Staff Warned Pages About Foley in 2001.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on October 1, 2006


ABC's "This Week" on Mark Foley scandal[YouTube].
posted by ericb at 2:22 PM on October 1, 2006


There's something odd about your link, ericb.

The main page says, "Oct. 1, 2006 — A Republican staff member warned Congressional pages five years ago to "watch out" for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.
Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor.
Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."

The print version, however, says:
Oct. 1, 2006 — - A Republican staff member warned Congressional pages five years ago to "watch out" for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.
Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned by a supervisor in the House Clerk's office that "Foley is gay."
Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said the pages were told "don't get too wrapped up in him being too nice to you and all that kind of stuff."

So were they warning pages that he's gay or warning them that there might be ulterior motives behind his niceness? And why was that editing done?

That one sentence makes a big difference, in my view.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:23 PM on October 1, 2006


I assume that the parents of most of these pages are high level contributors to the Republican party. If that's true, then how many more former pages are out there who are reluctant to come forward because of family connections?
posted by maryh at 2:24 PM on October 1, 2006


The print version

Do you mean the "Print This Article' version? If so, I get this from that link/page:
"A Republican staff member warned Congressional pages five years ago to 'watch out' for Congressman Mark Foley, according to a former page.

Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned about Foley by a supervisor."
The same text as the original web posting.
posted by ericb at 2:33 PM on October 1, 2006


Odd, ericb. Now it has the same text as the original web posting. Ten minutes ago it did not.

I guess that I must have hit the "print this article" button after they had changed the original posting but just before they changed the "print edition."

This sentence: "Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-2002 class, told ABC News he and other pages were warned by a supervisor in the House Clerk's office that "Foley is gay," was on the print edition and is now gone.

Huh.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:38 PM on October 1, 2006


leftcoastbob, maybe you should slow down on those Sunday cocktails! ;-)
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on October 1, 2006


Not true, ericb. I printed out the print edition and am looking at it right now. It has that extra sentence in there.

Also, it's not Sunday cocktails--it's Vicodan.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:42 PM on October 1, 2006


Strange indeed. The line missing, not the Vicodan!
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on October 1, 2006


Yeah. Just because I am paranoid AND on drugs, doesn't mean that they aren't rewriting the news.
posted by leftcoastbob at 2:48 PM on October 1, 2006


Newsweek: 'An energetic, capable politician, Foley appeared to be well matched to his prosperous Palm Beach district. His sexuality did not seem to be an issue with voters. In Washington he made little effort to hide his sexual orientation, and neither his colleagues nor his staff seemed to worry that he might be a predator. Gregarious and fun-loving, he was known for hosting raucous parties and making off-color jokes. 'All of his colleagues knew' that Foley was gay, said a former aide, who asked for anonymity discussing Foley's personal life. 'It was the worst-kept secret in Washington.'

Radical gay groups sometimes 'out' closeted right-wingers, but Foley was insulated against charges of hypocrisy because he voted against a congressional ban on gay marriage. (Last week Democrats were careful to say that the issue was not his sexuality but potentially criminal behavior toward minors.)

...Foley's sexual leanings were also well known, or at least suspected, by a particularly vulnerable group on Capitol Hill. Every year Congress hires about 100 pages, who can be seen in their distinctive blue uniforms scurrying through the halls, running errands for lawmakers.

... A former female page, who asked not to be identified to protect her privacy, told NEWSWEEK that she and other pages had regularly seen Foley stop and talk to pages on the House floor and in the cloakroom, lingering with them and asking them to describe their experiences in Congress. 'We just gradually figured out he was flirting with the guys,' said the page. 'It made a lot of the guys uneasy. He was kind of creepy.'"
posted by ericb at 2:54 PM on October 1, 2006


Someone might claim that since many pages knew about Foley and were warned about him they should have known what they were getting into by answering his e-mails. Remember Foley's M.O. was to contact the boys "only after they'd gone home for the summer." I'm sure most of the interactions started out innocently enough ("Isn't it cool that a congressman is e-mailing me. This may allow me an "in" on a great college application recommendation and even further access to the DC network for an internship.") As we know, there's clear evidence that some interactions evolved to unacceptable and likely illegal territory. Some former pages are coming forward to explain that they didn't report his behavior "...because 'members of Congress, they've got the power.' Many of the pages were hoping for careers in politics and feared Foley might seek retribution."*
posted by ericb at 3:11 PM on October 1, 2006


how many more former pages are out there who are reluctant to come forward because of family connections?

Keeping in mind there are two page programs (one for each house) and that ~1/2 the pages are appointed by Democrats, work for the Demcratic caucus, and would have had less contact with Foley, then we can still assume there were dozens of male pages in any given year that would have been potential interests.

I'm very curious about the original page's family, though. It's strange -- he stovepipes this through his own (appointing) Congressman up to Speaker Hastert, he also contacts the St. Pete Times, then they call off the dogs? Very odd. That smells and I have questions about it.

In what universe does that 100 grand not look like a payoff?

I don't believe it necessarily was, at least not relating to this. It was probably just the price for keeping his leadership post as deputy whip.

On the other hand, you're right -- it looks like a payoff. We'll see if that comes into play. There may be some quiet shuffling of money so that people have plausible deniability, a la Abramoff.

The context that's coming out is important. If people were warning the pages about Foley back in 2001, this must have been common knowledge. That makes the coverup all the more damning, as there's no way that Hastert could have seen the e-mails as innocuous with that knowledge.
posted by dhartung at 3:22 PM on October 1, 2006


House Speaker Hastert Requests Justice Dept. Probe in Foley Case.
posted by ericb at 3:27 PM on October 1, 2006


ABC News: More Kids Come Forward/ABC Has New IM's [YouTube].
posted by ericb at 4:36 PM on October 1, 2006


I've heard all Congressmen (D and R) must give to their CCs--it's like a law--they have to produce a certain amount each year thru fundraising.

That's a little sick.

I can't muster up any ability to justify cutting Foley slack. As an adult, and especially as head of a committee dealing with exactly these problems, he must have known it was utterly wrong to be doing what he was doing. And yet he did it anyway. He lacked self-control.

People who choose to do things that are wrong, knowing they are wrong, deserve full consequence for those choices.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:09 PM on October 1, 2006


I hope kids start coming forward about the other skeezy Congressmen. They are scum who need to be exposed and stripped of their jobs, their power, their status. They are part and parcel of a political system that is nearly completely corrupt, from gerrymandered district-boss-for-life electoral districts, to bribe-taking bastards who would sell their own grandmothers out, to testosterone-poisoned troglodytes who send kids to die in the name of political machoism.

Expose them and get rid of them: it's past time to thoroughly clean house.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:16 PM on October 1, 2006


ooh, look what I found: a list of Republican scum. Claimed to all be pedophilic/ephebophilic, though I haven't verified any of it.

