Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Page Turner

The media is aghast at the shenanigans of Republican Representative Mark Foley, a 52-year old gay man who has sent suggestive and sexually-explicit emails and instant messages to 16-year old male House pages. Republicans are scrambling to quiet the uproar so they may go back to bashing Democrats as being weak on security. In the process, they are demonstrating that their moral actions are just as bad as their security actions.

Mark Foley has been in the House since 1995. According to the Intenational Herald Tribune:

He built a national reputation as an advocate for tougher laws against child sexual predators, playing a key role in authoring legislation signed into law in July by President George W. Bush establishing a national sex offender database. "We used to track library books better than we do sex offenders but this bill will even that score," Foley said then.

Isn't that nice? Foley got tired of "tracking" and switched to "communicating" and maybe something else. He "communicated" with one page, and when he got tired of it he "communicated" with another page.

According to the L.A. Times, this was well known:

"Almost the first day I got there I was warned," said Mark Beck-Heyman, a San Diego native who served as a page in the House of Representatives in the summer of 1995. "It was no secret that Foley had a special interest in male pages," said Beck-Heyman, adding that Foley, who is now 52, on several occasions asked him out for ice cream.

OK, this is a page. ABC says the same thing:

ABC News reported, “Foley’s obsession with 16- and 17-year-old male pages has been known to Republicans on Capitol Hill for at least five years, but, other than issue a warning, little else seems to have been done about the congressman.”

So the question is did the Republican leadership know about this? Rep. John Shimkus of Illinois, the Republican chairman of the House Page Board, said he learned about the Foley e-mail messages "in late 2005." Rep. Tom Reynolds, chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said he was informed this spring about the emails. Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, the leader of the Republican majority, said he was informed of the e-mail messages earlier this year. Dennis Hastert, speaker of the House, insisted that he learned of the most flagrant instant-message exchange from 2003 only last Friday, when it was reported by ABC News.

All the Republican leaders knew and none of them did anything. They knew that Foley was a page turner, abusing one page after another. But they kept quiet. The publicity would not be good for the Republican Party. After all, Republicans stand for moral values and one of their highest moral values is demonizing gay people. It was enough that Foley was gay; abusing young pages would shock the public.

All the Republican leaders knew and yet Republicans everywhere are calling for the resignation of Dennis Hastert. Why pick on him? They were all negligent. They all acted despicably. Could it be that Karl Rove decreed it?

Posted by Paul Siegel at October 3, 2006 5:43 PM
Comments
Comment #185957

The Daily Show did a great piece on this last night. The best part being when Stewart played clips of GOP big-wigs using softer terms to describe what happened and instead of calling him a pedophile or another deserving title, they instead refered to the problem as him being gay. Snow even claimed the GOP leaders who knew were afraid to act because it would be taken as gay-bashing. Stewart responded to Snow and others’ tactic with something like “Maybe it is the fact that the republicans liken a statutory rapist to that of ordinary homosexuality that causes them to be accused of gaybashing.” I couldn’t agree more. Its utterly disgusting to even try and turn this onto a bigger or more complex issue. It is simple: the guy is a sexual predator and he’s being protected. It’s sickening. But I’m sure the republicans will crusify him in the coming weeks to show everyone just how seriously they take their morality. And most of the soccer moms will buy it.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 3, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #185959

They could just be following the lead of the Democrats who, when they were in power, merely censured a congressman who was caught having sex with his page allowing him to keep being re-elected to the congress until he retired in 1996.

Personally, it’s an example of how both parties are more concerned with power than integrity. Kick ‘em all out.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 3, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #185962

So its ok for the Republicans to treat Foley with kid gloves just because the Democrats did so 20 years ago? This is just another example of the Republican set of moral values: tax cuts for the rich and corporations, lies and cherry picking intelligence to justify Iraq, secrecy, swift boating, rape of the environment, promote torture, circle the wagons mentality, stay the course, trample the constitution, where do I stop?
A couple of weeks ago on Meet the Press, former Sen Danforth opined that the Republican party base has become fundamentalist Christian. If so, they should be outraged at the behavior of their grand old party.
Had enough? We know what to do 5 weeks from now.

Posted by: Steve at October 3, 2006 6:20 PM
Comment #185963

I wonder how many of these power sick straight congressmen are hitting on young female pages also.

Posted by: mark at October 3, 2006 6:21 PM
Comment #185965

Congress is not only exemplary of a “Culture of Corruption”, but also “Looking the Other Way”.

I once heard Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on NPR radio admit to “looking the other way”.

Some knew about Foley and did nothing.

Hastert later admitted to the subject being brought up previously, but said he thought it had been resolved already. Interesting. Slippery aren’t they?

There probably were hoping to keep it a secret until after the elections.

Anyone, regardless of party, that knew about it and did nothting, may be in violation of the law, and should not only resign, but should be prosecuted. Isn’t it illegal to hit on minors?

But, of course, they are above the law. They can do just about anything they want, and the worst that happens is “they resign”, keep they multi-million dollar pensions, and perhaps become a high-paid lobbyist. Heck, even if ever indicted and convicted, they can get a presidential pardon.

Who says crime doesn’t pay?

The scary part is that these periodic revelations are just the tip of the iceberg.

Power corrupts.
Tenure Corrupts.

But, voters keep re-electing them ! ?

I used to be against term-limits, but it is started to look like a good idea.

Politicians are NOT that worried.
They know voters will most likely re-elect an incumbent than a newcomer, helping incumbents preserve to preserve things just they way they have perverted them, by always vastly out-numbering newcomers.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 3, 2006 6:28 PM
Comment #185972

Rhinehold-

That page scandal was different. There were two congressman caught up in it, one from each party. Both received the same official reprimand, which was a censure. The Dem was re-elected, the Rep was not. It is interesting to note that the two took different approaches in how they dealth with it: the Democrat said it was his personal life an no one else’s business. He won re-election. The Republican made a sobbing public apology and lost his re-election bid. Not saying one is better than the other, just interesting.

The biggest difference between this and that was the pages in question then were 18, so there was no crime committed.

Posted by: David S at October 3, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #185980

The age of Heterosexual consent in Florida is 18, and Homesexual contact is “illegal”. This information is from ageofconsent.com.

This reminds me of people traveling to foreign countries (read as DC) to have sex with minors where it’s “legal”. That is something that is prosecuted in the US.

Posted by: bman at October 3, 2006 7:32 PM
Comment #185982

David S, in the earlier cases you mention, the pages were both 17.

The only difference between either of those cases and this one was that actual sex took place rather than suggestive language. The reason a bigger deal wasn’t made about those cases is probably that there was a member from each party involved and therefore no political advantage to be gained by anybody from it.

Also, though against House Rules, it was not illegal then, just as it’s not now, to have sex with anybody who is 16 (the age of consent) in Washington DC.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 3, 2006 7:35 PM
Comment #185986

“Also, though against House Rules, it was not illegal then, just as it’s not now, to have sex with anybody who is 16 (the age of consent) in Washington DC. “

Then again, no one said this was about what is legal. It’s about what is RIGHT. I could care less about Foley’s legal problems… I’m glad he stepped down and is no longer a danger, but we still have to investigate what lack of action or cover up has taken place.

(Pity about the timing.)

Posted by: tony at October 3, 2006 7:51 PM
Comment #185987

If what David S says is true (I don’t remember this scandel at all) then why even compare the two? This is not just an abuse of power…this is a statutory rape and having high powered colleagues conceiling the criminal behavoir…of which is completely repugnant to the vast majority of the guy’s constituency.

I actually don’t care so much about the political side of it because that much is predictable. The idea being not to say anything until you must, and when you must then play dumb…after all, it’s election time. However, I do mind that this guy was notorious on the Hill for this kind of thing, and not one objection was raised even despite his being the chair of a committee dealing with child endangerment. This wasn’t an isolated incident…this was his reputation, and it shows that the moral judgement on capital hill is purely dictated by what the public does and does not know…even when it comes to something so universally repulsive.

Rhinehold, I agree that both parties are a far cry from responsible, but c’mon…this is one of those scenarios that has implications that go far beyond a culture of “looking the other way.” I look the other way plenty in my life, as does everyone I know. But this scenario shows a complete and utter lack of accountability in the every day life of politicians, and further that the resulting vaccuum is being exploited in a very open way.

