Sunday, October 01, 2006

Hastert, Boehner And Reynolds Knew Of Foley's E-Mails To 16-Year-Old Boy Months Ago. Why Didn't They Do Anything?

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) now admits that he knew earlier this year of inappropriate e-mails from Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to a 16-year-old page, contradicting earlier statements that he had only learned of the e-mails last week.

Hastert made the admission after two prominent House Republicans acknowledged they knew of the inappropriate e-mails, and said they had informed Hastert several months ago. Those House "leaders" were House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Rep. Thomas Reynolds (R-NY), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Foley, who was considered a shoo-in for re-election next month, abruptly resigned his seat Friday.

How could three top Republicans not demand that Foley resign months ago?

Is this simply party before country? Party before the safety of the teenage boys? Or were the GOP leaders hoping the Foley matter would stay quiet until after the election -- in case they needed Foley's seat to guarantee the GOP retains control of the House?

***

As JABBS noted last month, Boehner wouldn't commit to Fox News Channel's Chris Wallace that Congressman Bob Ney (R-OH) should resign from the House, even after pleading guilty to influence-peddling.

But while that may demonstrate party before country, it's not as selfish as allowing a Congressman to continue in office even after multiple complaints that he was sending "over-friendly" e-mails to 16-year-old boys, and asking for photographs -- which one of the boys described as "sick."

The various House leaders claim they were unaware of "sexually explicit instant messages" sent by Foley, as revealed Friday in a report from ABC News. Of course, given that Hastert lied once with regard to Foley, it calls into question any other statements his office makes on the matter.

***

Another element to the story was the way the GOP leadership dealt with the question of whether Foley was fit to serve.

GOP leaders told the Post they referred the matter to Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), who heads a three-lawmaker panel that oversees the House page program. But Foley convinced Shimkus that the e-mail exchanges were innocent, Shimkus and Republican leaders said.

Here's the rub: Rep. Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), the only Democrat on the House Page Board, said yesterday: "I was never informed of the allegations about Mr. Foley's inappropriate communications with a House page, and I was never involved in any inquiry into this matter."

That decision of party before country may backfire badly. The district's Democratic nominee, Tim Mahoney, has seen his candidacy take on new life with Foley's resignation. Charlie Cook, editor of a nonpartisan newsletter that tracks congressional races, told the Post that if Foley's name stays on the ballot, "it's going to be hard for Republicans to hold on to the seat."

I hope the Democrats regain control of the House by one seat -- that seat.

25 Comments:

Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) now admits that he knew earlier this year of inappropriate e-mails from Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to a 16-year-old page, contradicting earlier statements that he had only learned of the e-mails last week.....

.....Of course, given that Hastert lied once with regard to Foley, it calls into question any other statements his office makes on the matter."


David, I wish you would clear something up for me. So far, from everything I've been able to find on this story, people, including Dennis Hastert, appear to be erroneously interchanging the words "e-mails" and "instant messages".

Unless I'm mistaken, it looks like Hastert is saying that he knew of the fairly innocuous "e-mails" earlier this year, but only learned about the more sexually explicit "instant messages" last week.

I'm not sure that you are being fair in the way that you are interpreting this scenario and timeline. I could be wrong, but perhaps you can straighen it out for me.

Were there, or were there not, sexually explicit e-mails? Undoubtedly the instant messages were sexually explicit. I've read them, and they are disgusting. Without a doubt, Foley had to go.

But if all Hastert knew about were the "overly friendly" e-mails, then I don't think you are being fair in suggesting here that he has lied.

Hope you can clear this ambiguity up for me. Thanks.

4:33 PM  
Blogger David R. Mark said...

David, I wish you would clear something up for me. So far, from everything I've been able to find on this story, people, including Dennis Hastert, appear to be erroneously interchanging the words "e-mails" and "instant messages". >>

According to the Washington Post, Hastert a few days ago claimed that he only learned about Foley's e-mails within a few days (read the linked story). Then, when Boehner and Reynolds said that was wrong, he admitted that he had actually known about the e-mails for several months.

Hastert's office said that they only learned of the sexually explicit instant messages from the ABC News report -- no doubt this is why Foley resigned.

My point was that given that Hastert lied about when he knew about the e-mails, it calls into question his offices' statement about when they learned about the instant messages.

Hope that clarifies. Carry on!!!

10:28 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

trinity said... Unless I'm mistaken, it looks like Hastert is saying that he knew of the fairly innocuous "e-mails" earlier this year, but only learned about the more sexually explicit "instant messages" last week.

Fairly innocuous E-Mails - How is something like this to young men under 18 fairly innocuous - is it like fairly pregnant or is it less innocuous than a BJ??

11:39 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"According to the Washington Post, Hastert a few days ago claimed that he only learned about Foley's e-mails within a few days (read the linked story). Then, when Boehner and Reynolds said that was wrong, he admitted that he had actually known about the e-mails for several months............Hope that clarifies."


But that's exactly what I'm referring to, David. I DID read the piece. I'm just saying that if Denny Hastert meant to say that "he only learned about Foley's IMs within a few days", and not e-mails, then it's possible that Hastert simply mispoke.