I do note a number of these scum did end up being punished. Presumably they are no longer representing the public.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:39 PM on October 1, 2006


Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) let Foley spend "a lot of time" with pages, including private dinner with one, after GOP knew Foley was a problem.
posted by ericb at 5:58 PM on October 1, 2006


Bombing of Iran starts in 3...2....1....
posted by eriko at 7:10 PM on October 1, 2006


Two readers at TPM make some interesting points:
"Seems reasonably clear to me. The reptiles want the FBI to investigate ABC’s sources and see if they can find any Democratic Party and/or liberal interest group involvement in the IM leaks. A probe would also help intimidate any other potential whistleblowers who might be out there...('If you know what’s good for you kid, you’ll keep your old emails to yourself.' )

It certainly doesn’t have anything to do with going after Trandahl, who after all is one of the House officials the Republicans claim never saw the sexually explicit messages. If the FBI were to find out that he DID see them, it would bring the nasty stuff closer to Hastert and Co."
and...
"Hastert still maintains the focus on just one of Foley's emails:
'As I am sure you are aware, there are two different and distinct communications at issue here. First, Mr. Foley sent an email to a former page of Representative Alexander in the fall of 2005. This email was determined to be "over friendly" by Representative Alexander's office but was not sexual in nature.'

...Hastert separates what he still maintains is one 'overfriendly' email and the 'investigation' of it from the existence of the explicit IMs. On the face of it, that is defensible. There has not yet been any evidence that he or anyone in Congress knew of those IMs. We'll see how far that lasts.

But his request for an investigation is directed SOLELY at those 'sexually explicit communications,' and who knew of them, when, and what they did.

'Therefore, I also request that the Department undertake an investigation into who had specific knowledge of the content of any sexually explicit communications between Mr. Foley and any former or current House pages and what actions such individuals took, if any, to provide them to law enforcement. I request that the scope of your investigation include any and all individuals who may have been aware of this matter-be they Members of Congress, employees of the House of Representatives, or anyone outside the Congress.'

That has NOTHING TO DO with how the Leadership dealt with the emails from Foley to the Page from Louisiana."
posted by ericb at 7:18 PM on October 1, 2006


Uh oh. I bet a lot of heat is going to fall on Matthew Loraditch, the ex-page head of the alumni association. ABC has been relying on his testimony heavily, but he hasn't named the GOP staffer that warned the pages about Foley. I hope the other pages that he's referred to come forward or he's going to be made a goat.
(After 'Rathergate' it's pretty clear that the Republicans will use the tiniest details to destroy a story that has plenty of facts behind it.)
posted by maryh at 7:29 PM on October 1, 2006


Bombing of Iran starts in 3...2....1....

Shhh, you'll ruin the surprise!
posted by homunculus at 7:33 PM on October 1, 2006


Might Foley have headed this prostitution ring? Probably not, but it's a thought.

There's potential for this to become an extremely interesting story, instead of one about a fool who didn't control his lust.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:18 PM on October 1, 2006


Trick-or-treating at the Foley House.
posted by ericb at 8:45 PM on October 1, 2006


Bombing of Iran starts in 3...2....1....

Gary Hart: The October Surprise -- "It should come as no surprise if the Bush Administration undertakes a preemptive war against Iran sometime before the November election.."
posted by ericb at 9:04 PM on October 1, 2006


Laws Involving Contact With Minors Allow Prosecutors a Broad Range of Discretion
"[Foley could indeed]...face 'the full weight of the criminal justice system.'

Legal experts consulted yesterday said that weight could be considerable.

Though the messages made public to date stopped short of soliciting sex or proposing an assignation, some were quite graphic and asked for descriptions of intimate actions. Several states, including Florida, have laws that make it a crime to transmit communication harmful to minors over the Internet.

... 'I wouldn’t be surprised,' Ms. [Marjorie] Heins [a fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice] said, 'if someone could get him criminally under a number of state laws, whether they involve the Internet or not, that prohibit unlawful contact with minors.'

But legal experts cautioned that any case against Mr. Foley would involve difficult jurisdictional and constitutional questions. At least three jurisdictions may be implicated: Washington and Florida, where Mr. Foley worked; the federal system; and perhaps other states, as information about contacts with pages emerges.

...And Mr. Foley is not the only person who could possibly face prosecution, Professor [Douglas A. ] Berman [a law professor at Ohio State University] said. 'If there were people who knew about him or protected him,' he said, “some sort of complicity or conspiracy charge is certainly viable.'"

[New York Times | October 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:21 PM on October 1, 2006


Well, we should have seen this one coming. It was that demon alchol that made Foley do it. So now, according to Drudge, Foley has entered rehab. Oy.
posted by bim at 6:04 AM on October 2, 2006


White House Position on Page Scandal: "Simply Naughty E-mails."
posted by ericb at 7:45 AM on October 2, 2006


Hastert's letter to the DOJ advances the cover-up and worsens the scandal.
posted by ericb at 8:08 AM on October 2, 2006


For those who say there was no reallife contact:

Maf54: I miss you lots since san diego.
Teen: ya I cant wait til dc
Maf54: :)
Teen: did you pick a night for dinner
Maf54: not yet…but likely Friday
Teen: ok…ill plan for Friday then
Maf54: that will be fun

The messages also show the teen is, at times, uncomfortable with Foley's aggressive approach.

Maf54: I want to see you
Teen: Like I said not til feb…then we will go to dinner
Maf54: and then what happens
Teen: we eat…we drink…who knows…hang out…late into the night
Maf54: and
Teen: I dunno
Maf54: dunno what
Teen: hmmm I have the feeling that you are fishing here…im not sure what I would be comfortable with…well see

posted by amberglow at 12:05 PM on October 2, 2006


From the Press Conference of my Dreams: "Now, as CNN probably told you, my name is Mark Foley, and I'm buddy-buddy with The Speaker! Now, let's get started by me giving you a little bit of a scenario of what my life is all about! First off, I am 35 years old.. I am divorced from reality... and I'm about to move into a van down by the river!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:15 PM on October 2, 2006


Holy Foley Crap!

I ignored this story after thinking those original emails were all there was.

That lechy old perv! I hope the sexual blackmail network (you *know* it exists) implodes and sends all these torture-loving slime to their early retirement cells.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:17 PM on October 2, 2006


Foley's Showdown With ABC
"On Friday afternoon, a strategist for Rep. Mark Foley tried to cut a deal with ABC's Brian Ross.

The correspondent, who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley's former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw, sexually explicit messages.

‘I said we're not making any deals,’ Ross recalls. He says the Internet made the story possible, because on Thursday he posted a story on his ABC Web page, the Blotter, after obtaining one milder e-mail that Foley had sent a 16-year-old page, asking for a picture. Within two hours, former pages had e-mailed Ross and provided the salacious messages. The only question then, says Ross, was ‘whether this could be authenticated.’

The St. Petersburg Times last fall obtained the earlier e-mail, asking the 16-year-old for a picture, and interviewed the boy, who wrote a friend that he considered the message ‘sick.’ But the boy would not go on the record.

Executive Editor Neil Brown says the paper's policy against making accusations based on unnamed sources was a factor. ‘We just didn't feel like we had the story,’ he says. ‘We had a lot of stuff implied. . . . If I had it to do over again, I think we probably would have been more organized about pursuing it. But hindsight is 20/20.’

The paper did interview Foley, who assured a reporter that the e-mail exchange was innocent, Brown says.

[Washington Post | October 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 12:30 PM on October 2, 2006


GOP member of Page Board contradicts Hastert and Shimkus, says Foley emails were clear evidence of a problem, not just simply "overly friendly."
posted by ericb at 12:31 PM on October 2, 2006




Measure what? Ah, ya, know.
posted by ericb at 12:34 PM on October 2, 2006


E-mails Show Foley Sought to Rendezvous with Page
"In addition to explicit sexual language, former Congressman Mark Foley's Internet messages also include repeated efforts to get the underage recipient to rendezvous with him at night.