But it does amaze me that congressional values are widely believed these days to be the polar opposite of family values. Yet, the congress that has celebrated this distinction by simply being the most useless, corrupt, scandelous and incompetent congresses in recent history is made up primarily of folks who ran on a platform of “family values”. What a joke. Anyone who voted for a candidate (dem or repub) because of their “moral character” in the last 15 years should be hanging their heads LOW. And under one definition, anyone who continues to do so is insane!

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 3, 2006 7:55 PM
Comment #185990

Kevin, statutary rape would require at the bare minimum sex having taken place. Saying that emails and instant messages are equivelant to sex is just ridiculous.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 3, 2006 8:16 PM
Comment #185998

This scandal manages to epitomize and capture so much of what is dysfunctional about the current American political scene.

* It reveals a political leader who demands one set of rules for himself and another for the American people. A delicious irony of this case will occur if Foley faces criminal charges on the basis of laws he wrote. If he had simply had sex with a page (something that appears not to have happened) it would not be against the law because of the low age of consent in Washington DC. If he solicited sex over the internet, however, from one state to another (perhaps a state with a higher age of consent), he could potentially face punishment under laws he helped draft and campaign for.

* It reveals the lurid sensationalism and pack-mentality of the media as they glory in putting out graphic details without regard for anyone or anything but headlines and milking a story, no matter who they victimize. Why it’s necessary for ABC, who supposedly has over 50 sexually suggestive instant message exchanges in their possession, to slowly leak them out day after day is beyond me. I couldn’t care less about Foley, but if I—or my son—had been involved in this, I would be outraged to see private exhanges about what underwear he was wearing and how many times he’d masturbated that week plastered over the papers. It’s vulgar cheap sensationalism and can achieve nothing but potentially embarrass and traumatize the boy.

* It reveals the prudishness of Republicans when it comes to anything having to do with homosexuality. It’s far from clear that Foley actually broke any laws, as opposed to House rules (and if the boy was no longer a page, maybe even those weren’t broken in the one case that’s getting the most attention). I don’t believe that Republican discomfort over this would be nearly so strong if it were only a man writing suggestive emails to a young woman or a woman writing suggestive emails to a young man.

* It reveals Democratic hypocricy and dishonesty when it comes to scoring political points. If they hadn’t actually reelected representatives themselves who are guilty of sexual behavior far worse (Studds—who not only used suggestive language but actually had sex with a page), Franks (who had a prostitution ring operating out of his home), and of course, Bill Clinton, then they might have more credibility on this issue. And I’m fairly sure that if Foley were a Democrat, the storyline would be that he’d not actually done anything illegal and this was all just a matter of a bunch of prudes prying into people’s private sexual lives. How do I know that? Because that’s exactly what they’ve said before when the shoe was on the other foot.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 3, 2006 8:28 PM
Comment #186003

Pilsner:”It reveals Democratic hypocricy and dishonesty….” Now that is a classic piece of Orwellian doublethink if I have ever seen one.
I must confess to a twisted sense of humor but I found that almost as funny as when the Reps went through two House Speakers before they could find one clean enough to attack Clinton for his adult,consenual,heterosexual if improper affair.The jig is up. Those right-wing Christians that the Reps fooled into believing they were the more moral party will stay home this election. “You can fool some of the people…etc.”

Posted by: BillS at October 3, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #186007

“That page scandal was different. There were two congressman caught up in it, one from each party”

Thanks, David. I’m sure the other detail just slipped Rhiney’s mind.

d.a.n.-
(yawn)

Posted by: observer at October 3, 2006 8:57 PM
Comment #186009

“he could potentially face punishment under laws he helped draft and campaign for.”

I thought you said earlier today that he hadn’t violated any laws??

“Why it’s necessary for ABC, who supposedly has over 50 sexually suggestive instant message exchanges in their possession, to slowly leak them out day after day is beyond me”

Uh…ratings?

“If they hadn’t actually reelected representatives themselves who are guilty of sexual behavior far worse —
and of course, Bill Clinton”

Uh, when did we reelect Clinton post Monica??

“And I’m fairly sure that if Foley were a Democrat,”

Here’s where you switch into hyperbole and prognostication. Try to stop doing that.

Posted by: Observer at October 3, 2006 9:03 PM
Comment #186011

“Also, though against House Rules, it was not illegal then, just as it’s not now, to have sex with anybody who is 16 (the age of consent) in Washington DC.”

If he didn’t do anything illegal, why did he resign??
Perhaps there’s a lot more to come?

Posted by: Observer at October 3, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #186022
So its ok for the Republicans to treat Foley with kid gloves just because the Democrats did so 20 years ago?

Nope, never said anything like that and if you re-read it you might see what I mean.

“That page scandal was different. There were two congressman caught up in it, one from each party”

Thanks, David. I’m sure the other detail just slipped Rhiney’s mind.

Nope, I was actively working in presidential races at the time, I remember it quite well.

It’s just irrelevant, the Dems didn’t think having sex with a 17 year old page was bad enough to be forced out of congress yet they are now saying that suggestive IMs require Foley be prosecuted and the Speaker resign.

My take? As I said before, both parties once in congress are powerhungry slime who will turn over their grandmother for more power and alter have no understanding of hypocrisy. Foley should have resigned or been kicked out, possibly prosecuted. But so should have the other ones. I just wish Democrats felt so strongly about elected officials having sex with an intern while they were married and then lying about it during a sexual harassment suit against them.

I doubt it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 3, 2006 9:31 PM
Comment #186023

I have been reading the posts on this site for quite some time now and I must say that the Republican party and their followers must live in bizzaro world. They should acually start thinking and doing the opposite of what comes naturally to them. Maybe that way they will actually do something good for this country.

In Illinois, Republican candidate Peter Roskam actually had the nerve to call democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth a cut and run democrat. Never mind that Duckworth went to the war that their leader wanted and defends, but lost both her legs in combat fighting for the very thing that they say is crucial to the security of our country. Oh by the way Peter Roskam is a personal injury lawyer who has never, ever seen combat. BIZZARO WORLD! I have come to the conclusion that the republican party really doesn’t care about this country anymore. All it wants is power and will sell everything this great country represents down the river for it.

Posted by: TPM at October 3, 2006 9:32 PM
Comment #186025

Rhinehold

I believe what many, not just Dems(Washington Post for example) are saying is that Hastert should resign his leadership position for not acting on past reports of Foley’s predatorial behaviour.

Posted by: mark at October 3, 2006 9:39 PM
Comment #186028

Observer, he resigned because a Republican is held to a higher standard of behavior by both the media and his constituents whether any law was broken or not. And also, it seems, because he is is genuinely ashamed—or maybe just ashamed he got caught. He didn’t stick around, you may have noticed, to quibble over such things as whether any actual crime was committed or what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.

He was revealed as a dirt-bag and at least had the decency to resign instead of remain and continue to disgrace his office and himself. And if he hadn’t, Republicans themselves, including the voters in his district, would have driven him out.

I only said earlier that he had not broken the laws that many are accusing him of, which is a fact. He didn’t have sex with anyone, and even if he had, in DC it would have been perfectly legal to have sex with a 16 year old.

I’ve not said (and if I suggest otherwise I was in error) that he definitely didn’t break any of the laws pertaining to solicitation over the internet.

Those laws are fairly new and Foley’s actions could raise some hoary and complicated issues, such as resolving age-based standards for consent between states, and first and foremost that of Foley’s demonstrated intent. Perhaps somebody here knows more about that than I do.

Was Foley merely intending to talk dirty in thos IMs or was he trying to entice someone into sex who may have been a legal sexual partner where he lived but an illegal once elsewhere? Lawyers and prosecuters may potentially have to resolve those issues, issues separate from the hysterical political theater we’re being treated to now in the media.

Fortunately, Foley is gone—the only thing to say in his favor—and will continue to live out his disgrace somewhere other than Washington DC.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 3, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #186031
Observer wrote: d.a.n.- (yawn)

Look above at what you’ve written, and then you’ll understand why you are yawning.

Posted by: d.a.n at October 3, 2006 9:53 PM
Comment #186037


Now that politics has sank to the Rove level then yes the dems should exploit this for all they can. To do any less would be unrovian.

