/*PenDragn: Pageboy e-mails 'covered up to avoid a scandal'*/


Pageboy e-mails 'covered up to avoid a scandal'

It's always nice to go outside the country for news and get away from the controls on US mainstream media.

You might even get a headline that actually does an accurate analysis of the situation.

Right there in mainstream news.

Excerpt: Timesonline report:

REPUBLICAN leaders were defending themselves yesterday against claims that they had been more interested in avoiding political scandal than protecting an underage pageboy who was being bombarded with sexually explicit messages by one of their congressmen.

Mark Foley was forced to resign on Friday after the publication of suggestive e-mails and other lewd messages that he had sent to a 16-year-old congressional intern. In one message, the Florida Republican, using an AOL account name of Maf54, tells him to “strip down” and, when told the teenager is wearing a T-shirt and shorts, he replies, “love to slip them off of you”. Capitol police have sealed his office and criminal charges are expected. Mr Foley, 52, who had previously ducked rumours about his sexuality, pioneered legislation against adults who prey on vulnerable young people. He had even helped to set up a hotline for parents and teenagers to tell police about “online child sexual exploitation”.

As recently as July 27, President Bush had hailed Mr Foley and other legislators behind child protection laws as being part of a “SWAT team for kids”.

Democrats say:
House leadership was warned about Mr Foley’s activities months ago, alleging that it sought to cover them up for fear of losing his seat in November’s mid-term elections. The Democrats are linking the case to a “pattern of corruption” in the Republican Congress and have called for an inquiry.

Over the weekend Republican Thomas Reynolds admitted that he had told Dennis Hastert, the Speaker of the House, as long ago as last year that a page’s parents had complained about inappropriate messages being sent by Mr Foley. Mr Hastert said that he did not remember this conversation but his office had nonetheless referred the matter to the clerk of the House.

The clerk passed the issue on to John Shimkus, who oversees the 200-year-old congressional page programme, which allows 72 high school juniors to work in the House for a session, answering telephones and delivering mail....

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