'I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you,' Foley said in one message obtained by ABC News."
Drip, drip, drip. Shoe meet floor.
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on October 2, 2006


Did FBI Wait Months to Open Foley Investigation?
"Copies of the icky emails ABC published last week have been in the hands of the FBI since July, according to a group which obtained the emails months ago....Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, the D.C.-based watchdog group obtained the emails in July, and shortly thereafter provided copies to the feds -- on July 21, according [to] a press release from the organization.

The group has denied being ABC's source for the emails.

...the FBI won't confirm the date their inquiry began. Spokesman Steve Kodak would say only that the FBI is 'conducting an assessment to determine if there's been any violation of federal law.'"
posted by ericb at 12:56 PM on October 2, 2006


the lesson for politicians is simple ... don't fuck the pages or the interns, that's what the american people are for
posted by pyramid termite at 12:57 PM on October 2, 2006


I wonder what important news is being bumped off the front page by this scandal? It would be just like the Bush crew to do evil international things while distracting their public.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:04 PM on October 2, 2006


Sexual Abuse in Congress? Not on Leaders' Agenda
"Several House leaders had known about the matter at least since spring but failed to take appropriate action. Even accepting their insistence that they knew only of ambiguously 'overfriendly' e-mail, rather than the unmistakable obscenities that have recently come to light, their reaction is disturbing.

The slightest hint of a member of Congress making advances toward an underage page is a serious matter. More so because it has happened before, disgracing two congressmen in the 1980s. It speaks directly to the integrity of the institution and the safety of the teens who work for it. For that reason, House Speaker Dennis Hastert had every obligation to investigate this matter fully.

Instead he and other Republican leaders maintained what could at best be termed a posture of willful ignorance. Hastert asserts that he only recently was apprised of the matter. Members of his staff and other leaders make no such claim.

Unless a better explanation appears, the one most likely to be accepted is of an effort to sweep an embarrassment under the rug."

[USA Today | October 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 1:31 PM on October 2, 2006


I wonder what important news is being bumped off the front page by this scandal?

Gee I don't know, maybe the LEGALIZATION OF TORTURE AND SUSPENSION OF HABEAS CORPUS.

Foley's gotten far more coverage.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:36 PM on October 2, 2006


“Neither. I misinterpreted you original post.” -
posted by ericb

Fair enough. Seems your read on it was much more accurate though.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:52 PM on October 2, 2006


So Foley's in rehab--they don't have rehab for chickenhawks.
posted by amberglow at 2:07 PM on October 2, 2006


Bay Buchanan: “They failed the parents of this country is what they did.” Watch video of her comments on CNN's 'Situation Room' (WMV; QT).
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on October 2, 2006


Matt Drudge -- it's the kids' fault. Let's blame the victims.
"And if anything, these kids are less innocent — these 16 and 17 year-old beasts…and I've seen what they're doing on YouTube and I've seen what they're doing all over the internet — oh yeah — you just have to tune into any part of their pop culture. You're not going to tell me these are innocent babies. Have you read the transcripts that ABC posted going into the weekend of these instant messages, back and forth? The kids are egging the Congressman on! The kids are trying to get this out of him. We haven't got the whole story on this."

Audio clips.
I just puked a little in my mouth. Sorry, brb.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on October 2, 2006


I actually had to listen to those clips myself because I couldn't believe even Drudge would say those things. But he said them. Absolutely incredible. Poor Foley, he's the real victim!
posted by brain_drain at 3:02 PM on October 2, 2006


I imagine that Drudge feels similarly victimized by those hot young political hangers-on, so he's ready to lay out the real situation for us. Buncha hypocritical closet cases.
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:06 PM on October 2, 2006


Never let that sexy, sexy 16 year old distract you from your congressional duties again with the new Matt Drudge approved PurqaTM, the first burqa for pages! Now in form-fitting pleather!
posted by maryh at 3:53 PM on October 2, 2006


I wonder what important news is being bumped off the front page by this scandal?

Yeah, but this is the one that's handing them their asses, and showing the American people what sort of stunted Neanderthals they've elected.
posted by dhartung at 3:55 PM on October 2, 2006


does matt drudge have any idea what he's sounding like here? ... look, the republicans should have stood up and said, "he betrayed us, he betrayed our party, he deceived us when he told us that there were just these emails" ... yeah, they'd still take some hits off of that, but it's not as bad as what they're trying to do - they're trying to spin it

it's about time they got a clue - there's some stuff so nasty, so obviously wrong that it just can't be spun

in other words, take your lumps and move on ... sometimes, that's what real leaders have to do
posted by pyramid termite at 4:17 PM on October 2, 2006


You wish.

I am not holding any faith in the American people gettng their shit together in any way. As far as I can see, you guys are headed for an openly religious, fascist government that simulates democracy by the facade of electronic voting. Seriously, you're actually well down that path and there's no real indication that you're going to get off that path.

The November elections are going to be a crucial indicator as to whether you people plan to save yourselves.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:18 PM on October 2, 2006


opps. I was replying to dhartung.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:19 PM on October 2, 2006


CNN: GOP House Speaker Denny Hastert Grilled by Andrea Koppel on Foley Sex Scandal [YouTube] -- he hems, he haws.
posted by ericb at 4:31 PM on October 2, 2006


Brian Ross/ABC News: Warnings About Foley's Behavior Failed to Move Congress to Action.
posted by ericb at 4:32 PM on October 2, 2006


I expect that by the end of the week Jesus will get involved in all this.

Foley will claim that he's found/refound/renewed his spiritual relationship with Jesus and he's been cured or saved or forgiven -- or all of the above!

Hallelujah, brothers and sisters!
posted by bim at 5:11 PM on October 2, 2006


prostitution ring
posted by five fresh fish at 5:29 PM on October 2, 2006


"And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them." Mark 10:13
posted by brain_drain at 5:35 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


NPR: Foley on Exploiting Children over the Internet in 2002
"NEAL CONAN: Joining us now from Capitol Hill is Republican Congressman Mark Foley of Florida, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. Congressman, thanks for joining us this afternoon.

Rep. MARK FOLEY (R. Fla.): Thank you. Good to be with you.

CONAN: You were quoted in The New York Times today as saying the Supreme Court quote, 'sided with pedophiles over children.' Why do you think that?

Rep. FOLEY: Well, I think what we've done here is allowed people to get away, if you will, whether it's virtual reality or live children, exploiting them for sexual gratification. I think we're entering a very, very dangerous period. I'm not a prude. I have no problem with adult pornography. People are entitled to read it, watch it, see it in their homes or in public accommodations. Where I have to draw the line is using children for the excitement of those more mature people who should know the difference and know better. So I was troubled by the court's rendering. We worked long and hard on that bill to pass it in '96, and we're prepared to meet with Mr. Ashcroft and other legal scholars to define a bill that hopefully will pass the muster of the Supreme Court when we reintroduce it."
Full Transcript.

posted by ericb at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2006


Daily Show is doing it now--with scenes from Caligula, and porn pics.
posted by amberglow at 8:06 PM on October 2, 2006


Pages are the "fluffers of liberty"
posted by amberglow at 8:07 PM on October 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sorry if I missed this in all the hoo ha, but today when listening to the news they said Hastert claimed that neither he nor any other Republican had seen the offending email (previous to the news leaking them). This set my "evasive-answer-detection-o-matic" off. As in, well, duh, it's not like Foley was flaunting them around to other members of congress, BUT!!! and this is a big but, just becasue you haven't seen the emails does not mean you didn't know about the emails. I, personally, have not seen Woodward's new book, but I have been told about it, and have no doubt that it exists.
posted by edgeways at 8:19 PM on October 2, 2006


The GOP has known about Foley since at least 01. ABC said staffers were warning pages about him even then.

digby on top of the Perkins/Gingrich spin: ... Since when has the GOP been afraid to be called homophobic or gay bashers? They positively revel in it. In fact, just a couple of months ago 202 Republican House members voted for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. (It failed to get the required 2/3rds for passage.) Somehow, I don't think the Republicans are quaking in their boots at being called anti-gay.

