/*PenDragn: Daily Foleys*/

10.02.2006

Daily Foleys

New York Times: RNC Refuses to Give Back Foley Contributions of Over Half a Million.

Many individual candidates are giving contributions back or to charity (What do you want to bet those charities like Tom Delay's are run by former staffers and work to re-elect the GOP candidates). Looking at the number of people in the Republican party that Foley had given a grand or more to, maybe we can see why they were willing to look the other way when rumors and hints came at them.

Washington Post: FBI Knew in July About Foley E-Mails to Teen Didn't think it was significant. Think you'd be given such leeway if this was brought to their attention about you? I doubt it.
Also in the WP report:
Many Democrats and some Republicans sharply criticized the decision by key House GOP members to handle the matter of the Louisiana e-mails so quietly that only one of the three lawmakers who oversee the page program knew anything about it. The other two -- one Democrat, one Republican -- expressed anger yesterday that they had been kept in the dark.


And more information from an ABC report is available at the Post link above. Don't miss Tony Snow calling Foleys missives "naughty emails". Hey, Tony when deep in the muck of the GOP propaganda spew it's easy to trip up on the tongue.

The St Petersburg Times says:
In talking with a small group of reporters after his news conference, Hastert said of the Louisiana e-mail, “I think that is apparent that would raise a red flag.”

Yet, beyond talking to Foley, nothing was done.

The Page Board, a panel designed specifically to care for pages, was not convened to investigate. House leaders did not contact other current or former pages to find out if Foley’s behavior went beyond a single incident. No one reported the correspondence to federal or state authorities.

“It’s such unusual, bizarre behavior you would think to ask questions,’’ said former federal prosecutor John Fitzgibbons, now a lawyer in private practice in Tampa. “It cries out for an investigation. It is so obvious.”

Foley, 52, a Republican from the West Palm Beach area, resigned after the public disclosure of sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages between him and former congressional pages that went back at least three years.

On Monday, ABC News released new instant messages that show for the first time that Foley, using the screen name Maf54, tried to meet with teenage boys, and it appeared in some cases that he might have.

In one message, he wrote: I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you.

In another message, Foley appears to describe having been together with the teen in San Diego.

and
Matthew Loraditch, a page in the 2001-02 class, told ABC News and the Washington Post that he and other pages were warned five years ago about Foley by a Republican staff member.

Loraditch, the president of the Page Alumni Association, said Foley sent “creepy” messages to three 2002 classmates after the boys finished the House program.

“They became explicit and similar to what we are seeing on the Web sites right now,” said Loraditch, 21, a senior at Towson University in Maryland. Those who received them “didn’t do anything beside telling other pages about it.”
More at link above.

File the next one under:"The Foley of Power" (Don't try to stop me. I'm on a roll.)

The New York Times in editorial "The Foley Matter" says:
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.

That House leaders knew Representative Mark Foley had been sending inappropriate e-mail to Capitol pages and did little about it is terrible. It is also the latest in a long, depressing pattern: When there is a choice between the right thing to do and the easiest route to perpetuation of power, top Republicans always pick wrong.

The news about Mr. Foley should have set off alarm bells instantly, even if the messages the leaders saw were of the “inappropriate” variety rather than the flat-out salacious versions that surfaced last week. But there was certainly no sense of urgency in their response, which seemed directed at sweeping the matter under the rug rather than finding out precisely what was going on.

The obvious first step — notifying the bipartisan committee that oversees the page program — was never taken, presumably because that would have meant bringing a Democrat into the discussions. After Mr. Foley assured everyone that he was simply engaged in mentoring, whatever leadership inquiry there was ended with telling him to stop e-mailing the youth who got the inappropriate letter.

It’s astonishing behavior for a party that sold itself as the champion of conservative social values. But then so was the fact that a party that prides itself on fiscal conservatism managed to roll up record-breaking deficits, featuring large amounts of wasteful pork earmarked to the districts of powerful legislators or the profit sheets of generous campaign contributors. So was the speed with which the party that billed itself as the voice of grass-roots exurban and suburban America turned itself into the partner of every special-interest lobbyist with a checkbook.
Read rest at link (under title of editorial above)

Eugene Robinson Says: "No Spinning Past This Scandal" (So I guess that makes it a no-spin ... oh forget it.) Here's Gene:
Even when damage control seems a lost cause, I suppose you have to follow the playbook. So Mark Foley resigns his House seat in a nanosecond, then explains those creepy electronic messages to young congressional pages by declaring himself an alcoholic, effectively blaming it all on demon rum. House Speaker Dennis Hastert promptly calls for a really thorough -- meaning really slow -- investigation. The rest of the Republican leadership declares itself shocked and/or saddened, but agrees that the time has come to move on, folks, nothing to see here.
Read rest at link above.

From an LA Times article "Foley Enters Alcohol Rehab Center" notes that Foley's latest contribution of $100,000
which the NRCC reported receiving on Aug. 7, came after Reynolds had acknowledged having learned about the Louisiana page's complaint.NRCC spokesman Carl Forti said the campaign donation had no impact on how Reynolds handled the matter, explaining that Reynolds told Hastert about the problem as soon as he learned about the e-mails.

"This is nothing more than pure politics at its worst," Forti said, dismissing the Democratic charge that Reynolds should have done more.

"Even to insinuate that is ridiculous."

(You know what that means)

Forti said Reynolds had not known about the explicit instant messages, in which Foley discussed sexual matters with at least one other former page.

But Reynolds did work closely with someone who knew Foley well.

Kirk Fordham, a veteran Republican legislative staffer who has worked on Capitol Hill for much of the last 17 years, served as Foley's chief of staff from 1995 to 2004. Fordham also managed Foley's first campaign for Congress, in 1994.

In 2005, Fordham went to work for DCI Group, a leading GOP political strategy group. The same year, he became Reynolds' chief of staff.



Next previous post on Foley problem. Politically savvy but independent Mickey Kaus penned a few thoughts on the case.