Does anyone think that what has been made public of Foleys follys is the whole story or just the tip of the iceberg? Perhaps the reason he resigned and headed south was to try to let the whole affair blow over, less the truth be told.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 3, 2006 10:11 PM
Comment #186040

Pilsner

How do you know Foley did not have sex with anyone? Don’t be so quick to exonerate him, as there is likely to be more information coming out.

Posted by: mark at October 3, 2006 10:15 PM
Comment #186041

How come when a Dem has sex with a page ie Monica Lewinski its just about sex and we shouldnt be concerned about a persons sex life, but when Foley send e mails to a page and we should investigate the leadership and all should resign. Seems like double standard to me.

Posted by: Thomas at October 3, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #186044
How come when a Dem has sex with a page ie Monica Lewinski its just about sex and we shouldnt be concerned about a persons sex life, but when Foley send e mails to a page and we should investigate the leadership and all should resign. Seems like double standard to me.

What Clinton did was a very stupid thing to do, but the key difference here is pedophilia.

Posted by: Taylor at October 3, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #186048

Mark, I don’t know that Foley never had sex with anybody and neither do you because nobody’s suggested otherwise. Let’s save the lynch mob for things that we know actually occurred.

Taylor, once again: even if he did have sex with a page (for which there’s no indication) it would NOT be peodophilia but sex between consenting adults under the laws of Washington DC.

Posted by: Pilsner at October 3, 2006 10:34 PM
Comment #186050

Everyone is right when they say this is just the tip of the iceberg. But neither party can claim the moral high ground.

Foley is the target because he got caught. But congressmen (and probably congresswomen) from both parties are rushing to erase their hard drives and hoping the cyber police don’t come knocking at the door!

Posted by: ulysses at October 3, 2006 10:43 PM
Comment #186052
I believe what many, not just Dems(Washington Post for example) are saying is that Hastert should resign his leadership position for not acting on past reports of Foley’s predatorial behaviour.

That is true, but how many of these people are following the actual facts of the story or just reacting to the witch hunt?

As I understand it, Hastert had heard a summary of the details of the original emails, which weren’t exactly ‘explicit’ and that the matter was taken care of. That Foley had been warned to stop right then and there.

Have you seen the original emails? They were not nearly as bad as the IMs that were released recently. The copy of the original emails are at

stopsexpredators.blogspot.com/2006/09/emails-from-congressman-foley-to-16.html

The IMs are at:

abcnews.go.com/WNT/BrianRoss/story?id=2509586&page=1

Now, let’s find out the real story behind who knew what when. I am not calling for his resignation yet, but I’m not NOT calling for it either. I want a good investigation to go on and then decide.

But I want to make sure that all of those who are calling for his resignation have at least read the originals and know the full story, not what they hear on the ‘news’…

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 3, 2006 10:45 PM
Comment #186058

Well according to his laywer, Mr. Foley himself was a victim of sexual abuse as a young man, at the hands of an un-named cleryman. So whilst no doubt heading to an un-named location, to get treatment for his alcohol abuse, He can be forgotten and rehabilitated. It seems he is the victim in all of this. How much spin can one world take before it just comes completly off its axis?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 3, 2006 11:05 PM
Comment #186074

Today, ABC reported that Foley actually left the floor of the House during debate on appropriations for the WOT to go have cybersex with a page and after coming, returned to continue his House duties. Does this count as SEX with a page, minor, or make him a pedaphile?

Posted by: marvc at October 3, 2006 11:45 PM
Comment #186075

Pilsner-

The guy’s got a nasty reputation. Of course he’s had sex with someone, somewhere, that was innappropriate. Only past success makes someone so stupid and brazen going forward. I don’t have physical evidence, but we’re not in court. I am using common sense.

And by the way, attempting to have sex with a minor is no different than having sex with a minor. We’ve already effectively decided that as a nation due to the extreme sensitivity and paranoia from the public. I don’t disagree. I don’t think you would want to change that. So there is no distinction to be made there, and anyone with half a brain just assumes the guy has done it before…hence the lack of mercy.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 3, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #186093

I love how the Dems are more worried about bashing Republicans than the real issue at hand. The real issue at hand is that Foley should be subject to many of the tough child protection laws he promoted. Republicans are as responsible for this episode as the Dems are for Clinton & Monica or McGreevey & his young homosexual lover acting as the NJ state expert on terrorism when he had no such experience.

This is a good example of what the Dems would do with power: point fingers, file suits, name call and otherwise completely ignore terrorism & immigration. Lord knows those 2 things barely raise a libs eyebrow.

Posted by: Ken Strong at October 4, 2006 2:25 AM
Comment #186100

These comparisons between Foley and Clinton are completely false. The fact that Clinton had sex with Monical Lewinsky was not a crime, though an abuse of power, position, and trust. The issue in the Lewinsky affair was that Clinton lied to a grand jury. While I do see the point of saying that the chief law enforcement official isn’t fit to be in that position from a philosophical point of view, it was obviously stupid politically to try and impeach him.

Foley’s problems are far different in character. First, he grossly violated the trust of these pages, thier families, and the rest of their fellows in government. Second, he very likely is a pedophile. Third, this behavior was over a long time, and apparently nothing was done. If it can be shown that Hastert had knowledge of this issue beyond being told about “over-friendly” he should indeed resign. The fact that the Democrats gave Studds a free pass is no excuse to not have any standards.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 4, 2006 5:37 AM
Comment #186104

Ken Strong

So the problem is how the Democrats are handleing this and not what the Republicans did and are doing. GREAT LOGIC KEN.

Posted by: mark at October 4, 2006 7:22 AM
Comment #186113

Republicans are so predictable. Whenever one gets caught doing something, they find a Democrat who did something similar, usually decades ago.

It looks like being a Republican is more fun. I’m going to register with the GOP, then go on a rampage of murder, rape, and theft. When they haul me into court, I’ll just make sure I have a Republican judge. Here’s my defense:

Your honor, I’m a Republican, you’re a Republican. We all know that some Democrat, somewhere, has done everything I have done. I’m just in trouble because of the liberal media. But you can show them up by letting me go.

As long as the judge is a Republican, it can’t fail.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 4, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #186116

The main difference between the DEMS and REPS - as I see it.

We have an elected official in charge of legislating online Child Sexual predators who has been guilty of this crime for many years. We also have his superiors who failed to control the situation and protect the children.

Do you think the REP leaders, had they received this info about a DEM Congressman, would’ve brushed it off in the same manner?

And yes, there is a HUGE difference between a page and an intern - one is a program working with minors and the other is a program working with adults. BIG difference. And anyone who tries to draw a legal distinction between a 16 yr old page and a 19 yr old intern is simply trying to defend a sexual predator based on potential political loss. Or do you truly feel that it’s quite fine to have a 60(?) yr old Congressman sexually engaged with a 16 yr old page?

This is not about what is legal, it’s about what is right or wrong. The courts can handle the legal stuff, the voters should handle the Right vs Wrong.

Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 8:39 AM
Comment #186124

Pilsner and Rhinehold,

To say that messages were merely “suggestive” is shamelessly spinning. Foley talks about “handjobs” and tells a kid to take out a ruler and measure his genitalia.

If that is your idea of suggestive, I don’t want to think about what would actually be raunchy or explicit in your mind.

Posted by: Woody Mena at October 4, 2006 9:20 AM
Comment #186125

Man, the Wrong Wing can’t let anything go without mentioning the Clenis.

Monica Lewinsky was in her 20s when she engaged in consensual sex with the president, and she was an intern, not a page.

Mark Foley WROTE A LAW that specifically makes it a crime to use the internet to solicit sex from anyone under 18. It is indeed one of life’s great ironies that if Foley had actually had sex with a 16 year-old page in the House rotunda, that would be consensual sex between legal adults.

But because FOLEY HIMSELF WROTE THIS STUPID LAW, he could be headed up the river, where we know child molesters are at the top of the prison food chain.

And last, Gerry Studds. Let’s all be very clear on this. Gerry Studds had sex with a male page who was over the legal age of consent - IN 1973!

I was 1 year old.

He admitted the sex, and was censured for it, in 1983.

I was in 6th grade.