And if they were so afraid of being called anti-gay that they allowed a 52 year old congressman to stalk 16 year old boys on the internet, then they are much too timorous to be running the government. These guys are charged with making laws and running wars, for gawd's sake.

Tony didn't seem bothered by this. It appears that Focus on the Family has decided that they aren't going to condemn the leadership for failing to protect these teen age kids. ...

posted by amberglow at 8:24 PM on October 2, 2006


Watch out Dreier and Graham: ROSS: We’re hearing quite a bit from former pages. They’re sending us all sorts of messages about possible other members.
posted by amberglow at 8:29 PM on October 2, 2006


The Washington Times: 'Resign, Mr. Speaker.'
posted by ericb at 8:38 PM on October 2, 2006


Congressman Tom Reynolds' Chief of Staff Tried to Get ABC to Cover-up Evidence of Foley Predatory Sex Chat .
posted by ericb at 8:40 PM on October 2, 2006


Maybe Foley is Scientology's way of infiltrating the US Government so they could continue to operate their cult. That's what they did re: the IRS: infiltrated and attempted to protect the cult.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:45 PM on October 2, 2006


i can see drudge's point about the perceived innocence of these 16- and 17-year-olds--actually, one of the coolest things about the story is that the kids just saw it as a creepy guy to stay away from, rathern than freaking out and taking claiming victimhood (not saying, of course, that there aren't real victims of something like this, and of course they should not remain silent--i'm speaking specifically on the assumption that the email/text messages are the extent of the sexual involvement here)...and it's not so unbelieveable to think that some (hopefully few) 16-year-olds hanging out around congress might go so far as to seek out sexual contact or at least not discourage sexual advances in the hopes that it would give them some future political advantage (whether by giving in to such advances, or--like these guys perhaps--to kind of play along, at least to an extent; i.e., had this story not come out, the kid in question here could probably have asked Foley for a nice favor later on, with some reasonable expectation that it wouldn't be refused)--i mean, they are hanging out IN CONGRESS, amongst people whose morals mark few taboos, sexual or otherwise, when it comes to winning power...i can't imagine any page leaves the job innocence intact...

...but what is also neat is that the republicans here are victims of their own (and democrats too, to be fair) tendency to overstate the innocence of teens (in all cases that do not involve the death penalty, at least)...save the children!...and now they'll get to feel the brunt of it as (hopefully) people question the rather incurious approach of a republican leader upon hearing of 'overfriendly contact' with one of the wee lads...

...of course, drudge's position is disingenuous, given that were this a democratic member of congress, his page would lead with two sirens and a H1-tagged headline, with a red link to a child rape hotline...and i imagine that were the situation reversed, the republican-led crucifixion would be far bloodier...

..and does anybody but me totally love that the republicans have set up a hotline for other pages to come forward with their stories? call us! we'll protect you! have you told anybody else about this? no? how about you meet me at midnight behind the old paper mill, and you can tell us all about it...
posted by troybob at 8:47 PM on October 2, 2006


how about you meet me at midnight behind the old paper mill, and you can tell us all about it...

What, Vince Foster-style? ;-)
posted by ericb at 8:50 PM on October 2, 2006


I keed, I keed.
posted by ericb at 8:50 PM on October 2, 2006


16-year-olds hanging out around congress might go so far as to seek out sexual contact or at least not discourage sexual advances in the hopes that it would give them some future political advantage

Washington DC's casting couch!
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on October 2, 2006


Former Congressional Pages Use Web to Talk about Foley Scandal
"Web pages and online message boards used by current and former congressional pages have been dominated Monday by discussion of former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Florida. Much of the chatter about the page program stresses what a positive experience it can be, and there is concern the entire program will suffer as a result of this scandal.

While many posts on Foley are filled with shock and disgust at the content of the instant messages now circulating online, some comments are emerging from former pages that Foley had made them uncomfortable.

Online mentions of Foley by pages go back several years. The House Page Alumni Association's web site has recently been taken offline, but CNN has identified archived pages including a 2004 mention of Foley's sexual orientation, and a story about Foley going out of his way to learn one page's name after a late night vote. In one 2005 exchange, a prospective page posted his intention to apply to Mark Foley's office, and the response from a House Page Alumnus was simply 'Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Foley.'"

[CNN | October 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 8:55 PM on October 2, 2006


"I keep forgetting that Matt Drudge is 'officially in the closet.' He's so well known in the gay community for being just another garden variety self-loathing gay Republican-- didn't he try to 'date' or something David Brock when Brock was still a right winger? Today Drudge tried to help Bush shill Tony Snow and ex-high school wrestling coach Denny Hastert to circle the wagons by making the outrageous and preposterous claims that the whole Predatorgate scandal and Republican cover-up is a Democratic election stunt and that the boys were the ones seducing poor Foley, not the other way around. He calls them '17-year old beasts.' How about this son of a rich Republican contributor who says Foley grabbed his dick in a public restroom? It's probably standard procedure for a monster like Drudge, but that crap doesn't wash for gays or straights, just for sickos like Foley and Drudge. (And, of course, he's demanding that whoever leaked the IMs should be investigated.) What a complete turd this is. No shame whatsoever!"

[source]
posted by ericb at 9:04 PM on October 2, 2006


Is Foley in Scientology Rehab?

... First, our trusty Scientology Investigator sent us this detail:

Foley sent his “Gone to Detox Mansion” fax from Clearwater, Florida. Are there any rehab joints there that aren’t run by Scientology? Remember, that’s the same cult that says they can ‘cure’ homosexuality ….

Let’s investigate, after the jump.

Clearwater is known as the town Scientology built ...

posted by amberglow at 9:23 PM on October 2, 2006


Daily Show is doing it now--with scenes from Caligula, and porn pics.

Jon Stewart -- The Daily Show -- Foley Child Predator Sex Scandal [YouTube].
posted by ericb at 9:34 PM on October 2, 2006


Matt Drudge -- it's the kids' fault. Let's blame the victims.

If these kids are trying to undermine the government during a time of war (or the Republican party before an election,) then they should have their habeas corpus rights revoked and be sent to Gitmo.
posted by homunculus at 9:35 PM on October 2, 2006


"Page-pampering Florida Congressman Mark Foley (no, not the Focus Features guy, how many times do we have to correct you on that?) checked into rehab today, possibly in Clearwater, which set off Wonkette's Scientology alarms *. We're just going to assume that his possible ties to the Church are merely related to pandering to a large South Floridian constituency, and that he's not currently trying to sweat out his pedophilia in a Hubbardian sauna."