I've been reading blogs all night, and I've seen several cases where people are confusing the e-mails and the IMs, and saying that there were salacious e-mails, rather than IMs. There were no sexually explicit e-mails from what I can tell so far. Only IMs.

1:38 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"Fairly innocuous E-Mails - How is something like this to young men under 18 fairly innocuous - is it like fairly pregnant or is it less innocuous than a BJ??"


This is exactly what I'm talking about. If you are referring to the e-mails, whoop, they were not sexually explicit.

I'm just trying to sort this all out and get the facts straight. I'm not sure anyone knows what age the young men were who IMed with Foley. Do you know, whoop? I get the impression that the IMs did not involve the sixteen year old.

1:43 AM  
Anonymous trinity said...

But I'm not sure. If you know, then please enlighten me. :)

1:44 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

Trinity, this link includes one of the IMs. The page says he's under 18.

2:52 AM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

I'm just saying that if Denny Hastert meant to say that "he only learned about Foley's IMs within a few days", and not e-mails, then it's possible that Hastert simply mispoke. >>

Right, innocent mistake.

Or maybe his gut reaction was to lie and cover his tracks?

If Hastert merely misspoke, then that would have been the spin Boehner and Reynolds used. Within days, they would have convinced the MSM that Hastert in fact had not misspoke.

But Boehner and Reynolds didn't do that. They publicly corrected Hastert -- something you don't see everyday among one party's leaders, especially on a matter like this.

2:56 AM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

whoop4467 said...
trinity said... Unless I'm mistaken, it looks like Hastert is saying that he knew of the fairly innocuous "e-mails" earlier this year, but only learned about the more sexually explicit "instant messages" last week.

Fairly innocuous E-Mails - How is something like this to young men under 18 fairly innocuous - is it like fairly pregnant or is it less innocuous than a BJ??

trinity said
I'm just trying to sort this all out and get the facts straight. I'm not sure anyone knows what age the young men were who IMed with Foley. Do you know, whoop? I get the impression that the IMs did not involve the sixteen year old.

From what I have read, Mark Foley has been sending "Inappropriate" ( is this the same as innocuous?) E-mails to young men under 18 (one of which was 16 at the time) and was known by other Republicans as late as the fall of 2005. One or two of the Republicans have stated that they informed the Republican leadership which included Hastert. The best that I can find at present is one article states that the E-mails that we know about were not sexually explicit. But a 16 year old who got one E-mail said to some Republican on the committee that regulates the page system he felt the E-mail was sick, sick, sick.


The IM's are something that occurred in 2006 and the story indicated that one which was published was to a young man under 18 because he talked about participating in a high school sport, which I would understand to be the spring because it was an outdoor sport and it is now the fall and most of the IM's occurred before this school year started.

But, I do reserve the right to be more specific and more accurate when and if more details come out.

4:06 AM  
Blogger Freudian Slip said...

You aren't suppose to admit something unless you are blatently caught, and sometimes even then you deny it. Don't you guys know anything about politics?
Matt

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Smirky said...

Freudian, it appears that Foley should have kept repeating, "I did not send suggestive Emails to that man'.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

rob of wilmington, del. said...
"Trinity, this link includes one of the IMs. The page says he's under 18."


Thanks, rob. I think there was more than one former page who exchanged e-mails with Foley, right? In any case, the 16 year old was the one who got the e-mails, and I believe that was in 2005. The IMs go back to 2003 and I think even 2002 if I'm not mistaken.

3:58 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

whoop4467 said...
"But a 16 year old who got one E-mail said to some Republican on the committee that regulates the page system he felt the E-mail was sick, sick, sick.


Yes, but wasn't he simply referring to the fact that Foley had asked him to send him a photo? I think that's what I read. There was nothing of a sexual nature in those e-mails from what I can find out. Unless you know differently, in which case, please provide the source of your claim.

whoop4467 said...
"The IM's are something that occurred in 2006..."


Again, I think you're mistaken there, whoop. Everything I've read say the IMs go back to '03 and possibly '02. Where did you get the '06 date?

4:07 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

David R. Mark said...
"Is this simply party before country? Party before the safety of the teenage boys?"


No. I don't think so. At least, not on the part of Republicans. I don't think I can be quite so confident when talking about the Democrats though, David. Or at least, some Democrats.

The more I read about this story, the more I suspect that some behind-the-scenes Democrat subterfuge is involved.

I spent last night reading various blogs, both lib and conservative, and it appears that there are some definite links that tie this story to a Soros-backed scheme to hurt Republicans.

An organization named Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which is funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute appears to have possibly colluded with ABC on the release of the Foley IMs story.

So it appears that if anyone put the young Congressional pages at risk of being sexually exploited, it was not the Republicans, but the Democrat supporters who sat on those sexually explicit IMs for so long. Pretty sleazy, huh? Let the investigations begin!