He was re-elected, not by “the Dems,” but by the voters in his Massachusetts Congressional district.

As a 34-year old Democratic voter, please explain to me how Gerry Studds’ sex during the Nixon administration makes me a hypocrite now.

I return you now to your regularly-scheduled fearmongering and shrillness.

Posted by: Arr-squared at October 4, 2006 9:31 AM
Comment #186129

Arr-squared

Thanks for putting this subject in the proper perspective. Very well said.

Posted by: mark at October 4, 2006 9:41 AM
Comment #186132

It was absolutely my pleasure.

Posted by: Arr-squared at October 4, 2006 9:50 AM
Comment #186135

Why is it so hard for these republicans, such as Ken, to understand the difference between a clandestine affair between two consenting adults (…that may be ADULTERY, but certainly is NO CRIME at law)

…and PEDOPHILIA???!!!

Posted by: RGF at October 4, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #186140

RGF -

I think this gets to the ture heart of this matter: Why the DEMs intentionally stayed uninformed about the issues surrounding Foley until so late into the election season. This is not about protecting kids… it’s about protecting accumilated power!

…. or something like that. (The defense arguments right now from REPs are disturbing and mostly irrelevant.)

Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #186159

califrep - republicans are evil for many reasons. mainly it’s the parties inablility to tell the truth.

oh yeah, nice guy in illinois rep. ray la hood calling to abolish the page program.

Posted by: mar at October 4, 2006 12:29 PM
Comment #186160
Pilsner and Rhinehold,

To say that messages were merely “suggestive” is shamelessly spinning. Foley talks about “handjobs” and tells a kid to take out a ruler and measure his genitalia.

If that is your idea of suggestive, I don’t want to think about what would actually be raunchy or explicit in your mind.

Well, Woody, I left the two links there to avoid this type of spin but it apparently didn’t take.

The discussion of handjobs, etc, were in the IMs, not the e-mails. If you read the links I provided, the emails were troublesome but not overt. The asked for a picture of the page, asked how he was doing and what he wanted for christmas. There were overly-friendly but could have been mistaken for genuine affection of the non-perverse kind. Of course, until the IMs came to light and we found out the dirty disgusting truth.

If all Hastert had to go on were the original e-mails then I don’t think he fully understood what was going on. I think that had he been confronted with the IMs and didn’t act he should obviously resign. Right now I think it’s a borderline issue at best.

What is worrisome more than this is the dirty little secret that Pages are told on their first day to ‘stay away from certain members of congress’, most likely from both sides of the aisle. This should not be allowed at all, if there is someone acting inappropriately they should be found out and dealt with. The fact that they are identified by name to the Pages like that is much more worrisome than if Hastert acted upon the original e-mails, IMO.

But, as Califrep said, you might have to admit that there are some pretty sick and twisted people in the democratic party as well and we know that doesn’t happen. All we get told is that it’s ‘no one’s business’ as we did with Studds and Clinton.

As for the legality of Clinton / Foley, I don’t know if Foley actually broke any laws at this point. But his behavior was disgusting and a blatant abuse of power. But so was having sex with a 19 year old intern, IMO.

I just wish we could get some consistency from the Dems.

Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 12:34 PM
Comment #186167

Here’s consistency:

Don’t have sex with pages! Don’t have sex with minors. Period! End of debate.

Any dissent that doesn’t involve pointing out past improprieties as some kind of justification? I’d love see someone from the red isle try and have an issue debate on this from the side of the child molester. C’mon Rhinehold, I want you to step up and defend the guys right to not be critisized until he’s gone through a corrupted congressional investigation and republicans have time to develope a plan for how to spin the story.

I’ve seen the IM’s. I’ve read the accounts of politicians and former pages. I think he’s a scumbag who doesn’t deserve anything but what he’s getting. AND I think ANYONE who under these facts tries to take a strategic approach rather than try to take much needed action has been involved in politics way too long and needs a reality check in the form of being voted out. No amount of unrelated circumstance is going to change my mind on that either.

Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 12:48 PM
Comment #186169
califrep wrote: d.a.n;
d.a.n wrote: “Heck, even if ever indicted and convicted, they can get a presidential pardon.”
yeah. just like mark ritch,and the puerto rican murdering terrorists clinton pardoned when he left office.
califrep, Ask anyone here. I’ve posted more than anyone how Clinton pardoned 140 felons.
califrep wrote: it’s funny how you like to point the finger at reps, but want to ignore the transgressions in your own party, and when it’s brought up you act like it’s no big deal.
califrep, If you were paying attention (ask anyone here), you’d know I point fingers at irresponsible incubment politicians of BOTH parties. Look at the proof on my web-page.
califrep wrote: maybe we ought to stop the partison bickering and adress the problem as a whole, but that would mean you would be in agreement with me on somthing. what a concept.
I agree. How ironic you are asking me (of all people) to agree with you.
califrep wrote: obviously in your mind all reps are evil because, well were reps. but never stop to think that we join a peticular party because we believe in the principles of the party. the same reason your a dem.
califrep, I used to be Republican until a couple of years ago. Now I am affiliated with NO party.
califrep wrote: BTW. foley resigned, studds didn’t. what about jefferson of la. 90k in cash in his freezer. yet he refuses to even step from a commitee position.
califrep, I’ve been asking for months (ask anyone) “What about William Jefferson and the $90K found in his freezer? He’s a Democrat. See? I don’t play favorites. Ask anyone here.
califrep wrote: it’s time to stop the finger pointing and do something about the problem as a whole, but i guess that will never happen, because you would have to admit corruption in your own party and dems aren’t very good at that.
califrep, I don’t belong to ANY party. I am doing something. Every day (with both my time and money). And it is to do the very thing you suggest above (regardless of party). If you are serious, why not help? What are you doing?
  • Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 12:55 PM
    Comment #186170

    thank you kevin23!!! i hope republicans can understand.

    Posted by: mar at October 4, 2006 12:58 PM
    Comment #186171

    Kevin23,

    I’m not sure what you are reading but I have not once defended Foley. On several occasions I’ve said he was a scumbag who should have the book thrown at him.

    All I’ve been asking for is for the dems on the witch hunt to have consistency when it is a member of their own party. When they were in charge of Congress they didn’t. When they were in the White House they didn’t. But now they are going to get indignant? Please.

    For the Dem Leadership it’s all about politics, regaining power. For most americans, like us here, it’s about inappropriate sexual advances on a young man in your employ.

    All I’ve ever asked for is a fair examination of the evidence before we tar and feather EVERY REPUBLICAN with what Foley did. I never once lumped all democrats in the same group as Kennedy, Frank and Studds. But because of the political play involved we are now seeing true stripes.

    So, before you start accusing ME (not a republican) of trying to defend Foley (which I never could or would do) learn to know a bit about what you are talking about before making half-cocked insane accusations, ok?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 1:04 PM
    Comment #186172

    i do want to add one more thing: the use of alcohol/drugs as an excuse will not stand up in court. never has never will.

    Posted by: mar at October 4, 2006 1:05 PM
    Comment #186180

    Rhinehold-

    Apparently you thought I wrote my whole post specifically for you. I did not. Only the following was directed at you:

    “C’mon Rhinehold, I want you to step up and defend the guys right to not be critisized until he’s gone through a corrupted congressional investigation and republicans have time to develope a plan for how to spin the story.”

    I’m still awaiting the response. Don’t pretend I accused you of defending his actions. I’m accusing you of trying to keep people like me from acting on what I clearly see as attempts to keep people from having any emotion on the matter. I’m accusing you of backing an approach that is tactical and only serves one goal: saving face.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 1:16 PM
    Comment #186190

    califrep,

    The corruption is wide-spread.
    That’s the real problem.
    Not just politicians.
    Voters too, that keep re-electing them, being bribed (with the voters’ own money), falling for the partisan warfare, trying to gain seats for THEIR party, and disregarding more substantive issues.

    BTW, the cover-up is what is equally disturbing?
    Many knew about it, and did nothing.

    Also, gays and alcoholics should be angry for Foley’s lawyer and supporters trying to imply a connection between them and pedophilia. Why else would they come out now with these admissions? It’s clearly to make excuses.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 1:38 PM
    Comment #186200

    Califrep-

    “how is admitting foley is a degenerate and agreeing with you that what happened is wrong saving face? i think the problem is that it completely defuses your argument, and thats what makesyou so angry.”