[Defamer | October 2, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:55 PM on October 2, 2006


Hmmm... Tom (Trapped in the Closet) Cruise? Hmmm... John Travlota. Mark (albeit with underage boys) Foley?


posted by ericb at 10:00 PM on October 2, 2006


Washington Post: FBI Knew in July About Foley E-Mails to Teen.
posted by ericb at 10:11 PM on October 2, 2006


That downwithtyrrany blog looks good, but the "Foley grabbed his dick" link has another email that lumps Kolbe, Frank and Foley together in a homophobic mess:

And Jim Kolbe…everyone who works on the Hill has heard rumors about Kolbe. One of my friends even told me that Kolbe hit on him on several occasions.
Despite all the stories, Frank and Kolbe are well respected because when they got caught, they admitted that they were gay.


Jim Kolbe came out after he "got caught"? Bullshit:

In 1996 he joined the overwhelming majority of representatives in voting for the Defense of Marriage Act, a bill that banned federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Gays directed their fury largely at House Republicans who voted for the bill, including Kolbe. As The Advocate prepared a story on the secret gay life of Kolbe and another closeted gay Republican who voted for the bill, Kolbe decided to preempt the story by coming out publicly.

Not quite the same thing. Just thought I'd note that the Stop Sex Predators' random "Shocking Emails" approach has problems.
posted by mediareport at 12:53 AM on October 3, 2006


After Foley, New Fears For the GOP
Some Say Party Could Lose House and Senate
--... Republicans are bracing for ads that link previous scandals with the Foley case and ask, "Had enough?" Several strategists said this could be devastating in tight races. The most optimistic scenario offered by GOP strategists is that no new information surfaces and the controversy ends in the next five weeks. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:48 AM on October 3, 2006


NYT editorial today: ... When there is a choice between the right thing to do and the easiest route to perpetuation of power, top Republicans always pick wrong. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:54 AM on October 3, 2006


“Mark Foley has never, ever had inappropriate sexual contact with a minor in his life,”

Only appropriate sexual contact, was it?
posted by amberglow at 6:01 AM on October 3, 2006


Only appropriate sexual contact, was it?

I'm so waiting for the Bush Administration to rush through a bill defining what sexual contact is inappropriate.
posted by eriko at 8:02 AM on October 3, 2006


Ya know, there are a lot of folks out there that are anti-Bush, but still pro-Republican. I was afraid that the GOP would market their next presidential candidate as the anti-Bush -- and it'd probably work.

This scandal will surely sway some fence-sitters, but I still can't imagine lifelong GOP-ers voting Dem -- after all, liberals are teh Bad Guys. I dunno.. I'm just curious how this will play out with the voting public.

But, wow, you couldn't have written a better script. If it weren't for the very law that Foley wrote, this may not have been illegal. (Keep in mind this carries a mandatory prison sentence, because... you know, librul activist judges would otherwise let teh pervs off the hook.) And if it weren't for the GOP cover-up, this could be dismissed as just one (twisted, self-loathing) bad apple. I mean, I know we talk smack about Republicans, but geeze... the parties involved clearly don't give a flying fuck about the rule of law, ethics, etc. It's like everybody did everything exactly wrong.

This is gonna leave a mark.

Did I mention that Halloween is my favorite holiday?
posted by LordSludge at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2006


LordSludge writes "This scandal will surely sway some fence-sitters, but I still can't imagine lifelong GOP-ers voting Dem -- after all, liberals are teh Bad Guys. I dunno.. I'm just curious how this will play out with the voting public."

They might just stay home which is is 50% as good.
posted by Mitheral at 9:55 AM on October 3, 2006


yup---the religious ones and some GOP parents will definitely stay home, unless Hastert and Boner and all of them retire, i think.
posted by amberglow at 10:13 AM on October 3, 2006


but I still can't imagine lifelong GOP-ers voting Dem

We don't have to sway them. We just have to sway the independents. They're one fifth of the electorate.
posted by dhartung at 10:28 AM on October 3, 2006


Brian Ross/ABC News: New Foley Instant Messages; Had Internet Sex While Awaiting House Vote. IM exchange [PDF].
posted by ericb at 11:18 AM on October 3, 2006


NRCC Uses Small Children As Human Shields
posted by homunculus at 11:21 AM on October 3, 2006


Those new IMs released by ABC just now are pretty damning.
posted by NationalKato at 11:40 AM on October 3, 2006


"If the fallout from the Foley scandal makes it appear inevitable that the Democrats will take the House, the Iran card may be the surest one, and perhaps the only one, that the Bush administration has left to play."
posted by homunculus at 11:43 AM on October 3, 2006


from the editorial amberglow cited a few comments up:
History suggests that once a political party achieves sweeping power, it will only be a matter of time before the power becomes the entire point. Policy, ideology, ethics all gradually fall away, replaced by a political machine that exists to win elections and dispense the goodies that come as a result. The only surprise in Washington now is that the Congressional Republicans managed to reach that point of decayed purpose so thoroughly, so fast.
Even the Wall Street Journal is coming out against the current situation in government:
The roots of Republican failures in Congress.

The 109th Congress has gone home to fight for re-election, and the best testament to its accomplishments is that very few Republicans are running on them. They're running instead against the peril to the country if the Nancy Pelosi Democrats take power.
...

Yet none of this excuses the more fundamental problem, which is that too many Republicans now believe their purpose in Washington is keeping power for its own sake. The reform impulse that won the House in 1994 has given way to incumbent protection. This is the root of the earmarking epidemic, which now mars every spending bill and has become a vast new opportunity for Member corruption. This is also part of what corrupted felons Duke Cunningham, Bob Ney, Jack Abramoff, Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon.
posted by caddis at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2006


Hastert To Rush Limbaugh: Foley Scandal Is A Liberal Conspiracy To ‘Get To Me’ And ‘Affect Our Election’. [audio; transcript]

Conservatives Respond To Foley Scandal With Anti-Gay Smears.
posted by ericb at 12:48 PM on October 3, 2006


Religious Right Strangely Silent About Foley.
posted by ericb at 12:54 PM on October 3, 2006


Boehner Points Finger at the Speaker

He must be part of the Liberal Conspiracy.
posted by homunculus at 12:57 PM on October 3, 2006


Boston Globe: Santorum Blames Boston For Priest Scandal But Doesn't Blame GOP Leadership For Foley Scandal.
posted by ericb at 1:21 PM on October 3, 2006


Well -- according to the new IMs which ABC has uncovered let's add to the list of Foley's possible/probable trangressions providing alcohol to (a) minor(s).
"Maf54: then we can have a few drinks
Maf54: lol
Teen: yes yes ;-)
Maf54: your not old enough to drink...
Maf54: we may need to drink at my house so we don't get busted."
And the relevant law(s) and penalty in District of Columbia:
"Crime 3: No person may purchase alcohol for the purpose of delivering it to another person who is under 21 years of age.

Crime 4: No person who is not an ABC license holder may make available alcohol to any person under 21 years of age, except when necessary for the person under 21 years of age to perform lawful employment responsibilities (e.g. waiters and waitresses).

