Saturday, October 07, 2006

Foley's Fallout or Pimpin' the Pages

I just want to be the first person that says this out loud:

There is a very ugly reason House Speaker Dennis Hastert won't acknowledge disciplining former Representative Republican Mark Foley for inappropriate contact with the pages more than a year ago. Hastert pimped the pages to Foley in exchange for Foley’s votes on Republican issues and his cash-raising abilities for the Republican Party.





Here are the facts upon which I base this allegation:



In November of 2005, former-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl, who was in charge of supervising the page program, resigned unexpectedly and without the typical fanfare accorded a staff person of his stature. He’d been House Clerk for nearly six years. Just a few days earlier Trandahl forced Hastert's chief of staff, Scott Palmer, to meet with Foley and strongly reprimand the Congressman for stalking the pages. Trandahl, who the Republicans have now outted as a gay man, had complained on numerous previous occasions of Foley’s inappropriate behavior. Trandahl’s complaints started lower in the food chain but escaladed up to the Speaker’s Office when it became clear to him that Foley was unrepentant and relentless. Trandahl refuses to speak to the press regarding the page fiasco or regarding his unexpected resignation.

Palmer, who it has been reported is currently in a very emotional state, denies meeting with Foley at that time, as does Hastert. Several other Congressional staffers have already confirmed that Palmer and Foley met despite Hastert’s outright lies that he wasn’t aware of the problem. For those who would claim that Hastert might not be aware of his Chief of Staff’s actions, Hastert and Palmer are very close and share a home in the Washington area when Congress is in session.

Mark Foley’s record of stalking pages goes back to the 1990s, according to recent revelations in the press. Three additional former Congressional pages already have come forth complaining that they were harassed by Congressman Foley. There are allegations that Foley, drunk, attempted to enter the page dormitories but was turned back more than a year ago. While there is no record or police report related to that incident there are several pages and other officials who claim it happened.

On the one hand, Republican Congressman Mark Foley, from a conservative Republican district, was a known child predator whom Republicans warned their pages to avoid.

On the other hand Republican Congressman Mark Foley was a substantial fundraiser for the Republican Party and a sure winner in his Florida district, despite the possible concerns voters in the conservative district might have about Foley's sexual orientation.

Hastert did the math and decided to sacrifice the pages for a sure-winner and cash-cow.

Shortly after Trandahl resigned Foley donated $100,000 to the Republican Party’s Congressional re-election campaign.

The Republican Party is currently angling for the remaining $2.3 million in Foley’s war chest.

Yep. Family values at work.
For more on l'affaire d'Foley see this WashPo article: Pimping the Pages

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