    What on earth are you talking about? Do you honestly think that I am taking issue with someone agreeing that Foley is a degenerate? If so, you obviously can’t read. If not, what is your question?

    Republican leadership is only now, under pressure, beginning to see this through non-partisan eyes. Still, the strategy they take, and that you are backing them on, is to let time pass, let people calm down, then complete a half-assed investigation into who knew what and when…than nothing will happen. This is what I am angry about…that people actually support that approach is only reasonable if viewed as a way of saving face. It certainly does not help the public understand what’s going on up there on the hill. My approach would have that as the number one goal…regardless on party affiliations.

    You disagree? Or will you turn my point into something completely different before answering again?

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 1:54 PM
    Comment #186202

    “while you are certainly entitled to your feelings, they serve no pupose.”

    And what purpose would be served if people like me were to have no emotion on the subject? Only the purpose of keeping the status-quo.

    Sorry, but you are so very, very wrong.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 1:58 PM
    Comment #186205

    “When (DEMS) they were in charge of Congress they didn’t. “

    And they lost control of Congress because they had lost their value to the voters. Now, we are on the verge of watching the Republicans face the same penatly for forgetting who they should be working for. Not themselves… Us!

    And why the hell are some here arguing about the past? Does it address the problems we are facing now? NO! It only confuses the issues. Does it help reduce the guilt with being associated with such people that make up the current leadership? I do not care.

    This is a Republican scandle because they only involved their party when they knew about this issue - and they themselves blew it because they felt better about protecting on of their own. They can get mad all they want at Foley - but they kept him in power when they could’ve removed him. They also had all of the information - but failed to release it for fear of the political fire storm that had errupted… yet had they taken proper action, they would not only NOT be facing this 5 weeks prior to an election, they could’ve shown their supporters how well they can police their own. Possilbe way to win, possible way to loose. They lost.

    Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 2:03 PM
    Comment #186207

    Yes, we have nefarious Democrats and Republicans. This is not the issue. The issue is that Republicans claim to be saturated with morals. Democrats never make such claims.

    The current Republican leaders are a bunch of hypocrites. You can find Democratic leaders in the past who were just as bad, but digging this up is a cop-out.

    Whether Hastert resigns or not we should vote for his opponent.

    Posted by: Paul Siegel at October 4, 2006 2:05 PM
    Comment #186222
    Paul Siegel wrote: Yes, we have nefarious Democrats and Republicans. This is not the issue.
    Yes, it IS the issue.

    It should be the most important issue.

    Paul Siegel wrote: The issue is that Republicans claim to be saturated with morals. Democrats never make such claims.
    Hhhmmmmmmmm … they both do. That’s a hard thing to measure, but they seem about equal.

    Bush’s approval is only about 40%,
    but Congress’ is worse; about 20%.

    Still, I won’t be too surprised when voters hand Congress another 90% re-election rate.

    Paul Siegel wrote: The current Republican leaders are a bunch of hypocrites.
    Yes, I’d venture to say most (if not all) are. Maybe, at the moment, worse than Democrats, but that’s merely part of being the “IN Party” and having more power to abuse. I remember well when Democrats were the “IN Party” and they were more corrupt. So, that’s really a function of being the “IN/OUT” party.
    Paul Siegel wrote: You can find Democratic leaders in the past who were just as bad, but digging this up is a cop-out.
    True. But that’s exactly what irresponsible politicians and their hacks do every time one of them is caught red-handed. They say the “OTHER Party” does it too! Why? Because it is effective. It’s part of the partisan-warfare handbook. When will voters start growing wise to the game? Yes, digging up the other party’s dirt is not an excuse, but look at how many fall for it.
    Whether Hastert resigns or not we should vote for his opponent.
    Absolutely. Don’t re-elect any irresponsible, look-the-other-way, bought-and-paid-for incumbent politicians (in BOTH parties).
  • Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 2:47 PM
    Comment #186232

    Rhinehold,

    You said “suggestive IMs”. As far as I know, the merely suggestive IMs and the explicit IMs came out at the same time.

    There is big difference between a 19 year old and a 16 year old society. If you take a picture of your 19 y.o. girlfriend, you are a regular guy. If you take a picture of your 16 y.o. girlfriend, you could be headed for a federal prison. As others have pointed out, Foley himself passed laws to protect minors. Democrats didn’t suddenly invent the idea that minors deserve special protection.

    Republicans really need to take remedial ethics. The fact that a Democrat got away with something decades ago is not really relevant.

    Posted by: Woody Mena at October 4, 2006 3:21 PM
    Comment #186233

    “As for the legality of Clinton / Foley, I don’t know if Foley actually broke any laws at this point. But his behavior was disgusting and a blatant abuse of power. But so was having sex with a 19 year old intern, IMO.”

    Love how the issue now is “Clinton/Foley”, like they hunted teens together.
    Oh, and Monica was 23 and instigated the encounter.
    Could we POSSIBLY keep the discussion to things that happened THIS MILLENIUM?


    Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 3:24 PM
    Comment #186235

    “As a 34-year old Democratic voter, please explain to me how Gerry Studds’ sex during the Nixon administration makes me a hypocrite now.”

    It was the only straw they had to grasp, no matter how skinny.

    Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 3:26 PM
    Comment #186238

    “Observer, he resigned because a Republican is held to a higher standard of behavior by both the media and his constituents whether any law was broken or not.”

    They covered up his behavior for 5 years. Is THAT the higher standard your speaking of?

    “And if he hadn’t, Republicans themselves, including the voters in his district, would have driven him out.”

    Hyperbole.

    “He didn’t have sex with anyone, and even if he had, in DC it would have been perfectly legal to have sex with a 16 year old. “

    That we know of. And yes, it is a crime to solicit sex with a minor over the internet across state lines, REGARDLESS of the age of consent in the states in question.

    “Those laws are fairly new and Foley’s actions could raise some hoary and complicated issues, such as resolving age-based standards for consent between states”

    What does the “newness” of a law have to do with enforcing it. The fact this idiot wrote the law is only delicious irony.

    “Was Foley merely intending to talk dirty in thos IMs or was he trying to entice someone into sex who may have been a legal sexual partner where he lived but an illegal once elsewhere? “

    Uh, more emails released today with him suggesting the minor come to his house so he could furnish the minor with alchohol. Now, you really think he’s going to get this kid to his house, get him drunk, and NOT attempt to molest him???? How far does reasonable doubt go in your mind???

    “issues separate from the hysterical political theater we’re being treated to now in the media.”

    Guess the right shouldnt’ have lowered the bar to that level back in the 90’s. What comes around, goes around. There is no mercy in the Rovian age of politics and were not about to let up.We learned that lesson in the last 2 elections. Deal with it.


    Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 3:38 PM
    Comment #186242

    “we’re not arguing about the past. it is you who are pointing out corruption in my party with out addressing the problems with your own. and i wouldn’t call the jefferson case the past as it’s still playing out.”

    And this post is not discussing Jefferson and his pathetic dealings.

    “once again all the information is not out, and won’t be for quite some time. the fact that this surfaced 5 weeks before an election is also highly suspect. this itself points to the distinct possibility that it was timed to affect the out come of the election, but only time will tell. something you might want to consider.”

    Oh jezzz… now that is sad. It’s not what the Republican leadership did, it’s that the DEMs released the information so close to the elections.

    1. This was all contained within the Republican party - even when discussing this within the Page Board, they did not involve any Democrats. They knew it all, they hid it all and it blew up in their face.

    2. Even if the DEMs somehow maintained a lid on this up until now - your point still fails. If one Republican had obeyed his own laws, and the Republican leadership acted appropriately months ago - there would be no issue for the “DEMs” to surprise everyone with. Seems to me that if you do the crime, then you can hardly complain about the political timing. Unless you think the safety of your party should be held above the safety of these teenagers.

    Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 3:49 PM
    Comment #186251

    Breaking News: Dennis Hastert KNEW 2 years ago about Mark Foley. This is NOT the sort of thing one forgets.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 4:13 PM
    Comment #186253

    calirep - you had a chance sounds like 2 years ago to clean house. now it is full blown cover your ass mode. if the gop is feeling shame, what exactly is it about? page sex scandal, plame, delay, duke, ney? seems like shame, and morals are out the window - i’m sure your hoping america has missed all of this.

    and “shrill and angry rhetoric turns more people off” - good to know, because republicans have screamed “cut and run” dems, and “republicans fight terrorism” enough. hope your own party listens to you, i know i’ve heard enough.

    Posted by: mar at October 4, 2006 4:15 PM
    Comment #186254
    Breaking News: Dennis Hastert KNEW 2 years ago about Mark Foley. This is NOT the sort of thing one forgets.

    Here it is:

    Aide says he reported Foley 2 years ago
    By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer

    WASHINGTON - A senior congressional aide said Wednesday that he alerted House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office in 2004 about worrisome conduct by former Rep. Mark Foley with teenage pages — the earliest known alert to the GOP leadership.

    Kirk Fordham told The Associated Press that when he was told about Foley’s inappropriate behavior toward pages, he had “more than one conversation with senior staff at the highest level of the House of Representatives asking them to intervene.”

    The conversations took place long before the e-mail scandal broke, Fordham said, and at least a year earlier than members of the House GOP leadership have acknowledged.


    Posted by: Steve K at October 4, 2006 4:20 PM
    Comment #186255

    i’m sure they will say that hastert doesn’t remember. just like he couldn’t remember the words to the star spangled banner. if his memory has slipped (reagan style), maybe he should step down. does he have a medical condition? or convenient memory.

    Posted by: mar at October 4, 2006 4:21 PM
    Comment #186257

    According to this two-year old news report http://www.washingtonblade.com/2004/7-23/news/national/antigaysen.cfm :

    An August 2003 article in the Advocate, the national gay magazine, matter-of-factly identified Fordham as Foley’s gay chief of staff.
    Posted by: Steve K at October 4, 2006 4:26 PM
    Comment #186278
    califrep wrote: … what an awsome choice we have in november.

    Voting for challengers may not solve everything.
    However, re-electing irresponsible, bought-and-paid-for, look-the-other-way, incumbent politicians IS worse!

    That sounds so simple doesn’t it?
    But, watch voters maintain Congress’ 90% re-election rate, empowering them, and emboldening them to grow more and more corrupt.

    Do any of you have children?
    What happens if you reward them for bad behavior?
    Same thing. No difference.
    A 90% re-election rate in Congress (98% in the House) essentially programs politicians to be the way they are.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 5:29 PM
    Comment #186284

    califrep,

    You go to bat for Republicans.
    They love it.
    Republicans messed up (again), and they’ll have to suffer the consequences.
    Just because Democrats are just is bad makes no difference. Bad behavior needs to be discouraged, not over-looked because “they all do it”.

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 5:33 PM
    Comment #186286

    However, I would like to know why William Jefferson (D-LA) has never been charged for anything. Very strange. It was over a year ago (July 2005) that William Jefferson was video taped receiving $100K, and $90K was later found in his freeze, wrapped in aluminum foil in $10K bundles. Very strange. Why does it take so long (if ever) for the FBI or law enforcement to ever get around to doing anything about this sort of stuff?

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 5:38 PM
    Comment #186289

    d.a.n. Lets hope the voters throw him out. Stealing 90k is bad but sex with under age boys sounds alot worse to me.

    Posted by: Jeff at October 4, 2006 5:43 PM
    Comment #186290

    “you ignore the scandels in your own party, and write them off as having no relavence, but the relavence is your party is every bit as corrupt as mine, and there socialist policies make them an even worse choice for this country.”

    No, I’m just advocating dealing with current events,or at least the last decade or so. Otherwise all sorts of societal change issues enter the debate, recollection, etc.
    And, as for Democratic policies, it’s quite old and quite boring to label us “socialists”. Protecting peoples rights is hardly a socialist point of view.

    “no there’s others, but that wouldn’t matter to you, so i won’t waste my time. you’d just say that it was only a diversion.”

    For lack of a better comeback…WHAAH,WHAAH,WHAAH!
    You hardly know me well enough to TELL me what my response would be.
    Now, can we here some moral right wingers calling for Hasterts resignation? Or just more equivocating nonsense?

    Posted by: Observer at October 4, 2006 5:47 PM
    Comment #186302

    “no it’s not, but it is relevant because you accuse reps of corruption, and accuse us of bringing up old stories. well here’s new one. there’s the relevance. you want to point out our failures, but refuse to discuss your own dirty laundry. kind of hypocritical don’t you think. let he who is with out sin cast the first stone. get it now.”

    Wow - so focusing on this one issue, you’ve decided to jump to all sorts of conclusions about my beliefs and state of mind. You’re right about one thing - I want to point out failures and make sure they do not happen again. Other than that - you seem to be saying that no one is able to complain or take action against Foley and those that allowed him to stay in power because “we’ve all sinned in the past.” Bullsh#t!

    MY government. My vote. My choice on how to react to the way government does it’s job - or the lack there of. These guys have failed, therefore I am responsible as a US citizen to remove them from office. I don’t care about their legal issues or their moral quandaries. Let them come to terms with those issues removed from their power to control the government.

    What you suggest is politically endorsed apathy. No thanks - see enough of that to last a lifetime.

    Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 6:17 PM
    Comment #186310

    Califrep-

    Rest assured, my blood pressure is just fine. I know you love the thought of dissenters being these crazy unibomber types who harbor anger alone in some remote shack and only think with raw emotion. You’d again be wrong. I’m just a normal guy who is sick of the BS.

    This situation is effectively seperating those who are in politics to “win” and those who are in politics to make the nation better. Any politician who truly cared about their party, their office, or their constituency would have dealt with this kind of thing right away. There is nothing to be gained from sweeping under the rug, minimizing it, or pretending to be waiting for even more indisputable evidence before professing an opinion.

    In cases like these, emotion is a good thing. There would be no accountability without the fear of public outrage.

    And no one has dismissed the dems’ prior bad acts. They are simply not relevent. And bringing them up in any effort to justify or minimize the impact of what’s currently hapenning is only a smokescreen…nothing else. Therefore, it has no social value. It’s also insulting and careless.

    Califrep, I’m sorry that your competative spirit is so engaged with partisan BS that you fail to see things objectively. Instead you see my point as dissent, and thereby attack it in context of some partisan battle that I’m not even engaged in. I’m not angry, I’m frustrated. I’m a republican, so I think you can understand why. My party is failing the American people for selfish reasons. The only defense you can give is “wait and see”. I say, that’s not necessary…after all, I have a brain. Of course, maybe that means I no longer qualify to be a republican.

    All I want is for there to be SOME lines in the sand. Is that too much to ask? Looking the other way is a regular part of politics, but this is taking it to the extreme. Some things in life are universally sacred. Current congressional leadership obviously doesn’t feel that way…unless of course the public is made aware. At that point the trump card is Lewinsky?? Now that is just insulting to anyone with half a brain. And if it doesn’t provoke emotion, then we might as well scrap popular democracy because it doesn’t work. The framers never believed in it anyway.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 6:43 PM
    Comment #186316
    califrep wrote: d.a.n, i’m totally in agreement in principle, with what you say about voting out corrupt incumbents, but unless you have a way to orginize this movement on both sides of the isle. the strategic realties is you end up with the other party you disagree with in power. kinda a catch 22. … what i would rather see, and no one ever responds to me on, is term limits.

    Me too. I used to be against Term-Limits, but I’m starting to think it is a good idea. Tenure corrupts. But, voters are so afraid the OTHER party will get control, they have not noticed that BOTH are irresponsible and unaccountable.

    But, talk about Catch-22 !
    Who in Congress do you think will pass that BILL ?
    Who in Congress will pass any badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms ?
    Look at how many vote against Campaign Finance Reform.
    Never mind 85% of all federal campaign donations ($200 or more) come from a mere 0.1% of the U.S. population (with about 200 million eligible voters). That is, about 300,000 people donate 83% of the $2.4 billion in the 2004 election. How can the remaining 299.7 million Americans compete with that?