Penalties for crimes 3 and 4: $1000 fine and a maximum jail term of 180 days, or both; upon conviction for the second violation committed within 2 years from the date of any such previous offense, be fined not more than $2,500, or imprisoned up to 180 days, or both; upon conviction for the third or any subsequent violation committed within 2 years from the date of any such previous violation, be fined not more than $5,000, or imprisoned up to one year, or both. A person alleged to have committed crimes 3 and 4 may be issued a citation."
posted by ericb at 1:37 PM on October 3, 2006


First ad on Foley scandal hits the airwaves -- Patty Wetterling for Congress [embedded video].
posted by ericb at 2:13 PM on October 3, 2006


Foley Political Cartoons
posted by ericb at 2:19 PM on October 3, 2006


Wherever Foley is, he's apparently still signing into AIM.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:26 PM on October 3, 2006


Ahh. You reap what you sow, folks.

Total. Fucking. Hypocrites. Plus lying bastards and craven corrupt power addicts.

Throw 'em all out, and jail the ones who've broken the law.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:52 PM on October 3, 2006


Foley's attorney is giving a press conference right now. Says that Foley was molested by a clergyman when he was 13 - 15 y.o. He is in a treatment facility for 30-days. Acknowledges that he is a 'gay man.'
posted by ericb at 3:04 PM on October 3, 2006


"He's has been living with shame for over 40 years."
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on October 3, 2006


*for over 40 years*
posted by ericb at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2006


Mark Foley is the VICTIM! Of a pervert clergyman and those seductive young "beasts", the pages!!!
posted by orthogonality at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2006


See, Mark Foley's not homosexual because God made him that way, he's a homo because he was abused, recruited by an evil fag priest. The Christian Right will eat that up.
posted by orthogonality at 3:09 PM on October 3, 2006


Former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL) interrupted a vote on the floor of the House in 2003 to engage in Internet sex with a high school student who had served as a congressional page, according to new Internet instant messages provided to ABC News by former pages.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:34 PM on October 3, 2006


Damn. I missed ericb's previous link.
posted by Kickstart70 at 3:35 PM on October 3, 2006


Boy, they're just gonna dig up more and more and more aren't they. Gonna be a long week for the 'pubs, what with the Condi Memo and Frist saying the Taliban should be offered power in the Afghan government (which he's since said he never said)...

BTW, kudos for your diligent coverage, ericb. Thanks.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:07 PM on October 3, 2006


I dunno. Now that he's "come out" as being gay, the Spin Machine will make it about how honest 'muricans can't trust dem dere homer-sexuals.

I'd really like to see Barney Frank stand up and say, "Hey, I'm an openly gay congressman and I've never molested a child."
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:20 PM on October 3, 2006


I'd like to see any congressman stand up and say, "Hey, I'm a congressman and I've never screwed your children."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:27 PM on October 3, 2006


Joey, do you like movies about gladiators? [YouTube]
posted by ericb at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2006


Human Rights Campaign:
"Gay or straight, Democrat or Republican, it is completely inexcusable for an adult to have this kind of communication with a minor. Congressman Foley brought shame on himself and this Congress by his horrible behavior and complete lack of judgment. We strongly condemn his behavior."
posted by ericb at 4:50 PM on October 3, 2006


amberglow writes "For those who say there was no reallife contact: "

Indeed. I don't retract what I was saying before--namely, let's not tar-and-feather without proof.

However, it's tar and feather time.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2006


I dunno. Now that he's "come out" as being gay, the Spin Machine will make it about how honest 'muricans can't trust dem dere homer-sexuals.
They do that all the time anyway, and have already been doing it--see Bay Buchanan and her brother just tonight, Perkins, Gingrich, Limbaugh, etc...

Heh-- the coveted "Rough Rider" award.

and this was in Wonkette's comments: "No one could have anticipated the breach of the Levi's."
posted by amberglow at 5:51 PM on October 3, 2006


ABC News: It was Republicans, not Democrats, Who Were the Sources for Foley Story:
"[ABC correspondent Brian] Ross dismissed suggestions by some Republicans that the news was disseminated as part of a smear campaign against Mr. Foley.

'I hate to give up sources, but to the extent that I know the political parties of any of the people who helped us, it would be the same party,' Mr. Ross said, referring to Republicans."

[New York Times | October 3, 2006]
Denny on Rush Limbaugh this afternoon: "Foley Scandal Is A Liberal Conspiracy To 'Get To Me' And 'Affect Our Election.'"*

Sorry, wrong. Next excuse?
posted by ericb at 6:33 PM on October 3, 2006


This scandal will surely sway some fence-sitters, but I still can't imagine lifelong GOP-ers voting Dem -- after all, liberals are teh Bad Guys. I dunno.. I'm just curious how this will play out with the voting public.

In all honesty it is not at all important at this time to get GOPers to vote Democrat. The vital thing is that everyone vote intelligently this time around: vote for someone who is honest and who at least puts his heart in the right place. NO MORE SCUM!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2006


And I second the thanks to both ericb and amberglow for the dilligence in digging up all the sources.

Good job, folks.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:05 PM on October 3, 2006


Thanks, zoogleplex and leftcoastbob. Someone doesn't appear to share your appreciation. Do I care what he thinks? Not.

This 'Foley Affair' does indeed appear to be a pivotal moment in our current political landscape.

Anyone up for a 'betting pool' on if/when Hastert resigns?

I'll go with "yes" and go with this Friday (October 6) afternoon at 4:00 p.m. -- giving time for the nightly news broadcasts to pull together retrospectives on his career -- and the Sunday "Talking Head" programs to book guests.
posted by ericb at 7:26 PM on October 3, 2006


"No one could have anticipated the breach of the Levi's."

AHHHH-hahahah!

vote for someone who is honest and who at least puts his heart in the right place.

I don't care about parties at all anymore, no torture supporter will get anything but antagonism from me. And any folks I know who supports one will get the same.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:31 PM on October 3, 2006


Then Came The Foley Scandal -- "If Democrats can't win now, they're doomed to become modern-day Whigs."

America's Most Wanted's John Walsh on the Foley Scandal [YouTube].

ABC's Brian Ross on CNN's Larry King Live on How He Broke 'The Story' [YouTube].
posted by ericb at 7:46 PM on October 3, 2006


New York Times: Hastert Fights to Save His Job in Page Scandal.
posted by ericb at 7:53 PM on October 3, 2006


Foley Acquaintances Question Alcoholism
"..Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., a former colleague, said on Fox News Channel: 'I don't buy this [alcoholism defense] at all. I think this is a phony defense. The fact is, I think he's responsible for what he did here and I think it's a gimmick.'

...Some longtime acquaintances said they cannot reconcile Foley's public and private lives, including the lurid communications and the claimed drinking problem."
posted by ericb at 8:07 PM on October 3, 2006


What Did Fox News Know About Foley, and When Did They Know It?
posted by ericb at 8:18 PM on October 3, 2006


"While Foley’s attorney said the congressman never had 'inappropriate sexual contact with a minor,' that may not matter, said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Florida.

He said Foley could face criminal charges under state or federal laws for 'grooming' minors for sexual contact."

[Associated Press | October 3, 2006]
posted by ericb at 8:19 PM on October 3, 2006


ericb: Who is your favourite charity?
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:22 PM on October 3, 2006


Mr. Foley -- if I were a betting man (oh, wait -- I am) I'd say you (and Hastert -- and likely others) are:


posted by ericb at 8:26 PM on October 3, 2006


ericb: Who is your favourite charity?

Send me an e-mail, I'll tell you more. I am involved in numerous non-profits, and on the boards of many -- mostly involved in AIDS Research and Treatment, Equal/Human Rights, Hunger/Malnutrition, Microfinance and 'Access to Techology for Those Who Otherwise Would Not Have Access To Such.'
posted by ericb at 8:32 PM on October 3, 2006


ericb: Any objection to ModestNeeds, as discussed here?