6:53 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

Clarice Feldman sums it up rather nicely on "The American Thinker".

http://www.americanthinker.com/articles.php?article_id=5907

7:07 PM  
Anonymous trinity said...

"Thanks, rob. I think there was more than one former page who exchanged e-mails with Foley, right?"

See? Now I'm even doing it. I meant to say that I think there was more than one former page who exchanged IMs with Foley, not e-mails. There may have been e-mails with more than just the 16 yr. old, but if so, I haven't seen them yet.

11:28 PM  
Anonymous rob of wilmington, del. said...

the sexual nature of the e-mails -- vs. the explicit nature of the IMs -- was that Foley asked for a photograph of one page, and commented on the physique of a male friend of the page.

as for the Democrats' involvement, I think that would have been noted somewhere. from what I can tell, a former page made the IMs known to ABC, and then ABC began interviewing other pages to find related background.

11:40 PM  
Anonymous whoop4467 said...

trinity said...
whoop4467 said...
"But a 16 year old who got one E-mail said to some Republican on the committee that regulates the page system said he felt the E-mail was sick, sick, sick."

Yes, but wasn't he simply referring to the fact that Foley had asked him to send him a photo? I think that's what I read. There was nothing of a sexual nature in those e-mails from what I can find out. Unless you know differently, in which case, please provide the source of your claim.

Trinity there is no doubt you and I are on very different wavelenghts about politics. But, when I read excerpts of the E-mail, I did think it was more than "inapproriate". No doubt you have never been approached by a gay guy and therefore do not read the "implied" subtle sexual advance. Even the 16 year old recognized the "implied" sexual advance, why he said it was sick,sick,sick. I had to hitch-hike when I was in college to get around ( would not today though)and have been picked up by gay guys. Their questions or comments are very subtle, like would you like to see a nude photo of me and my girlfriend or I live close by so would you like to stop by my apartment for a beer or if you are tired you can spend the night with me and travel tommorrow. Needless to say I ended up walking some distance every time before getting another ride.

whoop4467 said...
"The IM's are something that occurred in 2006..."

Again, I think you're mistaken there, whoop. Everything I've read say the IMs go back to '03 and possibly '02. Where did you get the '06 date?

Trinity - I agree with you that IM's have gone back to '03 and likely '02. My answer saying '06 was sort of agreement to your statement that Dennis Hastert may have recently only heard of sexually explict IM's written in '06. I was not covering the entire history of Foley's IMs or E-mails in my response.


Trinity I do not give much hope that the investigation will give very much information soon. I expect to hear: "We can not discuss the IMs or the E-mails due to an ongoing investigation"!!

3:37 AM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

An organization named Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) which is funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute appears to have possibly colluded with ABC on the release of the Foley IMs story.

--Crew has put out a statement saying they told the FBI of these emails back in July.

http://www.citizensforethics.org/press/newsrelease.php?view=163

It also remains clear that the House leadership knew at least of the emails as far back as 11 months ago. Those aren't the explicit IMs, but they're certainly personal enough - especially after a parent was the one that raised the concerns - that the matter should have been looked into further, and it wasn't.

9:19 AM  
Anonymous MellowMan said...

If the parents knew and thought there was something wrong, why didnt they contact their local police at thy time? Hmmm? Hmmm?

Why wait till now? Why did they not act like responsible parents?

12:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe because they were given assurances that Foley would stop?

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

If the parents knew and thought there was something wrong, why didnt they contact their local police at thy time? Hmmm? Hmmm?

Which ones are we talking about? The parents of the page who was in touch with Rep. Alexander? It seems like those parents did contact Rep. Alexander, that is, they did intervene. It appears that he stopped contacting him when the kid freaked out. But there are several pages here, y'know.

I'm also just not sure what the heck your point is.

1:32 PM  
Anonymous MellowMan said...

"I'm also just not sure what (censored) your point is".

The point that escapes you is the fact that responible parents get into a teenager's business (NO, REALLY)and protct him or her from all outside negative influences or danger. Mark Foley may have proven to be both a negative influence and a danger to their son.

There is nothing wrong with a congressman sending friendly messages of a politicalnature about Washington DC or the home state, but Mark Foley's Instant Messages and Emails were of an acceptable nature.

A wise parent would have investigated the true nature of the connuniques by contacting the local police. With the past practice of covering for political colleagues, contacting someone in Washington DC could have proven fruitless.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous MellowMan said...

Sorry, correction.

Those messages were NOT of an accepable nature.

Definitely NOT

2:07 PM  
Anonymous Dave G. said...

The point that escapes you is the fact that responible parents get into a teenager's business (NO, REALLY)and protct him or her from all outside negative influences or danger. Mark Foley may have proven to be both a negative influence and a danger to their son.

Agreed. Not of an acceptable nature. But isn't the fact that this one kid was freaked, his parents called the Rep, and tried to get the situation resolved? And isn't that separate from the other pages he was in contact with? What I mean to say is, doesn't it seem like the parents intervened here by contacting Rep. Alexander?

This guy was in contact with several pages - and clearly some of them did not talk to their parents about it.

2:16 PM  

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