    The current crop of politicians wont ever pass that BILL.
    No, it’s up to the voters now.
    Voters can impose instant Term-Limits, if they want, now, and every election.
    Voters can keep wallowing in tbe distracting, petty partisan warfare, or do what the voters were supposed to be doing all along, always:

    • Stop Repeat Offenders.

    • Don’t Re-Elect Irresponsible, Bought-and-Paid-for, Look-The-Other-Way, Incumbent Politicians !

    Posted by: d.a.n at October 4, 2006 6:54 PM
    Comment #186331

    Califrep-

    I vote my gut. I try to have a long memory. I always research my candidates. That’s about all I can reasonably expect from myself seeing as how there are only so many hours in a day.

    Generally, I’d rather see incumbents lose than have any one party dominate. I think it has really gotten that bad in Washington…a culture of willful and intentional ignorance coupled with severe lack of accountability. I just want to stop perpetuating it. When a guy gets cought doing something so obviously wrong, and folks immediately go into CYA mode, I think it’s time for wholesale changes to be made.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 7:37 PM
    Comment #186345

    “oh i see now your reading my mind. when did i say no one should hold foley accountable? i’ve also said before if others are involved they should pay the price. of course i’ll wait for the result of the investigation. due process, sound familiar? that said, i believe the dems righteous indignation is an act, and is nothing but political posturing.”

    OK, so are you saying that people who happen to be DEMs have no reason to be involved in trying to fix this issue? Or - you tell me why you keep saying that we should not be complaining about Foley and the leaders of the Republican party?

    You are free to beleive whatever you want, but it’s really coming across as pure political posturing.

    Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 8:30 PM
    Comment #186364

    Califrep-

    Its much more like cutting off my nose to spite my nose.

    I stand to gain nothing from leaving these guys in office…especially republicans currently in power. They may say they believe in lower taxes and security, yet they ignore the fact that they are borrowing money to make up for tax revenue and that their security plan is as porous as our borders. We’ve recently seen only the most horribly written and short-sighted legislation in history coming out of congress. The president intentionally surrounds himself with failures and even promotes the biggest screw-ups. Scandel after scandel arises within the controlling party. We have lost every ounce of international credibility that my grandfather fought so hard to build in WWII. The economy is booming for the rich, and yet I can’t afford a house despite two incomes. We have record high deficits, and the returns on those investments are a record low…likely even negative. Publicly supporting the troops is used as political leverage while those same champions of the military skimp at every turn (especially planning) causing losses of life that were completely avoidable otherwise. To top it all off, those who write child protection laws are trying like hell on a daily basis to have sex with minors.

    What’s to lose? You tell me.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 9:11 PM
    Comment #186385
    Protecting peoples rights is hardly a socialist point of view.

    Unfortunately the new crop of Democrats, the ‘progressives’, hide their agenda by creating new rights for people that have to violate other’s rights in order to exist and then say they are protecting rights when they are really violating them.

    HTH

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 9:46 PM
    Comment #186386
    The fact that a Democrat got away with something decades ago is not really relevant.

    Well, it is relevant in that attempting to take the high ground and use this scandal as a reason to be elected into office fall flat when we see that they did less to avoid these events when they had power last.

    That’s the only way though, it doesn’t excuse anything Foley did in any way nor does it let the current Republican leadership off of the hook if they did cover this up.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 9:48 PM
    Comment #186389
    “C�€™mon Rhinehold, I want you to step up and defend the guys right to not be critisized until he�€™s gone through a corrupted congressional investigation and republicans have time to develope a plan for how to spin the story.”

    I’m still awaiting the response. Don’t pretend I accused you of defending his actions. I’m accusing you of trying to keep people like me from acting on what I clearly see as attempts to keep people from having any emotion on the matter. I’m accusing you of backing an approach that is tactical and only serves one goal: saving face.

    I’m not doing any such thing. what I am doing is trying to make sure that people respond to facts not innuendo and rumor.

    We know that what Foley did was disgusting and wrong. But we DON’T know for sure if there was a coverup or not yet. The more information that comes out makes us think that there may have been, possibly even on both sides of the aisle, but we don’t know for sure.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 9:51 PM
    Comment #186391

    “possibly even on both sides of the aisle, but we don’t know for sure.”

    Really - from everything I’ve read, the REP leadership kept this completely to themselves. Do you have a link for this?

    Posted by: tony at October 4, 2006 9:56 PM
    Comment #186397

    Rhinehold-

    What about all these first hand accounts which said the house leaders knew all along? Are they just meaningless? I’ve heard the mountain of reports by unrelated people all saying the same thing: leadership knew. It is hearsay, but the only retort is: “I don’t recall being told”. That only sounds like CYA. Nothing more.

    Now, do you think an internal investigation will give any information more valuable than that? It is an accepted principle in police science that the first story is usually the most accurate. What leads you to believe you are going to see some exonerating evidence that everyone has thusfar just forgotten about? That flies in the face of my personal experience…and I’ve tried a lot of cases. As far as the court of public opinion goes, I think we are all more than justified in believing they tried to protect the pedophile. Calling it “innuendo” and “rumer” is, again, a tactical approach which only serves the goals of those in power, and is not based on any known facts or even good assumptions. It’s very much like calling the IM’s “suggestive”. Why water it down? What purpose does that serve?

    I just really wonder what people are thinking when they demand a “wait and see” strategy. We’re not convicting the guy and throwing him to the wolves without hard evidence. But we are making it clear that this type of thing crosses a line, and SHOULD be a basis for universal demands for better accountability going forward. Defending leadership under these circumstances, even if only to “wait and see”, only insulates them from the public’s legitimate demands.

    I think that under certain circumstances, mass public outrage alone should warrent change. Making political scapegoats is a time honored tradition, and unfortunately, fear of being made into one is sometimes the best recipe for accountability. Now when it comes to jail time, then we leave it to the courts.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 10:26 PM
    Comment #186410

    Here’s yet another first hand account:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15131243/

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 10:57 PM
    Comment #186411

    Kevin23

    You are just hell bent on being obtuse about this, aren’t you?

    But we DON’T know for sure if there was a coverup or not yet. The more information that comes out makes us think that there may have been, possibly even on both sides of the aisle, but we don’t know for sure.

    As I said, as more information comes out. Over the past 24 - 48 hours we have found out a lot of information that wasn’t there when we first started talking about this, right?

    I’m not saying wait 6 months for an investigation, I’m saying let’s get some more evidence before throwing everyone under the bus and see who else is to blame. Until the resignation today and the story coming from it there really wasn’t any hard evidence that Hastert knew what was going on, but I don’t see that now, it looks at this point that he did, as did several other congressmen and womean, both republican and democrat.

    Let’s the them all, see what they knew and what they did to combat it, shall we?

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 4, 2006 11:04 PM
    Comment #186414

    Obtuse? no. Honest? Yes. I know you are trying to be careful here, but I’d much rather see some scared politicians on the hill. I think that would serve the greater good much more than leaving the status-quo in place to police itself. I know there is a formal investigation, and I’m interested to see how it comes out as well. But every day that goes by without a public demand for action is a victory for the status quo. This is my concern…not having Foley’s head on a stick. I’m sure BuBu will punish him plenty when he gets to the pen.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 4, 2006 11:17 PM
    Comment #186437

    CalifRep - You said “yes i agree whole heartedly. the problem is, that is not enuogh to switch my vote to democrat, when i don’t agree with the parties philosophy in general. and voting for an independant will only serve to help put a party in power whos policy i disagree with.”

    Question… what will you do then? Regardless if you knew your congressman is involved in scandal, you will still vote for them because of a party line or will you obstain from voting?

    From what I read, you are saying that all the Dems here show disregard for any scandal a Dem may be involved in, but are quick to point fingers at a rep for the same. Am I understanding this right? Just want to make sure. How do you know who we hold accountable and for what? I happen to be a “CalifDem” and damn right I voted Gray Davis to the curb. Your statement above however tells me that you would never hold your party accountable for their actions, you would still vote on party lines. If you disagree with what a rep candidate did, how is that in any way in agreement with your philosophy?

    Posted by: Kc at October 5, 2006 4:29 AM
    Comment #186464

    The silliness continues:

    “fist off as a 45 year old republican voter, i believe that was during the reagan administration. “

    The CENSURE happened in 1983. The SEX happened in 1973. You should Wiki “Gerry Studds” to get your facts in order.