I can't make any large donations, but it's a small thanks, anyway.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:50 PM on October 3, 2006


Kickstart70 -- thanks for the info. Let me look into the program.
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on October 3, 2006


Washintogn Post : Some Say They Felt Uneasy About Representative's Attention.
posted by ericb at 8:56 PM on October 3, 2006


Mark Foley's Attorney Press Statement [YouTube].
posted by ericb at 8:57 PM on October 3, 2006


Help Congressman Foley Protect Our Children -- website.
posted by ericb at 8:59 PM on October 3, 2006


It appears that VoterVoice.net is stripping their website of references to Foley.

Here's a screen capture -- as they appear to be ripping him from their website:


posted by ericb at 9:14 PM on October 3, 2006


Sorry, you have attempted to access a site that does not exist or is no longer valid.

Consider your children protected!
posted by maryh at 9:24 PM on October 3, 2006


maryh writes "Sorry, you have attempted to access a site that does not exist or is no longer valid."


You can't access that page? Hmm, I'm sure Congresman Foley would be on top of it -- indeed, all over that page.
posted by orthogonality at 9:31 PM on October 3, 2006


foley says he was abused by a clergyman

it just goes on and on and on ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:38 PM on October 3, 2006


Of course, he might have been. However, this and the alleged alcoholism aren't excuses for anything.

I'd love to be surprised at his and the Republican excuse-making, but I'm not at all.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:49 PM on October 3, 2006


I think I've seen this show-

"Hello, I'm Jerri Blank Mark Foley and I'm a 46 54-year-old high school freshman ex-US Congressman. For 32 years 7 terms I was a teenage runaway running around teenagers. I was a boozer, a user, and a loser. My friends were dealers, cons, and 18 karat pimps. But now I'm out of jail office, picking up my life exactly where I left off. I'm back in high school the public sector, living at home, and discovering all sorts of things about my body. I'm finding out that though the faces have changed, the hassles are just the same."
posted by maryh at 10:23 PM on October 3, 2006


He was drunk when he sent the emails. Some were sent while sitting in the halls of congress, but he never drank when voting in congress.

Well, he has 30 days to get his story straight while he's in rehab for the drinking problem that he doesn't have.
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:26 PM on October 3, 2006


you can bet on whether Foley gets charged and whether Hastert resigns as Speaker.
posted by pruner at 1:46 AM on October 4, 2006


So he gets out of rehab about a week before the elections.
That should be entertaining.
posted by Tenuki at 2:48 AM on October 4, 2006


I thought the rehab dodge was really clever. "up, can't talk, rehab."

I'll have to remember that.

"Up, can't fix your server. I'm in rehab?"

"Officer, I'm sorry my plates are expired. I was in rehab."

"Honey, not tonight, I'm in rehab."
posted by eriko at 5:53 AM on October 4, 2006


Check out this gem:



yootoob video here (via), which I haven't watched cuz I'm at work
posted by LordSludge at 6:38 AM on October 4, 2006


ABCNews.com has pulled a story off about ex-Florida Republican Congressman Mark Foley's sexuality by a writer who outed Foley's homosexuality 10 years ago in the Advocate. ...
When Moss reached editor Steve Alpern Tuesday, Moss says Alpern thanked him for the piece but that its removal was an "editorial decision." When pressed, according to Moss, Alpern said the piece was "creating confusion." ...

posted by amberglow at 7:15 AM on October 4, 2006


Wash Post: In 1995, male House pages were warned to steer clear of a freshman Republican from Florida, who was already learning the names of the teenagers, dashing off notes, letters and e-mails to them, and asking them to join him for ice cream, according to a former page. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:21 AM on October 4, 2006


NYT editorial today: The more the House Republican leaders try to defend themselves on the Congressional page scandal, the worse it looks. They still do not seem to appreciate how serious this is, especially for a party that poses as the arbiter of morality. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:39 AM on October 4, 2006


And the most famous GOP closet case speaks too, even tho they get his name wrong (on purpose?)--"We have to act quickly," said House Rules Committee Chairman Davie Dreier (R., Calif.), a Hastert confidant.
posted by amberglow at 7:57 AM on October 4, 2006


While I'm all about the GOP eating itself, this scandal could totally backfire against liberal ideals, leading to public support for increased governmental monitoring of the internets. (...not to mention validating homophobia...) Hey, they already have the infrastructure in place to monitor internet traffic on a large scale; why not just widen the scope to include "cock", "boy", and "cast fetish"?

This could be the beginning of the "War on Pedophiles (& Gays, shhh!)".

yeah, there's a conspiracy theory here somewhere.
posted by LordSludge at 8:13 AM on October 4, 2006


There's been a war on us gays for years now, and by sheltering Foley and Dreier and all the rest, they have exposed their hypocrisy in all of it. They can't demonize us any more than they already have if they cover up for those in their own midst.
posted by amberglow at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2006


How is that a conspiracy theory? It's well-known that Republicans conflate pedophilia and homosexuality for political reasons. It's well-known that they also have a boner for spying on people's internet. Peanut butter meet jelly.
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:19 AM on October 4, 2006


I've already heard reporters and pundits asking if those bringing it up are actually saying that "Gays shouldn't be Republicans"--the answers all show them running away from that, since it would just invite a witchhunt in their own party (and they all know about their own closetcases).
posted by amberglow at 8:22 AM on October 4, 2006


FWIW, this thread is dwindling a bit, but for those that want to keep digging, there are several .. live .. threads with .. thousands of comments on Fark.

Fark? Yes, Fark. While the level of discourse is generally (ha!) not up to MeFi standards, there's a lot more material, including many links I haven't seen posted here -- if you're willing to wade through the, well, "fark". (Just kindly post the Good Stuff up here and save the rest the hassle, thanks!)

For example:

Authorities seek blogger who posted sex gossip

Associated Press
Oct. 1, 2006 03:40 PM

ATHENS, Ga. - Authorities are searching for whomever posted a long list and description of supposed sexual encounters between dozens of high school students on the online networking site MySpace.com.

Oconee County Sheriff's officials said they were investigating who posted the gossip about North Oconee High School students Sept. 1-9. Since gossip isn't a crime, the sheriff's report lists the offense as distributing obscene materials to minors. The list describes sexual encounters and could be accessed by people younger than 18.

"There's a lot of difference between writing on a bathroom wall and distributing it all over the world on the Internet where anyone has access to it," Lt. David Kilpatrick told the Athens Banner-Herald for a story published Sunday.
Students argued with one another, disrupting classes, when most found out about the MySpace blog, said principal John Osborne.

Kilpatrick said that MySpace gave him the e-mail address of the person who created the site, but that it was an anonymous Yahoo account. He said he would subpoena BellSouth, the Internet service provider used to create the e-mail address, to try to determine who paid for the Internet service.

Any student found to have created the site could be expelled because the school's conduct code covers off-campus behavior that affects school life, Osborne said. He said they might also face lawsuits from parents of students cited in the postings."


That's right, folks, the proper response to a whistleblower is to punish the whistleblower.
posted by LordSludge at 8:34 AM on October 4, 2006


sonofsamiam: How is that a conspiracy theory?