    If Gerry Studds ever runs for office in any race where I can vote, I will vote against him.

    “it was a comparison. studds wouldn’t even resign after being caught flying a page out of the country to have sex with him. foley at least wasn’t to pig headed to resign after being outed.”

    Ok, point?

    “you ignore the scandels in your own party, and write them off as having no relavence, but the relavence is your party is every bit as corrupt as mine, and there socialist policies make them an even worse choice for this country.”

    I ignore nothing. There is no scandal-plagued Democrat in my electoral world. I wanted President Clinton to resign in 1998. I won’t vote for Studds or the guy in Louisiana.

    Really, you want me to be outraged about the antics of an ex-Congressman in the 70s and 80s? And that outrage should somehow exceed my outrage over something that’s happening now? My friend, you have issues that go beyond marginal literacy and an inability to factcheck yourself.

    Your party has become a power-mad caricature of the party you had in 1994. I understand your frustration - cognitive dissonance can be very disturbing.

    Posted by: Arr-squared at October 5, 2006 10:58 AM
    Comment #186476

    couple things: 1) califrep - you from your post of 10-4-06 at 5:49pm - you hit the nail on the head. you are sick of the rep party spending. you are worried about soc sec. you are worried about the economic future of our country. you my fellow post are ready for a change. you are right, i am a dem, and it would take alot for me to vote rep., but a child molestation case would seal the deal for me.

    rhinehold - we will wait for an investigation (we have no choice). it would help if they would go and pick up foley’s computer from his office. gonzales states it takes time, let me give him some advice - go and pick up the computer from his office, that would be a great start.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 12:03 PM
    Comment #186477

    also califrep zell miller is not a democrat. he’s known as go to hell zell.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 12:04 PM
    Comment #186485

    one twit, Gary Bauer, is claiming that the Dems knew abour Foley and were waiting till just before the election to spread the word….what the moron just doesn’t understand is, that IF the Dems knew, there is certainly NO REASON to imagine that the repigs DIDN’T know of the same thing and were quite to cover their ass(ets).
    Hiding a perve is unacceptable and I don’t care WHAT party did it…..It is just kinda funny that the offender is a member of the “family values” G)reedy O)l’ P)erverts party.

    Posted by: qatwoman at October 5, 2006 1:03 PM
    Comment #186490

    there is more than 1 twit accusing the democrats. there are many. how dare us democrats make that poor congressman molest, or attempt to molest that 16 year old boy. next they will say we purchased his ice cream passes, or his liquor.

    why stop there? why not say democrats gave them faulty information regarding wmd.

    the lies have to stop, the cover ups need to stop, refusing to answer questions posed to this administration and congress need to stop.

    and further, one must question people who have to label themselves one of “family values”. too much depends on the family, and their values. i remember when the presidents brother gained millions off of savings and loan scandals (did no time). getting rich off of americans seems to be the bush family value. no matter what the cost is to americans.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 1:57 PM
    Comment #186500

    calirep - you asked me if i would continue to vote democrat if this (foley situation) happened in my area by my congressman. i said “no”.

    zell miller spoke at the democratic convention in 2004? geez, i must have missed that. listen, people change, and he is one of those.

    as for spending i hope to God that no one spends as much as this administration. i guess you are in the income bracket that the dems are going to get. i could see where that would make you nervous. but the rest of us (like 80-90%)would like to see the rich pay taxes - and stop giving them tax breaks. we in the 90% know that the only thing that trickles down is your tax burden (unless you count the times they are flat out pissing on us). enjoy the tax breaks, because buddy if we get in you 10% is going to pay. so please for the rest of our lives, do not call us tax and spend democrats. no one can out spend the republicans.

    Posted by: m at October 5, 2006 2:53 PM
    Comment #186501

    Califrep-

    Saying that modern republicans “don’t believe in redistribution of wealth, taking what belongs to and was earned by one person, and giving it to another that didn’t earn it, through force of gov’t against thier will” is to be absolutely blind to what has happened over the last 6 years. Those are exactly the things they do believe in apparently. They just SAY they don’t. Actions speak MUCH louder than words.

    Wealth HAS been redistributed…to the richest Americans. Ask D.A.N. for the numbers. And no, they didn’t earn it…they stole it by lying to investors, doctoring the books, and NEVER even having the threat of a legitimate audit. Hell, some of them stole it outright and STILL recieve a slap on the wrist.

    If you were being satirical, then I apologize. Otherwise…Wow!

    Also, due process does not apply to people’s right to freely discuss the case informally.

    Finally, I voted for McClintock as well, but you have to admit…Pete Wilson created that mess that Davis blundered the fixing of. Republicans in CA are just as adept at screwing us over as the current dems in power. At least under democratic leadership funding for schools doesn’t go in the toilet, and we don’t rely on out of state power suppliers who manipulate prices. Democrats actually ordered the building of the infrastructure that is keeping energy prices down today. They also got crusified for signing long term energy deals…but those deals are under market rates today. So it wasn’t all that bad afterall.

    I’ll be voting for the governator this time around because I really don’t like Phil. His commercials where Arnold repeats Bush’s name over and over is just insulting. That crap should never be rewarded.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 5, 2006 2:53 PM
    Comment #186502

    califrep - the m posting was mar. and i wouldn’t abandon my party, and i wouldn’t feel like i was. but, i wouldn’t vote for the pervert who wants to have sex with a child ever. i wouldn’t cicle his name on a ballot even though “it wouldn’t be for mr. foley”. that is my moral ground. i think you will find alot of people in florida will feel the same way too.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 3:03 PM
    Comment #186510

    Califrep-

    Did you forget about the fact that those long term energy contracts are making it so that we are now paying BELOW market rates? In the short term, they killed Davis, but in the long run, they don’t look that bad at all.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 5, 2006 4:07 PM
    Comment #186512

    And lets not forget that Davis had a team of state attorneys helping him make those deals. Enron’s price manipulation made it an un-level playing field.

    Had the republicans have had their way a few years back, we would have rescinded those contracts and gotten the short end of both sticks. At least this way we took the brunt end of it in the beginning, but we also got long term security and infrastructure.

    Posted by: Kevin23 at October 5, 2006 4:10 PM
    Comment #186524
    There is no scandal-plagued Democrat in my electoral world. I wanted President Clinton to resign in 1998. I won’t vote for Studds or the guy in Louisiana.

    Nancy Pelosi voted for Studds to be a committee chairman 5 times, in 5 different congresses, after he was censured for having sex with a 17 year old page. It appears she may be the new Speaker of the House.

    Same coin, different side.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at October 5, 2006 5:39 PM
    Comment #186528

    califrep - please do not feel sorry for me, i’m quite comfortable. if you don’t feel that the rich have not gotten richer during this administration, i really don’t know how to speak to you. all is fair? the rich pay more? what are you talking about? you truly do not understand what is going on in the world around you. and by the way, i don’t mind paying my taxes. i’m a grateful american, not someone looking for the next loophole.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 6:01 PM
    Comment #186539

    “Nancy Pelosi voted for Studds to be a committee chairman 5 times, in 5 different congresses, after he was censured for having sex with a 17 year old page. It appears she may be the new Speaker of the House.”

    From Wikipedia:

    “In addition to the censure, the Democratic leadership stripped Studds of his chairmanship of the House Merchant Marine subcommittee.”

    I’d be interested in seeing the evidence supporting your claim re: Rep. Pelosi. Pelosi was elected to the House for the first time in 1987, taking office in 1988, so for your story to correct, she must have voted for Studds as a committee chair in 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, and 1996.

    Republicans took control of all House committees in 1994, of course, and Studds did not stand for re-election in 1995. He wouldn’t have been a committee chair in 96, of course, because the Republicans held the House.

    Posted by: Arr-squared at October 5, 2006 6:49 PM
    Comment #186544

    califrep ok, great attachment. i was wrong. we will be going after that top 1% bracket. after looking at the chart, aren’t you upset about the war on the middle class? you can look at that chart and feel all is ok with the status quo? it is fair for the middle class? you look at that and think “everybody above poverty have it pretty even?”. your “simple math” is not adding up. no matter how loud, or insulting you try to be.

    Posted by: mar at October 5, 2006 7:17 PM
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