I wasn't clear...: The "theory" is that this entire scandal is a GOP fabrication to increase govt. control of the internets. Sure you sacrifice one gay senator, but they already have the vote locked up via Diabold, right? (wink!)
posted by LordSludge at 8:37 AM on October 4, 2006


or "Diebold" even.
posted by LordSludge at 8:38 AM on October 4, 2006


They already do have Diebold, which might be why there are no other resignations (and, i think, won't be).
posted by amberglow at 8:40 AM on October 4, 2006


FBI Examining Possible Threat to La. Teenager
"The FBI is investigating a possible threat against the north Louisiana teenager who was on the receiving end of suggestive e-mails from disgraced former Rep. Mark Foley, a Louisiana congressman said Tuesday.

Rep. Rodney Alexander, R-Quitman, said Tuesday that the young man's life wasn't threatened, 'but close to it.'

'There are people out there who feel like he is the one who (accused) Foley,' Alexander said.

...The teen served as a House page in 2005 and afterward received e-mails from Foley, a six-term Republican, asking for a picture of the then-16-year-old and what he wanted for his birthday.

...Foley sent the e-mails to the teen in late summer 2005. Saying they 'freaked me out,' the youngster forwarded them to a lawyer on Alexander's staff in late August, two days after Hurricane Katrina hit, asking her to alert Alexander.

'If you can, mention this to Rodney so he is aware,' one of the page's e-mails said. 'I wonder what he would do about it.'"

[Times-Picayune | October 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:16 AM on October 4, 2006




You're doing a heckuva job, Foley.
posted by ericb at 9:18 AM on October 4, 2006


"'We have to do something different, more dramatic,' said Rep. Ray LaHood (R., Ill.). 'This is a political mess and what we've done so far is not working. Somebody has to take responsibility for this. It is on our watch.'"

[source]
posted by ericb at 9:29 AM on October 4, 2006


Instant Messages Obtained by ABC News Cast Doubt on Claims from Foley's Lawyer.
posted by ericb at 9:30 AM on October 4, 2006


"Mark Foley had secrets.

First, there was whispering about the Republican congressman's sexual orientation, beginning in 1994 during his first House campaign. He was almost outed two years later when he voted against gay marriage. In 2003, Foley dropped a Senate bid after the rumor mill again started churning. He dismissed the speculation as 'revolting and unforgivable.'

...as Foley attempted to navigate the tricky path of being a gay Republican, there was yet another, darker secret that he proved unable to handle: He was making sexual advances toward teenagers. For all his caution about his sexual orientation, it wasn't that but his pursuit of underage former congressional pages that wrecked his career.

...'You have someone who for all intents and purposes is a gay person, but continues to perpetuate the myth that there's something wrong with it,' said Tracy Thorne-Begland, a Foley family friend."

[Washington Post | October 4, 2006]
posted by ericb at 9:41 AM on October 4, 2006


FBI Contacting Pages; Evidence Foley Solicited Sex
"FBI agents have begun to contact former congressional pages in the growing investigation of disgraced former Congressman Mark Foley, according to federal law enforcement officials.

At least one former page has reportedly offered evidence that Foley sought to solicit sex during instant message exchanges over the Internet.

The 'preliminary investigation' appears to be heading towards a full field investigation, according to one official.

Officials say Foley's extensive knowledge of child exploitation laws may have helped guide him as to how far he could go without violating the law.

Instant messages obtained by ABC News indicated Foley met or arranged to meet young men under the age of 18 who had been pages.

Despite the fact that Foley's attorney has said Foley admits to sending the 'totally inappropriate' e-mails and IMs, the FBI has still not seized his computer and hard drive.

...The FBI confirmed today that it has not drawn up a search warrant for the equipment because the investigation is still preliminary, and they are still examining the messages they've obtained so far."

[ABC News | October 4, 2006]
Quite the contrast from when this past May the FBI raided the office of Rep. William J. Jefferson (D- La.), seeking evidence in a probe of alleged bribery.
posted by ericb at 9:58 AM on October 4, 2006


Fox News: Foley is a Democrat --



Two Fox clips with Foley as Democrat: 1, 2 [.wmv]. The second clip is during an interview with Ann Coulter.

Rove's Phone Call to Ailes; re: MARK FOLEY (D-FL). It's funny.
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on October 4, 2006


Oh -- I just saw the new thread -- seems like the discussion will continue over there.
posted by ericb at 10:22 AM on October 4, 2006




“Total. Fucking. Hypocrites. Plus lying bastards and craven corrupt power addicts.
Throw 'em all out, and jail the ones who've broken the law.” -
posted by zoogleplex

I have to take issue with that.

You’re being entirely too generous.

Of. Fucking. Course. He’s drinking. Of. Fucking. Course. He was molested by a priest. He’s gotta find anyone or anything else to lay this off on. It certainly can’t be a flaw in his character or ethos or identity, etc. Certainly not his adherants. God damn - doesn’t anyone have the balls to say “I was wrong. I apologize. I’ll take steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
No, it’s “I was molested.” or “I was ignored” or “Daddy didn’t love me.” Same God damned shit they get on the backs of “liberals” about in their own fucking ranks and they over look it. I was quit from the Republican party for some time, I’m twice as quit now. Some war profiteering, child molesting, religious fanatic, sociopathic motherfuckers. What kind of scum covers up for a man like that? I was right when I said “politics” but it’s politics going the other way which is what blindsided me.
Oh, I can see a fat assed alderman or senator selling his vote to line his pockets. I think it’s reprehensible, but I get the crime and the pay off. I see the trade offs and I even understand why someone might send someone else’s kid off to war to stuff treasure into their bank. It’s disgusting, but I understand the trade off. This...where’s the percentage? You look the other way while some kid gets exploited? (Not to mention doing the exploiting in the first place) How poor does your character have to be to achieve a position of power and exploit it in such a frivolous (evil aside) manner?
I know children with more moral fiber, common sense, and more guts than Foley - How the hell did he get elected? No one saw it?

“...leading to public support for increased governmental monitoring of the internets....”

No doubt. Shortly after the tailhook scandal everyone in every branch of the service got hit hard about how they sure as hell better not sexually harrass anyone. It was a bunch of Navy fliers, officers, in Las Vegas. But you would have thought that it happened out in the field somewhere by E-1s the way sexual harrassment was portrayed. No doubt this will backlash.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:42 PM on October 4, 2006


And then there’s Carl Rove. Can a human being even begin to speculate about his nasty “sex”?...or whatever you call that kind of thing. I shudder to think. Sorry I brought it up.
posted by Huplescat at 7:26 PM on October 4, 2006


ericb - I just want to thank you for updating so diligently. I've been out of town and swamped and this thread has been invaluable to me.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:45 PM on October 5, 2006


CunningLinguist -- thank you for your acknowledgement. Last Thursday the 'seedling' of this story struck me that it might grow into a 'towering oak.' I guess my instinct has panned out. With that said, I recognize that the conversation of this thread has passed to another. Let the discussion there flourish. My gut tells me that there will be many more threads that track this 'scandal' before, during and beyond the mid-term elections in November. Have we come to a 'tipping point' in American politics?
posted by ericb at 8:51 PM on October 5, 2006


ericb writes "Last Thursday the 'seedling' of this story struck me that it might grow into a 'towering oak.' "

Maf54 (9:13.21) my seedling has grown into a towering oak.
Maf54( 9:14.01) are u sprouting into a towel?
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 PM on October 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


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